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!