Monday, June 18, 2012

Schnebly Canyon, Colockum, and Reecer Creek

This weekend I had the opportunity to head over the hill into some nicer weather and see some butterflies. Usually I visit several locations along Reecer Creek/Canyon, but my parents and I have recently been exploring more of the Schnebly Canyon and Colockum Pass area, a few miles east of Reecer Creek. All of these locations are easily accessed by traveling north or northeast out of Ellensburg; almost any main road in that direction will take you up into the mountain range that separates Ellensburg and Wenatchee.
On Saturday, June 16, we took Fairview Road and made a loop up Schnebly Canyon, over Colockum Pass and back down Colockum Road. Sunday morning we ran up Reecer Creek for a couple hours, mostly so I could collect some more nettle for the Satyr Anglewing larvae I found on Saturday. We saw several fresh cougar tracks around some mud puddles in one spot, so we didn't stray far from the car! It was very windy on Sunday so there wasn't very many butterflies flying, and the ones that were were zipping by so fast it was often difficult to identify them. Between the two days, we saw at least 22 species (including the white/parnassian), possibly 23 if the fritillaries were different species.

Schnebly Canyon, 17 confirmed species (plus 2 unidentified), June 16
Juba Skipper (Hesperia juba), 1 male
possible Parnassian, 1
Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra), 1
Sara's Orangetip (Anthocaris sara), 1 female
Blue Copper (Lycaena heteronea), ~6 male
Purplish Copper (Lycaena helloides), 3 male
Halfmoon Hairstreak (Satyrium semiluna), 1
[buckwheat] Blue (Euphilotes sp.), 2 male, couldn't find any buckwheat nearby to verify species.
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus), 3 male (nectaring on Spring Beauty surrounded by snow banks)
Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus), >12 males all patrolling white clover
Boisduval's Blue (Plebejus icarioides), >25 males, at nearly every stop along the road
Lupine Blue (Plebejus lupini), 3 male, 2 female
Fritillary (couldn't catch any to confirm sp.), 5
Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta), 1
Satyr Anglewing (Polygonia satyrus), 1 faded adult, 2 larvae
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), 1
Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti), 2 adults at Colockum Pass, 3 masses of larvae and various singles, 3/4/5 instars
Ochre Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia), >15
Great Arctic (Oeneis nevadensis), 3

Reecer Creek, 11 species, June 17 (morning only, very windy, ~60F)
Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), 2
Pale Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon), 1 female, 3 male
Echo Blue (Celestrina echo), 2 dozen or more, all male
Dusky/Lucia form of Echo Blue, 1 male
Boisduval's Blue (P. icarioides), 3 male
Lupine Blue (P. lupini), 1 male
Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe), 5
Mylitta Crescent (P. mylitta), 2
Snowberry Checkerspot (Euphydryas colon), 8 adult males, 3 larvae
Satyr Anglewing (P. satyrus), >10 larvae
Mourning Cloak (N. antiopa), 1
Ochre Ringlet (C. tullia), 3

Click on the smaller photos to see at full size. To help break up the quantity of photos, I'll post the Satyr Anglewing and Milbert's Tortoiseshell larvae photos in a separate blog entry. Thanks for looking! 

Eriogonum heracleoides in lower Schnebly Canyon
Lycaena heteronea, Blue Copper, male
Satyrium semiluna, Halfmoon Hairstreak
Plebejus lupini, Lupine Blues, male
Plebejus lupini, Lupine Blue, female
Plebejus icarioides, Boisduval's Blue, male
Plebejus icarioides, Boisduval's Blue, female 
Plebejus saepiolus, Greenish Blue, male
Celestrina echo, Echo Azure, male
Hesperia juba, Juba Skipper, male
Oeneis nevadensis, Great Arctic, male
Euphydryas colon, Snowberry Checkerspot, male
E. colon, Snowberry Checkerspot, male
Euphydryas colon, Snowberry Checkerspot, larva at Reecer Creek Canyon
Pacific Treefrog, Schnebly Canyon
Lupine, Schnebly Canyon

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