UFOS: Unidentified flying object of the skipper variety
Yesterday on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, we saw a black swan (Cyngus atratus). These natives of Australia have been imported to this continent as ornamentals, so this one is doubtlessly an escapee. It is spectacular: on the water, it's all black with a red bill, but when stretching its wings (or flying) it shows its white flight feathers. The East Pond is now spotted with dozens upon dozens of mute swans, btw. Other birds added to this year’s list: Lesser yellowlegs, Marbled godwit, Whimbrel, Ruddy turnstone, and Short-billed dowitcher.
It was also a fine day for butterflies: we saw more than these, but these were the ones we could identify: Monarch (below), Red Admiral, Viceroy, American Lady, Clouded Sulphur, Cabbage White, Spring Azure (late in the year?).
On the path back to the A train, found this land snail shell. I think it's another C. nemoralis, but quite different from the striped version in the Back 40.