The spring migration of warblers, orioles, tanagers and sparrows was almost non-existent this year: Did the birds pass over quickly, not stopping here to rest and feed? Was it a reflection of the apparent 30% reduction in North America’s the bird population? Or was it because this aging field naturalist can no longer hear their songs?
To make up for the deficit I decided to spend some time with those other colorful day-flying creatures, the butterflies to be found in meadows and hayfields. To that end, over two days in early June I visited a couple of meadows that had been cropfields in the distant past but are now maintained as wildlife habitat by mowing in late summer on alternate years.
There aren’t any rare butterflies or flowers to be seen in these meadows, but they’re well worth a slow walk with camera in hand nonetheless.
Here are the two days of butterfly sightings in those meadows:
The skippers are a very large group of butterflies, most species are found in the western states. Other than the easily identified European skipper, there are many look-alike species therefore there’s no guarantee on those identifications.
Butterflies weren't the only beautiful fliers to be found in the meadows, there were also two female dragonflies:
It will be interesting to see what other butterflies are found in the meadows as summer progresses.