The Butterflies of November

Tom Stock and I headed down to Assateague State Park and the NWR today, drawn mostly by reports of Lark Sparrow in the park and some good seabirds at the nearby Ocean City Inlet.  What we weren’t expecting was the butterfly show we got, with temperatures in the low 60s, a light breeze, and strong sunlight at midday.

The first butterfly we spotted (on the dunes, as we scanned the water for the hundred or more Red-throated Loons we saw flying and diving) was a pale Clouded Sulphur (one of two we saw today; the other was a more typical bright yellow).  We also saw two rather fresh Monarchs, one on the dunes and another at the entrance to the Life of the Forest Trail.  But the highlight of the day was *21* Common Buckeyes, mostly in the campground for state park.  Several were ragged, but for the most part they were fresh and hardly worn; several pairs were engaged in mating flights.  None were nectaring, even though there were scattered seaside goldenrod and a few dandelion-like composites in bloom.

Also of interest were the several dozen Green Darners coursing over the trails.

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