Mid-Atlantic Lep Field Forecast for Fourth of July Weekend 2014

Baltimore Checkerspot in Frederick Co MD [2014 Jiune 29. REB]

Baltimore Checkerspot in Frederick Co MD [2014 June 29. REB]

The past week has seen results trickling in from the early summer counts, including a few new FOYs among them.

Last weekend’s western Montgomery Co MD count was low on both numbers and diversity, but one of the bright spots was a local report of Common Wood Nymph. The Cumberland Co NJ count had the first reported Hayhurst’s Scallopwings (which have been AWOL so far this summer) in addition to a fine selection of Hairstreaks: Coral, Banded, Striped, Red-banded, Gray, and White M. Sky Meadows VA counters reported a high count of 77 Great Spangled Fritillaries as well as 15 Banded Hairstreaks.

Edwards’ Hairstreaks were out in numbers in Frederick Co last weekend, with a count of 14 in Frederick Municipal Watershed, as well as smaller numbers in Anne Arundel Co. Succession fields or barrens with scrub oak should be visited early in the morning when the hairstreaks are at eye level basking. Several of us made unsuccessful trips to the Eastern Shore for King’s Hairstreak, but the season is still a week or two behind there, judging by the fact that Clethra is still not in bloom at their known location. However, both Bronze Copper and Great Purple Hairstreak were seen in Dorchester Co MD this week.

Botetourt Co in west central VA had the season’s first report of Northern Metalmark, so it should be flying in Green Ridge State Forest shortly as well. Also to our south were reports of Whirlabout, Ocola, and Fiery Skippers in NC, promising a good flight of migrant skippers in our area later this summer. Cloudless Sulphur and Sleepy Orange were also reported from NC. Otherwise, sulphur numbers remain quite low in the region, although the past week has brought a fresh flight of Small (Cabbage) Whites here in my garden.

Fresh Horace’s and Wild Indigo Duskywings were flying in Frederick Co., mostly visiting dogbane and common milkweed.  Baltimore Checkerspot was also on the wing.

Edwards' Hairstreak in Frederick Municipal Watershed Forest [REB]

Edwards’ Hairstreak in Frederick Municipal Watershed Forest [2014 June 29, REB]

Viceroy numbers remain low, as do numbers of Monarchs, although I have seen singletons of the latter almost every time I’ve been in the field recently. Little Wood Satyrs have all but disappeared until their next brood. American Snouts were recorded along the C&O Canal, but neither emperor is flying in its usual numbers.

More fresh Zebra and Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have emerged this past week; the Montgomery Co. count included a surprisingly large percentage of fresh, dark morph females.

This holiday weekend includes Virginia counts in Maidens and Island Ford. See the LepLog for more details at https://leplog.wordpress.com/2012-season-mid-atlantic-count-and-field-trip-calendar/. Don’t forget to post or send your sightings for the next Weekend Forecast! In the meantime, visit us at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ and on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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