Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Butterfly Count 2011
Our 14th count, Jerry Powell, UC Berkeley Emeritus Professor, organized us once again. This year we had several new faces, including Ryan Hill (faculty, U. of Pacific, Stockton) and Nick Benson (Carmel Middle School, 8th grade). We split up into a group on Hastings (Arnold Road, Robertson Creek, Headquarters, ridge above Robertson House), Arroy Seco (Carmel Valley Road to Arroyo Seco campground, Indians Road) and Chew's Ridge (Tassajara Road to fire lookout). We saw 47 species (48 is all-time high) but very few (like 1-2) of many species. Very low numbers of butterflies were reported at Big Creek Reserve in the Big Sur area last week. For a pretty long-winded description of the highlights, click here (1.2Mb Word file). Nick Benson's knowledge of the insects was very impressive and he was a great help to the Hastings crew; Nick saw or collected 25% of the species observations. We saw 24 species on Hastings (about average) but like elsewhere, we saw very few individuals of many species that are usually very abundant. This may be related to the long, cold, wet spring. Some were very abundant (Lorquin's Admiral) and the highlight on Hastings was the emerald Coastal Green Hairstreak on the ridge above the Robertson House.

Lorquin's Admiral
View down the Arnold Road
Nick Benson, Jerry Powell, Walter Benson.
2011 Butterfly Counters....