Spring Butterfly Day
I had a late start in getting outside this morning, which resulted in seeing a few birds. I worked hard to come across the Cedar Waxwing (CHECK) and Baltimore Oriole (CHECK) which were both first for 2007’s. I took advantage of the late day to search for some spring butterflies. I started my search in an area where the Toothwart (Dentaria diphylla) grows. I had hoped to find Allegany State Park’s only butterfly species of concern called the West Virginia White. What is interesting is that the NY State Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) list Allegany State Park as the best place to see the West Virginia White here in New York State. If you head over to the West Virginia White cover page, you will see that someone (hint) has a photo credit!
I did locate 5 West Virginia White’s (CHECK) in 4 different locations and one individual let me take some great photos of it. I was very pleased since it allowed me pick it up with my finger for an even closer inspection of it (which I am rarely able to do with this species). Before coming across the West Virginia White, I had two other great butterfly species. The Meadow Fritillary (CHECK) was found flying around my back yard when I was capturing the video of the Eastern Bluebird. I didn’t take the time to photograph them since I assumed I would find them again later in the day. That never happened but I did spend about a half hour watching 3 different individuals circling around my feet.
Old Meadow Fritillary photo from 2003
I was walking along France Brook Road for an hour and wasn’t until I was about to leave that I finally found the Spring Azure (CHECK). It would only let me take half dozen pictures of it but very pleased to have captured the upper side of this butterfly. The Spring Azure and West Virginia Whites appear to be about two weeks behind and probably behind because of the snow storm we had. According to my records that the Meadow Fritillary is right on schedule and they will soon be most everywhere!!