Diversity and numbers are up this week, a last hurrah for the season, led by the seasonal emergence this week of Leonard’s Skippers at Soldiers Delight in Baltimore Co. It’s all downhill from here, folks!
The major explosion of Sachems over the last three weeks is already starting to show wear and tear, but the numbers are still high, while Peck’s Skipper numbers still seem to be building. Singletons or low numbers of Crossline and Little Glassywing came in; no reports of either Broken-dash, Swarthy or Dun. Fresh Silver-spotted Skippers are flying, and large-bodied skippers like this should be double-checked to make sure they aren’t Long-tailed (which often as not lacks the long tail and then looks a lot like Silver-spotted at first glance). Fiery Skipper hasn’t been seen much after a spate of early promising sightings.
Ocola Skippers were widespread – and in fact widely reported well into New England (NY, CT, MA).
Otherwise there hasn’t been much change since last week, except to note the burst of Cloudless Sulphurs (they were omnipresent at Eastern Neck NWR last weekend). Fresh swallowtails – Spicebush, Black, and (surprising to me) Zebra – were also zipping around the butterfly garden there. Immaculately fresh Pipevine Swallowtails were noted several times on DC’s National Mall this week.
Clouds of Monarchs were also at Eastern Neck, predominantly female and clearly already in reproductive diapause with no interest expressed by any of the males. Intent nectaring for the flight south.
Tomorrow looks like a scorcher to (we hope) end the torrid summer, but Sunday looks picture perfect for butterflying from the forecast. If you go out, please report back what you find to us for the next Forecast by commenting here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.