Thursday, July 7, 2011

Insect Search

As you can tell, this time of year I concentrate on insects, especially butterflies.  I keep an eye out for birds, but I like to look at butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies or anything else.  Will have to start looking for southbound shorebirds now too!

After work today, I stopped by McKeough CA.  It is a large area with a dam structure and 7 km spillway to the St. Clair River.  I have checked out this spot ever since it opened in 1983.  I even worked there for the CA one spring.  It is good for butterflies and dragonflies.  The dragons are close to the river and the Sydenham has a good variety of rare to uncommon species of those, among other things.  Pronghorn Clubtail are easily seen this time of year.

Flag-tailed Spinyleg should be around as well, but I have not seen one yet this year.

There are lots of damselflies, but I must draw the line there at trying to ID all of them.  Today I saw lots of Rainbow Bluets which are quite pretty.

This past Sunday we were looking at Blue-tipped Dancers and others.

 Rainbow bluet

Today I came across at least four Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. One was almost at the skeleton stage!

They are rather uncommon around here, and I do not see them every year.

I also saw at least three Common Buckeyes.  Some years they are difficult to find.  Last year one could easily get sick of them!

Other things were out like Delaware Skippers.

At Reid CA, I came across the first Dion Skipper of the year.  Could not get the camera on it though.
Speaking of Dion, the skipper we had at Brunet Park on Saturday was actually a Dukes'!  I never saw the underwing, but Bruce Ripley got a good shot of it and it clearly appears to be a Dukes' with the upper ray extending to the outer margin.
Some of these are obvious, but others give me a headache!  They look too much alike.  I have also had Dukes' at Reid CA in the past, so one must be careful!


  1. Blake, nice White-M Hairstreak on the masthead. I have not seen one yet here in Windsor. The previous photo of Cabot Head Bruce Peninsula was great as well. Change is good I guess!

  2. Dwayne,

    Actually that is a Northern Oak Hairstreak. The White-M is extremely rare in Ontario (I only have seen one-Pelee Island) but does have a somewhat similar "M" upside down. A bit larger too.