Pettigrew State Park, NC NABA Count – August 31, 2014

Better late than never — the results of the Pettigrew count, held 8 days ago (August 31) have been compiled by Ed Corey, and sent to me for submitting to NABA. The weather was typical hot — 93 degrees for the high at nearby Plymouth, and generally partly cloudy all day; no rain. Of course, the count was hampered by the very severe March weather, and also by the continuing bush-hogging and cleaning of canals and ditches (for better irrigation of fields, I think). This cleaning up has resulted in much fewer stands of verbena along the road margins, and buttonbushes are hard to find, though most were finished blooming anyway.

We again had 5 parties, as with last year; we managed 50 species and 2,510 individuals last year. Thanks to Brian Bockhahn and several others with him, Nick Flanders, Elisa Enders, Signa and Floyd Williams, and Ed Corey for assisting me in the field. Salman Abdulali came down from Greenville, but was called back home early on for a family emergency.

Here are totals, with some comments (most numbers are quite a bit lower than last year, held on Sept. 8):

Zebra Swallowtail 16
Black Swallowtail 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 13 terribly low; 88 last year
Spicebush Swallowtail 9
Palamedes Swallowtail 288 (but 250 by Brian’s group)
Cabbage White 11
Orange Sulphur 92
Cloudless Sulphur 101 very low
Sleepy Orange 393
Great Purple Hairstreak 2
Gray Hairstreak 18
Red-banded Hairstreak 49
Eastern Tailed-Blue 2 typically scarce here
Summer Azure 19
Variegated Fritillary 27 quite low
Pearl Crescent 74
Question Mark 1
Eastern Comma 1
American Lady 1 only 1 on last year’s count also!
Painted Lady 8
Red Admiral 23
Common Buckeye 94
Red-spotted Purple 32
Viceroy 24
Southern Pearly-eye 5
CREOLE PEARLY-EYE 1 photo by the Williams; new count record, and a first for Washington County
Carolina Satyr 55 (presumed all this species and not Intricate)
Common Wood-Nymph 8
Monarch 5
Silver-spotted Skipper 177
Horace’s Duskywing 2
Common Checkered-Skipper 3
Common Sootywing 1
Least Skipper 128
Fiery Skipper 83
Crossline Skipper 3 two parties; scarce in this area
Whirlabout 1
NORTHERN BROKEN-DASH 2 photos by Brian; new to the count and new to Washington County; Southern Broken-dash still has never been found on this count!
Sachem 5
Delaware Skipper 1
Dion Skipper 1 low, but early count date; 46 last year on Sept. 8
Dun Skipper 8
Carolina Roadside-Skipper 1 uncommon, but not new for the count
Twin-spot Skipper 3 not new either; near northern edge of range
Ocola Skipper 6

45 species; 1,799 individuals. Missing — Clouded Skipper! Hard to fathom missing this one; we had 9 last year. Other misses from last year were mainly skippers, as we got nearly all of the expected true butterflies.

Harry LeGrand