Lepping the Northwoods

White Admirals shared mud puddles from recent heavy rains with Milbert's Tortoiseshells and Gray Commas [2016 Aug 3, REB]

White Admirals shared mud puddles from recent heavy rains with Milbert’s Tortoiseshells and Gray Commas [2016 Aug 3, REB]

I had a few days before I had to be in Minneapolis at midweek for a journalism conference, so I flew in early for mostly birding in advance of the meeting.  My visit coincided with the hottest temps of the season so far for Minnesota, and terrific storms that wracked the northern tier of the state (including toppling the famous statue of Babe the Blue Ox in Brainerd).

Needless to say, under these conditions the birding was uneventful, and it wasn’t long before I turned back to odes and butterflies.  Aphrodite Fritillary was the largest lep flying; no swallowtails were on the wing. Nevertheless, it was pretty common along sunlight forest trails and in the open bogs, mostly nectaring at Cirsium thistles.  Smallest was Dun Skipper, the only grass skipper I saw on this trip.

By far the most striking was White Admiral, of course, sharing the puddles along the bog roads in Sax-Zim bog with Milbert’s Tortoiseshell and Gray Comma.  From time to time Common Ringlets popped out of the tall grasses and quickly wove their way back in.  Viceroys were seen along a number of willow-bordered ditches.

Of the pierids, only Clouded Sulphur and Cabbage White were on the wing, both in pretty good numbers.

This entry was posted in Field Trips/Annual Counts, general butterfly news, sightings. Bookmark the permalink.

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