Triangle Chapter — Duke Forest — April 15, 2017

Ten of us explored the “Wooden Bridge Rd” hike in Duke Forest (Orange Co., NC) this afternoon (4/15/2017).  We enjoyed a nice hike finding butterflies, dragonflies, snakes (racer, rat snake, N. Water Snake), wildflowers, and other goodies.  Thanks to everyone who showed up and helped spot things!  Here’s our butterfly list:
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 15
Cloudless Sulphur 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 6
Azure sp. 1
American Snout 1
Pearl Crescent 6
Polygonia sp. 1
American Lady 1
Red-spotted Purple 2
Gemmed Satyr 5
Carolina Satyr 30
satyr sp. 15
Silver-spotted Skipper 1
Juvenal’s Duskywing 2
Zabulon Skipper 1

Dragonflies included Swamp Darner, Springtime Darner, Ashy Clubtail, Stream Cruiser, Blue Corporal, Common Baskettail, and probably something else I forgot to write down!

Jeff Pippen

The Great Dismal Swamp SP NABA Count — April 13, 2017

5 intrepid counters didn’t expect diversity and got that with just 16 species, we missed one of our targets Hessel’s hairstreak though back in the cedars I did see one suspect hairstreak that circled high into the tree canopy.  There was almost no nectar around the host plant stands, little elsewhere too, really a tough bug to find though as I’ve missed it much more than found it.

Numbers were there, as we broke the one day high count of 900 Palamedes Swallowtail that was set on 9 Sep 2000.  Our total of 1206 was quite accurate, as there was very little else to distract us so I counted them closely.  The massive block of swamp was full of them, border areas or outlying ag fields were devoid of them!

We may consider another count attempt in late July during the second brood of Hessels…

85 Zebra Swallowtail
32 E tiger Swallowtail
7 Spicebush Swallowtail
1206 Palamedes Swallowtail
4 Falcate Orangetip
5 Orange Sulphur
1 Cloudless Sulphur
26 Red-banded Hairstreak
14 E tailed-blue
5 Holly Azure
1 Summer Azure (fresh)
1 Variegated Fritillary
1 Eastern Comma
38 Pearl Crescent
6 American Lady
2 Silver-spotted Skipper

Brian Bockhahn

Triad Chapter — Occoneechee Mountain State Park — April 2, 2017

Occoneechee Mtn Elfin Trek 4-2-17

Our timing was right this time…we saw Brown Elfins on our Elfin Trek.

It has become almost an annual event for the Triad Chapter to look for Brown Elfins on the aptly named Brown Elfin Knob Trail at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Orange County just outside Hillsborough. Brown Elfins have a very narrow flight period in early spring. Some years we’ve hit it right, some years not.

On Sunday afternoon, April 2, we headed for this site just a bit over an hour east of the Triad. When we arrived at the parking area, we were surprised to find it full. Coincidently, Brian Bockhahn, education specialist for NC Parks, was leading a butterfly walk, and there were at least 35 people there for the short hike in addition to the normal weekend crowd. His target was Brown Elfins, as well, so Brian graciously allowed us to join his group.

With Brian in the lead, we didn’t get far before we began seeing butterflies. Several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails flitted by, and we saw Eastern Tailed-Blues, Silver-spotted Skippers, and Juvenal’s Duskywings within just a few yards up the gravel road. Not much further along as we were entering the woods Brian pointed out a Carolina Satyr, noting that it is the “mascot” butterfly of the Carolina Butterfly Society. By the end of the walk the group collectively had seen a dozen species, including our target butterfly. Here is Brian’s tally:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 12
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Cabbage White 1
Brown Elfin 6
Eastern Tailed-Blue 3
Variegated Fritillary1
Gemmed Satyr 1
Carolina Satyr 8
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Juvenal’s Duskywing 24
Sleepy Duskywing 1
Sachem skipper 1

Dennis Burnette

Midland Chapter — Cheraw State Park and Carolina Sandhills NWR — April 1, 2017

What a beautiful day to butterfly and some people had a four Elfin species day!  Many of us came away with at least one lifer.  It was sunny with temperatures ranging from around 59 to a high of 79.  Chris Talkington was our leader.  In attendance were: Gene Schepker, Lois Schneider, Ann Newsome, Sven Halling, Gary Carter, Leigh Anne Carter, Becky Carter, Jean Fontaine, Laura Domingo, Dennis Forsythe, Rob Gilson, Lenny Lampel, Ethan Lampel, Shawn Smolen-Morton, Will Stuart, Rob Van Epps, Kevin Metcalf, Susan Creed, Cheryl Talkington, and Dave and Marty Kastner.  Will Stuart was our hero, finding the Frosted Elfin in the morning and leading the group back to the same spot in the afternoon where we found three.

Cheraw State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail   3
Spicebush Swallowtail   2
Palamedes Swallowtail   9
Black Swallowtail   1
Zebra Swallowtail   1
Sleepy Orange   1
Great Purple Hairstreak   2
Red-banded Hairstreak   1
Brown Elfin   3
Henry’s Elfin   5
Eastern Pine Elfin   1
Eastern Tailed-Blue   2
Summer Azure   2
Azure species   1
Pearl Crescent   1
American Lady   11
Common Buckeye   3
Carolina/Intricate Satyr   3
Silver-spotted Skipper   1
Zarucco Duskywing   2
Juvenal’s Duskywing   1
Duskywing species   1

Carolina Sandhills NWR
Black Swallowtail   1
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail   2
Spicebush Swallowtail   3
Palamedes Swallowtail   2
Zebra Swallowtail   1
Colias species   1   (white form)
Cloudless Sulphur   8
Sleepy Orange   3
Frosted Elfin   3   (ovipositing)
Gray Hairstreak   1
Eastern Tailed-Blue   6
Azure species   1
Variegated Fritillary   1
American Lady   2
Common Buckeye   3
Pearl Crescent   1
Red-spotted Purple   1
Juvenal’s Duskywing   3
Zarucco Duskywing   1
Duskywing species   7

Marty Kastner

Triad Chapter – Greensboro Arboretum/Guilford County – Oct 16, 2016

CBS Triad Chapter,

On Sunday, Oct. 16, four of us visited the Greensboro Arboretum in the morning, then went into northwest Guilford County, NC, near the Forsyth County line to look along two dirt roads.

We saw a total of 5 Monarchs. While driving, we saw several Cloudless Sulphurs in addition to those at the two sites. Frost Aster was the primary nectar plant, although a few other species were being visited, including Jewelweed in damp areas. There were many unidentifiable grass skippers moving among the flowers at a distance. We identified a total of 15 butterfly species.

The temperature high was 78 degrees under a sunny, sky with a light breeze. The first number in the list below is the arboretum; the second number is in the northwest corner of the county.

Orange Sulphur 0; 1
Cloudless Suphur 8; 9
Little Yellow 0; 4
Sleepy Orange 3; 5
Eastern Tailed-Blue 0; 2
Variegated Fritillary 0; 2
Pearl Crescent 4; 10+
Common Buckeye 0; 4
Viceroy 0; 2
Monarch 2; 3
Common Checkered-Skipper 10+; 20+
Clouded Skipper 1; 2
Fiery Skipper 10+; 5
Sachem 5; 5
Ocola, Skipper 2; 0

Species total 15

Attached are a few photos from yesterday.

Dennis

Midlands Chapter – SI Group Butterfly Count – Sept 17, 2016

Below is Diane Curlee’s trip report for the SI Group in Orangeburg.

Butterfly Count
Sat., September 17, 2016
SI Group “The Hundred Acre Woods”
Weather: temperature 71 ͦF; overcast; light breeze
Beginning Time: 10:00AM
Ending Time: 1:00PM

Seven people:
Jerry Bright
Pat Bright
Jean Protho
Alice Clark
Sharon Jones
Arthur Sweatman
Diane Curlee

Butterfly List:

Swallowtails
– Tiger Swallowtail – 3

Satyrs
– Southern Pearly Eye – 1
– Carolina Satyr – 2

Heliconians & Fritillaries
– Variegated Fritillary – 2
– Gulf Fritillary – 1

Leafwings
– Goatweed Leafwing – 1; 1 caterpillar

True Brushfoots
– Common Buckeye – 4

Grass Skippers
– Clouded skipper – 1
– Little Glassywing – 1
– Southern Skipperling – too many to count (they were everywhere)
– Fiery skipper – 3

Spreadwing Skippers
– White Checkered-Skipper – 6
– Cloudywing species – 1

Sulphurs
– Cloudless Sulphur – 1
– Sleepy Orange – 3

Hairstreaks
– Red-banded Hairstreak – 1
– Gray Hairstreak – 2

33 individuals + Southern Skipperlings – everywhere!

Arthur is to be given credit for the Southern Pearly Eye. He saw it fly up on our drive into The Hundred Acre Woods. It landed on a tree. It looked like a very thin shelf fungi clinging to the tree! It stayed still allowing us to almost touch it. Many great photos were taken of it.

Many of these butterflies were very fresh. One of the Buckeyes kept its wings folded. We at first thought it was a Tropical. But after comparing with pictures of the underwings, it was determined that it was a Common Buckeye.

Alice and Sharon were very enthusiastic on their first count. They commented over and over how glad they were to have come out and joined in on the hunt. They asked many good questions. They helped us remember our past excitement and interest. It also made us realize how far we have come in our knowledge of the flutterbys.

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
Species:
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.
Species:
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

All,

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

Dennis M. Forsythe PhD
dennis.forsythe@gmail.com

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