Nature Notes – Merrimac Farm Wildlife June 2011

The unseasonably cool weather last Sunday morning made for a pleasant walk at Merrimac Farm, despite the slow start for butterflies.  White-eyed Vireos, which frequent deciduous woodland edges, were plentiful and we were delighted to spot a Yellow-breasted Chat on our way to the pond.

The highlight of the day, however, came when we spotted more than a dozen Olive (Juniper) Hairstreak butterflies nectaring on milkweed in a field near the barn. Small and reclusive, these pretty bright olive-green and brown butterflies typically occur in localized colonies, where they spend most of their lives perched high in their host plant, Red Cedars. We were lucky to be in the right spot at the right time!

Over the course of the morning, we sighted 34 different birds, 15 species of butterflies and nine dragonflies… the full list is included below the fold.

Planning a visit to Merrimac Farm with friends or family? Before you go, check out our group photo site here to see what wildlife others have seen recently as well as our bird and butterfly lists for Merrimac Farm here. Please join us for our next nature walk at Merrimac Farm on Sunday, July 31, beginning at 8:00 am.

Bird List – June 26 2011
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Common Yellow-throat
Yellow-breasted Chat
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch

Butterfly List – June 26 2011
Zebra Swallowtail
Spicebush Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Banded Hairstreak
Olive (Juniper) Hairstreak
Eastern-tailed Blue
Azure
Great Spangled Fritillary
Pearl Crescent
Red-spotted Purple
Hackberry Emperor
Little Wood Satyr
Common Wood-nymph
Monarch
Zabulon Skipper

Dragonfly & Damselfly List – June 26 2011
Green Darner
Swamp Darner
Slaty Skimmer
Blue Dasher
Widow Skimmer
Prince Baskettail
Blue-fronted Dancer
Blue-tipped Dancer

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