This Saturday is the Clear Creek Count which is named after the Clear Creek Creek nature reserve in east Chatham-Kent. Mathis Natvik, who was instrumental in getting the NCC to purchase and preserve the tract of land, started the butterfly count as well, back in 2000.
It was another count I started going to and I recall it quite well. There are some excellent areas including old railway lines through the Highgate and Muirkirk area. At the time, at least one was still operational, but both have long since been abandoned. They are not as good as they used to since the gravel beds were extracted and a few local farmers have taken it upon themselves to expropriate some of the land.
However, some spots are still good with wildflowers and weeds.
Rondeau is this Sunday. While the weather forecast does not look too good, it will change about 15 times before then, so who knows what the weather will be!
The Rondeau count was another I got into with its very first count. I had no idea what I was doing back in 1999 with regards to butterflies. I recall tagging along with Ian Carmichael and others including Jerry Ball if I remember correctly. It was actually a banner year for butterflies with a couple of Little Yellows for example in our section.
The counts make for an interesting day with comradery and a get-together at the end of the day in most cases. Rondeau has a BBQ lunch though. The Skunk's count always has a lunch at Wardsville then a BBQ at Rodney.
Some butterflies are winding down, while others are at peak right now. Before long, hairstreaks will be getting fewer. It has been mediocre for them in my area, although as I mentioned the Southern (more appropriately Northern Oak!) seemed to do fairly well.
Speaking of Southern Hairstreak, another was found by Jeff Larson and Paul Desjardins at Brunet Park in LaSalle last Saturday. It is the third in that area since 2005 and we have surmised in the past that a small colony must exist somewhere in the area. It is a great area for butterflies, especially hairstreaks.
I found another Striped Hairstreak today at Reid. I got there too late in the day to look for sedge skippers. I think they go to bed early!
We found a bunch of these moths in Skunk's Misery.