The past week has finally provided a number of FOY grass skippers and hairstreaks, including Coral, Striped, and Edwards Hairstreaks and Salt Marsh, Aaron’s, Broad-winged, and Delaware Skippers. Bog Copper and Appalachian Brown also popped up.
Hairstreaks are finally coming up in numbers, tracking rather obviously the first flush of bloom on dogbane, milkweed, and butterflyweed across the region. The first Edwards Hairstreak was reported from Frederick (MD) Municipal Watershed Forest, Striped Hairstreak was reported widely across the area, and a few Coral Hairstreaks reports have trickled in. Of course any dark hairstreaks in this period should be examined closely to make sure they aren’t Oak or Hickory Hairstreaks. Second-brood White M, Red-banded, and Gray Hairstreaks are also on the wing.
Appalachian Brown was reported several times this week, and more Common Wood Nymphs were also out. Carolina Satyr in southern MD is looking rather tatty; by contrast, the Little Wood Satyrs with which it is flying are still pretty fresh. Great Spangled Fritillary is everywhere now, and FOY Variegated Frits were reported at several MD locations. Aphrodite Fritillary was flying in western MD, and Baltimore Checkerspot seems to be having a good flight year in its various known locations. Diana Fritillary has been seen flying in the mountains in southwest VA.
Bog Copper is being seen in some of its normal relict bog haunts; Bronze Copper is flying to our north and in far northern Delaware.
The big news shifted from the western mountains to the Chesapeake marshes this week, with almost the full complement of marsh skippers out for viewing: Salt Marsh, Aaron’s, Broad-winged, and Delaware Skippers. One great place to see this diversity is Eastern Neck NWR in Kent Co MD; the buttonbush and milkweed there are in peak bloom. Rare Skipper is still AWOL so far this season. All the more typical grass skippers are in flight, with Dun, Crossline, Little Glassywing and Swarthy Skipper numbers picking up.
Monarchs are being widely reported, and in decent numbers, across the region. Fresh locally-eclosed adults should be increasingly on the wing.
Predictions for this weekend and next week: I’m putting Common Buckeye back on the list this week. Southern Cloudywing and possibly Confused Cloudywing should be looked for, as should Mulberry Wing (including the distinct Chermock’s Mulberry Wing). We’re also due for our first Cloudless Sulphur. Unfortunately, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill will probably perturb our outdoor activities this weekend.
The Sky Meadows (VA) NABA count is this weekend on Saturday, contact Scott Baron, firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Next Saturday, June 27, is the western Montgomery County NABA count; coordinator is Stephanie Mason at Stephanie.Mason@anshome.org. Stephanie and Dick Smith follow up the count on Sunday the 28th with an Audubon Naturalist Society field trip to Governor’s Bridge Natural Area (MD, Prince Georges Co). NABA counts for Richmond VA and eastern Frederick/western Carroll Counties (MD) are also up for June 28; check out the master field trip calendar at https://leplog.wordpress.com/2015-season-mid-atlantic-count-and-field-trip-calendar/
If you see anything interesting on these or other field trips, please share your sightings with us using the comment function on LepLog.wordpress.com or join us for discussion on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.