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List: Carolina-Leps
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2020 11:46:00 -0400
From: Harry LeGrand (via carolinaleps Mailing List) <carolinaleps...>
Subject: The (not "a") few butterflies in the NC Sandhills

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As part of the Weymouth Woods butterfly count yesterday (June 8), I
absolutely wanted to shun the crowd(s) of butterfliers at that park unit --
after all, it is a 175 square mile count circle and not just a park count
-- and cover much of the Sandhills Game Land and other places farther south
in that circle. As already has been mentioned here, by Will Stuart and
Mike Turner, the Sandhills are in the doldrums in June -- unless you happen
to hit the spots with Satyrium hairstreaks like at Weymouth Woods or parts
of the Carolina Sandhills NWR in SC.

I will say that I *totally enjoyed the birding!* Then again, it was a
butterfly count, so except for hitting a very few patches of moist dirt
road with some seepage or other wet spots, I could easily spend 15 minutes
without a butterfly. I did see my first ever Common Buckeye puddle parties
-- one place had 30-40 butterflies, ALL Buckeyes -- the dirt road at George
Drop Zone. A few other places had 12-15 Buckeyes with little else. And, I
saw exactly ONE grass (fold-wing) skipper in 8.5 hours of field work!
Thankfully it was a great one. Here is my cumulative list below, covering
parts of Scotland, Richmond, Hoke, and Moore counties -- I'll deal with
splitting out counties when I enter these on the Excel file:

E. Tiger Swallowtail 4
Spicebush Swallowtail 1 very worn; the normally common Palamedes is
between brood now
Cloudless Sulphur 1
LITTLE YELLOW 1 fesh male; George Drop Zone in Scotland; a bit early, but
semi-expected
Gray Hairstreak 1 fresh; despite looking at some Sourwood flowers, I saw
no Satyrium hairstreaks all day
E. Tailed-Blue 2
Variegated Fritillary 12 most very fresh, and all at George Drop Zone,
where there is a big patch of Maypops (hostplant)
Pearl Crescent 3
American Lady 4
Red Admiral 1
Common Buckeye 100 conservative; THE Sandhills butterfly
no satyrs, pearly-eyes, browns -- despite lots of looking along dirt
roads thru swamps

Southern Cloudywing 1
Horace's Duskywing 7 all fresh; 6 males, and 1 female on *Silphium
compositum*
Zarucco Duskywing 6 all fresh males; males of both species getting
minerals/moisture on the dirt roads
DOTTED SKIPPER 1 fairly fresh male, in jet-plane orientation, on a stem
top in an open pine stand; Scotland County; I have seen this species on a
number of occasions in early to mid-June in the game land; always tough to
find ANY grass skippers down there in the first brood -- as there are VERY
few nectar plants now. Even the reliable thistle (*Cirsium repandum*) had
almost nothing on them.

Sure hope the folks at Weymouth had a lot better results! I managed just
15 species in 8.5 hours, in decent to good weather.

Harry LeGrand
Raleigh

P.S. I did manage to see a singing Lark Sparrow (at a known site at Luzon
Drop Zone in Camp Mackall); many singing Bachman's Sparrows including one
carrying food; several Common Nighthawks including 2 swooping low over a
pond; a Loggerhead Shrike; about 5 Bobwhites (one seen); a Swainson's
Warbler singing; a few Red-cocked Woodpeckers (low); but lots of Red-headed
Woodpeckers. I did see a Common Sanddragon, but I didn't spend time on
odonates. And, I saw a few rare plants, including tons of Buckeyes
nectaring on the rare *Stylisma pickeringii*!

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<div dir=3D"ltr"><div>As part of the Weymouth Woods butterfly count yesterd=
ay (June 8), I absolutely wanted to shun the crowd(s) of butterfliers at th=
at park unit -- after all, it is a 175 square mile count circle and not jus=
t a park count -- and cover much of the Sandhills Game Land and other place=
s farther south in that circle.=C2=A0 As already has been mentioned here, b=
y Will Stuart and Mike Turner, the Sandhills are in the doldrums in June --=
unless you happen to hit the spots with Satyrium hairstreaks like at Weymo=
uth Woods or parts of the Carolina Sandhills NWR in SC.=C2=A0 <br></div><di=
v><br></div><div>I will say that I <u>totally enjoyed the birding!</u>=C2=
=A0 Then again, it was a butterfly count, so except for hitting a very few =
patches of moist dirt road with some seepage or other wet spots, I could ea=
sily spend 15 minutes without a butterfly.=C2=A0 I did see my first ever Co=
mmon Buckeye puddle parties -- one place had 30-40 butterflies, ALL Buckeye=
s -- the dirt road at George Drop Zone.=C2=A0 A few other places had 12-15 =
Buckeyes with little else.=C2=A0 And, I saw exactly ONE grass (fold-wing) s=
kipper in 8.5 hours of field work!=C2=A0 Thankfully it was a great one.=C2=
=A0 Here is my cumulative list below, covering parts of Scotland, Richmond,=
Hoke, and Moore counties -- I&#39;ll deal with splitting out counties when=
I enter these on the Excel file:</div><div><br></div><div>E. Tiger Swallow=
tail=C2=A0 4</div><div>Spicebush Swallowtail=C2=A0 1=C2=A0 very worn;=C2=A0=
the normally common Palamedes is between brood now</div><div>Cloudless Sul=
phur=C2=A0 1</div><div>LITTLE YELLOW=C2=A0 1=C2=A0 fesh male; George Drop Z=
one in Scotland; a bit early, but semi-expected</div><div>Gray Hairstreak=
=C2=A0 1=C2=A0 fresh; despite looking at some Sourwood flowers, I saw no Sa=
tyrium hairstreaks all day</div><div>E. Tailed-Blue=C2=A0 2</div><div>Varie=
gated Fritillary=C2=A0 12=C2=A0=C2=A0 most very fresh, and all at George Dr=
op Zone, where there is a big patch of Maypops (hostplant)</div><div>Pearl =
Crescent=C2=A0 3</div><div>American Lady=C2=A0 4</div><div>Red Admiral=C2=
=A0 1</div><div>Common Buckeye=C2=A0 100 conservative; THE Sandhills butter=
fly</div><div>=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 no satyrs, pearly-eyes, browns -- despite =
lots of looking along dirt roads thru swamps</div><div><br></div><div>South=
ern Cloudywing=C2=A0 1</div><div>Horace&#39;s Duskywing=C2=A0 7=C2=A0=C2=A0=
all fresh; 6 males, and 1 female on <i>Silphium compositum</i> <br></div><=
div>Zarucco Duskywing=C2=A0=C2=A0 6=C2=A0=C2=A0 all fresh males; males of b=
oth species getting minerals/moisture on the dirt roads</div><div>DOTTED SK=
IPPER=C2=A0 1=C2=A0 fairly fresh male, in jet-plane orientation, on a stem =
top in an open pine stand; Scotland County; I have seen this species on a n=
umber of occasions in early to mid-June in the game land; always tough to f=
ind ANY grass skippers down there in the first brood -- as there are VERY f=
ew nectar plants now.=C2=A0 Even the reliable thistle (<i>Cirsium repandum<=
/i>) had almost nothing on them.=C2=A0 <br></div><div><br></div><div>Sure h=
ope the folks at Weymouth had a lot better results!=C2=A0 I managed just 15=
species in 8.5 hours, in decent to good weather.=C2=A0 <br></div><div><br>=
</div><div>Harry LeGrand</div><div>Raleigh</div><div><br></div><div>P.S.=C2=
=A0 I did manage to see a singing Lark Sparrow (at a known site at Luzon Dr=
op Zone in Camp Mackall); many singing Bachman&#39;s Sparrows including one=
carrying food; several Common Nighthawks including 2 swooping low over a p=
ond; a Loggerhead Shrike; about 5 Bobwhites (one seen); a Swainson&#39;s Wa=
rbler singing; a few Red-cocked Woodpeckers (low); but lots of Red-headed W=
oodpeckers.=C2=A0 I did see a Common Sanddragon, but I didn&#39;t spend tim=
e on odonates.=C2=A0 And, I saw a few rare plants, including tons of Buckey=
es nectaring on the rare <i>Stylisma pickeringii</i>!<br></div><div><br></d=
iv><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div></div>

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