Common Buckeye and Painted Lady on Common Milkweed. Photo by Marianne Balkwill
Just a few metres down my road is a patch of milkweed on a vacant lot that I have noticed for the past few weeks. This week as I went to inspect it there was a butterfly bonanza! The most common butterflies were the Buckeyes (they are even around the house) and Monarchs in various stages.
Other species included a single Black Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper's Peck's Skippers, Silver-spotted Skipper, Crescents, Sulphurs, Cabbage Whites, Eastern-tailed Blues, a single Painted Lady, a single Least Skipper, a single Common Sootywing, a single Northern Broken-Dash and a single Grey Hairstreak which is always a delight to see.
The Skippers are still an identification challenge sometimes. Today I came across a skipper at the edge of our lot that I have never seen before! I quickly got my net and put the skipper in a jar. After a quick check in the Peterson's Field Guide to Butterflies it was revealed to be a Common Checkered-Skipper. This is a rare butterfly in Ontario, and like the Buckeye, it is a Temporary visitor to our area some years. Of course I called the expert (Alan Wormington) and he said that there have been a few sightings in the area this summer.
Common Checkered Skipper
Photo by Marianne Balkwill
Here are some highlights from the milkweed patch. All photos are by me!
Common Sooty-wing. Probably would be mistaken for a moth by those who think all butterflies are colourful.
White phase of the Orange Sulphur (Left) Eastern Tailed-blue (right)
Two photos of Peck's Skippers from different angles.
Grey Hairstreak. I love finding these little beauties, and I don't see them too often.
The very small and cute Least Skipper.
If you see a species (especially the Skippers) that looks like it was a wrong ID please let me know!
Just for the record, Blogger is terrible when you are trying to space photos. Anyone else having this problem?