Yes. I like birds. But I’m starting to come around to butterflies. To be honest, I’ve never given butterflies their fare share of my time as I’m still trying to learn everything I can about birds – and time is always in short supply. However, on one of my recent lunchtime walks in my neighbourhood park, I decided to dedicate a little more time to them since the birds are busy nesting. Right at the beginning of my walk, something dark and orange floated past and landed right beside me. I got on it with my binoculars and knew right away that it was a species I had never seen before. I snapped a couple pics on my phone through my bins and sent a couple quick texts to get some help on the ID in case it was something special. Jeremy Hatt got back to me right away and let me know that I had a Baltimore Checkerspot in front of me. Apparently they’re not super common in this area but they definitely can be found here. I got that little twinge in my brain saying you have to learn more about butterflies.
I shared my sighting with a few other people in the area, including Dave & Linda who actually came out to have a look with me again the next day. This butterfly is one of their favourites and I can see why. We were successful in locating possibly the same one as it was in almost the exact same location I had seen it the previous day. It seemed to be defending a territory and would chase off anything that came close.
We continued walking the loop around the stormwater pond and a little further down, we spotted a few more. We ended up with 4 Baltimore Checkerspots. Not bad for our little neighbourhood natural area (kudos to the town of Amherstburg for naturalizing part of the park). Who knows what else might be lurking in our little park?