David M

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David M
Posts: 7641
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: David M

Postby David M » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:38 pm

Sunday 27th August 2017 - Colourful day....

I decided against travelling to Pembroke for Brown Hairstreaks today due to an 'iffy' weather forecast. Sure enough, it was cloudy first thing, and my chosen destination, which is half way towards Pembrokeshire, was also decidedly overcast when I arrived at 10.05am.

The National Botanic Gardens of Wales, which is near Cross Hands, has had a butterfly house for over a year now, so I spent the first 45 minutes in there whilst waiting for the clouds to lift.

There were several Blue Morphos:

1.BlueMorpho(1).jpg


This Malachite was unusually co-operative:

1Malachite(1).jpg


And here are two I haven't seen before:

1.Unknown2(1).jpg


1.Unknown1(1).jpg


Outside of the tropical environment, there were plenty of beautiful indigenous butterflies going about their business. Unsurprisingly, Small Whites were very common (40+) given that the walled gardens contain huge numbers of pesticide-free brassica plants. Both Large and Green Veined Whites were about in reasonable numbers too, with this female napi being abnormally heavily marked with a rich shade of lemon yellow on the underside:

1.GVW(1).jpg


Sadly, I lost track of it as it flew perpetually around the vegetable patch, which is a shame, as the black markings on the upper forewings were so unusual that I would describe it as an aberrant.

The real joy though was the presence of significant numbers of vanessids, and Small Tortoiseshells in particular.

I've been concerned about Torties for a few weeks now, but today went some way towards allaying those fears as at least three dozen were seen, along with 10 or so Peacocks, 4 or 5 Red Admirals and a couple of Painted Ladies.

The buddleias and verbena in the sheltered walled gardens were an absolute magnet for them:

1.Peacockx2.SmTort(1).jpg


1.RedAd.Peacock.SmTort2(1).jpg


1LgeWh.SmTort.Peacock(1).jpg


1RedAd.Peacock.SmTort(1).jpg


The second Painted Lady was a bit unusual due to it having pronounced blue spots along the hindwing submargin:

1PLady(1).jpg


This Red Admiral, which has enlarged blue markings on the hindwing, was the winner of the 'posing in strange places' award though....it was trying to warm itself upside down on one of the information panels in the Wallace garden:

1RAsign(1).jpg


Other butterflies seen were 5 Common Blues and a Speckled Wood.

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Goldie M
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: David M

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:10 am

Glad you saw Small Tortoiseshells Dave , we've not seen many here at all, usually in the Garden we've had loads this time of year,
nothing yet though but I'm still hope full :D Goldie :D

essexbuzzard
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: David M

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:37 pm

Sensational pictures there David. Small Torts are having a good year in the east too, with ones and twos almost everywhere, but not in those numbers!

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bugboy
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: David M

Postby bugboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:48 pm

I think the last time I saw Nymphalids clustering over Buddleja like that I was a young teenager looking at the one growing at the bottom of my garden in the 80's, and I'd probably reared most of them as well!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
Posts: 7641
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: David M

Postby David M » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:09 pm

Sunday 17th September 2017 - Autumn setting in.....

Another visit to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales saw plenty of butterflies, both inside and outside the glasshouse. However, since my visit 3 weeks ago Large Whites have seemingly disappeared, with only a handful of Small and Green Veined Whites on the wing. That said, there were dozens of Large White larvae munching on the cabbages, nasturtiums and sprouts. Next year's brood looks guaranteed!

There were decent numbers of both Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells. With the buddleia flowers practically gone, they made a beeline for this attractive and fragrant plant, which I later learned was actaea simplex, or Pritchard's Giant:

1Adm.Tort(1).jpg


I managed to find one Comma, which posed nicely:

1Comma(1).jpg


This female Green Veined White was very attractive:

1GVW(1).jpg


The British Bird of Prey Centre had a display at the site today. There was a Red Kite, a Buzzard, a Kestrel, a Merlin (which I'd never seen close up before), a Goshawk, a Tawny Owl and this magnificent Golden Eagle:

1GdEagle(1).jpg


I also had the honour of holding this beautiful Barn Owl for a few minutes:

1BarnOwl(1).jpg


The previous day, I spent the best part of an hour at Port Eynon where I saw this unusual Red Admiral with the black extending through the red band:

1RedAdm(1).jpg

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David M
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: David M

Postby David M » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Thursday 12th October 2017 - Finally.....a butterfly!

Been a while since I've had the chance to get out and on those rare occasions the weather has been suitable, I've been either at work or busy with commitments. Today I had intended to spend an hour or so in the great Gower outdoors, but the early sunshine soon gave way to dark clouds and wind, before it cleared up rather irritatingly after 4pm which seems to be something of a regular event round here! :(

In spite of this, I did manage to see my first October butterfly whilst washing the dishes! I noticed what I initially thought to be a leaf on my neighbour's roof, but the colour and shape suggested it was a butterfly.....and so it was, a lovely Comma, which hung around for a good 15 minutes as it was cloudy and cool:

1Comma(1).jpg

millerd
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Location: Heathrow

Re: David M

Postby millerd » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:25 pm

I'm glad to see you've found another butterfly at last, David. :) Things are very different over your way, certainly. :(

Dave

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Neil Freeman
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:25 pm
Location: Solihull, West Midlands

Re: David M

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:54 pm

David M wrote:...Been a while since I've had the chance to get out and on those rare occasions the weather has been suitable, I've been either at work or busy with commitments...


I hear that David. I could have spoken those exact words myself. Mind you, the season doesn't usually last much past the end of September around my patch anyway.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Goldie M
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: David M

Postby Goldie M » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:03 pm

Love the shot of the Owl David and glad you saw a Butterfly, if the weather takes up you'll probably see more.Goldie :D


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