Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:41 am

Stourhead 08-10-2017

After what felt like an age since my last trip out, at little over two weeks in fact :shock: , we were finally on the road; picnic lunch packed, National Trust membership cards to hand and camera fully charged and ready to go. Despite a slight detour we soon arrived and bundled out of the car and through the gates. I was in a bit of a rush as the weather was quite decent for the time of year (so there was a reasonable chance of finding some butterflies) but was set to turn more cloudy throughout the course of the day and so chances of finding butterflies would diminish with the suns warmth waning.

My wife suggested that we took the top path which then dives down through the woods coming out near the feeder pond. I was all for this as it would mean walking through the kitchen garden with its late flowers offering nectar and the walls keeping out any chilling breezes. Things weren’t too good during the first part as a sneaky little bit of cloud was giving us a taste of things to come. But it finally moved off just as we were about to leave the garden and walk through. As we walked through the gate a bright orange flag looked out of place against the violet colouration of the flowers, a beautiful looking Comma. I doubted whether I would get any shots as I let K take some on her phone for her Insta-feed (whatever that is?) but luckily it seemed intent on gorging itself and after a good few minutes with it I wandered off whilst still it fed!
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The wall on which the gate was hung was half way along the back wall of the stable yard buildings and extended along the rest of the length was a small border containing all manner of flowers. In spring it’s a real riot of colour but now it mainly features pink and violet. Mid way along the border a small arched doorway takes you through and into the stable yard. K and I spent a while here just wandering up and down the length of the border as it was a veritable butterfly haven. As well as the Comma a Large White fed in amongst a couple of Peacocks and 11 Red Admirals (lowest count so there could have been more).
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From here was carried on across the ‘back garden’ of the House where we found a warm bench and had lunch. Then it was on along the Avenue and cutting down through the wood until we came out by the feeder pond. While the girls played Pooh sticks at the overflow I tried to follow some of the many Dragonflies. There was what looked like a Chaser and a long bodied blue one which might have been an Emperor but these were there one second and gone the next. Even with Sports mode I didn’t have much luck because not only were they fast but they also kept well back so they were distant as well, not conditions conducive to great shots – too fast and too distant. Luckily a pin-wheeling pairing of Common Darters almost fell into my lap, well landed relatively close to me, so I was rewarded for my patience.
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I caught the girls up and despite a few more fly-by Red Admirals and the odd white that seemed to be it for the day and as we started back up the hill the cloud came in from the west.
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As we drove for home we broke out from the cloud and all was sunny and warm again so when we pitched up at my Sister in-laws I took my camera in and we spent some time looking round not only their new house but also their new garden :wink: . Up on the and now their old veggie patch was a Small White clinging to a yellow flower and looking like it was going to plummet to its doom any moment. Up at eh back was a huge patch of Ivy and on it at least four Red Admirals one of which was showing an unusual patterning on one fore wing which I think may have been caused by water damage?
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After about 15 minutes I turned to make my way back to the house to be sociable only to realise that the cloud had reached us and with a shiver I headed in and so ended yet another great family/butterfly day out.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Andrew555
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:36 am

Great set of shots Wurzel, that Comma is particularly nice. :D

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:45 pm

WoW! Wurzel, that Comma hurts the eyes :lol: I'm not used to the Sun :lol: Lovely to see it, not long now before we see some more. :D Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:49 pm

Cheers Andrew :D I was really lucky with that one as it chose to land on such a contrasting coloured flower :D
Cheers Goldie :D and also sorry for hurting your eyes :oops:I might have to go back and edit that post to put a warning label on it :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: Wurzel

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:00 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Comma of red valerian like that. But, as the autumn progresses, I suppose they can’t be fussy!

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:13 pm

A great selection of autumn butterflies Wurzel, cracking shots especially the Commas :D

Cheers,

Neil.

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:48 pm

Cheers Essex :D No indeed it's a bit like me at the end of a Christmas party, I'll even drink Cinzano by that stage :shock: :oops: :lol:
Cheers Neil :D They just sort of fell into my lap as it were :D I can't wait to see my first Comma of the year now :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:28 pm

Stourhead 22-10-2017

We are now entering the period of the year when any butterfly sighting should be cherished as if it is the last of the season because it could well be. So it was great to see a Red Admiral on Saturday 21st bravely battling before blustery Brian (storm) outside Waitrose. As my sister in-law was down to visit on Sunday we headed to Stourhead and I took my camera though I was pretty sure that the storm would have out paid to any final butterflies. As we wandered through the damp and cool it was as if someone had decided to just turn the heating off; bang we’re in Autumn proper although the occasional bursts of sun lit up the autumnal leaves and momentarily warmed my back. Another warming moment was when I spied a Red Admiral flying alongside the feeder pond: “Was that to be my last?” I wondered.

We carried on winding our way round, through the Grotto pausing outside the Fairy-tale Cottage before settling down at the Pantheon for lunch. A few Darters and an Emperor buzzed around the bank lading down to the lake and another Red Admiral did a few circuits coming tantalisingly close while I munched lunch. It even stopped awhile half way up a tree so I was able to get a few distant record shots.
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Further round we went, the weak sun continuing to occasionally light up the trees but all too son we were wending our way through the gate and making up the hill towards the Spread Eagle and beyond to the car park. I’d wandered slightly ahead and something buzzed by me and landed on the side of the steep bank. I edged in between a parked car and the bank and leant up for a few shots but I didn’t climb up the bank for fear of clattering down and denting the car.
As if reading my mind the Red Admiral took off, had a bit of a fly about before settling down further along the bank and well away from the parked car. I scrambled up, held on to some weeds with one hand and clicked away with the other. Could this one be my last?
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:42 pm

Good to see Butterflies Wurzel Autumn or Summer, makes a change from courting Birds :wink: Goldie :D

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Andrew555
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:52 pm

Lovely RA in the sun Wurzel. :) 'Could this one be my last?' I'm guessing no. :D

Cheers

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:00 pm

Cheers Goldie :D I don't mind the bird counting...it's just that Mrs Wurzel manages to find plenty of other things for me to do :?
Cheers Andrew :D You could be right...I couldn't possibly comment...yet :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:05 am

Five Rivers 25-10-2017

Making the most of the half term break I took a quick jaunt while the girls were in the pool. I started off along the Riverpath deciding to wend my way along with the slight meanders and then cut up and across to the top of the Banks. There were still leaves on the trees but they were definitely on the turn and despite this there were still sizeable patches of nettles filling in the gaps. As I examined one such patch I was delighted to find a Red Admiral hiding away, the angle of its posture making it cryptically patterned despite the glaring red epaulets.
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As I watched it a second flew into view and both took off and there then ensued a multitude of frenzied attacks. One would settle just long enough for a cautious approach and a few shots before the other buzzed back in and they would fly quickly forward and back, round in a circuit before spiralling seemingly ever upwards and disappearing from view. Moments later one would alight close by and the process repeated itself. During all of this a smaller, browner butterfly also appeared. At first I thought I was seeing things and that it was just a dead leaf come to its final resting place down on the deck but I shouldn’t have been quite as nonchalant as it turned out to be a Specklie which promptly took off. Luckily for me it didn’t go far and I was able to get a couple of shots of this old timer before heading back to the duellists.
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Leaving the Red Admirals squabbling I made my way over to the banks proper – with another, different pair of Red Admirals playing on the slope leading up to the Banks. It seemed that it was going to be a bit of a Red Admiral fest and the theme continued on the second Bank with a singleton and a Common Darter. I moved across to the other side of this Bank fully expecting yet more Red Admrials but instead of the now familiar dark blur a vivid lemon butterfly hove into view. It landed and I lost it from view mystified how some so bright and vivid one moment could simply disappear the minute that it closed its wings. I knew roughly where it had landed to a scanned across checking every leaf; too green, brown, wrong shape etc until I found it and crept in. I must have been out of practice because it flew again but this time laded at a lower level and in a much more obvious and convenient position amongst the foliage.
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I turned to leave and on cue another Red Admiral made a pass. There was another at the turning point and that was it Red Admiral wise until I had completed my circuit and ended up back at the nettle patch where it had all begun. There was a White flying along the top of the Banks while I was walking back along the lower path – I immediately thought Large White but I put it down as ‘UFW’ in the end I my gut can sometimes call it incorrectly. Back at the where it had all started there were two Red Admirals still at it, though whether they were the original pairing I’m not sure but I’d like to think that they were. I was running out of time and had to get back to help with the hair-washing and drying so I was only able to grab a few shots before racing back to load up with towels, shampoo, conditioner etc.
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It had been a cracking hour out in the autumnal air and as we left the car park a Specklie flew across as if to wish us farewell.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

trevor
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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:09 am

A quick glance at your latest posting had me thinking you had done rather well
in the recent fine weather, then I saw the Specklie and the date ! :? .
Never mind !, the hibernators will show themselves soon.
At least my Butterfly withdrawal symptoms were partially cured last week. :D

All the best,
Trevor.


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