2019 Field Trip and Annual Count Calendar



Annual Counts and Field Trips

Once again, for 2019, I’ll be attempting to compile a mid-Atlantic-wide calendar of counts, field trips, walks, and other lep-related field activities for the upcoming flight season.  Please use the comment form below to let us know of additions or changes to the list, or email me at MDLepsOdes@gmail.com.


Special LepTreks

In addition to posted field trips, members of the MDLepsOdes Group (MDLOG) often plan impromptu “Lep Treks” when interesting butterflies or habitats pique our interest.  While most of these will be day trips originating from the DC area, some of them might be overnights to areas like Dolly Sods WV or Buzzard Swamp PA.  Unless otherwise noted, LepTreks are free although some of the areas we visit may charge an admission fee.  Overnight lodging and meals of course are on your own.

The philosophy behind our LepTreks is that we lack a strong field trip program in the mid-Atlantic region, despite some very savvy lepsters interested in spending more time in the field.  As a group we’re field naturalists committed to better understanding some of the unique environments and landscapes in the mid-Atlantic and the butterflies and other invertebrates they support.  Generally, they’re places that normally don’t have scheduled butterfly walks during the summer, nor are they easy quick checks for a last-minute drive by.  I’ll add notices here on LepLog of those kinds of easier trips, too, but the LepTreks generally are a little more ambitious, or explore unique habitats.

In 2019 we’ll also continue some “quad-busting” trips in Maryland, visiting USGS Maryland Quads where little or no systematic butterfly observations have been done.

If you’d like to volunteer to organize any of these trips, or plan a trip to one of your favorite places, email me at MDLepsOdes@gmail.com.   Check back regularly for updates!  And if you’re leading or know of dates for other lep-related activities, be sure to let me know.

LepTreks are generally informal affairs, usually impromptu walks or hunts for a particular species or in a particular unusual habitat.  They’re rather loosely organized by the person whose idea the trip is in the first place and may be more difficult terrain or access, or are a trip one of our members is making and for which s/he would be glad of company.  If you’re going to be out in the field on short notice, let us know so we can tag along!

Rules of the road: These aren’t collecting trips per se, but unless the regulations of where we are visiting don’t permit them participants are welcome to bring and carry nets for catch-and-release observation or scientific collecting.

Rain dates:  Unless noted otherwise, we don’t usually do rain dates.

Transportation:  Participants are responsible for arranging their own overnight accommodations on overnight trips, although we can facilitate both shared hotel rooms and carpools here or through the various area listservs.

The field season usually begins in April (but a warm weekend in March might see us out looking for anglewings!) and ends in October (although recent years have had sulphurs, whites, and skippers flying well into December). And our gang could show up anywhere within 4-5 hours’ drive; the calendar contains listings from throughout the mid-Atlantic.  Events in NJ, WV, PA, DE, MD, & VA are all welcome.

Check back here regularly during 2018 as events are always being added, modified, or deleted.

And please review some simple etiquette rules for the field before you go.


More dates and counts to come!  Keep checking back….

EXTRALIMITAL:  The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Lepidopterists’ Society will be held July 10-12 (Wednesday-Friday) at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis, California. This is just down the street from UC Davis and the Bohart Museum of Entomology. The Executive Council meeting will be held a day earlier on Tuesday, July 9. CONTACT:  https://www.lepsoc.org/content/annual-meeting 

MAY 25 [Butterfly Walk] PA: John Heinz NWR located near the Philadelphia Airport.  Meet 9 am at the Visitors Center. Event free and open to the public. This count is intended for beginners and collecting not allowed.  CONTACT:  Cliff Hence cwhenceiii@aol.com. 

JUN 15 [NABA Count] VA: Sky Meadows State Park/Thompson WMA.  Rain date Sunday, June 23. All levels of experience are welcome, beginner to advanced.  Sky Meadows, Thompson, Blue Ridge Regional Park and Blandy Experimental Farm are some areas that are part of the count circle. NABA participation fee.  CONTACT:  Scott Baron, baron.scott@gmail.com.

JUN 22 [NABA Count] VA: Centered in Maidens, VA.   Count circle encompasses Powhatan Wildlife Management Area and Powhatan Lakes. CONTACT: Carolyn Henly, cphenly@comcast.net   804-556-4692

JUN 22 [NABA Count] MD:  Western Montgomery Co.  Western Montgomery Co.  30th annual Western Montgomery County Butterfly Count. Participants in this citizen science project will be sent into the field in teams to count butterfly species in a given area. No experience is necessary. This mid-summer count, modeled after the Christmas Bird Counts, is organized by Audubon Naturalist Society and sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association and Xerces Society. $3 participation fee. CONTACT: Stephanie Mason, Stephanie.Mason@anshome.org

JUN 28 [NABA Count] VA: Island Ford (East Rockingham Co.).  Details to come.

JUN 30 [NABA Count] MD: Eastern Frederick and western Carroll Counties.   We will count the Audrey Carroll and Fred Archibald Audubon Sanctuaries, as well as a few other spots if time allows. CONTACT: David Smith, lacsmith12@comcast.net; 443-995-4108.

JUL 5,6,12,13 [Open House] PA: Ft. Indiantown Gap.  Free guided Regal Fritillary tours will be offered on July 5, 6, 12, and 13. No reservations are required, and no rain dates will be scheduled. Please arrive no later than 9:30 am. To navigate to parking (Strickler Field: GPS coordinates in decimal degrees North 40.439388, West -76.594278), turn onto Asher Miner Road at the intersection of Asher Miner and Fisher Ave, Annville, PA 17003 (N 40.4214, W -76.577), located north of the entrance to the National Cemetery. “Wildlife Event” signs, wildlife staff, and volunteers will direct attendees to the parking area and provide additional instructions. CONTACT:  For more information about the tours (including a map with parking locations), or the regal fritillary butterfly, visit www.ftig.pa.gov and click on “Butterfly Tours” under the “Trending” section. General inquiries about the tours can be directed to RA-DMVA-Wildlife@pa.gov or (717) 861-3299.

JUL 5 [NABA Count] VA: Shenandoah NP. RESCHEDULED TO JULY 12.

JUL 6 [NABA Annual Count] VA: Bath Co.  26th Annual Bath Co. The center of the count circle is at 38.0000°, -79.8028°, center at jct. of FS #703 (Homestead Skyline Dr.) with the 38th parallel. We are staying at Hidden Valley Bed & Breakfast at the gorgeous Warwickton mansion –  consider staying there!  If you do, Please do NOT use the website booking method, instead call the B&B at (540)-839-3178 or email Pam and Ron at warwickton@gmail.com. We also meet at 10:00 AM at the B&B to start the count, which will run until approximately 6:00 PM.  If any of you can’t stay afield that long, no worries… you can either leave your results at the B&B or e-mail them to me.    Please note that there are NO public restrooms at Hidden Valley B&B (the B&B is for for paying 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. CONTACT: Frank Boyle, 202.329.9717 mobile, ravenfrank@gmail.com.

JUL 12 [NABA Count] VA: Shenandoah National Park.  Count leaders will meet at their designated locations. Leaders please get mailing addresses from all your counters so they can be counted in the report. Our group will meet at the Elkton Food Lion on the Burger King side @ 8am. Bring water, lunch, long pants, hat, bug spray, & close focusing binoculars if you have them. Beginners are welcome. Our sections are Valley South, SW, & Battlecreek in the Page Valley. Sections without coverage are: White House Farm, Valley North, Park HQ, & Luray Greenway. Let me know if you can cover these areas. CONTACT: Mike Smith, foresmiths@comcast.net.

JUL 27  [NABA Annual Count]  VA: Warrenton/Clifton Institute.  8am-4pm.  24th annual butterfly count and celebrating our 17th year in collaboration with the North American Butterfly Association. Novice and experienced butterfly enthusiasts are needed! Citizen scientists will be assigned to small teams, led by an experienced butterfly counter. Teams will survey a variety of sites within our count circle. Fee: $3 per person (Children 8 and older may participate for free, when accompanied by a parent.) CONTACT:  RSVP required. Please email azak@cliftoninstitute.org;  https://cliftoninstitute.org/evrplus_registration/?action=evrplusegister&event_id=75

 JUL 27 [RESCHEDULED FROM JUL 20] [NABA Annual Count]  PA:  John Heinz NWR located near the Philadelphia Airport. Meet 9 am at the Visitors Center. Event open to the public. This count is intended for beginners and collecting not allowed. Rain date July 28.  CONTACT:  Cliff Hence cwhenceiii@aol.com.