Today was fabulous for a butterfly count. Paul Carter joined me on my usual route of south point trail and Harrison Trail south of the VC. We ended up with 23 species according to my tally, which is about average. I have been doing this count most years since its inception in 1999 (or so).
I did a quick look before the count officially began. Here is an Eastern Tailed-Blue I found. They are quite small, so this photo turned out well.
Starting our walk, we found this Northern Broken-Dash on bellflower.
During the course of the day we only saw a single Monarch.
Tiger Swallowtails were quite plentiful.
Great-spangled Fritillaries were numerous today as were Appalachian Browns and Northern Pearly-eye.
One of the highlights every year seems to be going back to the old Dillon dump. There is always lots of Common Milkweed. However, this year it is simply incredible! There were thousands of plants and we spent quite a bit of time back there.
We had oodles of Sliver-spotted Skippers, lots of Northern Broken-Dash, Delaware Skippers and a few hairstreaks (Banded and Hickory). There were Crossline and Tawny-edged Skippers too.
|Skipper from Delaware|
Strange as it may seem, there was not a single Monarch to be seen on all this milkweed.
Just as we were approaching the car before lunch, a dragonfly caught my eye. I believe it is a Painted Skimmer.
In the afternoon we added Mourning Cloak and Red-spotted Purple along Harrison.
At one point we encountered an American Woodcock on the trail!