CBA Field Trip 6/01

Clay Taylor CTaylor at
Mon Jun 3 10:31:22 EDT 2002

All -

    Fourteen people showed up in Old Lyme to find blue skies and perfect butterfly weather.

    Out first stop was the Pleasant Valley Preserve in Lyme.  As we squeezed through the entrance gate, a "funny-sounding" Redstart overhead turned out to be a male Cerulean Warbler singing a very unusual song - instead of ending with the trademark rising note, he concluded with a level buzz!   

    The fields at PV were pretty active, with Little Wood-Satyrs being the most numerous.  We got good looks at Dusted Skippers and Long Dashes, plus the usual suspects.   In the cedar-tree-field there was a Blue-winged Warbler singing Buzz-Bee-Bee-Bee - goofy song #2 on the day!

    We then traveled to the Gungy Road powerlines.  Walking into the area, I stopped to check out a bird nest that Rich Chyinski and I found (unoccupied) a few days earlier.  Located about four feet off the ground in a brushy tangle, I was flabbergasted to see a Yellow-billed Cuckoo staring at me from the nest!   Everybody got a good look, and then it was off to find butterflies.   A quick stop to check an active Robin nest found two VERY agitated Robins as I approached - a Northern Black Racer was in the nest, finishing off their eggs!!!  All this, and the good butterflies were yet to come.

    Over the first hill, and down to the beaver dam, and there on the wet sand was a stunning, fresh Pipevine Swallowtail - no challenge on this ID.   We would subsequently see numerous Pipevines, sometimes three or four at once, in all kinds of shape, from fresh to severely worn.   Up the next hill only about 50 feet and there on a Wild Indigo plant was our first Frosted Elfin of the day.   Everyone got good looks, and we continued on up to the second hilltop.  There were more Elfins there, as well as Indian Skippers, Wild-Indigo and Juvenal's Duskywings, and both Northern and Southern Cloudywings.   Also present were numerous nesting Field Sparrows and Prairie Warblers, carrying food to nests hidden in clumps of brush.

    While heading back to the cars, we stopped to admire Spangled Skimmers and Common Whitetails at the pond, and someone noticed four Red-Spotted Newts sitting quietly underwater.

Quite the day (23 butterfly species) - our list:

Pipevine Swallowtail
E. Tiger Swallowtail
Orange Sulphur
American Copper
Frosted Elfin
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Pearl Crescent (abundant)
American Lady
Red Admiral
Red-spotted Purple
Little Wood-Satyr (abundant)
Common Ringlet
Silver-spotted Skipper (seen while driving)
Southern Cloudywing
Northern Cloudywing
Juvenal's Duskywing
Wild Indigo Duskywing
European Skipper
Indian Skipper
Peck's Skipper
Tawny-edged Skipper
Long Dash
Hobomok Skipper

Thanks to all that came, and if you couldn't make it, remember the Shoreline Butterfly count June 19th (e-mail me if you are interested in coming), and the East Haddam Count June 27th (ditto).

Clay Taylor
Moodus,  CT

Gungy Road Powerlines, CBA Field Trip 6/01/02

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