Monday, July 6, 2015

Skunk's Butterfly Summary



A brief summary from Ann White:

Yesterday in warm, sunny weather we held our count.
35 participants counted 53 species. Highlights, apart from a great BBQ at the end, were American Snout, Aphrodite, (rare here), Compton's Tortoiseshell and Hackberry Emperor. Large numbers include Cabbage White 295, Tawny Emperor 87, Little Wood Satyr 694, Wood Nymph 353 and European Skipper 814. Disappointing was no Spicebush Swallowtails were seen and only 1 Lady out of both species.
25 Monarchs with 7 caterpillars and 1 chrysalis.
Ann White


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Skunk's Misery Butterflies

Turned out to be a decent day weatherwise for the Skunk's Misery butterfly count.  It is one of my favourite counts as there are some good areas to check and some good birding at the same time!



I arrived a bit early and went down Sassafras and Centreville Roads to listen for birds.  I heard/saw five Hooded Warblers in that run and got a couple more during the morning.  A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was decent for the area.
We saw a Broad-winged Hawk just after lunch.  Some do nest in the area.

My party worked the west end of Centreville as usual in the morning.

Centreville looking west


Hairstreaks were in really good numbers this year, and actually the best we have had.  Hickory seemed to be all over the place.



A few Striped were spotted as well.  I think the Striped is the prettiest hairstreak of the satyrium genus.




Lots of Banded Hairstreaks, but the Hickories took the prize.



We had a few Acadian Hairstreaks near the west end of Centreville.



No Coral or Edwards' were seen today though.

Tawny Emperors were quite plentiful today, and a good number of Gray Commas were seen.



At one point I spotted a Compton Tortoiseshell, but the others were behind me and did not get to see it.  It was the first one I had seen in a few years!  Unfortunately I could not get the camera on it in time.

Swallowtails were very scarce and our party had only 2 Tiger in the afternoon.

In the afternoon we did the NW part of the circle starting at the north end of Watterworth Road, then across Mosside Road to the Aughrim area then over to Cameron.
Ric and Sandy Symmes were pleased to join us for the afternoon.

I did not get my Baltimore Checkerspot, but one party had quite a few in a known spot.  Total of them for the count was 39.

Skippers in general were rather few.  A few European were still kicking around.  One party still had a very worn Hobomok.
Our party did get a couple of Peck's, only a few Northern Broken-Dash, one Little Glassy-wing (I spotted), and a number of Delaware Skippers.



The few Silver-spotted seen were very worn and one was almost unrecognizable!
There was one Mulberry Wing on the count.

The tentative species count was 49 which was not bad with all factors considered.

Once again, few dragonflies were seen.  I did see a couple large darners during the day.

Sydenham River from the bridge on Cameron

Photos from the Canon G16.