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July 14, 2021

Trail Report for July 14, 2021

American Copper

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 70°F, and mostly cloudy with light winds at 2:15 PM on July 14, 2021.
  • After several rainy days, butterflies were out in good numbers.
  • The season's first annual cicada was calling at Gifford House.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Saddly, the common milkweed at the Gifford House trailhead was about finished blooming.
  • If it wasn't attracting many butterflies, other creatures such as the red milkweed beetle were still busy on the leaves.
  • Invasive spotted knapweed was pulling in some smaller species such as pearl crescent.
  • But wild bergamot was following milkweed as the major nectar source.
  • Most obvious was the great spangled fritillary. This one had been around for quite a while.
  • Silver-spotted skippers were plentiful and easy to spot.
  • It didn't take long to notice a number of snowberry clearwings - small sphinx moths - working their way around the flower heads.
  • One Delaware skipper came through - it's always nice to see them.
  • A dogbane beetle was on the tip of a goldenrod leaf.
  • The goldenrod ball gall was suddenly evident all around. It is shelter for and by the golden rod gall fly's larva.
  • Some fair sized moths had been scattering from the path today and one finally landed in view: it was the confused eusarca.
  • In the welcome shade of the Sedge Meadow Trail, a repeating squeeky "chip" was traced to a female rose-breasted grosbeak.
  • A raspy chirp farther up ahead was coming from a male scarlet tanager.
  • Lower down was another single note call - that was a male eastern towhee.
  • The sunny opening by the wetland was being patrolled by Appalachian browns. In between runs they would perch about waist high.
  • Out in the back Old Hayfield, a handsome dragonfly dropped into view.
  • Even if yarrow doesn't have the pull of milkweed or bergamot, it's still worth a glance for its occasional visitors such as American copper.
  • A nice find on cow vetch was mulberrywing, an uncommon wetland skipper. The yellow hindwing pattern is similar in a few species, but with the rich brown background it is distinct.
  • It was nice to see a clouded sulphur feeding out in the open - they seem to always be on the go.
  • The transition area from the Sedge Meadow Trail to the Old Pasture is a good spot for several butterflies.
  • Indeed, there was one lurking around the oak leaves in the sun.
  • Having had enough sun, it was aligned for minimum exposure and was casting minimum shadow.
  • From the side, the tell-tale comma of the eastern comma was just visible.
  • Closer to the ground in the shade was a common, but attractive moth, the large lace-border.
  • As the trail dropped down into the woods again, red chanterelles were coming up.
  • The Wappinger Creek was running full again - or perhaps still, with all the rain we've been having.
  • Another sunny patch along the trail...
  • ... another eastern comma perched in the sun.
  • Indian pipe, lacking chlorophyll, probably doesn't care about the sun.
  • This distinctive grass was growing where it always does down in the floodplain.
  • The sun was on the hemlocks of the "Appendix", as I like to call the area around trail marker 10.
  • And the banded hairsteaks were still in the sun.
  • After two weeks, their numbers were starting to decline and those still present were beginning to show some wear and tear.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.


  • 2 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 House Wren
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 3 Wood Thrush
  • 1 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 2 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Confused Eusarca
  • 1 Large Lace-border
  • 5 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 7 Cabbage White
  • 3 Clouded Sulphur
  • 3 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 9 Banded Hairstreak
  • 12 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 17 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Viceroy
  • 4 Appalachian Brown
  • 4 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 18 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 1 Monarch
  • 9 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 8 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 1 Delaware Skipper
  • 3 Mulberry Wing
  • 2 Dun Skipper
  • 1 Goldenrod ball gall
  • 1 Red milkweed beetle
  • 1 Indian pipe