Friday, June 17, 2016

Looking for Insects

With the combination of a slow afternoon at work and a fabulous day weather-wise, I left work an hour early and went for a walk at Reid and McKeough Conservation Areas.
Lots of butterflies and dragonflies are now out (not to mention ticks!) and many plants are coming into bloom.  Highly attractive to butterflies, Indian Hemp is now just coming out.

Reid CA is a nice place to look for butterflies, especially in late June and early July.  Knowing that hairstreaks are about to show around this time, I kept a keen eye open for them.
I saw the first Appalachian Brown today at Reid.

There were other skippers including Long Dash, Peck's, Least and of course European.  Some worn Hobomok were still out.

Least Skipper

Peck's Skipper

Euro Skipper

Silver-spotted  Skippers were plentiful.

While watching a patch of Indian Hemp, I caught sight of a dark butterfly....a hairstreak!  I only saw it briefly before it vanished, but indeed it was a Southern (Northern Oak) Hairstreak.  Unfortunately it did not re-appear, but it is early for hairstreaks.
This represents the earliest I have seen a Southern since my discovery of the colony in 2008.  Last year I saw two on June 19--the earliest date at the time.

In 2010, the first hairstreaks were on June 18:  Edwards' and Banded.

After spending almost an hour and being bitten by many deer flies, I headed up to McKeough Dam. Walking through the spillway to the river, I accumulated many Wood Ticks!
At the river, a dragonfly caught my eye and it appeared to be an emerald. I assumed it to be a Mocha, but Williamson's has been recorded on the north Sydenham apparently.  It may be a bit early for a Mocha, but I do not know much about them.  I only had the Canon G16, but attempted a photo.

Mocha Emeralds were first discovered around 2003 along the north branch of the Sydenham and can be found in many locations.

Also along the riverbank were several Pronghorn Clubtails.

In other news, the collared Mute Swan we saw on the St. Clair River last February has been identified! Thanks to Mike Bouman who sent in the collar number, we found out that it was captured up on Saginaw Bay, Michigan.
The swan that you reported (M031) was captured and banded in August of 2015 near Charity Island on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron (PDF map attached).  You are the first individual to report a sighting of this particular swan since its capture in 2015.  Thank you for your report.

We saw the bird at Cathcart Park, then a few days later at Guthrie Park, Corunna.

Looks like a good weekend to be out......!

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