Mammals, leps, and birds today.From Joe Dickinson, we get—gophers! I think they need some whitening treatment:
The campground at Half Moon Bay Sate Beach, CA, is riddled with gopher holes. These are pocket gophers, probably Thomomys bottae. This guy, recognizable based on some bad upper incisors, popped up at several openings over a few minutes.
Reader Dom sends us two butterflies:
I attach some common butterfly photos taken with a Pentax ‘bridge’ camera at the end of August in North Norfolk between Gimingham and Trimingham.
A Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta – I had no idea that it was also found across Asia & into North America… With its wings closed it is hard to pick out on the brambles – Rubus fruticosa…
. . . and a speckled wood – Pararge aegeria which is less ‘in your face’! The UK Butterflies website says it forms a cline “where individuals in the north are dark brown with white spots, with those in more southerly locations being dark brown with orange spots. This has given rise to a number of subspecies. “
Finally, Diana MacPherson has some hummingbird snaps, showing how the iridescent appearance comes and goes:
This male ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) has taken to perching in the weigela bush so he can keep an eye on any interlopers to what he perceives as his nectar. I’ve watched the hummingbirds “cheat” with the rose of sharon next to this weigela; the rose does not have very accessible nectar, so the hummingbirds poke their beaks into the base of the flower on the outside of it. Smart. They must be able to smell the nectar.
Here the male turns his head to check out a female who is manoeuvring nearby, revealing the red colours in his feathers. You can also see his fluffy down near his bum.