Monday, February 17, 2014

Small Checkered Skipper

...and we thought spring was going to wait until March or April... guess we need to bust out the black lights because things really ARE moving! Apologies for the incredibly low photo quality here; this was a VERY fresh Small Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus scriptura) taken at the ponds SW of Marathon yesterday (16 Feb 2014), digital zoom makes it look oddly, unfortunately blocky.

Small Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus scriptura), 16 February 2014, Brewster Co, TX
I recall Small Checkered Skippers being much smaller than this individual seemed (more like Western Pygmy Blues than Common/White Checkered Skippers), and later in the morning we did see a Common/White Checkered Skipper at Post Park - and it really did seem about the same size. Confusing, especially since many early flying leps are smaller than their later-season counterparts.

That said, Post Park and the water crossings on Post Road were FILLED with Mourning Cloaks. Wonderful early fliers, and able to stay aloft in the breeze. Post Road also had a gaggle of pronghorn antelope; they have been absent for some time.

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