Since we had atlased 3 blocks in the Cheshire and Windsor areas where Meadowlarks had been noted, we decided to head west to re-check those blocks and spend the day birding. We also wanted to check on the Cliff Swallow colonies we follow out there as well.
As we were looking at the caterpillar I finally noticed a couple of damselflies low in the grasses including this brightly-colored red one. Since the male damsels I was seeing all looked like Eastern Forktails with their bright blue tips, I first assumed this was a female. That is until I looked more closely. Then I knew that I was seeing my "life" Eastern Red Damsel!!! WOW, I was excited. This little ode literally stayed in the same patch of grasses so that when we came back past this area 20 minutes later I could re-find her (I think it's a female.) Always fun to get lots of photographs of a new species.
Mark had walked ahead to continue birding while I waited to see what other goodies I could find. Suddenly he was waving wildly at me to hurry up. This could only mean one thing: he's found an odonate that he thinks might be something different. Sure enough, when I caught up to him he pointed out a green-eyed dragonfly perched on a bush over the Hoosic. As soon as I saw it through my camera lens I knew it was another snaketail -- only not the Rusty Snaketail we had gotten on the Millers River just days before. So that meant it was going to be another "life" dragonfly (once I got home and identified it hopefully.)
We drove up Rt. 8 to another overlook of the river and spent a bit of time at the northern part of the bike path, but we had one quick fly by and that was it. We decided to check some other roads out in Cheshire for birds, maybe do an overlook of the big lake (Cheshire Reservoir) and then head on to Windsor to check our last block for Meadowlark. As we were driving up the dirt road from the river, we came across this Wood Thrush out gathering food for its young. I can't quite tell what it has in its mouth, but I prefer to believe it wasn't the dragonfly that flew by us down the road.
A great day looking at all the gifts nature has to offer...birds, butterflies, odonates and plants....really who could ask for more?