Date: 7/26/17 8:53 am
From: <rlshonkw...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET JxP, Tuesday, 25 July: Butterfly report
I birded/bugged Chicago's Jackson Park yesterday covering 63rd Street Beach, the north lake front to 59th and Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow. This is essentially a butterfly report but, in keeping with the list's purpose, I'll mention that I had my first juvenile CASPIAN TERN resting on 63rd Street Beach. At the CLIFF SWALLOW colony at the beach house all the nests on the west end of the building seem abandoned but there were a few adults peaking out of nests at the east end. A bunch of adults and a few juveniles were literally hanging from the walls in the same area. There are a couple of juvenile Cliff Swallows parking out of the nests on the Museum of Science and Industry. At least 14 juvenile PURPLE MARTINS were peaking out of nest holes or perched on the houses by the Columbia Basin. Nothing much else of note to report on the birds of the park. This is the calm before the storm of migration in September.
The day turned into a nice outing for butterflies (nothing of note among moths and Odonata) in which I saw 25 species and got decent photos of all but 3 species. I found 1 MONARCH caterpillar at the west end nature area at the beach. There is a lot of milkweed in the park and there have been many Monarchs but I've only found 2 caterpillars so far this year, though I've probably missed a few. There was a dark grass skipper among the milkweed plants to the south of the sidewalk leading from the pedestrian underpass. It never opened its wings very much and the underside was inconclusive for Dun and Northern Broken-Dash. However in one of my photos I could see the white spot on the center of the forewing, which indicates that it was a NORTHERN BROKEN-DASH. There were still at least 2 CLOUDLESS SULPHURS flying around. I wasn't able to get photos of these but last Tuesday (18th) there were 7 in the park and I got close photos of 2 that were feeding on nectar in Bobolink Meadow. That same day last week I had an encounter with an EASTERN GIANT SWALLOWTAIL on the center path of Wooded Island. One flew circles around me for about a minute but never landed. I thought later that I should of snapped a shot of it in flight; it wouldn't have been a good shot but maybe identifiable enough to submit to iNaturalist. Yesterday I was in the same exact location and there was again a Giant Swallowtail. I snapped a couple of shots but as I was looking at my camera screen the butterfly seemed to vanish in the vegetation. I walked over to where it had been to see if it had landed. I didn't see it. I looked at the photos I took and they were worthless and I deleted them. Then I happened to look down and noticed that the Giant Swallowtail was sitting wings spread on a leaf just 3-4 feet from me! I got the best shots I've ever had of this species! A few FIERY SKIPPERS have finally arrived from the south but no Sachems yet. While I was looking for insects around the small bit of water that extends from the inner harbor south of Hayes Dr./63rd St. one of the workers for the ecological restoration, a young man with dreadlocks, stopped to talk with me. We had a nice conversation over both human and natural history. While we were talking a COMMON SOOTYWING landed on a flower right below me with open wings in the sunlight allowing a great photo. Members of this species has been giving me fits trying to photograph them over the last few weeks to the point of cursing them out loud, so this was a nice surprise! Near the end of my day I had just taken some photos of an E. BLACK SWALLOWTAIL and said to myself "Now if I could get some photos of an E. TIGER SWALLOWTAIL!" (I'd seen 2 already but they flew up high). I turned my head and there was one on the flowers right in front of me! My full butterfly list follows below.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: 3
Eastern Black Swallowtail: 9
Eastern Giant Swallowtail: 1
Cabbage White: 90
Clouded Sulphur: 6
Orange Sulphur: 13
Cloudless Sulphur: 2
Eastern Tailed-Blue: 6
Summer Azure: 3
Pearl Crescent: 16
Question Mark: 2
Eastern Comma: 1
Red Admiral: 1
American Lady: 1
Painted Lady: 1
Common Buckeye: 18
Red-spotted Purple: 1
American Snout: 4
Monarch: 22
Silver-spotted Skipper: 3
Common Sootywing: 3
Fiery Skipper: 4
Least Skipper: 1
Peck's Skipper: 2
Northern Broken-Dash: 1


Randy Shonkwiler
Hyde Park/Chicago


 
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