Spent ~ a week at Pelee searching for butterflies and other goodies... It was HOT every single day! Excessive sunshine and often accompanied by light winds... Here are some highlights/rundowns:
Silver-spotted Skipper - abundant... possibly more so than any previous trip to the park
Horace's Duskywing - 2 females near the tip on Wednesday
Wild Indigo Duskywing - irregular sightings... as expected, much more common outside the park
Common Checkered Skipper - 5+ obs inside the park... regular observations outside the park
Fiery Skipper - regular observations both inside and outside the park (more common outside)
Black Swallowtail - a few inside the park
Giant Swallowtail - frequent observations. Some very fresh, some very worn. What generation are these???
Spicebush Swallowtail - frequent observations. More than I would have expected.
Clouded Sulphur - less than expected inside the park. One at the tip.
Little Yellow - one mostly white female at NW beach. Unexpected/exciting!
Cloudless Sulphur - male at the very tip on Tuesday. My first for Ontario (overdue?) but very exciting!!!
Gray Hairstreak - frequent sightings. Max count of ~25 on Tuesday (!!) Some very fresh.
Bronze Copper - 2 obs inside the park
Eastern Tailed Blue - abundant inside the park. Many more than normal.
Question Mark - very few observations
Eastern Comma - several obs
Mourning Cloak - few/irregular sightings
American Lady - few/irregular sightings
Painted Lady - one
Red Admiral - few/irregular sightings
Common Buckeye - regular observations both inside and outside the park
Red-spotted Purple - one (worn)
American Snout - 5-10 observations over the week (fresh)
Hackberry Emperor - several obs (worn)
Monarch - NO clusters. Regular observations of low numbers everywhere (foraging, migrating etc). A lack of suitable winds may explain it... Also somewhat low numbers this year (??) but I did have a few thousand at Wheatley waay back on the 14th, moving along the lakeshore...
Sporadic casual observations. The highlights/notable species:
Common Green Darner - abundant, but (perhaps?) far fewer than I would have expected.
Green-striped Darner - 1
Swamp Darner - ~5 obs.
Red Saddlebags - irregular but near-daily observations
Carolina Saddlebags - perhaps 50% more than Red, but surprisingly close numbers
Black Saddlebags - abundant
Wandering Glider - regular/abundant
Spot-winged Glider - Abundant
(no striped saddlebags)
Casual observation & notes:
Waterfowl: nothing unexpected. Sporadic observations from Blue-winged Teal to a (seemingly?) early Common Merganser
Loons/Grebes: A few Horned, but generally scarce. No loons??
Other waterbirds: A few Great Egrets and low-ish numbers of Cormorants around...
Raptor Migration: nothing spectacular but the point always had falcons, sharpies, osprey, harriers, eagles etc about... Often providing some excellent entertainment.
Shorebirds: limited habitat and observations. ~26-28 Sanderling at Wheatley Harbour, then later at the tip - were a nice bunch. 1 Am. Golden Plover flyby....
Gulls: 1 Great Black-backed x Herring hybrid and a max (daily) count of 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on our first day (Saturday). LBBG's were a daily occurrence. Small #'s of Bonies.
Owls: one day-calling E. Screech Owl near the tip, and one dusk-calling Great Horned Owl at the marsh tower were highlights.
Swifts/Hummingbirds - steady migration most days
Crow's/Jays - great views of the long-staying Fish Crow at the tip. Large Blue Jay migration underway, which seemingly started before Mid-Sept.
Passerine Migration: surprising numbers most days, given the seemingly poor conditions... Blackpoll Warblers outnumbered all other warblers combined. Careful observations would yield a steady selection of many families, but we often didn't put in the work to find them. A few days had sizable reorientation flights of Warblers, including a group of 100+ Blackpolls that left the tip together one morning... 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher also did the "reverse migration" thing one morning.
Map Turtle - a few outside the park
Melanistic Garter Snake - only one
Fox Snake - one near the tip. Perhaps 2.5 to 3 feet long.
other expected species...
Nothing unexpected. Mink, bats, deer, etc.
One mystery dead fish at the tip... (see earlier post)
Several mystery living fish at the marsh boardwalk while hunting for Species at Risk... (stay tuned!)
The stable flies at the tip on Wednesday were BY FAR - the WORST I have ever seen... They were covering 50-75% of exposed pant legs and getting up into your hair... Not only that, but they were covering everything else - signs, garbage cans, the tram, flowers etc. (!!!)
By Friday, the tip was (perhaps) the longest I have ever seen it!
Uber-tame Fish Crow!
I'll get some lep photos online next...