Mid-Atlantic Count and Field Trip Calendar 2015

2015 Flight Season Master Calendar

Once again for 2015, I’ll be attempting to compile a mid-Atlantic-wide calendar of counts, field trips, walks, and other lep-related field activities for the 2015 flight season.  Please use the comment form below to let us know of additions or changes to the list, or email me at rborchelt@gmail.com.  In addition to posted field trips, a number of us in the DC Metro area and around the region 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 really 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 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.  As much as possible, we’d like to use these trips to help flesh out Dick Smith’s Butterflies of Unknown Status Project.

If you’d like to volunteer to organize any of these trips, or 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 activities, be sure to let me know.

LepTreks are 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.

Hours:  Day field trips are typically 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a short break for lunch.  Overnight trips usually begin at 10 a.m. Saturdays to allow folks who really don’t want to spend two nights on the road to drive out early that morning.  Participants are welcome to join one or both days, and there will be a group dinner on Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning.  Participants are responsible for arranging their own overnight accommodations, 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 2011 had sulphurs flying well into December). And we could show up anywhere within 4-5 hours’ drive; the calendar contains listings from throughout the mid-Atlantic.


Check back as we begin to get notifications for 2015 field trip and count dates!

APR 19 [ANS Field Trip] MD: Calvert and Anne Arundel Cos.  Spring Butterflies of Unique Southern Maryland Habitats, (full-day field trip).  Leaders: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason.  The sandy, acidic woodlands of coastal plain habitats in Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties of Maryland support a variety of spring butterflies which are infrequently encountered in the close-in, metro area.  Participants will spend the day searching holly and pine forests, as well as sand barrens, for Henry’s, Brown, and Pine Elfins; Juniper and Red-banded Hairstreaks; American Coppers; Holly Azures; and Falcate Orangetips, as well as more familiar species. Areas visited will include Calvert Cliffs State Park and Glendening Nature Preserve.  Fee and registration required; Members $34; nonmembers $46. CONTACT: http://www.anshome.org

MAY 3 [Guided Field Trip] MD: Owings Mills/Soldiers Delight NEA.  Serpentine Barrens Spring Butterflies, 1-4 pm.  Dick Smith will present a short slide show on barrens butterflies and then lead a group for about 2 miles through the globally rare serpentine barrens ecosystem at Soldiers Delight. He will also lead a search for locally-occurring and serpentine endemic mid-spring butterflies such as the fragile Falcate Orangetip, scalloped Eastern Pine Elfin, and the bluestem grass dependent Cobweb Skipper. Additionally, the group will examine and identify several of the native grasses and wildflowers seldomly seen in abundance elsewhere around Maryland. Close-focus binoculars are recommended, but butterfly net-and-release (with jar identification) will be conducted by the leader. Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.  Directions: From the Beltway (I-695): Take I-795 to Franklin Blvd. West, turn right. Bear right at Church Rd. Turn left at stop sign onto Berrymans Lane. Turn left at Deer Park Rd. and go for 2.5 miles, to Visitor Center entrance on the right. From Rt. 26 West : Take Rt. 26 to Wards Chapel Rd. Turn Left. Follow Wards Chapel to stop sign, and turn right onto Deer Park Rd. Entrance is 1 mile on the right.  CONTACT:  443-778-4973 (M-F 9am-6pm) or 410-997-7439 (H-call after 7:30pm).

MAY 30 [Free Field Trip] PA: Heinz NWR.  There will be a Butterfly/Ode Walk this Saturday 5/30 at the Heinz NWR at Tinicum located near the Philadelphia Airport. The walk will meet at 9AM at the Rt 420 Entrance to the Refuge. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on this and other Tinicum events go to: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz/visit/upcomingevents.html

JUN 20 [NABA Count] VA:  Sky Meadows State Park/Thompson WMA.  CONTACT: Scott Baron, brnpelican@yahoo.com

JUN 28 [ANS Field Trip] MD:  Prince Georges Co.  Butterflies of Governor’s Bridge Natural Area, Leaders: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason.  Search for early summer butterflies at Governor’s Bridge Natural Area near Bowie, MD. We’ll explore up to a couple of miles in generally open and sunny terrain as we explore the meadow, woodland, and wetland habitats of this park adjacent to the Patuxent River. We’ll hope to spot and ID a wide variety of early summer species, all the while discussing their life histories and host plant relationships. The walk is aimed at beginning and intermediate butterfly enthusiasts, but all are welcome.  Fee and registration required: Members $24; nonmembers $34.  CONTACT:  http://www.anshome.org/

JUN 28 [NABA Count] VA: Richmond.  Center = George Wythe High School, Richmond.  Count circle includes James River Park Main Section and Rocks to Bell Isle – Forest, Meadow and River Boulders; Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens; Maymont Park;·James River Park – Pony Pasture and Wetlands Section; Powhite Park- Granite Open Woods and Riverine Forest; Rockwood Park – Upland Creekside Forest and Meadow; Pump House Park  CONTACT: James Shelton, compiler.  James_Shelton32 at yahoo dot com.  Mobile: 804-301-4102.  Meet at the James River Park Reedy Creek Entrance (http://jamesriverpark.org/) or make arrangements in advance at 10:00 am.  Facilities present at the park.

JUN 28 [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 3 RESCHEDULED FROM JUN 27  [NABA Count] MD:  Western Montgomery Co.  CONTACT:  Stephanie.Mason@anshome.org. [2015 Count cancelled with no plans to reschedule]

JUL 3, 4, 10, 11. [Regal Fritillary Habitat Tour]  NJ: Lebanon Co., Ft Indiantown Gap.  This annual tour of the Pennsylvania National Guard training campus starts at 10 am each of the four days. Attendees should arrive a half hour early to attend a required safety briefing and fill out the necessary paperwork to participate. Tours will last approximately 3 hours, but attendees may leave earlier if needed.  Attendees should meet at the Area 12 picnic grove, located at the intersection of Asher Miner Road, Clement Avenue and Route 443. (GPS coordinates in decimal degrees: North 40.431, West 76.591) Participants will park around the Picnic Grove, directly across Clement Avenue from the Recreation Center.  Visitors of all ages are encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars and should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for a nature walk on gravel trails or mowed paths. Visitors may also bring insect repellent, sunscreen and other personal comfort items. Drinking water will be provided. No reservations are required and no rain dates will be scheduled.  CONTACT:  RA-DMVA-Wildlife@pa.gov, or call the Wildlife Office at 717-861-2449.  Full release and info: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/167375/fort-indiantown-gap-offer-free-guided-tours-rare-regal-fritillary-butterfly-habitat#.VYSe2ecgrKY

JUL 4 [NABA Count] VA:  Maidens.  CONTACT: Carolyn Henley, cphenly@comcast.net

!! JUL 10 [NABA Count] VA:  Island Ford. We will survey the area centered at Island ford, south of Elkton , Va. Areas included are portions of the Skyline Drive south of Swift Run gap, Kite’s spring, and Shenandoah river. CONTACT: Mike Smith, foresmiths@comcast.net/540.298.1913. [RESCHEDULED FROM JUL 3]

JUL 11 [NABA Count] VA: Shenandoah National Park.  The 19th annual Shenandoah National Park Butterfly Count will be held on Saturday, July 11. Last year we had 46 species and 3,146 individuals.  CONTACT:  Mike Smith, foresmiths@comcast.net/540.298.1913

JUL 11 [NABA Count]  VA:  Reston. Volunteers will be treated to a lunch afterwards. We will also have an Introductory Butterfly ID class on Thursday, July 9 from 7-8:30 PM which is free for count participants. CONTACT:  Katie Shaw, kshaw@reston.org.

JUL 11 [NABA Count]  VA:  Bath Co.  22nd Annual Bath County, VA NABA 4th of July Butterfly Count .  Numbers were mostly down for 2014, both in species and total individuals. We did have new high numbers for Common Wood Nymph at 91, and Wild Indigo Duskywing at 103. Delaware Skipper showed up late Saturday after a six year absence, and Monarchs were in line with most years at 18. Kudos to Walter and Diane for finding 9 Diana Fritillaries – one of which was a female! They also tallied 6 Northern Metalmarks, very cool!  We are staying at Hidden Valley Bed & Breakfast at the gorgeous Warwickton mansion – please consider staying there (rooms are limited, book now!). 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, ravenfrank@gmail.com/202.329.9717 cell.

JUL 11 [NABA Count] MD:  Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract.  17th Annual West Anne Arundel County NABA Butterfly Count 8:30am–4:00pm.  Counters will meet at 8:00 am at the Patuxent Research Refuge-North Tract.  All levels of interest and experience welcome. Please bring a field guide if you have one, plenty of water and a bag lunch if you plan to stay the entire day. (Note: children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.)  Registration is required at
301-497-5887. Weather Permitting.  Rain date: July 18, 2015CONTACT: C. “Sparky” Sparks at (Cell Phone) 443 255-6127 or (daytime) 410 854-2859. csparks007@verizon.net.

JUL 12 [Butterfly Count] MD:  Walkersville.  Frederick County Nature Council will host family friendly butterfly counts at both county nature parks. We will be catching, identifying and releasing butterflies found at the parks. Our counts will start at 10 am on Sunday July 12 at Fountain Rock Park in Walkersville and on July 26 at Catoctin Creek Park near Middletown. This is a free community event. CONTACT: Kathy Barylski, bj2kb@yahoo.com.

JUL 21 [NABA Butterfly Count] VA:  Great Dismal Swamp.  Meet at HQ Bldg at 8 am; count will finish around 4 pm.  CONTACT:  Don Schwab, vacanebrake@yahoo.com.

JUL 26 [Butterfly Count] MD: Middletown.  Frederick County Nature Council will host family friendly butterfly counts at both county nature parks. We will be catching, identifying and releasing butterflies found at the parks. Our counts will start at 10 am on Sunday July 12 at Fountain Rock Park in Walkersville and on July 26 at Catoctin Creek Park near Middletown. This is a free community event. CONTACT: Kathy Barylski (bj2kb@yahoo.com).

JUL 23 [ANS Workshop].  MD: Patuxent Research Center North. Leaders:  Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason. Advanced Butterfly Studies.  This workshop is designed to pay special attention to difficult butterfly species, in particular, the skippers and the hairstreaks. We’ll also consider satyrs and other less-noticed butterfly species in our evening lecture at Woodend led by regional butterfly expert Dick Smith. Our field trip to Patuxent Research Center-North Tract will offer opportunities to see some confusing and hard-to-ID species, as well as the more common ones. Our Senior Naturalist will assist with ID of butterfly host and nectar plants. 7:30-9:30 pm Jul 23; 3/4 day field trip Jul 26.  Fee and registration required:  Members $46; nonmembers $64; Lecture only: members $20; nonmembers $28.  CONTACT: http://www.anshome.org/

AUG 22 [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 Aug. 23.  CONTACT:  Tom Stock, at altomomatic |AT| Verizon |DOT| net.

SEP 5. [Field Study]  MD: Oakland Mills.  Butterflies Through Binoculars–Lake Elkhorn Powerline Vegetation Management Study Tract.  9:30 am, 2-3 hours. Meet at Elkhorn Garden Plots, Oakland Mills Rd opposite Dasher Ct. Enjoy searching for late summer butterflies, and receive expert instruction on their identification. Dick will add information about caterpillar host and adult nectar plants as we encounter various species. Easy walking in the garden plot and on paved paths and mowed areas near the right-of-way alongside open, flowery, wet meadows and brushy hillsides. Bring close-focus binoculars to view nectaring behavior; Dick will also use net and jars to provide brief close-up examinations if requested. Cancelled if raining or overcast. No facilities. CONTACT:  Dick Smith, RichardSmith9070@verizon.net or 410-997- 7439.

SEP 5.  [NABA Count] SC:  Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown.   9:30 am at small parking lot at Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center (22 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown, SC), at the entrance to the Belle W. Baruch Foundation property, located on the east side of Highway 17, about 1.5 miles north of Georgetown.   Rain date Sep. 7. CONTACT:  Pat Sutton, patclaysutton@comcast.net.

SEP 6.  [NABA Count] SC:  Francis Marion National Forest, McClellanville.  9:00 a.m. in the parking lot at The Palmetto Store (formerly known as Bull’s Bay Supplies and now under new management) on the SW corner of the intersection of Highway 17 and Rt. 45 / S. Pinckney Street, in McClellanville, SC. Rain date Sep. 7.  CONTACT:  Pat Sutton, patclaysutton@comcast.net.

SEP 6.  [Field Trip] MD: Baltimore Co.  Serpentine Barrens Late Summer Butterflies – Slide Show and Hike, Soldiers Delight NEA, Owings Mills, MD, 1-4 pm. Free.  Dick Smith will present a 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. In addition to locally-occurring and serpentine-endemic late summer butterflies such as the attractive Leonard’s Skipper, we will examine and identify many native grasses and wildflowers seldom seen in abundance in other locations around Maryland. Close-focus binoculars are recommended, but butterfly net-and-release (with in-jar identification) will be conducted by the leader. Hike will be cancelled if raining or overcast, but slideshow will be presented regardless of weather status. For all ages, but children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. Registration is not required; CONTACT:  Dick Smith,  RichardSmith9070@verizon.net or (410) 997-7439 if more information is desired.

SEP 12.  [Butterfly Count] MD:  Howard Co. Butterfly Count at Meadowbrook Park, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  We will walk along paved pathways and may occasionally step off into the grass.  We will meet at the entrance of the Park & Ride located from the Long Gate Parkway exit off of Rt. 100.  Rest rooms are located at the Park & Ride.  Bring binoculars and cameras if you have them as well as any drinks or snacks you may need.  Please let me know if you will join me.  No experience necessary and a great way to learn to identify some butterflies if you are new to this! CONTACT leader Sue Muller, smuller@howardcountymd.gov.

 SEP 19. [ANS Field Trip]  MD: Prince Georges and Anne Arundel Counties. Leaders: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason.  Butterflies of the Southern Patuxent.  .  While Monarch butterflies are heading south, many southern species are still expanding their range northward.  Butterfly expert Dick Smith and our Senior Naturalist will lead this search for butterflies on the move—Sleepy Orange, Buckeye, Cloudless Sulphur, Ocola Skipper—to name a few, as well as late-season resident species.  We’ll split our day between Jug Bay Natural Area, along the Patuxent River in Prince Georges County, and the Glendenning Preserve section of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, situated across the river in Anne Arundel County.  9:30 am – 4 pm; ANS Members:  $30; nonmembers $42.  CONTACT: http://www.anshome.org/

OCT 3. [Potomac Valley Audubon Society Program] MD: Hagerstown. Monarch Program on Saturday, 11:30 am at the Kiwanis park which is adjacent to Antietam Creek near Imperial Drive, east of Eastern Blvd, City of Hagerstown. The Monarch Alliance, with the support of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, will hold a Monarch Butterfly educational program at the City of Hagerstown’s newest park, Kiwanis Park. From Hagerstown, take Eastern Blvd. north to Professional Court. Turn left on Cameo and continue north to Imperial Drive. Turn right on Imperial Court and turn into the park just past the Trilogy Building. (Ribbon cutting ceremony for opening of new park will be at 11 am.) CONTACT: Sandy Sagalkin at monsansagalkin@myactv.net or 240- 291-6465.

7 Responses to Mid-Atlantic Count and Field Trip Calendar 2015

  1. Pingback: New Annual Counts Added to the Master 2012 Regional Calendar « Lep Log

  2. Pingback: Mid-Atlantic Weekend Lep Field Forecast for 2014 June 28-29 | Lep Log

  3. Pingback: Mid-Atlantic Lep Field Forecast for Fourth of July Weekend 2014 | Lep Log

  4. Kathy Barylski says:

    Frederick County (MD) Nature Council will host family friendly butterfly counts at both county nature parks. We will be catching, identifying and releasing butterflies found at the parks. Our counts will start at 10 am on Sunday July 12 at Fountain Rock Park in Walkersville and on July 26 at Catoctin Creek Park near Middletown. This is a free community event. Contact Kathy Barylski (bj2kb@yahoo.com) for information.

  5. Pingback: Mid-Atlantic Weekend Lep Field Forecast for 2015 July 4-5 | Lep Log

  6. Jo Sellers, President National Capital Area Garden Clubs, says:

    some states have a state bird, state flower etc. Does Washington, D.C. have a butterfly?

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