A June outing to Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area

A juvenile Red-winged Blackbird
A juvenile Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) at Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area, Denver, Colorado. June 15, 2014

Last summer I didn’t get outside much for various reasons, but I did make it to a few places. Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area is a relatively small streamside recreation area that mostly seems to be used for fishing, although there are some hiking trails.

Unfortunately, the evening I went turned out to be not very good for dragonflies (or photography), but there were a few interesting sightings, most notably the juvenile Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) above, whose parents were extremely displeased by anyone passing by on the trail, and extra-displeased by me stopping to take some photos:

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), female

But more excitingly, I spotted a female thread-waisted wasp (Family Sphecidae) provisioning a nest with a caterpillar. I didn’t have enough light to get even remotely decent photos of a fast-moving wasp (I would really like to invest in a decent off-camera flash one of these days), but it was still a pretty cool thing to watch. Last year was the year I discovered sphecids, which I’d never really noticed before, and now every spring and summer I’ll be watching for burrows in dry ground.

Thread-waisted wasp (Family Sphecidae) with caterpillar prey, female

Thread-waisted wasp (Family Sphecidae), female

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