Saturday, July 16, 2011

Clear Creek Butterfly Count

I put in a full day today, starting at Blenheim Lagoons first thing this morning.  Nothing noteworthy there.  This is the first time in several years that one of the ponds has not been drawn down allowing good shorebird habitat.  Most shorebirds hang out in the sprinkler cells, but they sure seem very skittish this summer.
I also stopped at Ridgetown Lagoons on my way to Highgate.  Actually some decent edge there, but it is checked less frequently.
The Clear Creek butterfly count was today.  This count has lots of excellent spots to check for butterflies.  It was first started in 2000 and is centred around Duart.  Two abandoned railway lines provide excellent opportunity for searching.
There was tons of knapweed, white sweet clover and other things, but actually very few butterflies today.  We must be in between broods of lots of things, plus lack of immigrants.  Things may be looking up though with Fiery Skippers in Essex County recently.  The very first count here we had a Fiery Skipper I do recall.
Our party did find an American Snout, and a few Common Buckeyes were present.

Total species tallied for the count was 44 which was good considering lack of butterflies.  Nothing outstanding.  Hairstreaks were few and far between.  We had them in only two spots.  One milkweed had two Edwards' and two Banded, and another location had 6 Banded together!
No camera today. I did not feel like lugging it around!  Just as well since it was so steaming hot today and little to photograph.

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