Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Bog Coppers + Skunks Misery Butterfly Tour

I have visited the Sifton Bog natural area several times over the last few years and its always been a nice, small natural area with distinct bog plants and geography. It really is a bog!

See interpretive brochure:

I had noted on the interpretive sign they have in their parking lot that they had bog coppers - but I had (wrongly) assumed that they were extirpated, as I had not seen them on any of my previous visits.

So this week - I had to purchase something in London - and made a trip to Sifton Bog, as well as Newbury ON (Skunks Misery).

These are tiny butterflies!  They have wingspans from 11mm-17mm! This is my fourth Copper species  --- the other three being: American, Bronze & Dorcas Coppers.  Bog Coppers are also called Crannberry Bog Coppers because they nectar and feed almost exclusively on Cranberry plants.

A lady on the bog viewing platform pointed out this frog with a snake attempting to consume it.

The white flower in the top right - looks like a cranes head looking down.
That is where Cran - Berry comes from (Crane-berry)

After my trip to London, I returned back towards Windsor with a plan to "scout" skunks misery for some butterfly species. They are having an annual butterfly count this weekend and its always good. I was hoping to see a Compton's Tortoiseshell but ... my luck had been exhausted in London. 

Some butterflies seen include:

Cabbage Whites - 10
Eastern Comma - 6
Gray Comma - 3
Question Mark - 5
Tawny Emperor  500 (an outbreak on Sassafras Rd!)
Great Spangled Fritillary  -6
Monarch - 3
Black Swallowtail - 3
Eastern Swallowtail - 2
Giant Swallowtail - 1 
Silver Spotted Skipper 5
Skipper Sp. 5
Banded Hairstreak  6

It seems that there is an outbreak of Tawny Emperors at Skunks Misery. On Sassafras Rd, towards Concession Line - there were hundreds of Tawny Emperors.  They were all over the road, and sadly, I noted many that had been killed by cars driving by. 

Good butterfly watching, 

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