Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Pheasant Branch Conservancy - Creek Corridor

Thus far I've tallied 16 warbler species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy since August 1st. I confess I'm feeling a little spoiled by the spectacular views and photo opportunities we experienced during May. Right now the warblers are foraging high in the canopy making it practically impossible to get digiscoped images of them. However, my digiscoping efforts during fall migration are typically reserved for sparrows, which are far more accommodating photography subjects. I think my 2014 efforts will go down as some of my best work, so I feel I've earned a bit of a break and haven't been carrying my digiscoping gear most mornings.

Pheasant Branch Conservancy - Creek Corridor

Early Monday morning at the creek corridor I found two Black-and-white Warblers, a Magnolia Warbler, and a single Tennessee Warbler. The pace of migration has been a little slow. After an hour of birding, I decided to call Mark Johnson and see if he wanted to go to Spring Green Preserve for non-avian critter photography.

Spring Green Preserve

Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle Tetracha virginica

We were only a short distance from the kiosk near the entrance when I spotted a large beetle on the trail. I knew immediately from its shape it was a tiger beetle, and an extremely large one. Not only is the Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle the largest in its genus, it's also nocturnal so we were very surprised to find one on the trail around noon. A "lifer" insect, it's the seventh tiger beetle species I've observed at Spring Green Preserve, the others being Big Sands, Oblique-lined, Punctured, Splendid, Festive, and Six-spotted. Some sources say there are eight different tiger beetle species at the preserve, while others say seven.

Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle Tetracha virginica

Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle Tetracha virginica

Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle Tetracha virginica

Robber Fly Proctacanthus milbertii

Flowering Spurge

Pearly Everlasting

Blazing Star

Leaf-cutter Bee

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Phidippus Jumping Spider

Walking Stick

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. My what beautiful blue eyes on that Virginia Big-headed Tiger Beetle