Location: Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Red Deer River Valley, east of Huxley.

 

Folks gathered at the Upper Viewpoint/Parking Lot and the Count started at 10 AM. We had blustery, overcast weather and a cold NW wind up there. Needless to say, no butterflies were seen in that area. After introductions and a short talk, we drove down to the picnic area. We had scattered cloud with a light NW wind throughout the Count and the temperature ranged from 18-24 C. We roamed around the picnic area, then, had lunch at noon. After that we had a discussion period where participants talked about the importance of the Park, and various natural history topics. After lunch, we had the traditional group photograph (thanks Drajs). Then because of the large number of participants, we divided up into three teams, one lead by John Acorn, one by David Lawrie and Vic Romanyshyn, and one by Charley Bird; each group checked out a different area. We were lucky to have two sunny breaks as the butterflies started flying whenever that happened. Wildflowers put on a good show inspite of the dry conditions. As usual, tiger lilies putting on a favourite. Mosquitoes were seldom a problem. Kilometers on foot estimated to be over 10. This count has been held annually since 1999.

 

The participants (41) were John Acorn, Tjarda Barratt, Curt Bagdan, Elizabeth Bagdan, Emily Bell, Megan Bell, Brian Biggs, Ann Bird, Charley Bird (Compiler), Jim Brohman, Lori Brohman, Robert Brown, Shannon Brown, Wayne Brown, Erika Droessler (Parks), Anthony Eagles (Parks), Isabella Hodson (Parks), Allison Ireland, Andrew Lensink (Parks), Debra Jungling, Margot Jungling, Wayne Kinsella, David Lawrie, Mary Lawrie, Shirley Lawrie, Claudia Lipski, Doug McKay, Shirley McKay, Brian Orr (Parks), Colleen Raymond, Vic Romanyshyn, Tim Schowalter, Colin Scragg, Darcy Stuart, Sharon Stuart, Cheryl Tebby, Brodie Vale, Brooklyn Vale, Tracy Vale, Dragomir Vujnovic (Parks), Ksenija Vujnovic (Parks).

 

SPECIES OBSERVED – The names and order follow that of G.R. Pohl et al., 2010, An Annotated List of the Lepidoptera of Alberta, Canada (ZooKeys 38, 1-549, Special Issue).

 

Pyrgus communis (Checkered Skipper) - 2

Oarisma garita (Garita Skipper) - 6

Thymelicus lineola (European Skipper) - 4

Polites themisticles (Tawny-edged Skipper) - 1

Polites mystic (Long Dash Skipper) - 1

Anatrytone logan (Delaware Skipper) - 2

Euphyes vestris (Dun Skipper) - 1

Papilio machaon dodi (Dod's Old World Swallowtail) - 6

Colias philodice (Clouded Sulphur) - 46

Pieris rapae (Cabbage Butterfly) - 7

Satyrium liparops (Striped Hairstreak) - 1

Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Silvery Blue) - 1

Plebejus melissa (Melissa Blue) - 1

Aricia shasta (Shasta Blue) - 1

Limenitis arthemis (White Admiral) - 7

Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary) - 2

Speyeria cybele pseudocarpenteri (Great-spangled Fritillary) - 8

Speyeria hesperis (Northwestern Fritillary) - 18

Phyciodes cocyta (Northern Pearl Crescent) - 8

Phyciodes batesii (Tawny Crescent) - 3

Phyciodes spp. - 10

Coenonympha tullia inornata (Common Ringlet) - 5

 

Four dragonflies were observed: Aeschna interrupta (Variable Darner), Ophiogomphus severus (Pale Snaketail), Leucorrhinia intacta (Dot-tailed Whiteface) and Sympetrum internum (Cherry-faced Meadowhawk). Two damselflies were noticed: Enallagma annexum (cyathigerum) (Northern Bluet) and Lestes unguiculatus (Lyre-tipped Spreadwing).

 

General Comments: An excellent turnout with 41 observers. Twenty-one species of skippers and butterflies and 141 individuals were seen (last year 22 species and 214 individuals). This year’s highlights were the skippers Thymelicus lineola (first time for the Park), Anatrytone logan and Euphyes vestris; and the hairstreak Satyrium liparops (first time for the Park).  Not observed was a Chlosyne acastus which Tim Schowalter photographed (Sagebrush Checkerspot) the day before.

 

Many participants had nets. The Count being in a Provincial Park, was catch, identify and release. All agreed that this Park is one of the most beautiful in Alberta and all hoped that, with continued good management, it will remain so. Lots of scenery and flower photos were taken.