Scouting Eastern Neck NWR

Last Sunday I headed out to Eastern Neck NWR — despite the heat, or at least what I *thought* was heat last weekend! — to scout out the proposed WABC field trip for August 13.  Last year this time Eastern Neck was nothing short of amazing:  hordes of broad-winged skippers, lots of other grass skippers, frits, and a county record tawny emperor.

But things are different this year.  The garden has been cut about in half — apparently the crew inadvertently introduced some invasives in compost they brought in, and large sections of the garden have been torn up to eradicate them, as explained in the letter on yellow paper:

But between the small patch of clover beside the small pond just before you get to the butterfly garden/Bayview Butterfly Trail, and the garden itself, the count was pretty respectable.  But because the garden is already in bloom decline, and a lot of the late bloomers don’t look to be there anymore, I’m not sure it will be worth while to return here on August 13.  A long way to go if there are no other good nectar resources, and nothing much else seems to be coming on by then.  So we’re going to switch out August 13 to reschedule the Carroll County WABC trip we had planned for tomorrow but cancelled because of the extreme heat.  I’ll monitor the garden and maybe the August 27 open date will support a return to Eastern Neck.

The highlights Sunday were zebra swallowtails everywhere on the refuge, and the colony of silvery checkerspots on the white clover near the pond.

Other sightings:

-==| Field Trip |==-

Date: 07/17/2011
Number of Species: 21
Number of Individuals: 147
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Notes: Very warm (upper 80s) and sunny, in the field roughly 4 hours from 1230 hrs to 1630 hours.  Very few nectar sources except a very productive small patch of white clover near the pond close to the Bayview Butterfly Trail, and at the butterfly garden itself (liatris, joe-pye weed, ironweed, butterfly weed, clethra).
Common Name    Scientific Name Life Stage      Number Seen     Notes
Zebra Swallowtail       Eurytides marcellus     Adult   33
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail       Papilio glaucus Adult   1
Spicebush Swallowtail   Papilio troilus Adult   10
Cabbage White   Pieris rapae    Adult   2
Orange Sulphur  Colias eurytheme        Adult   6
Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus Adult   7       all on the small clover patch
Red-banded Hairstreak   Calycopis cecrops       Adult   3
Eastern Tailed-Blue     Everes comyntas Adult   13
‘Summer’ Spring Azure   Celastrina ladon neglecta       Adult   2
Variegated Fritillary   Euptoieta claudia       Adult   1
Silvery Checkerspot     Chlosyne nycteis        Adult   16      all on the clover patch
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos        Adult   1
Eastern Comma   Polygonia comma Adult   1       plus one unidentified Polygonia
Red Admiral     Vanessa atalanta        Adult   1
Common Buckeye  Junonia coenia  Adult   2
Red-spotted Purple      Limenitis arthemis astyanax     Adult   4
Monarch Danaus plexippus        Adult   2
Silver-spotted Skipper  Epargyreus clarus       Adult   26
Horace’s Duskywing      Erynnis horatius        Adult   4
Least Skipper   Ancyloxypha numitor     Adult   9
Broad-winged Skipper    Poanes viator   Adult   3       butterfly garden only

This entry was posted in butterfly gardening, general butterfly news, sightings, Washington Area Butterfly Club. Bookmark the permalink.

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