Saturday, September 10, 2016

June 2016 Butterfly Monitoring and the Annual 4th of July Butterfly Count

At the start of our morning butterfly monitoring expedition on June 27 we encountered a Great Blue Heron (Ardea hernias) entangled in fishing line.  Volunteers Christopher Fox and Mike Pogue were able to cut the hook and line, and release the bird at the edge of the marsh.   

In the afternoon our group participated in the 42nd Annual North American Butterfly Association 4th of July Butterfly Count.  NABA, consisting of people in Canada, United States and Mexico interested in butterflies, conducts long-term monitoring of butterfly populations.

Using electric vehicles we headed out into the Wildlife Management Area.
Dainty Sulphur

Ocola Skipper

Fiery Skipper
Zarucco Duskywing
Black Swallowtail
Butterflies observed included the Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palmedes), Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes),  Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillaeOcola skipper (Panoquina ocola) Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis ioleZarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) Salt Marsh Skipper (Panoquina panoquin), and the Great Southern White (Ascia monuste) and hundreds of Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus).

During both the morning and afternoon expeditions, we observed an alligator on the trail. We kept our distance.