Back in the field with the scrappy little Mason & Bailey Club, and their first visit to Huntley Meadows Park! Almost perfect weather. The day was not too birdy (my scouting yesterday listed 25 species, many of them just heard), but we did get some looks at Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Osprey. And one of the Red-shouldered Hawks was squawking.
Somewhat better luck with some of the other orders: Painted Turtle, Snapping Turtle, American Bullfrog, Green Frog, Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) (male and female), Ebony Jewelwing, and my lifer Northern Pearly-eye (Lethe anthedon). First blossoms of Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris). A fleabane that I’m calling Erigeron strigosus, in the parking lot while I was waiting for folks. Crushing several siliques of Sweet Cicely produced the desired sensory effect.
I packed too much information into this trip, we didn’t even find a beaverdam, and we ran over our time budget (again!), but my little crew kept going with me.