Saturday, June 3, 2017

Early June Butterfly Watching and Birding at the Pinery

Wanting to get away from the house, I packed up the van and brought the family out to Pinery Provincial Park along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. The weather today was gorgeous - just a perfect sunny day. One of my goals from this trip - (I figured it would be a long-shot ) - was to see an Eastern Pine Elfin. This is one of those species I assumed I would probably never see. I had understood that their flight window was basically during the month of May - and that they were just too rare and too distant for me to come across one. But sure enough, I had brief looks at this fluttery beauty along one of the beach dunes that one must cross from the Pinery Beach parking lots to the beach itself.

Amazingly, I did not expect to discover three new butterfly species today - but indeed, that is what happened. I was able to see: Eastern Pine Elfin, Hoary Elfin and a Dusted Skipper (thanks to Blake for some ID help)! I initially thought the Dusted Skipper has a "Pocahontas" version of the Hobomok Skipper but Blake was able to recognize the "white eyebrow" field mark of the Dusted Skipper.

Some other great highlights today was seeing a Red-headed Woodpecker at the Riverside Trail. I was blown away to hear, then see a few Prairie Warblers at some of the open juniper - dune habitat. Pine Warblers, Ovenbirds among other more common birds were heard today as well.

Dusted Skipper on Yellow Pucoon

I think this plant below is New Jersey Tea - the host plant of the Mottled Duskywing. The Pinery is such a beautiful park.... I wish it was not so far away from Windsor.

Good birding, herping and Leping!


  1. Sounds like a great day! I found a Dusted Skipper at Ipperwash today! They are regular through the Pinery-Ipperwash area this time of year.

    1. On closer examination, I photographed a Roadside Skipper. (Had to clean the dust off it, lol!).

  2. hey Dwayne nice finds and shots! im heading to the pinery next weekend and was wondering the location in the park you found the Prairie warblers? do you think they were on breeding territory? that's a warbler I don't have photos of yet and would love to get some shots. thanks for your help
    Brad ouellette



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