ABA Camp Colorado Adventure Part 4-Butterfly Bash!

Our last and final day at the camp started with another early morning as we made our way to the Nature Conservancy-owned Phantom Canyon Nature Preserve to do some canyon birding. This day was our hottest day so we loaded up on sunscreen and double-checked our water bottles before starting on the 0.8 mile hike down 500 feet in elevation to the bottom of the canyon where a nice stream trickled on by. The birding was great and we had great looks at some really cool species! Highlights included Green-tailed Towhee, Canyon Wren, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Golden Eagle, Lesser Goldfinch, and a Yellow-breasted Chat! I had 7 lifers for the morning including Spotted Towhee, Plumbeous Vireo, Canyon Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lesser Goldfinch, Black-headed Grosbeak, and a nemesis bird: Golden Eagle! The Yellow-breasted Chat had such a beautiful shade of yellow on it that my jaw dropped and I had no idea that Canyon Wrens have the largest bill to body ratio of any North American bird to help them eat spiders! The reason the land was preserved was actually to protect an extremely rare species of plant: Larimer Aletes Parsely that grows only there and one other place in Colorado. Later on in the day we did some riparian habitat birding mainly looking for the American Dipper. We did not get the dipper but I got one lifer: a Lazuli X Indigo Bunting hybrid sitting on a branch across the river from us. Other than that we had an American Kestrel and tons of butterflies and dragonflies all over the place! Here are the species of plants and animals seen that day:
Phantom Canyon:

Birds (25 species, 7 lifers):
*Spotted Towhee 2
Mountain Bluebird 1
Western Meadowlark 1
Green-tailed Towhee 2
Rock Pigeon 10
Double-crested Cormorant 1
*Canyon Wren 2
Lark Sparrow 1
*Black-headed Grosbeak 2
Western Tanager 1
Bald Eagle 1
Violet Green Swallow 10
Turkey Vulture 1
Lazuli Bunting 1
*Golden Eagle 2
Song Sparrow 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher 1
*Lesser Goldfinch 1
*Yellow-breasted Chat 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Stellar’s Jay 1
Mourning Dove 1
*Plumbeous Vireo 1
California Gull 5
Great Blue Heron 1

Wildflowers (3 species, 2 lifers):
*Field Bindweed
Common Sunflower

Dragonflies and Damselflies (3 species, 3 lifers):
*Twelve-spotted Skimmer
*Variable Dancer
*White-faced Meadowhawk

Lepidoptera (5 species, 2 lifers):
Cabbage White
Red Admiral
*Aphrodite Fritillary
Painted Lady
*Acmon Blue

Shrubs (1 species, 1 lifer):
*Mountain Mahogany

Cacti (1 species, 1 lifer):
*Prickly Pear Cactus

Other Plants (1 species, 1 lifer):
*Larimer Aletes Parsely

Tarantula Wasp

Mammals (1 species, 0 lifers):
Pronghorn Antelope

Riparian Habitats:

Birds (6 species, 1 lifer):
*Lazuli X Indigo Bunting hybrid 1
American Kesterel 1
Blue Jay 1
Barn Swallow 5
House Wren 1
Prairie Falcon 1

Wildflowers (2 species, 2 lifers):
*Common Sunflower
Catchfly species

Dragonflies and Damselflies (1 species, 1 lifer):
*White-faced Meadowhawk

Reptiles and Amphibians (1 species, 1 lifer):
*Woodhouse’s Toad

Lepidoptera (6 species, 6 lifers):
*Afranius Duskywing
*Banded Tussock Moth
*Common Wood Nymph
*Russet Skipperling
*Leonard’s Skipper-“Pawnee” subspecies

Juba Skipper Underside
Painted Lady Upperside
Juba Skipper Upperside
Painted Lady Underside
Aphrodite Fritillary Upperside
Aphrodite Fritillary Underside
Phantom Canyon
Pronghorn Antelope
Leonard’s Skipper (Pawnee)
White-faced Meadowhawk
Russet Skipperling (left) and Afranius Duskywing (right)
Banded Tussock Moth
Common Sunflower