Journal archives for May 2014

May 31, 2014

Alemany Farm - Best SF Spot for Butterflies

In 2007 when I combed the city in search of what butterflies still bred here, I wandered into this place on the backside of the Mission District. This piece of land I later learned was to be included in the Natural Areas division of SF Rec & Parks. It has one of the few natural springs in the city. It was ultimately saved by turning it into an educational farm for kids. It was either in 2007, or perhaps 2009 when I repeated my field work, that I had a memorable day here: 18 species in one day. More than half the known butterflies for the county. I set out this day to see if I could repeat that.
One can drop in from above down a public walkway where Murray St. intersects Crescent Ave. Always have Cm. Checkered-Skippers ( P. communes ) along the weedy summit and Anise Swallowtails ( P. zelicaon ) on the radish. What is great about this place for butterflies is it's both weedy and native, both high and low in topography and a plethora of nectar sources. What I wasn't expecting was the Hooded Oriole ( I. cucullatus) perched beautifully before me in the Eucalyptus. This new Powerpoint camera is definitely revealing birds to me in a new way - a subject for some reason I have not really clicked with.
Species seen this day:
1) Western Tiger ( P. rutulus )
2) Anise Swallowtail ( P. zelicaon )
3) Cabbage White ( P. rapae )
4) Gulf Fritillary ( A. vanillae ) * Most solid pop. in county to observe. Spring is

completely surrounded by host: Passiflora sp.
5) West Coast Lady ( V. annabella)
6) Painted Lady ( V. cardui )
7) Field Crescent ( P. puchella )
8) Mylitta Crescent ( P. campestris )
9) Red Admiral ( V. atalanta )
10) Echo Blue ( C. l. echo)
11) Sandhill Skipper ( P. sabuleti )
12) Fiery Skipper ( H. phyleus )
13) Umber Skipper ( P. melane )
14) Cm. Checkered-Skipper ( P. communis )
Total: 14 species. Not quite the record, but a pretty swell showing for San Francisco.

Posted on May 31, 2014 14:34 by robberfly robberfly | 20 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment