Sunday, May 31, 2015

Counting Butterflies, Noticing Other Species -- Saturday, May 30

At the wildlife management area along a utility easement near Lake Kittamaqundi, my area of responsibility in the annual Howard County butterfly survey. To the booming and thumping coming from the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion this weekend.

I will focus on butterfly identifications in the following photographs, but these Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies are everywhere now. White spot on the edge of the wing means it's a female. These are different individuals in the first two photos here.

[Identification corrections have been added in brackets following consultation with the survey experts.]

A Spicebush Swallowtail in flight and not settling down anywhere for a good photo.

Two male Zabulon Skippers. [Maybe one is Zabulon, and the other is something else.]

Silver-Spotted Skipper.

Red Admiral, the only one spotted on this walk. I saw what I believe was the same one on my way back through the area.

The only Pearl Crescent seen on this walk -- after so many when I walked through here with the survey coordinator last weekend!

Two Golden-Backed Snipe Flies. So alien to me when I saw my first one last weekend, and now the area seems to be golden-backed snipe fly habitat.

Bad shot of a skipper here, probably male Zabulon. Sorry for any redundant photos -- it's helping me keep count. By the way, the plants here look like the invasive grass species abundant along the easement.

For my reference, the photo above was one of several attempts to catch shots of numerous Little Wood-Satyr butterflies scurrying all over this part of the ground and never stopping. Ironically, last weekend's single Little Wood-Satyr seen near this spot sat still for a long time and allowed multiple shots for my friend and me.

I'm simply surprised by the sight of a hummingbird perched so high and in the open. Maybe it's looking for a hummingbird feeder.

A Swallowtail, possibly Spicebush, fluttered around the top of this black willow for a long time. [No, it's a Red-Spotted Purple.]

After following butterflies in flight and a few frustrating misses, as I was walking out of the area this one landed right beside me and permitted several photos. It looks like an Eastern Comma, perhaps the summer form. [No, it's a Question Mark.]

Any butterflies I happen to see in my own garden or my neighbors' gardens here in Columbia Town Center can be included in my count, so I'm counting this Silver-Spotted Skipper seen on my neighbor's flowers as I returned home.