Mt. Mitchell State Park & Savannah Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, SC — August 26-27, 2017

Five members of the north Florida NABA Hairstreak Chapter (Travis & Karen MacClendon, Brian Lloyd, Amy Sang, and myself) made a whirlwind visit this past weekend Aug. 26 & 27) to Mt. Mitchell State Park, NC, and Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, SC, specifically targeting Green Comma and Rare Skipper. The weather on Mt. Mitchell was mostly overcast with cloud banks rolling in on top of us, punctuated with occasional bouts of sunshine. We spent roughly 4 hours there, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The weather at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge was mostly cloudy with a light drizzle at times (tropical system moving by offshore). We only drove the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive at Savannah NWR, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and finishing up 2.5 hours later. Results:

Mt. Mitchell State Park:
Pipevine Swallowtail – abundant (40+)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – 2
Orange Sulphur – 2
Summer Azure – 3
Eastern Tailed-Blue – 2
Pearl Crescent – 4
Painted Lady – approx. 12
Red Admiral – 1
Monarch – 1 (unexpected at this elevation)
Clouded Skipper – 2
Sachem – 3
Unknown Fritillary (male, either Great Spangled or Aphrodite, we could not get close but have photos)

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge:
Cloudless Sulphur – common (at least a dozen)
Sleepy Orange – 2
Red-banded Hairstreak – 1
Gulf Fritillary – common (at least 8)
Zebra Heliconian – 1
Red-spotted Purple – 1
Zarucco Duskywing – 1
Long-tailed Skipper – 1
Tropical Checkered-Skipper – 2
Broad-winged Skipper – 3
Unknown Skipper (probable Tawny-edged)

It was a good, although exhausting, trip. Special thank you to Dennis Forsythe for information about Savannah NWR and Rare Skippers. Past Carolinaleps trip reports were also invaluable.