At last, a captured Monarch! And swallows, and song sparrows and. . .

Another wonderful morning at Gooseberry, topped by at last capturing (on camera) one of the  many Monarch butterflies we have been seeing as they make their incredible migration to Mexico.  I must say, his royal highness looks prime for the arduous journey!

Monarch - click image for larger view.

Monarch - click image for larger view.

Each trip this month would show us one or two or three monarchs – six today – and yet they never seemed to pause and I just never had time to focus on one in flight before it was gone. If you don’t know about the Monarch migration, be sure to visit the interactive, educational site, Journey North – or in this case, Journey South. It will give you background, plus all the latest news on this year’s migration.

Easier to catch are Bren and “the kids,” Higgins and Eliza.

Click image for larger version. (Eastern beach a bit north of the parking lot.)

Click image for larger version. (Eastern beach a bit north of the parking lot.)

Of course, Eliza usually figures she in charge and she always want to lead so Higgins doesn’t “use up all the smells before she gets there.”

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

And Higgins, well, he’s content to take the lead in hugs!

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

But back to the tourists!

What really caught our eye today was that once more there was a steady stream of tree swallows emerging from the north as if they had been following the curve of East Beach right out the causeway to where we were. You would look in that direction, see nothing, then suddenly, like magic, they would emerge out of the vision of air and sea.

Two of roughly the thousand swallows we saw. (Hint - size is revealed by the seagull feet at the top of the image.) Click image for larger version.

Two of roughly the thousand swallows we saw. (Hint - size is revealed by the seagull feet at the top of the image.) Click image for larger version.

When you looked inland, over the pampas grass, you were left in awe by a constantly shifting aerial ballet.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

Oh – and that picture includes a tiny interloper among the swallows!

The Monarch is int he center of this shot - and, of course, much closer thant he whirling cloud of swallows. Click image for larger version.

The Monarch is in the center of this shot - and, of course, much closer than the whirling cloud of swallows. Click image for larger version.

Almost forgot – when trying to “catch” a monarch I caught some movement in the brush near the beach and this handsome Song Sparrow emerged to entertain!

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

And if you look real closely at that last aerial shot you’ll see another fall migrant – our monarch friend!

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