Category Archives: CBS

Congaree NP NABA Count – Oct 1, 2016

Here is our list from the Congaree Bluffs HP section of the Congaree NP NABA Count.

Location: Congaree Bluffs HP
Date: 1 Oct 2016
Observers: Donna and Dennis Forsythe
Time: 1240-1340 hours
Distance: 0.5 mi
Weather, clear, calm ca 82 f
Coverage: We looked around 1st parking lot, walked to observation platform , did not go down to the river
Cloudless Sulfur 5
Little Yellow 45
Ceraunus Blue 2
Eastern Tailed-Blue 3
Gulf Fritillary 12
Variegated Fritillary 13
Common Buckeye 3
Red-spotted Purple 1
Carolina Satyr 2 bent PM line
Southern Cloudywing 1
White Checkered Skipper 11
Tropical Checkered-Skipper 1 very worn, county record

Here are our results for the Calhoun East part of the Congaree NP NABA Count

Location: Congaree East
Date: 1 Oct 2016
Observers: Donna and Dennis Forsythe
Time: 1130-1240;1340-1600 hours
Distance: 19 mi
Weather, clear, calm ca 76-82 f
Coverage: Purple Martin marsh, roads below Ft Motte, Lang Syne, Longstreet Rds, St Matthews City Park
Comments: most farmland ditches clean with no vegetation.
Black Swallowtail 1
Cloudless Sulfur 90
Sleepy Orange 15
Little Yellow 25
Gulf Fritillary 28
Variegated Fritillary 1
American Lady 1
Common Buckeye 5
Pearl Crescent 3
Red-spotted Purple 1
Long-tailed Skipper 1
White Checkered-Skipper 18
Clouded Skipper 6
Southern Skipperling 2 very fresh
Fiery Skipper 4
Sachem 3 2 males 1 female
Whirlabout 1 female
Sachem 1 male
Ocola Skipper 2

Dennis Forsythe

Savannah NWR, SC – Sept. 30, 2016


Our group had the following butterflies during our day-long trip to Savannah NWR.

Tupelo Trail 9:45-10:15
Cloudless Sulfurs 6
Gulf Fritillary 5

Near maintenance area N of Alligator Alley 10:15-11:30
Cloudless Sulfur 3
Gulf Fritillary 1
Zebra Longwing 2
Hackberry Emperor1
Long-tailed Skipper 4

Wildlife Drive Parking Lot 10:30-10:45
Cloudless Sulfur 5
Gulf Fritillary 9
Long-tailed Skipper 2

Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive 10:50-12:45
Palamedes Swallowtail 1
Cloudless Sulfur 15
Sleepy Orange 1
Gulf Fritillary 4
Zebra Longwing 13
Common Buckeye 2
Tropical Checkered Skipper 1

Hy 170 at exit to wildlife drive 12:45-12:55 massive stand of Spanish Needles
Cloudless Sulfur 4
Gulf Fritillary 8
Long-tailed Skipper 10
Duskywing sp
Fiery Skipper 2
Broad-winged Skipper 7
Ocola Skipper 100

Refuge Visitors center 1-2 PM
Palamedes Swallowtail 1
Cloudless Sulfur 1
Red Admiral 1
Common Buckeye 2
Gulf Fritillary 15 + cats
Zebra Longwing 2
Variegated Fritillary 1
Ocola Skipper 3


Dennis M. Forsythe PhD

Blue Ridge Parkway Field Trip for Naturalists, Sept. 24, 2016

On Saturday, Sept. 24, twenty folks gathered at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Parkway for a nature field trip. This was a joint trip with Carolina Butterfly Society, NC Native Plant Society, Piedmont Bird Club, and Audubon, so we had lots of knowledgeable people to help identify butterflies and other critters. By the end of the trip, we had recorded 18 species of butterflies.

This date was chosen because it’s near the peak of migration for Monarch Butterflies. These butterflies tend to follow the Parkway on their journey south to Mexico. We didn’t see a huge number this time, but we did see two adults and four caterpillars. Several people got to watch as Meadow Fritillaries, a higher elevation species that we don’t have in the Piedmont, were laying eggs in a meadow near their caterpillar host plant, violets.

After exploring the music center, we had a picnic and then proceeded south on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few miles. The early autumn wildflowers were blooming in profusion. As hoped, there was something to see for just about everyone on this beautiful, sunny, cool fall day.

With 20 people scattered around seeing different things in different places, it turned out to be impossible to get an accurate count of individual butterflies. Consequently, the numbers next to the species below are estimates and in some cases probably low.

Butterfly List BRP 9-24-16

Black Swallowtail 1 + 1 cat
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2
Cabbage White 10
Clouded Sulphur 10
Orange Sulphur 10
Cloudless Sulphur 20
Sleepy Orange 5
Gray Hairstreak 1
Variegated Fritillary 5+
Great Spangled Fritillary 10
Meadow Fritillary 5+
Pearl Crescent 15
Common Buckeye 3
Red-spotted Purple 1
Monarch 2 + 4 cats
Horace’s Duskywing 1
Least Skipper 2
Sachem 5+

18 species
Dennis Burnette

Poteat Farm Butterfly Trip – Sept. 11, 2016

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, we had a joint field trip with NC Native Plant Society, TG Pearson Audubon, and Piedmont Bird Club to a farm in Jamestown, Guilford County that the owner, Marie Poteat, has turned into a wildlife preserve with Piedmont prairies, woodlands, and ponds.

It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, partly cloudy sky, and a slight breeze. The large group of 32 participants was divided into three smaller groups that went in different directions.

With birders and native plant enthusiasts on hand, there was a lot knowledge in the groups. Marie’s property already had a lot of beautiful native plants, and she has spent the last several years reintroducing native grasses, many insect- and bird-friendly nectar and pollen plants, and fruit-bearing native shrubs.

Highlight for the butterfliers included a Hackberry Emperor that landed on the sign-in table as people were gathering, a fresh Variegated Fritillary laying eggs on native Passionflower vine (spotted by Maggie Martin), and numerous Cloudless Sulphurs. We also saw several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, mating Eastern Tailed-blues, a Summer Azure, Sleepy Oranges, and a Common Buckeye. Missing from the various reports were most skippers. Only one, a Fiery Skipper, was reported.

Dennis Burnette

Yates Millpond Trip – Sept 10, 2016

During the splendid CBS symposium at Yates Mill yesterday, 32 of us tallied leps throughout the day and then a Bud Webster led hike afterwards. Highlight was a Great Purple Hairstreak that I spotted during lunch, ran back in to tell everyone interrupting their lunch, and then it lingered happily for several hundred photos and seen by all!

11 E Tiger Swallowtail
1 Spicebush Swallowtail

1 Clouded Sulphur
5 Cloudless Sulphur
1 Little Yellow
2 Sleepy Orange

1 Great Purple Hairstreak (FOY for many of us)
3 Red-banded Hairstreak

2 American Snout
2 Variegated Fritillary
6 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
2 Eastern Comma
1 Red Admiral
7 Common Buckeye (NCSU property)
7 Red-spotted Purple
4 Viceroy
1 Hackberry Emperor
2 Gemmed Satyr (1 indoors)
1 Monarch (NCSU)

1 Silver-spotted Skipper
6 Clouded Skipper
1 Least Skipper
2 Fiery Skipper
34 Ocola Skipper

Other bugs

12 Eastern Pondhawk
15 Slaty Skimmer
30 Blue Dasher
1 Wandering Glider
20 Eastern Amberwing
8 Common Whitetail

4 Scolia dubia, Blue-winged Wasp (mult common names)
1 Sphex Ichneumonus, Great Golden Digger Wasp
2 Chalybion californicum, Velvet Blue Mud Dauber
30 Xylocopa virginica, Eastern Carpenter Bee

1 Hemaris thysbe, Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
1 Black-bordered Lemon Moth

Brian Bockhahn

Mayo River/Rockingham County NABA Count – Sept 1, 2016

Mayo River/Rockingham County Butterfly Count
Thursday September 1 2016 0815-1515
72 to 92 degrees, rain after noon, deluge at 3pm ended the count

4 intrepid observers counted until the rain washed us out, finding 38 species (average 46) in just a few hours. Several satyrs and skippers were very worn and fading, leading us to think we were 1-2 weeks too late, or the “season” ended earlier than normal.

4 Pipevine swallowtail
2 Black swallowtail
64 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
7 Spicebush swallowtail

3 Cabbage white
1 Clouded Sulphur
5 Cloudless Sulphur
1 Sleepy Orange

7 Gray Hairstreak
1 Red-banded Hairstreak
125 Eastern Tailed-blue
3 Summer Azure

1 American Snout
2 Variegated Fritillary
4 Great Spangled Fritillary
17 Silvery Checkerspot
22 Pearl Crescent
38 Common Buckeye
16 Red-spotted Purple
1 Viceroy
14 Hackberry Emperor
2 Tawny Emperor
3 Gemmed Satyr
95 Carolina Satyr
3 Monarch

5 Silver-spotted skipper
5 Common Checkered-skipper
3 Swarthy skipper
26 Clouded skipper
4 Least skipper
3 Fiery skipper
4 Crossline skipper
2 Southern broken-dash
18 Little glassywing
72 Sachem
3 Delaware skipper
1 Zabulon skipper
3 Dun skipper

Misses include Question Mark, Eastern Comma, American Lady, Northern Pearly-eye, Common Wood-nymph, Pecks skipper, Tawny-edge skipper, Northern Broken-dash, Ocola skipper.

Brian Bockhahn

Hanging Rock NABA Count – Aug 31 2016

Hanging Rock Butterfly Count
Wednesday August 31 2016 0900-1900
75 to 88 degrees, no clouds, clear.

7 observers tallied 41 species, matching last year’s total.

2 Black swallowtail
63 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
1 Spicebush swallowtail

1 Cabbage white
1 Orange Sulphur
16 Cloudless Sulphur
3 Sleepy Orange

1 Harvester
8 Gray Hairstreak
185 Eastern Tailed-blue
28 Summer Azure

2 Great Spangled Fritillary
4 Silvery Checkerspot
95 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
1 Eastern Comma
12 Common Buckeye
15 Red-spotted Purple
4 Hackberry Emperor
2 Tawny Emperor
3 Northern Pearly-eye
8 Gemmed Satyr
253 Carolina Satyr
4 Common Wood-nypmh
1 Monarch

1 Silver-spotted skipper
2 Horace’s Duskywing
2 Common Checkered-skipper
4 Swarthy skipper
13 Clouded skipper
4 Least skipper
3 Pecks skipper
1 Tawny-edged skipper
2 Southern broken-dash
4 Northern broken-dash
3 Little glassywing
150 Sachem
5 Delaware skipper
4 Zabulon skipper
6 Dun skipper
1 Eufala skipper (new to park, maybe county)

Misses include: Pipevine Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Red-banded Hairstreak, Variegated Fritillary, American Lady, Red Admiral, Viceroy, Fiery Skipper, Crossline, Ocola skipper.

Brian Bockhahn

Southern Lake Norman NABA Count – Aug 14, 2016

The Southern Lake Norman Butterfly Count was held Sunday August 14, 2016 under extremely hot and humid conditions. Starting temps were in the low 80’s, with an afternoon peak of 95 F. Despite this, 15 participants in 6 parties counted 1773 individuals of 61 species. The species count equals the all-time high for this count from 2012.
Good finds included White-M Hairstreak in Rob Van Epp’s yard at the end of the day, Juniper Hairstreak, Painted Lady, Long-tailed Skipper and Eufala Skipper. Notable misses were Tawny Emperor and Eastern Comma.

Thanks to everyone for volunteering their time under harsh conditions.

Pipevine Swallowtail 17
Zebra Swallowtail 37
Black Swallowtail 4
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 146
Spicebush Swallowtail 4
Cabbage White 1
Orange Sulfur 12
Cloudless Sulfur 32
Little Yellow 1
Sleepy Orange 28
Red-banded Hairstreak 2
Juniper Hairstreak 1
White-M Hairstreak 1
Gray Hairstreak 4
Azure 2
Eastern Tailed- blue 96
Am. Snout 10
Gulf Fritillary 2
Variegated Fritillary 24
Great Spangled Fritillary 6
Silvery Checkerspot 4
Pearl Crescent 29
Questionmark 2
Painted Lady 1
Am. Lady 3
Red Admiral 2
Com. Buckeye 118
Red-spotted Purple 15
Viceroy 14
Hackberry Emperor 9
N. Pearly-eye 10
Creole Pearly-eye 2
Appalachian Brown 1
Gemmed Satyr 2
Carolina Sa. 455
Com. Wood-Nymph 5
Monarch 6
Silver-spotted Skipper 74
Long-tailed Skipper 1
Hoary Edge 3
S. Cloudywing 3
Horace’s Duskywing 17
Com. Checkered-Sk. 11
Com. Sootywing 8
Swarthy Sk. 1
Clouded Sk. 50
Least Sk. 16
S. Skipperling 1
Fiery Sk. 99
Tawny-edged Skipper 1
Crossline Sk. 1
S. Broken-Dash 4
N. Broken-Da. 3
Little Glassywing 35
Sachem 156
Delaware Sk. 32
Zabulon Sk. 96
Dun Sk. 11
Lace-winged Roadside-skipper 2
Eufala Sk. 2
Ocola Sk. 42

Taylor Piephoff
Matthews, NC

Pilot Mountain/Surry County NABA Count – Aug 24, 2016

8 observers put in several hours on Aug 24 for the Pilot Mountain/Surry County butterfly count. Temps 73-83, mostly cloudy skies. From mountain summit, to feeder creeks, corridor trail and Yadkin river section of the park, more habitat than we had time to cover, lots of nectar, thistle was boomin!

From Lori Carlson: I have a photo album up on Flickr that contains the suspected Cloudeds. The album link is here:

Tentative results below. 52 sp.

8 Pipevine Swallowtail
7 Black Swallowtail
321 E Tiger Swallowtail
12 Spicebush Swallowtail

2 Cabbage White
24 Clouded Sulphur
24 Cloudless sulphur
1 Little Yellow
69 Sleepy Orange

5 Gray Hairstreak
2 Red-banded Hairstreak
35 E tailed blue
26 Summer Azure

1 American Snout
17 Variegated Fritillary
34 Great Spangled Fritillary
520 Silvery Checkerspot
75 Pearl Crescent
2 Question Mark
3 American Lady
4 Red Admiral
21 Common Buckeye
12 Red-spotted Purple
1 Viceroy
1 Tawny Emperor
1 Southern Pearly-eye
1 Creole Pearly-eye
15 Northern Pearly-eye
3 Appalachian Brown (new site that should be reliable!)
8 Gemmed Satyr
1037 Carolina Satyr
1 Common Wood-nymph
7 Monarch

4 Silver-spotted skipper
1 horaces duskywing
1 Common checkered-skipper
9 Common Sootywing (new site)
2 Swarthy Skipper
18 clouded skipper
45 least skipper
2 fiery skipper
3 Pecks skipper
4 Tawny-edged skipper
10 Crossline skipper
1 norhtern broken dash
6 little glassywing
382 sachem
52 deleware skipper
14 zabulon skipper
1 Dun skipper
1 Common Roadside-skipper
1 EUFALA SKIPPER (new site, photographed by most of us!)

Misses include Zebra swallowtail, orange sulphur, eastern comma, painted lady, hackberry emperor, hoary edge, any cloudywing, lace-winged roadside skipper (looked hard in usual spots), southern broken dash and Ocola skipper.

Brian Bockhahn

Pettigrew State Park NABA Count – Aug 28, 2016

Yesterday (August 28), the Pettigrew SP, NC, butterfly count was held, under relatively poor conditions — mostly cloudy and somewhat threatening skies and winds of 10-12 mph. The afternoon was cloudy with a few sprinkles here and there, but winds were still an issue. We had outstanding coverage, with six parties: Jeff Pippen and me; Ed Corey; Salman Abdulali; Signa and Floyd Williams; Nick and Elisa Flanders; and Randy Emmitt and Tom and Barbara Driscoll.

Zebra Swallowtail 49
Black Swallowtail 24
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 98
Spicebush Swallowtail 32
Palamedes Swallowtail 207
Cabbage White 12
Orange Sulphur 77
Cloudless Sulphur 511
Sleepy Orange 1,090
Gray Hairstreak 14
Red-banded Hairstreak 3 low
Eastern Tailed-Blue 4 always scarce on this count, for no obvious reason
Summer Azure 70
Variegated Fritillary 69
Pearl Crescent 138
Question Mark 5
Eastern Comma 1
Red Admiral 24
Common Buckeye 116
Red-spotted Purple 21
Viceroy 37
Southern Pearly-eye 6 good number of pearly-eyes of both species
Creole Pearly-eye 2
pearly-eye sp. 3
Carolina Satyr 9 low; did not attempt to discern if any might be Intricates
Common Wood-Nymph 2
Monarch 6 only seen by one party!
Silver-spotted Skipper 169
Horace’s Duskywing 3
Zarucco Duskywing 1 scarce in the area
Common Checkered-Skipper 22
Common Sootywing 22
Clouded Skipper 2 low
Least Skipper 341 very high, at least relative to other skippers
Fiery Skipper 51
Sachem 1
Dion Skipper 7
Dun Skipper 2 quite low
Twin-spot Skipper 1 at northern edge of range
Ocola Skipper 37

Total: a very disappointing 39 species

Misses: Great Purple Hairstreak; American Lady; a wide variety of grass skippers we often get 1-2 individuals of, such as Whirlabout and Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper; and migrants such as Gulf Fritillary and Painted Lady. Though the first two were the only usual misses, with 5-6 parties and decent conditions, we usually get lots of ones and twos in the skippers and migrants that fill in holes to get to 45 or rarely 50 species.

What were much big bigger issues than the weather were the continued clearing and herbiciding of many ditches and canals in the area, and very sadly the obvious mosquito spraying that took place in much of the count circle, as evidenced by a near lack of most grass skippers and many other insects (including mosquitoes) where nectar sources were abundant. Masses of coastal Joe-pye-weed, ironweed, verbena, climbing hempweed, swamp milkweed, pickerelweed, etc., were devoid of nearly all butterflies and bees/wasps, even including swallowtails. This year has seen an increase in most butterfly populations across North Carolina since the devastating snow, ice, and freezes back in early 2013, but this area has been devastated by spraying. It was difficult to find skippers other than Least and Silver-spotted, but if you go to other areas of the Coastal Plain, this skipper dearth isn’t really a problem.

I want to sincerely thank the efforts of all of the observers, nearly all of whom had to travel 2-3 hours from their homes to reach the count circle, only to be confronted with a lack of skippers. Better butterflying back in your home areas!

Harry LeGrand