Sighting for June 27, 2019

Henry Kindervatter

Sandy Hook
Monmouth County, NJ

The unofficial annual count of Sandy Hook butterflies has taken place on the last Thursday in June for many years. I have participated in 12 of the last 13 years’ counts. Unfortunately, none of the other regular participants were able to join me this year, so the sightings are all my observations for this year’s count. I began at 8:30 am and ended at 4:00 pm. The weather was hot (>90º F) and sunny with a slight, intermittent breeze. The years since Hurricane Sandy have been off-years at Sandy Hook, both in numbers and diversity of species, however, this year there was a significant rebound in numbers, though not in species diversity. A major part of the numbers rebound is likely due to the status of the nectar sources - the Guardian Park Privet was in full bloom as were numerous, healthy stands of milkweed. The milkweed likely benefited from a good growing season last year and a lot of rain this year and it was in full bloom, attracting large numbers of butterflies. Particularly abundant this year were American snouts and Common buckeyes as well as Summer azures. One Coral hairstreak was seen (I could not recall the location of the sumac on which they are normally found, or the numbers may have been higher). One surprise - an Eastern comma, not normally seen on Sandy Hook was observed in the campground area this year.

  • Cabbage White 16
  • Clouded Sulphur 1
  • Orange Sulphur 32
  • American Copper 52
  • Coral Hairstreak 1
  • Eastern Tailed-Blue 9
  • 'Summer' Spring Azure 43
  • American Snout 85
  • Pearl Crescent 2
  • Question Mark 9
  • Eastern Comma 1
  • American Lady 3
  • Red Admiral 14
  • Common Buckeye 46
  • Monarch 10
  • Silver-spotted Skipper 3
  • Swarthy Skipper 1
  • Broad-winged Skipper 4

American Snout

American Copper

Common Buckeye

Coral Hairstreak

Broad-winged Skipper

Eastern Comma

Question Mark

Orange Sulphur