Nemesis No More

Okay, I confess again.  I decided to go lepping at Lilypons today because it appeared to be a two-fer:  There’s usually a good bit of nectar around the waterlily pools, and both White Ibis and Upland Sandpipers had been seen in the vicinity yesterday.  And for those of you who know my tortured history with Upland Sandpipers, you know I could hardly resist.

So I was up along Oland Road just down from Lilypons early (for leps anyway), around 9 am.  I spent a FULL HOUR fruitlessly canvassing the one field where two had been seen yesterday and one last week.  Chagrined again, I drove over to Lilypons, where four White Ibis were handing around late yesterday afternoon.  Nada; dipped on that too.  And despite the call for a very hot day, at 10:30 the sun had yet to break through a mostly cloudy and cool morning in Frederick Co.  Eventually, though, the heat and humidity began to build and the sun came out for good.  Along with it came a nice selection of butterflies, including the best of the day, two Common Checkered-skippers.  There was also a very nice flight of dozens of newly emerged Wild Indigo Duskywings (there is abundant crown vetch in the area) and superabundant, very fresh Common Buckeyes.

-==| Field Trip |==-

Date: 08/08/2011
Number of Species: 14
Number of Individuals: 264
Lilypons Water Garden
MD , USA   21710
Notes: Warm, intermittently sunny between heavy clouds, humid.  Temps ranged from upper 70s to mid 80s during my time in the field, 0930-1230 hours.  Abundant nectar sources including mint, ironweed, and pickerel weed.  Heavy rains in the area the past couple of days following some weeks of drought.  If the sun had been earlier and brighter, I suspect the list would have been better and Lilypons is a definite contender for the currently-TBD locale of WABC’s late August field trip.

In the list below, c=common and s=superabundant according to the BIS database convention at the North American Butterfly Association.

Common Name    Scientific Name Life Stage      Number Seen     Notes
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail       Papilio glaucus Adult   2
Spicebush Swallowtail   Papilio troilus Adult   1
Cabbage White   Pieris rapae    Adult   2
Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice        Adult   3
Orange Sulphur  Colias eurytheme        Adult   7       several white form females
Eastern Tailed-Blue     Everes comyntas Adult   5
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos        Adult   16      large concentration on mint clump
Common Buckeye  Junonia coenia  Adult   S       many very fresh individuals
Silver-spotted Skipper  Epargyreus clarus       Adult   7       exclusively on pickerel weed
Wild Indigo Duskywing   Erynnis baptisiae       Adult   C       usually in the vicinity of crown vetch
Common Checkered-Skipper        Pyrgus communis Adult   2
Least Skipper   Ancyloxypha numitor     Adult   2
Tawny-edged Skipper     Polites themistocles    Adult   1
Zabulon Skipper Poanes zabulon  Adult   1
At 1230 I got an email from MD-Osprey, the birders list, that the d***ed Upland Sandpipers were on the same field I had agonized over earlier in the day — EIGHT OF THEM.  So of course I high-tailed it back to the car and drove the three miles to Oland Road where, true to the email, a veritable herd of Uppies was marching through the grass.  Nemesis bird no more!

After a refuel stop at Subway, I backtracked for a couple of hours in late afternoon at Hoyles Mill, hiking from the trailhead down to the second bridge and back.  Not much shaking; did pick up a Hackberry Emperor and a fresh flight of (mostly female) Zabulon Skippers, invariably nectaring on the short heal-all (Prunella) along the trail.

-==| Field Trip |==-

Date: 08/08/2011
Number of Species: 7
Number of Individuals: 20
Hoyles Mill Conservation Park
MD , USA   20841
Notes: Late afternoon (1500-1730), sunny (but the trail was mostly shaded), warm (low 90s).  Few nectar sources:  principally scattered Prunella vulgaris along the trail.

Common Name    Scientific Name Life Stage      Number Seen     Notes
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail       Papilio glaucus Adult   1
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos        Adult   1
Common Buckeye  Junonia coenia  Adult   1
Red-spotted Purple      Limenitis arthemis astyanax     Adult   1
Hackberry Emperor       Asterocampa celtis      Adult   1
Least Skipper   Ancyloxypha numitor     Adult   2
Zabulon Skipper Poanes zabulon  Adult   13      females very freshly eclosed

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