5 Butterfly Species at Birchcliff Quarrylands: August 2020

This area was a brickworks and then a gravel quarry.

In the 1950’s it became an unregulated dump. Everything from radioactive paint to barrels of solvents lie just below the surface. Locals say that if the gasses brewing below the ground were to ignite, half of Scarborough would go with it.

Nowadays, it has great expanses of meadow and this attracts butterflies.

Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Eastern-tailed Blue
Eastern-tailed Blue
Eastern Black Swallowtail
Eastern Black Swallowtail

Thanks to Ken Sproule for assistance in butterfly identification.

Other life:

Brown-lipped Snail
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Asian Beetle
Cottantail Rabbit

Quarryland views:

Some botany:

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Field Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola)
Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Pale-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus inserta)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Rose Hips
Greenbrier (Smilax rotundifolia)
Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsis)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)
Apple (Malus)
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Bird Vetch (Vicia cracca)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
Goat’s-beard (Tragopogon)
Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatis)
White Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Canada Thistle (Cirsium pratense)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)


“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – Buckminster Fuller

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “5 Butterfly Species at Birchcliff Quarrylands: August 2020

  1. Roberta Benson

    Miles, I so miss your walks. Thanks for posting such beautiful images and taking us on a virtual walk.

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Yes, I miss our walks too. But what can we do?
    Thank you so much, Miles (and Ken) for giving us this.
    So much beauty, on top of toxicity! True of a lot of the city. I have often considered, when hiking in the Port Lands (before the work being done now), and even the Spit, which I love so much, that it might shorten my life. But it didn’t stop me from doing it!


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