Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:43 pm

While enjoying the peace and quiet that only ever occurs when the girls are staying at their nanny and dad-dad's a wander up the garden allowed me to get my first Speckled Wood shot of the year.
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Headed up to Martin Down to make the most of the nice weather and also to try and get a few photos of a Green Hairstreak - mainly to try and wind up Zonda :wink: but apart from a brief fly-by they weren't in as much abundance as last year - still too early here?
Still there were plenty of other butterflies about with 2 Holly Blues, Small White and a male Orange-tip patroling the hedges along the footpath/road from the Sillens Lane car park. Looked around the Hawthorns for Green Hairstreak where the path crossed Borkerley Ditch and there was a faded looking Small Tortoiseshell being much hassled by a Peacock, loads of Brimstones, 2 Speckled Wood and a Common Lizard. The star butterfly of the day was Grizzled Skipper (2 individuals - one near the car park and the other at the other end!).
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There were also some good birds - Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff and Blackcap all singing as well as 1 pair of Turtle Dove. Got home and Brimstone, Small White, Holly Blue and a male Orange-tip all accompanied me as I mowed the lawn.

Have a goodun all

Wurzel

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ChrisC
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Re: Wurzel

Postby ChrisC » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:14 pm

fingers crossed i'll be getting up there soon, wasn't too far away at a lovely Garston Woods on saturday.
Chris

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:16 pm

Alright Chris?
I'm heading to Garston tomorrow - did you see much there? Good luck for your visit to Martin down

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby ChrisC » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:14 pm

was quite a dull day so no, there wasn't much about butterfly wise. there was a day time tawny owl though. willow warbler,chiffchaff, blackcap, my first house Martins in sixpenny, a bit of sun would have made all the difference. Lovely place though. and turn left from the carpark and you'll find a small colony of these charming mining bees mining in the middle of the footpath.
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Chris

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:51 am

Cheers Chris, I'll look out for them! Garston is great, it used to be my local patch when I lived in Sixpenny Handley. Check it out later in the year, I found Greenish Silver Washed Fritillary there last year (it was late in the season so was very battered)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Zonda » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:05 pm

Wurzel:
Headed up to Martin Down to make the most of the nice weather and also to try and get a few photos of a Green Hairstreak - mainly to try and wind up Zonda :wink:


History now mate, i have them ticked. Might whip up to Martin Down for a shot of those DSs tho. That's my next goal, and another lifer for me. :D
Cheers,,, Zonda.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:13 pm

Alright Zonda
I saw the photos and they're cracking! I was in two minds - chuffed that you'd got your lifer, but disappointed that a wind up didn't come off :D - are there any other species that you're after in particular? :wink:

Martin Down last year in May was great, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Small, Common and Adonis Blue. Then in early August there were all the blues, Brown Argus and Silver Spotted Skipper! Great place.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:50 pm

Took Kitty for a wander up to Martin Down. Again no Green Hairstreak - have they been and gone or have they not turned up yet? I've tried the same perching posts as last year but they just aren't there. Does anyone else know of any other sites near Salisbury where they hang out?

Still there was plenty to see - loads of Grizzled Skippers, my first Holly Blue shot with open wings and my first Small Copper of the year as well as sightings of Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, loads of Brimstones, a few Orange-tip on patrol and a pair of Speckled Woods having a scrap.
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Then when I got back there was a Holly Blue (probably the same one that has plagued me for the last week or two) in the garden and it stayed still long enough to actually get a shot!
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I'll try Bentley Wood in the next week - does anyone know if the Pearl Bordered Frits are about there?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:11 pm

Took my younger daughter for a recce at Bentley Woods this afernoon and didn't expect much...everything was very flighty - Speckled Woods, Orange -tips, Green Veined Whites, Peacock, loads of Brimstone and at least 6 Pearl Bordered Fritillaries. Managed to get some pretty close shots after abandoning the dash and grab technique and favouring the wait and pounce. The most amazing thing was how patient and helpful Lottie was - I didn't even think that a 3 year old would be able to say Fritillary - let alone point excitedly while exclaiming "pee bowdered fritillily" and it was - the one photographed too! That will probably be it until next weekend now as family duties are beckonging - I only managed to get out this week by bringing one or other of the girls along. Will it be to late for the Duke and Dingy by then, will they be burnt out by then like Alan Thornbury suggests?

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:03 pm

With all the women in my life sated for weddings, "that dress" and the "kiss" I cunningly suggested a walk at Martin Down. Brimstone and Small White accompanied us down the path from the car park and as it opened out Grizzled Skippers seemed to be all over the place! A Small Copper turned up but it was very quiet as the sun went in and the breeze picked up. Got a good way across the reserve when my first Small Heath of the year appeared - but I didn't manage to get a photo as I almost trod an an Adder! Now I remember why no matter how hot it was I always wore boots when visiting here last year! Still haven't managed to find Green Hairstreak or Dingy Skipper here - perhaps they haven't emerged here yet? Oh well trying Hod Hill for Marsh Fritillary maybe on Sunday...here's hoping.

Have a goodun Wurzel
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Not a happy Adder
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One of many Grizzled Skipper...

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:09 pm

I really am getting good at persauding the girls to come out to find butterflies with me, all it takes is a packet of skittles! They're getting pretty good at it now, and are much more observant then me. Took them for an early morning walk at Bentley Wood and part from 1 or 2 Large White and Speckled Woods the only butterflies there were Pearl Bordered Fritillaries. The early morning was perfect for getting close - at one point there were 6 basking on one path! Tried to get some unusual angles including a face-to-face confrontation...really must try to get somewhere different tomorrow!

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun May 01, 2011 9:23 pm

Hod Hill today - I did manage to get somewhere different. I thought turning up early might get me some close shots of Marsh Fritillary as it seemd to work for PBF's at Bentley Wood - but I was very wrong! The sun was very intermittant and apart from Wheatear and lots of Yellowhammer there wasn't an awful lot else around. I bumped into Pete from Suffolk and we found a likely looking place but both agreed that it was still too early. I set off along the bottom of the ditch and worked my way back to the start. There were a few butterflies around - 2 Speckled Wood and a GV White and a brief foray onto the top during a brief spell when the wind died down yielded 2 Grizzled Skippers. I thought this wasn't going to be my day and then around 10am things started to happen. I was working my way along the second ditch in from the North entrance heading east when there were skippers everywhere - Grizzled and Dingy (the late being more numerous and so I managed to get some nice close shots - don't Dingy Skippers look like bats when face on?
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When I had worked my way back to the southern side I bumped into Pete again who informed me that there were a few more species out and about. He set of the way I had come for Grizzlies and I decided to have a coffee on the path that cut across the rings at the southern entrance, and I barely got my flask out when there were butterflies eveywhere - Brown Argus, Small Heath, 2 Dingy Skippers and a Grizzled and 2 Small Coppers - one of which was caerleopunctata

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I worked along the bottom of the ditch and there was the Marsh Fritillary nestled on the side of the bank, then another and then 2 facing each other on the bank side. I clicked away and then did a manic run back to get Pete so he could have a look. Ace I lifer in the bag!

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Wandered back around the ditch and down the crazily steep hill to the car park - accompanied on the way by numerous skippers, 2 Common Blue, Brown Argus and a few Marsh Fritillaries

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Last edited by Wurzel on Mon May 02, 2011 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon May 02, 2011 7:54 pm

Had a family day out at Mottisfont (National Trust) fantastic place. The girls loved feeding the fish, Grayling I think they were and instead of seeking out butterflies it was nice to just chill and enjoy the sun. That said there were plenty of whites about - GV White, Small White and a male and female Orange-tip. The walled garden was a definite hotspot as the walls radiated off the mornings heat and I managed to get my first shots of male Holly Blue.
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(see later posts - this is now a Common Blue - with no orange markings on the underwing - still I have a bit of time to get shots of male Holly Blue and after my success with Marsh Fritillary I mustn't be too greedy on the lifer shots!)
Still buzzing from the Marsh Fritillary yesterday cheers to those people that helped with all the info - it definitely paid of! Also it wasn't just the new species it felt good to see such a range of species, let the good times roll! What's next - SPBF and possibly the Dukes at Bentley Wood or Wood White at Powerstock?

Have a goodun

Wurzel
Last edited by Wurzel on Tue May 03, 2011 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

millerd
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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Mon May 02, 2011 7:58 pm

I'm afraid that's a Common Blue - Holly Blues have chequered fringes on their forewings and a bit of black edging there too.

Here's one...

Dave
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon May 02, 2011 8:18 pm

I thought it was a Common Blue at first - but it was flying at higher than head height all around the walled garden and it had the underwing patterning of Holly Blue but I didn't get a photo of that because I've already got a load of those. Also when I zoomed in really tight on another shot there is a very small black leading edge and very faint black markings which fade before the reaching the edge of the white, and the black markings on the lower wing. Is this an aberrant then?

Cheers

Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Mon May 02, 2011 8:30 pm

On the Common Blue the wing fringes are the same on both fore and hindwings, and any black lines usually fade before they reach the edge. On the Holly Blue the chequering reaches the edge of the forewing, and is absent on the hindwing. This one's definitely a Common Blue, which looks (to me) a lot like yours.

The underside is a giveaway, though, as you say. They are entirely different. No orange spots on a Holly Blue.

Dave
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon May 02, 2011 8:45 pm

Now I'm really confused - your photo looks the dead spit of mine :) but the underside was white with black dots - the "usual Holly Blue" shot that I get :( . Are there aberrant forms of Common Blue which lack the pigmentation or are the aberrant forms of Holly Blue which lack the chequers hmmm? :? I think I'll have to remove this from Holly Blue to the folder titled "working on id..." :wink:

Cheers Dave, have a goodun

Wurzel :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon May 02, 2011 8:59 pm

Hi Wurzel,
Dave is correct - it's a Common Blue, although from its behaviour I can see why you thought it was a HB. Easy to confuse the two if, as here, one decides to wander into habitat more typically occupied by the other! But the size and relative position of the underside spots (visible through the upperside of your specimen) is also 100% Common Blue.
Neil

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue May 03, 2011 7:21 am

Cheers Neil - I did get a view of the underside and there was definitely no orange - so looks like having moved this from Holly Blue to "not sure of id..." now I'll move it to Common Blue, which is good as I needed a better shot of the male anyway, perhaps I can use it on the cover of my second book?

Cheers, have a goodun Wurzel

ps - is there an aberrant form of Common Blue which doesn't have any orange markings?

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat May 07, 2011 8:31 pm

Took the girls out this afternoon - not to Bentley Wood as planned as the weather was a bit hit and miss. Instead I took them to the Old Sarum end of the Avon Valley LNR. Didn't expect much to be about and there wasn't really - a male Orange-tip, a single Brimstone and a Speckled Wood on the way to our fishing spot. It went very well with a nice sized Minnow and lots of tiny fry. The only problen was that just as I'd got the girls still and the silt had settled a dog walker would appear and Fido would charge in scaring everything away. In the end gave up and sat amid a shower and as the girls had their sweeties I did a "hearing" list - Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, warblers a plenty (Garden, Cetti's, Reed, Sedge, Willow, Blackcap and Chiff Chaff), Yellowhammer, Little Grebe and Coot. There were also fly-overs by Sparrowhawk and Buzzard. The highlights of the day were on the way back where I managed to hear and see a Grasshopper Warbler (2nd seen, 3rd heard, 1st found) reeling away like a manic fisherman and a pair of common Blue - both males and looking very fresh and resplendent. :D

Try Bentley tomorrow perhaps the Dukes are still there or the Small Pearls are out? :?:

Have a goodun
Wurzel

Important information for parents - It seems that Skittles are now out of favour and Tootie Fruites are in! :)

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It is in there - honest!

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