Mid-June SJBF Happenings

This Edward’s hairstreak (and two others) at the Hesstown power lines, photo’d by Will Kerling on 6-16-12, means we have found all five South Jersey Satyrium species in June.

Hey, South Jersey Butterflyers, lots of action lately — and apparently more on the way. See our log for all reports, but some highlights:

–> Thanks to Will Kerling and Cynthia Allen, we have added our fifth Satyrium, S. edwardsii, to our year count (and also added mulberry wing, our thirtieth skipper).

–> Thanks to organizers Pat Sutton and Teresa Knipper, we have two NABA Counts upcoming this week (details at the note below).

–> And, we may also be able to tune into a deja vu invasion of red admirals, thanks to the reports from Chris Herz, Mike Russell, and Sandra Keller yesterday.

Red admirals on Queen-Anne’s lace at Dream Park, near the Commodore Barry Bridge, photo’d by Sandra Keller, 6-16-12.

Chris Herz and Mike Russell were driving west toward the Commodore Barry Bridge yesterday morning. Chris reports,

There were hundreds [of admirals] around the approach to the [bridge]. We first noticed them around 10:35 in the morning as we were driving on Rte. 322 [headed toward the bridge]. They were flying across the road, then as we turned on the approach road to the Bridge and were slowing, we noticed them flying and perched in the road, on the shoulder, and even in the tollbooth lane. Mike called Sandra Keller and then Dave Amadio (who was at Lakehurst). Sandra was able to check out some areas nearby. Truly amazing! Mike and I estimated a 1000 in that short distance. It felt like a similar experience to the massive flight back in May.

Sandra drove to the bridge area immediately, reaching it about 11 a.m. and later reported:

Well, I tried for a pic conveying a sense of the numbers. Didn’t work! The most in one spot for me was probably that parking area for fishing along Floodgates, with a 100 or so – and am probably under-counting. I drove slowly by and they all came up off the mud! There was another 70 or 80 at the propane storage facility – on the gravel on the road edge. I was enjoying the snout at the end of the road, then followed a red admiral over the end of the dike and wow – more admirals on the rocks there! They weren’t moving like a month ago, feeding mainly today. Dream Park to the south of the bridge had a lot, but not really concentrated. There’s a dirt road that runs the perimeter of the place. That was good, as was Rt. 130, [but] then I went east – inland – via Centertown Road. Riverwinds did not have many at all. And none in my yard when I got home.

So, as of Sunday morning 8 a.m., 6-17-12, the phenomenon observed by Chris, Mike, & Sandra may have been a local one — or it may have been the first signal of a surge the rest of us will see shortly over a much wider area. In the past we have had big summer flights following earlier big spring flights.

Stay alert, everyone!


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