Saturday, July 11, 2015

Clear Creek Butterfly Count July 11

Another interesting butterfly count in my area is the Clear Creek.  Started back in 2000 by Mathis Natvik, this is a popular count with lots of old rail line to explore.

Looking West

Today, I only worked the morning as I wanted to take part in another outing in the afternoon (more on that later!).  Our first stop was at the Chatham-Kent/Elgin border where two parallel rail lines pass through at MacPherson Line.  On the Elgin side, we walked to an interesting area locally known as Taylor's Pond.

It was originally used by the railroad, but has a large pond with wooded area and plantings of Scotch Pine and some open areas. Naturally, it has been growing in since I first saw the place many years ago.

We go here to mainly to get the Coral Hairstreaks.

Nice One!

We found perhaps up to 8.  Often there is also Acadian here, but not today.

One Striped Hairstreak was found on White Sweet Clover.

As one would expect, a few odes were here.  I believe this is a Variable Dancer which is common here.

There was not much along the rail lines, but that is typcial of the year we are having.

Great-spangled Fritillary

A Hickory Hairstreak was found by 'Uncle Paul' just before we left.

There were no surprise bird sightings, but a Sora was calling in the little marsh at MacPherson Road between the two old rail lines.

Later in the morning we checked out the Benishek property south of Highgate.  Much of the old farmland has been planted as tall-grass prairie.

We were surprised at how few butterflies there were.  In one back corner I found some hairstreaks which included a couple of Striped and a few Banded.

Also at that particular location, we found a Gray Treefrog perched on a Common Milkweed! As these frogs adapt their colour to the surroundings, this one too one a pale green colour.


Since I pass through Thamesville on the way home, I had to stop at the bridge south of the village where American Rubyspots are found.  Sure enough I found a few.

It is a messy place to get into with the steep river bank and overgrown areas.  I could not get very close due to the steep bank.
Later in the summer we will see Smokey Rubyspots here as well.

The afternoon portion of my day went well with a surprise just after we started walking.  More on that in the next post!


  1. Well now---so we have to await the next Blog for your afternoon surprise !
    I,m taking a "wild ' guess that--- You flushed a bevy of Bobwhite while trudging
    thru' Walpole Island looking for butterflies !!!
    I just know this would be a great thrill for you Blake ! You miss those Bobwhites,
    and so we all do--- [ --or is your surprise even better ? ]

    1. I wish that were true, Irene! I believe the Bobwhite are gone from the north part of the island. The last one I heard in that area was May 2005. Previous to that I heard them daily since I work directly across from the island.
      Soon you will know....