Easter in the Field

Walter Gould's photo of juniper hairstreak in Green Ridge State Forest, MD

A super day to be in the field today, at least until the wind really kicked in and the clouds piled up as the cold front came thru around 4:30.

Started the day at 10:30 or so in the Governor Bridge Natural Area in Bowie (PG Co), where I’d ended the day yesterday.  Spent a little less than two hours walking the trails and scouting along the margin of the lake, where a recent emergence of dragonflies proved quite distracting (mostly blue corporals, I think).  Highlight was two red-banded hairstreaks along the trail from the parking area up the hill to the pavilion.  Full list (where C is the NABA code for “common,” 11-20):

Date: 04/08/2012
Number of Species: 12
Number of Individuals: 88
Location:
Governor Bridge Natural
MD , USA   20716
Notes: Two hours along the trails and around the lake at Governor Bridge.  Cool and breezy, high low 60s from 11 am – 1 pm.  Full sun.  Nectar sources included field pansy, chickweed, and various cresses.

Zebra Swallowtail       Eurytides marcellus     Adult   C
Cabbage White   Pieris rapae    Adult   3
Falcate Orangetip       Anthocharis midea       Adult   C
Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice        Adult   7
Orange Sulphur  Colias eurytheme        Adult   C
Red-banded Hairstreak   Calycopis cecrops       Adult   2       along trail up the hill to the pavilion
Eastern Tailed-Blue     Everes comyntas Adult   C
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos        Adult   7
American Lady   Vanessa virginiensis    Adult   1
Silver-spotted Skipper  Epargyreus clarus       Adult   1
Juvenal’s Duskywing     Erynnis juvenalis       Adult   6
Wild Indigo Duskywing   Erynnis baptisiae       Adult   1

Followed this up with a drive down 301 to Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, which opens the connector road between the park and Merkle Wildlife Management Area, the so-called Critical Area Driving Tour — one-way, about 4 miles, ending up at the visitor center at Merkle.  It’s open only on Sundays.  Spent 1:30 pm – 5 pm along various trails and pull-outs here.  Highlights were a sleepy orange, seen well while nectaring on purple dead nettle near Selby’s Landing, and an olive hairstreak buzzing duskywings that flew too close to its red-cedar perch.  The olive hairstreak was very dark on the hindwing venter, almost a deep spruce color.  Full list:

Date: 04/08/2012
Number of Species: 12
Number of Individuals: 75
Location:
Patuxent Park-Merkle Critical Area Driving Tour
MD , USA   20772
Notes: Regular census route along the Critical Area Driving Tour linking Patuxent River Park and Merkle Wildlife Management Area.  Approximately 4 miles through varied habitat of dry pine forest, marsh, swamp, and agricultural land including a boardwalk through alder and buttonbush.  Warm and very windy, full sun, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm.  Nectar sources included chickweed, dandelion, blueberry. Solo.

Zebra Swallowtail       Eurytides marcellus     Adult   C
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail       Papilio glaucus Adult   1
Cabbage White   Pieris rapae    Adult   2
Falcate Orangetip       Anthocharis midea       Adult   C
Orange Sulphur  Colias eurytheme        Adult   4
Sleepy Orange   Eurema nicippe  Adult   1       At Selby’s Landing on trail to CC camp
‘Olive’ Juniper Hairstreak      Callophrys gryneus gryneus      Adult   1       In red cedars at pull-out for observation tower
Eastern Tailed-Blue     Everes comyntas Adult   4
American Snout  Libytheana carinenta    Adult   1       On footbridge nectaring on tall blueberry
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos        Adult   C
Mourning Cloak  Nymphalis antiopa       Adult   1
Juvenal’s Duskywing     Erynnis juvenalis       Adult   C

Clearly we’re between flights of azures right now; I did see one nectaring on blueberry and am poring through my notes and ID guides to assign it to species.

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One Response to Easter in the Field

  1. Dex Hinckley says:

    My Easter contibution was the release of the 4th version of my Power Point
    Presentation on “Butterfly Gardens.” It includes information on some
    of the most common butterflies and examples of the nectaring plants in
    such locations as Green Springs Gardens and the Butterfly Garden at
    the National Museum of Natural History, The Butterfly Pavillion at the
    Museum is also included,

    This can be presented at Nature Centers and Garden Club meetings in
    the DC area.

    Contact me at ecologist123@verizon.net or 703-354-1342.

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