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Sunday, April 16, 2017

IT HAS BEGAN

The butterfly season has began in Michigan. The weather has been unusual to say the least. It is cold one day and in the 70's the next. Such weather can be confusing to butterflies. Despite the strange temperature fluctuations, 5 species have been recorded in Ingham County, Michigan. Ingham is my home county. We have had Cabbage White, Spring Azure, Eastern Comma, Mourning Cloak and Red Admiral. With strong winds pushing warm air from the south, Red Admirals are being reported in higher than normal numbers for this time of year.
The following pictures are from Gratiot/Saginaw SGA. 


Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa
Gratiot County
Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area
April 2, 2017










Eastern Comma - Polygonia comma
Gratiot County
Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area
April 2, 2017

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It has been a good year

It is amazing how long a year is and yet, at the same time, amazing how quickly a year passes.
This year, 2016, has been fantastic to say the least. I was fortunate to do a lot of butterflying in many excellent locations.
In late April, I made a trip to Panama. In mid to late May you would have found me in Michigan's upper peninsula and in late September I made a trip to south Texas. A darn good year.
My Michigan year list is 85 species (with 4 Michigan lifers) -  a personal best. Texas was amazing with 17 lifers. While in Texas I was able to see the Variegated Flycatcher that visited South Padre Island. It was only the 7th record for North America!
Panama was great. So many butterflies, birds and orchids.
All ready looking forward to 2017!

Northern Blue - Lycaeides idas
Michigan - Alger County
2016 June, 25
















Crimson Patch - Chlosyne janais
Texas - Hidalgo County
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands
2016 October, 3 






Red-washed Satry - Pierella helvina
Panama - Cocle Province
2016 April, 21

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It Has Been a Very Good Summer

Yes, I have been slacking in my posts. But, I have been busy butterflying!
Recently I ventured to Monroe County, Michigan. Monroe County has 2 excellent butterflying areas; West County Park just east of Dundee and Petersburg SGA south of Petersburg.
During my visit to these excellent sites, I record my Michigan lifer Horace's Duskywing. Several females were in the ditch along Lulu Road between Teal Road and Anders Road. Also seen was a Southern Cloudywing (best as I can tell), setting a new late date for Michigan.
Currently Michigan 2016 total is 81species.

Southern Cloudywing - Thorybes bathyllus
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
I based my ID on the large white windows on the forewings.











Horace's Duskywing - Erynnis horatius
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
Michigan Lifer #116
Female










Harvester - Feniseca Tarquinius
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
Always a good find.









Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IT HAS BEEN GOOD

It has been awhile since my last post and a lot has happened.
In late June, Jackie (my girlfriend) and I went to the upper peninsula for some quality time. Along the way we were able to locate (with excellent directions) a few Northern Blues (Lycaeides idas). Northern Blue was a lifer for me. It only took getting out of the car to find one. Very fortunate. We had 3 in about 30 mintues.


                                          Northern Blue - Alger County, Michigan
                                          2.6 miles east of Shingleton
 
Also making a nice showing were Red-spotted Purples. The ones we saw were the subspecies L. a. arthemis. We call them White Admirals.

                                          Red-spotted Purple (White Admiral) - Schoolcraft County
                                          Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

Not to be out done were the ever present Northern Crescents (Phyciodes selenis). Some people believe our three Michigan species are all the same species. Maybe, maybe not.

                                         Northern Crescent - Schoolcraft County, Michigan
                                         Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

We finished the 4 day trip with 17 species. A nice total for relaxing and sight seeing.
We are ready to go back!




Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Michigan Upper Peninsula Butterflying

From May 20-22, 2016 my son David and I went to Michigan's upper peninsula looking for Michigan's bog specialties. Our main objectives were Red-disked Alpine (Erebia discoidalas) and Freija Fritillary (Boloria freija). On Saturday after nearly 6 hours of hunting and pecking, we stop at Channing Bog in Dickinson County and scored our targets. Several Red-disked Alpines and a few Freija Fritillaries were cruising an open area in the south west section of the bog. At one point, David had 4 Red-disked Alpines battling above him!
Sunday we headed home and made a stop in Otsego County. At the North Branch ORV Trail Head.We hunted around for awhile before finding our target Chryxus Arctic (Oeneis chryxus).
An excellent weekend.

Red-disked Alpine (Erebia discoidalas)
2016-5-21
Dickinson County, Michigan



Chryxus Arctic (Oeneis chryxus)
2016-5-22
Otsego County, Michigan











Trip List May 20-22, 2016
Black Swallowtail
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Olympia Marble
Pink-edged Sulphur
Brown Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Spring Azure
Northern Spring Azure
Meadow Fritillary
Freija Fritillary
American Lady
Red-disked Alpine
Chryxus Arctic
Dreamy Duskywing
Common Roadside Skipper



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NOT MUCH YET.

ALL SPRING, MICHIGAN'S WEATHER HAS BEEN UNKIND TO BUTTERFLIES AND PEOPLE WHO SEEK THEM OUT. COLD, WET AND RAINY DOES NOT MAKE FOR GOOD BUTTERFLYING. I HAVE RECORDED JUST 5 SPECIES IN MICHIGAN THIS YEAR. IT IS LOOKING BETTER FOR THIS WEEKEND. HOPEFULLY EASTERN PINE ELFINS AND OLYMPIA MARBLES WILL COME OUT AND PLAY.
IN LATE APRIL I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO PANAMA FOR 8 DAYS FOR SOME BIRDING AND BUTTERFLYING. BOTH WERE EXCELLENT.
HAD ABOUT 40 SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES. NOT BAD CONSIDERING IT WAS THE END OF THE DRY SEASON.
I WAS ABLE TO GET A FEW DECENT PHOTOS OF SOME VERY NICE BUTTERFLIES.

 Gold-edged Giant Owl
Caligo uranus
2016-4-21
Altos del Maria, Panama
About 1100 meters









Togarna Hairstreak
Arawacas togarna
2016-4-21
Altos del Maria, Panama 
About 1100 meters 
                                                                                 











                                                  
                                                                                                                                      

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cold weather delays butterflies

It has been a very cold, wet and snowy early Spring here. I have heard of only 3 species of butterflies being recorded this spring. In past years Spring Azures have been recorded by April 10th.
     This week the cold winter type weather has broken. By the weekend it is going to make 70 degrees. This is good news. Hopefully Mourning Cloaks, Milbert's Tortiseshell and Compton Tortiseshell will be on the wing. I am looking to get some pictures of Compton Tortiseshell as it is one of the few species I have seen in Michigan, but do not have a picture of.
     Also this spring, I will be making a few trips down to Branch County where I believe I can find Zebra Swallowtail. A nice park down there has a large quantity of Pawpaw; the host plant for Zebra Swallowtails.

Get Out There
Jeff