Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:54 pm

Cheers Phil :D I reckon the memory will last longer than the image :D

Blackpool Sands 24-08-2017

Today was apparently going to be the best day of the week weather wise; at least that’s what three Weather Apps and the BBC reckoned. So we loaded the cars and drove through the mist, cloud and eventually rain, to head to the beach.

After a few stops on the way and a ferry trip across the River Dart we were rolling along narrow country lanes closed in by tall hedges very reminiscent of those in Dorset (though not quite as good :wink: ). After sweeping down the hill there was an Agatha Christie scene laid out before us. Tall dark cliffs, bedecked with a thatch of green, the occasional Pine sticking out like an errant tousled hair, at their feet golden sediments rhythmically washed by the Azure sea. The sun came out at this exact moment lighting it to perfection.

We parked up, gathered our things and then made our way across the fine shingle with a Red Admiral bombing by to set up camp. Because of the action of the tide the beach ran in a series to steps and lining each were silver strands. As we walked down the he first ‘step’ the silver strand went from beautiful to grim as it was composed of masses of washed up Whitebait.
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After a paddle and some time spent looking for sea glass and having a kick about we wandered back to the beachside restaurant for lunch (Vegan burgers – I couldn’t believe it!). While we waited I noticed that there were some moths clinging to the walls of the building. Two really stood out - black and white against the yellow paintwork, a possible pair of Black Arches. Next to one was a Crambus moth looking much bigger than I remember and I was also struck by the fantastic patterning.
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The third species was much less noticeable and I missed it the first time that I scanned the walls. When I did clock it I put it down as a ‘Wave’ but now go for Mullein due to the coastal habitat.
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The final one should have been the most obvious against another background but here was quite cryptically patterned. Only when it moved onto the green shrubbery did it finally stick out like a sore thumb. What a cracking looking species – a Canary Shouldered Thorn, looking more like a Muppet than a Moth.
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After this we spent some more time rock-pooling, paddling etc. and so ended out final day out. When we got back the rain had closed in and so we stayed in and enjoyed a cracking curry. Home tomorrow…

Have a goodun
Wurzel
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Last edited by Wurzel on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Philzoid » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:47 pm

Great reports Wurzel :D . Brought back some memories of a family holiday in Devon 2003, when we travelled by steam train from Buckfastleigh station to Dartmouth (pulled by a GWR 1400 class or Oliver to any Thomas the Tank Engine aficionados :wink: ). I remember going to the butterfly house too 8) .
Liked your moths from Blackpool Sands (Mullein Wave is a good find) :) . I think the crambid may be a nicely marked Agriphila tristella although the angle isn’t the best. Back then I remember seeing Hummingbird Hawkmoths at that beach. I think it was a good year for them in Devon.

BTW already said, but that Green veined White image is a beaut :) :mrgreen:

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:42 am

45
Cheers Philzoid :D More to follow on the butterfly house...I'm almost into September with my PD now so I'll have to find some more posts to get me through the winter :shock: :wink: It was a surprise to go to the beach and see so many moths particularly during the main part of the day - it felt a bit wrong - wrong time of day, wrong habitat - even though it was right :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:09 am

Wow beautiful moths Wurzel. :D Great finds.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:28 pm

Cheers Andrew :D Just being in the right place at the right time and just looking around; if they'd been any faster preparing the Vegan burgers then perhaps I mightn't have seen the Canary-shouldered Thorn? :? :D
Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:27 pm

Cracking selection of moths there Wurzel :D Black Arches is one I have yet to get in my garden although they are more common down south than around here and well done with the Mullein Wave :mrgreen:
Agriphila tristella for the micro is a good call by Philzoid. I had half a dozen different species of these crambid 'grass moths' in my garden this year and spent some time trying to ID them.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:22 am

Cheers Neil :D Those Crambids are the LBJs of the moth world :D

Packing the Car – Barrington Court – Homewards 25-08-2017

Our Devon sojourn had come to an end and the time had come to pack our things into the car for the return trip. I out my camera round my neck and started carrying bags and boots and boxes. True, lugging my camera about meant I’d have to make more trips but at least I wouldn’t have to worry about missing out on any butterflies. And it paid off despite the Red Admiral, Specklie and numerous Whites not landing. Instead I was treated to an assortment of Hedgies (the usual crowd?). There were at least 5 present but in between packing the next section of the car I’d focus on one individual so in the end I don’t think that I captured all on camera. All the ones I did manage shots of were excessa with one showing an extra ‘eye’ on the fore wing underside.
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Once packed we said our goodbyes and set off. The journey to Exeter was really quick and we also made good time over the Blackdown Hills. Despite this there were some hangry rumblings from the back of the car so we went of piste to find somewhere for lunch. My wife flicked through the National Trust guide, we entered the appropriate postcode and there we were soon enough sitting under an Apple Tree and munching away at Barrington Court.

After lunch we took the tour, the house was really interesting but the gardens were stunning. On one Buddleia outside the formal gardens I counted 16 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Red Admirals and a Peacock. We wandered through garden type after garden type; wildflower, nursery, veggie, formal, Rose etc. It was a joy to behold with each new section offering new scents and sights, structure and colour suddenly changing and so too the butterflies. At least that’s the way it seemed…The wildflower section held Red Admirals, the Lavender the Whites, in the veggie garden Large Whites and Brimstones and a Comma whilst the formal garden borders housed Small Tortoiseshells a plenty. It was a fantastic break from sitting and watching the white lines blur and the tarmac ahead…
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So finally ended our Devon holiday. Looking back the only real surprises were that I saw the Silver-washed but didn’t see a Painted Lady. I was a funny time to visit really and the place we visited weren’t your typical butterfly haunts yet despite that they held typical butterflies.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:26 pm

Great shots Wurzel, those Torts in particular are making me yearn for spring already :?
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:01 pm

I haven't been to Barrington Court for years, Wurzel. I do remember the gardens as being rather splendid, though, and particularly that my mother used to sneak cuttings from various plants... She always liked Small Tortoiseshells too and would have been delighted to see so many. Lovely shots.

Dave

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:20 pm

Some lovely shots there Wurzel, and from your Devon holiday as a whole, thanks for sharing. :)

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:26 am

Cheers Dave :D It was a serendipitous stop-off indeed so much so that it might become a more regular visit :D
Cheers Andrew :D Finally caught up with that, and now on to the next multitude of posts I need to write :roll: :wink:
On that note...


Martin Down 26-08-2017

Having gotten back from our family holiday to Devon I thought we’d have a few days kicking our heels and settling back into our usual holiday routine. Bu that wasn’t the case and so on Saturday I was heading back towards Sixpenny Handley so that the girls could have a sleep over with their cousin. I left an hour early in order to make a stop-off at Martin Down on the way.. I was still hoping for a Clouded Yellow so once in the car park we followed Bokerley down towards the Butts as this is usually a good area for them.

We arrived at the Butts with no Cloudy and only a few Blues and Browns and the girls disappeared off to make ‘Musically’ videos or some such so I was free to take in the short turfed areas sheltered by the Butts. Since our return the weather had sorted itself out somewhat but there were still a few cloudy moments. The trick was to find your quarry and wait with it while it sat out the shade. Then when the sun reappeared click away to capture it in the best light before it became active again, just like I did at the start of the year with Orange-tips. I didn’t get the timing right all of the time but it meant that I could observe the difference in appearance that different lighting produced.
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This species was the most numerous and not just because it was the most ‘noticeable’. I did see Common Blues, Brown Argus, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns and various Whites but the 2nd brood Adonis were the main attraction and I was finally able to do the females justice.
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Having flattened the battery on my iPod the calls of “Wurzel” from the girls weren’t that unexpected and I left the ladies to re-join the girls. We packed up and started back towards the car park though we didn’t get too far – only to the other side of the Butts before a few Brown Argus caught my eye. One was miniscule and as I leant in to take my shot I felt like Gulliver towering over a Lilliputian. I was checking my shots back when a beautiful blue Blue flew into view.
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We were almost back at the car but with some time remaining before I needed to drop the girls off we walked round checking the little scallops in the scrub island next to the car park. A Small Copper landed and for a moment I held my breath and my heart was in my mouth…from the quick glance that I’d had it appeared to have white forewings…Nervously I took a second look. It was really tatty and the unfortunately the white looked like water damage or wear than it being a Schmidt…Oh well, after a few bad years for this species seeing Small Coppers of any hue is always a delight.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:14 am

Those ' blue ' female Adonis Blue shots caused me to drool a little !.
Don't forget the Tilshead site next year, a superb Adonis site.

Go to the end of the Village, and by the filling station the A360 turns sharp right,
go straight on, after half a mile or so, on your right you will see several concrete
' car parks ' park in the last one. You will see the grassland beyond the hedge.

All the best,
Trevor.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:07 am

Absolutly beautiful Blues there Wurzel. And well caught on camera, I'd be over the moon to see those. :mrgreen: :D
I just realised where Martin Down is, I must have past it a few times, I've an Uncle in Coombe Bissett.
Another site to put on the list. :)
Last edited by Andrew555 on Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:58 pm

Cheers Trevor :D I'm looking forward to trying out that site this coming season, it's always nice to find a site that's even more local :D
Cheers Andrew :D Martin Down well worth a visit - it holds Greenstreaks, Silver Spotted Skippers as well as Marsh and Dark Green Frits and across the road at Kitts Wood there are White Admirals and Silver Washed. There's also a good Wiltshire Wildife Turst site in Coombe Bisset itself the next time you visit.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:55 pm

Gloriously fresh female Adonis, Wurzel. I seemed to miss out on the best of the females this year, so that more than makes up for it. :) That female Common Blue is a bit special too! :)

Dave

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:50 pm

Cheers Dave :D I was made up with my Blues from this trip - they more than made up for missing out on them earlier in the season :D

Happy Solstice to one and all! Saying that I'm still in August with my PD :oops: :lol: ...

Mottisfont 28-08-2017

A quick trip out with the girls to make the most of the glorious weather, why couldn’t it have been like this at the start of the holiday when the Silver-spots and Brostreaks were emerging and the Chalkhills and Graylings were in their prime? Still I got on and enjoyed what there was on offer. It seemed like everyone else had the same idea as we were demoted to the ‘Overflow’ car park but to be honest this is probably better as I didn’t have to walk as far to return the picnic once we’d all munched down. The odd white fly by during my lunch but nothing to pique my interest and make me bound off leaving sandwiches behind!

After the repast we sedately made our way to the Walled garden and as my wife set off to seek some shade to read her book in and the girls did likewise I made my way round scanning for butterflies. It was actually trickier than I’d anticipated as the heat had made them all very active and they stopped most of the time for only the briefest of refuelling sessions. Even the single Meadow Brown that I saw stopped for only a few seconds and just long enough for a couple of record shots. After little reward for trawling round various Lavender beds and roses patches I located myself by one of the Buddleia bushes and waited. This plan worked a treat and I’d soon seen three species of whites, a fly by Red Admiral, three Small Tortoiseshells and the best of the bunch a gorgeous Painted Lady, only my third this year.
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I site had a bit more of a wander and the shade of a Quince tree offered some respite to a shade loving Specklie and one of the other Buddleia bushes held a(nother) Red Admiral. It was quite interesting to see the Specklie taking juice from one of Quinces it hadn’t fallen from the tree but something had damaged it and that was enough for the Specklie.
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After this though we strolled round various other parts of the site including the excellent exhibition of the art work of Axelas Scheffler and the only other butterflies of note were a single Common Blue at the Ha-Ha and numerous whites in the shade near the stream. We headed home sun tired and happy…a great little day.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:09 pm

Happy Christmas Everyone! :D

St Peter’s, Great Cheverall 29-08-2017

Having discovered Wall Browns at the churchyard local to his daughter’s excellent Pub and Hostelry (The Bell Inn) Trevor was kind enough to pass on the info to me as well as some useful tips about when they were flying. So while many butterfly enthusiasts were making their way eastwards and to the coast I was heading North and inland. I suppose I could have joined the throngs looking for Queen of Spain but it just seemed a little too far to travel when fingers crossed they’ll be breeding along the entire south coast in about 10 years time.

As usual for this season I set off in sunny weather with blue skies overhead and headed into greyer and greyer weather. Luckily the sun still managed to shine through some of this so it was still bright enough for decent shots but there was no danger of glare or the quarry becoming super solar charged. Abandoning the car I strolled up the path and through the gate, carried on up the stone paved path towards the entrance to the church and something on the small path to the graveyard caught my eye. It took off from the path and flew towards up the length of the path before doubling back down. It was a male Wall Brown and the butterfly I’d come to see. I watched it for some time as it moved from one grave to another before always returning back to a similar spot about half way along the small path.
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Having found one I set about to look for more and so I mooched around the headstones finding a Specklie and a few different Whites, although all of these were very flighty. Somehow I ended back at the same place (well it is a small church) and there was the Wall, waiting for me. A few more shots and then a bit more of a mooch this time finding a Meadow Brown and the Whites increasingly frustrating. They’d land I get in position and then they’d fly off just as I was focusing. I managed to get to the other side of the church on this recce and put up a Peacock as well as discovering five Specklies.
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Back on the path the Wall was still there but once the sun came out he was off. I thought I’d lost him but then I saw two browny-orange blurs buzzing around amongst the headstones. I thought at first it might be a male and female as one seemed to be flying in circles around the other and the chase went on for a good 15 minutes from right across the graveyard, the neighbouring field and back, along and over the church, back to the top of the graveyard etc. I saw them go over and along the church roof at least 7 times. In fact when I thought I’d lost them I’d simply look to the top of the church roof and presently the pair would reappear and I could watch them again. As I say I thought it was a pair but some distant Sport Modes shots suggested otherwise.
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After this I made my way to work and then back with the briefest of stops at Larkhill; Small Heath, 3 Adonis, 5 Common Blues and at least 3 Small Torts were the best of the bunch – but still no Cloudy!

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:39 pm

Larkhill 13-09-2017

It had been a good while between my last outing looking for butterflies and when I was able to get out again. Work had been full on since I’d gotten back and the weekends had been spent sorting out all those things that needed to be sorted out during the week but couldn’t be because of work. But finally things fell into place and I was able to make one of my stop-offs at Larkhill on the way home.
I parked in the ‘main’ car park and then worked my way downhill along the Eastbound path. Instantly I was struck by how long it had been – the last proper time I’d visited there had been DGFs and Small Blues and multitudes of Golden Skippers. Today there were a few Whites bombing about and the odd tried and faded Blue. I’d walked down the path and was approaching the half way point when a few butterflies out in an appearance and sat still for long enough so that I could get a few shots. The first was a nicely placed Common Blue, one of two that we flipping around this little area.
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Slightly further on, only a couple of steps I was brought to a stand still by a flash of electric blue from the light beige of the dried grasses. The butterfly in question took off but luckily came in closer and landed practically in front of me. A male Adonis which close up seemed more powder blue than Electrical and was also more worn than I’d been led to believe by its show-stopping entrance.
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I left it in peace and carried on down tot eh half way point seeing a few more Common Blues on the way, or possibly the same pair of males. I started back towards the car and was just wondering if there were any Brown Argus about when a small brown Blue showed itself from the edge of the path. A close inspection later along with a few shots and brown Argus was ticked off the list.
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Happy with this I thought about heading back to the car so I checked my watch and I was well over the allotted 10 minutes that I usually gave myself so I made haste back up the hill heading Westwards along the Eastward path stopping only briefly for the ‘original’ Common Blue which despite several bouts of fighting was in a very similar situation to where I’d left it.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:14 am

Hi! Wurzel, hope you had a good Christmas, we certainly did :D I love that little Common Blue shot, it brings back this years warmer weather, :D 2018 tomorrow won't belong now before the Spring.
When I arrived back home on Thursday the first thing I saw in my Rockery, Snow Drops! Roll on. :D Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:41 pm

Cheers Goldie :D I can almost feel the spring - mind you that's probabyl wishful thinking :roll: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel


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