Cleanup in Aisle Three…

Oof! Sorry about my goof-up in yesterday’s report. The WordPress editor seems to struggle a bit with my switch from merely inserting images directly to imbedding image URLs from my Flickr page. I thought I had deleted the picture of the little bird with the black cap and yellow belly, to save it for today, and it appeared gone in my preview, but when I checked the report today, there it was. Dang. I’ve fixed it now, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, the Eurasian wren I wrote about yesterday is the little brown bird with a checked pattern on its feathers, similar to the ones in Estabrook, and the little bird with the black cap and yellow belly, now pictured below, is a “great tit” (Parus major), possibly a juvenile. I read that it “remains the most widespread species in the genus Parus,” and “there are currently 15 recognised [sic] subspecies of great tit.” Apparently “tit”, in other times and/or in other cultures, denotes “something small,” such as “a small horse” or “a boy”.


Anyway, another fun find from yesterday is this stunning European peacock or just peacock butterfly (Aglais io) sipping nectar from the same thistles as the small tortoiseshell butterflies we saw back in June. I read that the prominent “eye patches” on the top (dorsal) side of its wings is only its second line of defense, and the first line is staying still with its wings closed, exposing only the plain bottom (ventral) side of its wings, to look like a dead leaf. I’ll have to see if I can get a picture of one doing that for you.


There were a few specimens there, and here’s a shot with two of them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given that “it is a relatively common butterfly, seen in many European parks and gardens.


I spotted another chaffinch, now that I know where to look, and this one even appeared to be gleaning seeds from some chaff, supposedly the behavior for which it was named.


And here are a pair of great crested grebes doting on their chick. The adult on the right surfaced with some little morsel in its beak, paddled over and passed it to the adult on the left, who then fed it to the chick.


Finally, those thistle blossoms aren’t feeding only butterflies, and here’s one with a well-pollinated honey bee. Given its location, perhaps it is a “western honey bee or European honey bee (Apis mellifera),” “the most common of the 7–12 species of honey bees worldwide”


That’s it for now, and I’ll show you more tomorrow, if things go according to plan.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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