Sunday, July 6, 2014

Skunk's Count July 6 Plus Another Bonus

Some decent weather prevailed today for the annual Skunk's Misery butterfly count.  It got quite windy this afternoon, so sheltered spots were sought out.
Total species count (tentative) was 54.  A pretty decent number as the trend continues for low numbers of most species of butterflies.
Every year is different with timing of broods (often weather is a factor).  We, however, hit high numbers of Tawny Emperors today.
(I took some photos today, but only with the Canon G16.  A neat little point and shoot camera that takes great photos!)

Only a few Hackberry were seen today.

All the regular Satyrium hairstreaks were represented with a high number of Banded.

My group (Paul Carter, Don Pye) did Centreville Road (west half) in the morning and the NE section of the circle (north of Bentpath and west of Watterworth Rd.) in the afternoon.  Heather Campbell helped a bit in the morning as well.

Here is a Striped Hairstreak I found.

One of the better spots (which I did not know about until two years ago) was along Mosside Road where it crosses the river.  There used to be a bridge here, and you can launch a small boat.  There is a meadow type area and a hill with Red Cedar.

Here we found quite a few butterflies including this worn Hickory Hairstreak.

Delaware Skippers were numerous here darting about in all directions.  A new high was achieved today.

Some good stands of Common Milkweed were attracting many butterflies.

Our first stop in the afternoon was a location I often check out for birds.  It is at the very east end of Mosside Road where it hits Watterworth.  Some good forest habitat is here with a chunk of Crown Land at the corner of Argyll and Watterworth.  I have mentioned this location before, where we used to look for Golden-winged, Cerulean, Blue-winged, Hooded Warblers, Acadian Flycatcher and other uncommon birds back in the early 1990's.

Looking north on Watterworth at Mosside Road

While a butterfly count is to look for butterflies, we naturalists look for birds, animals and other insects! Today I noticed an interesting dragonfly at this location.  It took a while for Paul to net it, but it turned out to be a Mocha Emerald.  Paul and I pretty much knew what it was right away, but a look in the books confirmed its identity.

According to what little I know, the Mocha Emerald was not known in Ontario until about 2003 when it was found on a tributary creek to the north branch of the Sydenham River NE of Wallaceburg.  It has been found in several locations along the Sydenham in Lambton and Middlesex since then.
Not sure how today's sighting fits in, but none-the-less a bonus sighting!

A scenic spot at an old bridge on Cameron Road was another stop where it crosses the Sydenham.

More counts next weekend....

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