Well, despite the fierce heat and humidity, I did another trek out to the Bayview Garden and some other sites at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge this weekend (I consider it heat training for the planned Great Dismal count next weekend). Overall numbers were down, and a couple of fairly common things were in low numbers following this past week’s terrific heat wave. Picked up viceroy and tawny emperor (which I missed last week), but didn’t see some of the good catches (salt marsh skipper in particular) from last week. Swallowtail numbers were down but still pretty high; fewer blacks and dark morph tigers but an abundance of spicebush in every conceivable state of wear. Zebras are pretty tattered.
The tawny emperor, Dick Smith informs me, is a Kent County record for BAMONA. It was also #61 on my DelMarVa Big Year list.
In addition to the Bayview Butterfly Garden, I also had a chance to check out the 1/2 mile Wildlife Loop, which was actually pretty interesting (yielded both the snout and the emperor); has both cherry and holly in addition to the usual suspects so will likely be good azure and elfin hunting in the spring. Finished up at the Wickliffe historical site, where eight or 10 common sootywings were nectaring on the white clover in the parking lot.
Finally gave in to the heat at around 2:30 p.m. and headed into Chestertown for a cold beer and a great cuban pork sandwich at Fish Whistle (highly recommended).
Aside from the occasional red and white clover and the plants in the Bayview Garden, nectar sources in the marsh areas were few and far between. Goldenrod will come along in about 2 weeks, which might give an uptick in the rarer coastal skipper species.
As always, the numbers following the NABA convention (c=common, a=abundant, s=superabundant).
-==| Field Trip |==-
Number of Species: 29
Number of Individuals: 640
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge
MD , USA
Notes: Terrifically hot, hazy, humid — temps in the low 100’s. Spent
10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the field, first at the Bayview Butterfly
Garden, where most of the species were seen. Nectar sources there
included bellamcanda, joe-pye weed, rudbeckia, and various other
sunflowers and composites. Liatris is almost bloomed out. Goldenrod
has not yet begun to flower.
-==| List of Sightings for this Field Trip |==-
Common Name Scientific Name Life Stage Number Seen Notes
Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus Adult A
Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes Adult C
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus Adult A
Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus Adult A
Cabbage White Pieris rapae Adult C
Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme Adult 4
Little Yellow Eurema lisa Adult 5
Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus Adult 3
Red-banded Hairstreak Calycopis cecrops Adult 2
Eastern Tailed-Blue Everes comyntas Adult C
American Snout Libytheana carinenta Adult 1 At the
entrance to the Wildlife Trail
Variegated Fritillary Euptoieta claudia Adult 2
Silvery Checkerspot Chlosyne nycteis Adult 2
Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos Adult A
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta Adult C very common in
the nettle stands along the Wildlife Trail; many newly eclosed
Common Buckeye Junonia coenia Adult C
Red-spotted Purple Limenitis arthemis astyanax Adult 1
Viceroy Limenitis archippus Adult 2 Among willows along
the main Refuge road
Tawny Emperor Asterocampa clyton Adult 1
Monarch Danaus plexippus Adult 2
Silver-spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus Adult S
Hayhurst’s Scallopwing Staphylus hayhurstii Adult 2
Horace’s Duskywing Erynnis horatius Adult 3
Common Sootywing Pholisora catullus Adult C
Especially common in the parking area at the Wicliffe historical area,
nectaring on clover
Least Skipper Ancyloxypha numitor Adult 2
Sachem Atalopedes campestris Adult 1
Zabulon Skipper Poanes zabulon Adult 2 Fresh male, torn but
Broad-winged Skipper Poanes viator Adult C
Dun Skipper Euphyes vestris Adult A