Spring is such a great time of year. The weather is still somewhat erratic and you get to watch the slow emergence of flora and fauna. In the last couple of weeks a whole bunch of critters have started to appear.
I saw my official first butterfly a mourning cloak Nymphalis antiopa, which is a pretty, dark colored butterfly with yellow trim along the edges of it's wings. I saw another bright orange butterfly, but I was too far away from it to see any details, so I'm not sure what it was.
In the small pond at the ranch there have been three cinnamon teals Anas cyanoptera, swimming around. Currently there are two males and one female. They are such a pretty color it's fun to see them hanging out for awhile. One day I also saw a small group of very little wading birds, they were on the eastern shore of the pond, I was unable to get a very close look at them, but they appeared to be some type of sandpiper or dowitcher (I need to remember to take my scope with me all the time).
In the meadows, the western meadowlarks Sturnella neglecta have shown up singing their melodious morning tunes. There have also been a couple of red-tailed hawks Buteo jamaicensis flying over the fields searching for some prey. In a recent post I discussed the appearance of the Killdeer Charadrius vociferus who have appeared in large numbers. Oh... don't let me forget, in the last week a whole bunch of turkey vultures Cathartes aura showed up, they've been perched up on top of the trees, periodically flying out over the fields.
As for mammals, there is currently a large group of pronghorn antelope Antilocapra americana that have been hanging around windy point. We have also seen several groups of mule deer Odocoileus virginianus running throughout the foothills.
There have been no herps that I've seen yet, but I'm sure they will start appearing in the near future.