Caterpillars: American Dagger Moth

Photo of American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

On September 29, 2013, in Biddeford Pool, I noticed this caterpillar traveling on needle-covered ground.  After snapping a few photographs, I watched the creature assume this coiled caterpillar yoga position.  Later on -- with the help of the BugGuide -- I determined that this is likely a larva of an American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana).  Have you seen any fuzzy caterpillars lately?

Shorebirds: Semipalmated Plover

Photo of Semi-palmated Plover

Semipalmated Plovers breed in parts of Canada and are found in our area only during migration.  They can be seen hunting for invertebrates along coastal and inland shorelines in May and early June (on their way to their breeding grounds) and again from mid-July through October (before heading farther south for winter).

Wasps: Thread-waisted Wasp

Photo of Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera)

For many, the word "wasp" triggers thoughts of stinging pain, but being up close with this Thread-waisted Wasp (perhaps Ammophila procera) only triggered amazement in me.  Prior to taking this photograph, I watched this wasp nectaring -- alongside butterflies and bumblebees --  on Lance-leaved American-aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum).  See Tuesday's post for another look at the flower.

Falcons: Peregrine Falcon

Photo of Peregrine Falcon

At the beginning of the month, I found this Peregrine Falcon perched on a power pole overlooking a Biddeford beach.  Peregrines are accomplished, tremendously swift bird-hunters.  In cities, they often focus on plentiful Rock Pigeons; in coastal areas, shorebirds and ducks are among their prey.