Planning for 2017

Once again, for 2017 I’ll be attempting to compile here a mid-Atlantic-wide calendar of counts, field trips, walks, and other lep-related field activities for the 2016 flight season.  Thanks a million to many of you for your past help, both in letting me know of counts or field trips you are planning or ones you know about.  Events in NJ, WV, PA, DE, MD, VA & NC are all welcome.

Please send me event info in roughly the format used below if you would.  You can use the comment form below or just email me at

To refresh your memory or spur your planning, here’s last year’s (2016) list:


APR 17  [LepTrek] MD: Allegany Co.  Foray to Green Ridge State Forest in search of Olympia Marble and other spring butterflies.  Silvery Blue, azures, elfins, Dreamy and Sleepy Duskywings, and others are possible on this field trip.  The early season brought these species out already on March 30, but weather has not been cooperating so we’re moving the date again to Sunday.  Limited to 10.  To register or receive updates:  CONTACT: Trip organizer Rick Borchelt, rborchelt |AT| gmail DOT com

APR 23 [ANS Field Trip] MD:  Boyds.  Audubon Naturalist Society organizes a field trip, Spring Butterflies of Hoyle’s Mill Conservation Park. Hoyle’s Mill Conservation Park in upper Montgomery County preserves the largest diabase bedrock habitat in Maryland, making it a rich area of both common and uncommon plants. These plants are caterpillar hosts and nectar resources for spring butterflies, such as the pipevine swallowtail and its more common cousins: falcate orangetip; olive hairstreak; Eastern comma; and several species of duskywing skippers. We’ll look for these species and their associated plant communities along a mostly flat dirt/gravel road in the Park on a walk of 2-3 miles.  10 am-3:30 pm, trip fee required (register at  Leaders Stephanie Mason and Dick Smith.  CONTACT:

[WEATHER CANCELLATION] MAY 6-7-8 [LepTrek] MD:  Garrett Co.  An expedition to look for West Virginia White, Cherry Gall Azure, Dusky Azure, Gray Comma, and other western MD specialties.  CONTACT: Trip organizer Rick Borchelt, rborchelt |AT| gmail DOT com

MAY 8 [ Field Trip, South Jersey Butterfly Project] NJ: Cape May Co, Lizard Tail Swamp. Will Kerling will be leading our group’s first field trip of 2016 — to one of his favorite stomping grounds:  Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve in Cape May County.  This will be a joint trip with our friends, the NABA North Jersey Butterfly Club. Frosted elfin is one target species, but if the weather cooperates, we should see a good number of other early May species.  Will has recorded 72 species for Lizard Tail, more than he has found for any other of the many Cape May County locales he has explored over the years.  Our start time is 10 am, Sunday, May 8.  Details about specific meeting spot and parking will be announced here, once they are worked out.Participation is free, of course.  Join us if you can!

MAY 14 [Butterfly Walk]    PA:  Delaware Co, Tinicum.  There will be a Butterfly Walk this Saturday as part of the John Heinz NWR at Tinicum’s International Migratory Bird Day Program. The walk will meet meet at 11 AM at the Visitors Center . This event is free and open to the public. For more information about this and other events during the IMBD celebration go to: CONTACT:  Cliff Hence,

MAY 15 [Butterfly Walk] MD:  Soldiers Delight, Owings Mills.  Serpentine Barrens Spring Butterflies. Dick Smith will present a brief slide show (handicap accessible) on barrens butterflies and then lead the group for about 2 miles along trails (not handicap accessible) through the globally rare serpentine barrens ecosystem at Soldiers Delight. We will search for locally-occurring and serpentine endemic mid-spring butterflies such as the small and attractively bark-scalloped Eastern Pine Elfin and the bluestem grass dependent Cobweb and Dusted Skippers. Additionally, we will examine and identify several of the native grasses and wildflowers seldom seen in abundance elsewhere around Maryland. Close-focus binoculars are recommended, but butterfly net-and-release (with in-jar identification) can be conducted by the leader on request. Educational and fun for kids and adults! Hike will be cancelled if raining or overcast, but slideshow will be presented regardless of weather status. For all ages; children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor’s Center. Registration required! (Soldiers Delight now limits hike attendance to 12 people to protect the fragile ecosystem along narrow trails.)  Cost: Free! Donations to Soldiers Delight NEA welcome. CONTACT:  Dick Smith at or call (410) 997-7439.

JUN 18 [NABA Count] VA: Sky Meadows State Park/Thompson WMA.  Contact:  Scott Baron,

JUN 25 [NABA Count] MD:  Western Montgomery Co.  CONTACT:

JUN 25 [NABA Count] VA:  Maidens.  We usually leave from our house around 9 a.m.  CONTACT:

JUN 26 [NABA Count] MD: Carroll & Frederick Counties.  ACAS count in western Carroll and eastern Frederick counties.  Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the entrance to the Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary off Old Annapolis Road near Mt. Airy.  The count will cover this sanctuary and the Fred Archibald Sanctuary in New Market. The count will last until mid to late afternoon. Rain date July 2. CONTACT:  David Smith, or 443-995-4108.

JUL 1 [NABA Count] VA:  Island Ford, Rockingham Co.  CONTACT:  Mike Smith,; 540.742.3451 cell.

JUL 8 [NABA Count] VA:  Shenandoah National Park.  CONTACT:  Mike Smith,; 540.742.3451 cell.

JUL 9 [NABA Count] VA: Bath County 23rd annual Butterfly Count. Meet at 10:00 AM at Hidden Valley B&B to start the count, which will run until approximately 6 PM. Please consider staying there (rooms are limited, book now!). If you can’t stay afield that long, no worries… you can either leave your results at the B&B or e-mail them. Please note that there are NO public restrooms at Hidden Valley B&B (the B&B is for guests only) – this is only our meeting place. A public Forest Service toilet is available a short distance away across the Jackson River from the B&B. The weather in Bath County can be tricky, be prepared for very warm temps when the sun is out, and afternoon storms are common in July. Cool, misty early mornings are the rule in mid-summer. Oh, and did I mention Diana Fritillaries should be seen? CONTACT: Frank Boyle at

JUL 9 [Field Trip, South Jersey Butterfly Project] NJ:  Burlington Co, Medford Leas. 1 Medford Leas Dr., Medford, NJ; Sat. July 9th 9:45am.  There are a variety of habitats here, and we will walk around the community garden, and then go to the surrounding fields. Bring close-focus binoculars, water, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, & lunch. There is a Wawa on Rte. 70 if coming from the west, where you could pick up lunch.I recommend wearing long pants due to the possibility of ticks. Meet at the tennis courts’ parking area next to the horticultural building. Once you turn into Medford Leas Drive — a right jughandle at traffic light — stay to your left and at the t-intersection, turn right, and then take the immediate left. Continue around until you see the horticultural building with greenhouse and just past it turn left into the parking area.  The tennis courts will be straight ahead. For detailed directions from Rt. 295 and Rt. 70 visit the Medford Leas website:  Trip is cancelled if it rains. CONTACT:  Chris Herz 856-534-5597 cell.

JUL 9 [NABA Count] PA:  Lancaster Co., Holtwood.  CONTACT: Fred Habegger,

JUL 16  [NABA Count] DC: US National Arboretum & Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Arboretum Visitor Center near the R Street entrance. As one enters from R Street, the lot is to the left. Based on the number of participants, we may carpool from there to other locations, including Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. The count will last until mid to late afternoon (the Arboretum closes at 5 p.m.), depending on heat and butterfly activity. Rain date Jul 17.  CONTACT:  Tom Stock, at altomomatic |AT| Verizon |DOT| net.

JUL 30 [Field Trip, Mengel Natural History Society] PA: Berks Co: Blue Marsh Lake.  Saturday 10:00 am. Butterfly identification walk at Blue Marsh.  We will view at a distance and for a good look we will capture some butterflies and put them in viewing jars so you can get a close look before releasing them. Meet at the Blue Marsh Visitor’s Center off of Palisades Drive. Joint walk with Baird Ornithological Club. The public is welcome. Free.  CONTACT:  Karl Gardner, 610-987-3281 or Ken Lebo, 610-856-1413.

JUL 30 [NABA Count] PA:  Lancaster and Lebanon Cos., Furnace Hills Conservation Area, Pennsylvania Highlands.  CONTACT: Fred Habegger,

AUG 7 [NABA Count] VA: Airlie.  Sunday, August 7th from 8 am until 4 pm.  The morning begins at 8 am with registration, coffee and donuts at the Environmental Studies on the Piedmont (ES), 6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton, Virginia. Bring your lunch and we will happily store refrigerated items at the farmhouse. Teams will move to the field by 9 am and return to the farmhouse at 12:30 for lunch. Afternoon surveys will resume from 1 pm until 4 pm. Team leaders should return data sheets to the field station at 4 pm.
Volunteers (experienced and novice) are needed. Please sign up for a whole day, or half day, of exploring the fields within our count circle. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, binoculars and cameras are recommended. Older children, with supervision, are welcome.
Novice butterfly counters are encouraged to attend our Butterfly Bootcamp, Saturday, August 6th from 2 – 5 pm. We’ll make a foray into the fields at ES and learn how to spot and identify various butterfly species. CONTACT and RSVP: for either event, would be greatly appreciated. Please indicate if you are available morning or afternoon or both for the count day.

AUG 27 [Field Trip, Mengel Natural History Society] PA: Berks Co: Angelica Park.  Saturday 10:00 am.  Butterfly identification walk at Angelica Park.  Take PA-10 south from Lancaster Avenue 1-1/4 miles. The park entrance road is on the right at the big masonry sign for Alvernia University. Turn right and park at the first parking area on the right. Joint walk with Baird Ornithological Club.  Bad weather will cancel (or reschedule). The public is welcome. Free. CONTACT: Karl Gardner 610-987-3281, Ken Lebo 610-856-1413, or Ryan Woolwine 610-777-2333.

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