Friday, June 19, 2015

That Time of Year...

I took the afternoon off and went for a nature walk.  It is about time for the hairstreaks to show up, and I had a good feeling about it today.  First stop was my favourite place, Reid CA.  The Indian Hemp is just coming out in bloom and the emergence of the first hairstreaks seems to coincide with it.  I checked the first batch, then moved to another batch of Indian Hemp.  Right away I spotted a hairstreak and knew from a distance it was my old friend, the Southern (Northern Oak) Hairstreak!

I watched it for a bit before it suddenly disappeared.  After a while I moved on to look at other areas. Not a lot of butterflies out today, but there were some.

worn Hobomok Skipper
worn Juvenal's Duskywing

Least Skipper

Common Ringlet
Long Dash

I came back to the hairstreak spot a few times, and eventually came across the subject hairstreak again.  I assume it is the same individual I saw 45 minutes earlier as it had a chunk out of its left wing.

This is the earliest I have seen them.  In 2010 the first was on the 20th which was the early record at the time.  A couple of times I have seen them on the 22nd, including the very first time in 2008.  Last year it was the 22nd, the average date.  The oak hairstreak is one of the earliest we see.

It will be interesting to see what transpires this year as it has been an extremely wet one so far!

Indigo Bunting at Reid

With time left in the afternoon, I moved up to Moore WMA knowing the Silvery Checkerspots should be out.  Sure enough, there were many to be seen, and it was the most numerous lep there today.

Right beside the parking lot at Moore is the best local area around I know for this species.  I have had the odd one at Reid, but they are scarce there.

Another view of the hairstreak:

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