Sullivan County Butterflies

Sullivan Butterfly Count 2020

We held our 27th annual butterfly count on Thursday, July 9th. Due to many factors, work, school, vacations, illness, there were only 3 of us that could do it, two teams. Normally we could have five to seven teams. We did our best to cover as much of the count circle as possible, but unfortunately some areas were not covered. All in all we ended up finding 387 butterflies plus 5 unidentified skippers. 30 different species. Not bad! I also found a Variegated Fritillary. This is a butterfly that I knew we should have but have been unable to find in Sullivan. It is new to our count and new to Sullivan, woohoo! Black dash was also new for our count.

We have now counted 17077 butterflies in all of our 27 counts consisting of 65 different species.It turned out to be a very good day and I'm looking forward to next year. Hope you'll be able to join us. Thank you Ruth McKeon andPat Cocot for their dedication to this project, I'm sure they had as much fun as I did.

Renee Davis

Sullivan Butterfly Checklist Update

We're off to another great year for Sullivan butterflies. So far I have added three to our checklist. As many people know that since I retired, two years ago, I have been focusing on butterflies, not only in Sullivan County but in New York State too.

While doing our butterfly count I ran into a Variegated Fritillary at Wolf Brook WMA. That started the ball rolling. Needless to say I was very excited and couldn't get my camera fast enough! Fortunately it was very gracious and stayed for a long time and I was able to get many pictures. [Photos to follow on website.]

While working on my list for butterflies in New York State I found Edward's Hairstreaks at the Albany Pine Bush. Afterwards I began thinking, they need oaks, where do we have oaks, on the ridgetops of southern Sullivan. So I headed up to the fire tower where we used to hold our hawkwatch. Bingo, there was an Edward's. Unfortunately the only good picture I got was of one that was on it's "last wings". But still a beauty to me.

The third new one, Horace's Duskywing,came to me also at Wolf Brook. I was walking up the road when a butterfly landed right in front of me as if to say "Here I am"!I was able to get a few pictures before it flew off. Now, to me, worn duskywings are a real challenge to identify. I sent my pictures to Mike Reese. He is the "sightings" guru for the National Butterfly Association. He agreed it was a Horace's. Yeah!

I'm still out there almost every day looking for another new one. I can't wait to see what's around the next corner!
Renee Davis

Hall's Mills Butterfly Count 7/4/20

Three teams braved sun and ticks to count lots of butteflies:Stu and Valerie Alexander and Randy Golemboski; Renee Davis, Ruth McKeon, and Afton McGrath; Russel Sheirer and Carolyn Summers. We lucked out again with the weather and successfully counted 31 species and 995 adults.A very fine day.

Big numbers for Tiger Swallowtails, Fritillaries, and Skippers.The 'Ones' were Spicebush Swallowtail, Orange Sulphur, American Copper, Striped Hairstreak, American Lady, Hobomok Skipper, and Northern Cloudywing,first for this count.

Count day is almost always my most fun day of the year.
Stu Alexander