Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sorting Through Swallows & Some Butterfly Lifers

Tawny Emperor... A Point Pelee Specialty
Over the last week or so, I've been able to get out a few times and rack up a few more butterfly lifers. The best butterfly of the four was found serendipitously. While bringing my son to the tip of Point Pelee, I couldn't help but notice a worn but still beautiful Tawny Emperor (dark phase) on the tram as we were driving! It was on the tram on the way to the tip, and was still on the tram when I went back later on! Tawny Emperors are very rare in Canada. They are best found at Point Pelee or Pelee Island. The southern latitude and generous abundance of Hackberry trees make this a 'common' butterfly at Point Pelee.
Dainty Sulphur. Little, Yellow, Different.
 A recent walk at Hillman Marsh gave nice views of what I think are Dainty Sulphurs. I had read about them on a Ohio-based blog that I follow, and even in Ohio, they are very rare. They are very tiny! I also photographed a nice Fiery Skipper which was exciting. Peck's Skipper was another Butterfly Lifer that I picked up a week or so ago as well. Hillman Marsh was quiet bird wise, with the exception of a generous showing of swallows. 

Another blog that I read from Michigan had some Bank Swallows photographed recently and it dawned on me that I lazily haven't added this bird to my life list. So, its a lazy hindsight lifer that I just never bothered to pick up until now. Cliff Swallows are not really on my 2nd year life list either, so I might be upping my list by two here. Road 19 between Concession C&D has swallows perched on the telephone wires. Bank Swallows, Barn Swallows, Cliff Swallows, Rough Winged, Purple Martins and Tree Swallows are pretty easily seen for anyone willing to sort through them. All-about-birds has a nice write-up on all the swallows at this link:

Its pretty cool to think that of the 8 North American swallow species, 6/8 can be pretty easily seen at Point Pelee right now. The other two absent species are Cave Swallows (Texas Resident) and Violet Green Swallows (Western Resident). I lucked out and saw Violet-Green Swallows last year in BC.

Good Birding,

Lifer Summary:
Bank Swallow #303
Cliff Swallow #304

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