Yates Mill/Mid-Pines Rd., Wake County, NC – June 4, 2016

The Carolina Butterfly Society sponsored a butterfly walk this morning at Yates Mill County Park, south of Raleigh, and then quickly (quicker than we expected) went over to a nearby NC State U. experimental garden along Mid-Pines Road. There were about 7 of us, but after about 11:20 only 3-4 of us were left, as several had some heat issues. But, Lori Carlson, John Jarvis, and Bud Webster (the trip leader) stuck it out a bit. We did see the hoped-for Broad-winged Skippers nectaring on pickerelweed at Yates Mill, but very little else. The experimental farm area has a field strip planted heavily in common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and also in butterflyweed (A. tuberosa); this strip is several hundred yards long, and maybe up to 40-50 feet wide. The common milkweed had most of the butterflies. I re-visited wooded areas at Yates Mill after midday and added a few other species. Here is our/my list:

Black Swallowtail 1
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 10 includes at least 2 dark females
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Cabbage White 60 about 50 were on a planted strip of mustards in bloom
Orange Sulphur 12
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 6
Variegated Fritillary 15
Pearl Crescent 4
American Lady 15
Common Buckeye 20
Question Mark 1 at marsh on second boardwalk at Yates
Eastern Comma 1 perched on the display sign at Yates
Creole Pearly-eye 1 along bottomland trail at Yates
Monarch 4 both sexes present at the milkweed strip
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Common Sootywing 1 fresh; a pleasant surprise, but does occur in the area
Fiery Skipper 12
Sachem 1 female
Zabulon Skipper 2 female; 1 nectaring on pickerelweed with Broad-wingeds
BROAD-WINGED SKIPPER 9 two were even nectaring on the milkweeds; a local colony is at Yates Pond

Harry LeGrand

Also Lori Carlson posted a photo album from this trip on Flokr. Highlights include the Broad-winged Skipper, Monarch, and Common Sootywing.