Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:43 pm

Cheers Katrina :D I was chuffed with that one myself :D
Cheers Trevor :D Yep I know what you mean, Philzoid and I rechristen them False Hairstreaks at this time of year :roll: . You can get through Larkhill, so long as you're a 'resident' :wink:
Cheers Goldie :D That would be a great 'Garden tick' for sure 8)
Cheers Neil :D Fortunately not Neil and especially not if you're Dorset born and bred 8) Who's afeard? :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:34 am

Lavender Farm 15-07-2017

Having discovered the Lavendar Farm at Landford earlier in the year I awaited the warmer weather that would bring on the Lavender so that I could; a. see the fields in all their glory and b. have another gurt lush Cream Tea. So it was great that the time had arrived and my mum and dad came with us to sample the delights as well. This meant that first we dealt with activity ‘b’ and it was as good as the last time with lashings of clotted cream and fragrant tea and a welcome escape from the drizzle that had set in. With the weather becoming drier and warmer we then took to wandering the paths taking in the heady air and using up some of the excess calories from the tea.

Through the Lavender a Red Admiral flew and a few whites fluttered by. At the top end there was a small patch that had been planted up with garden flowers, arranged in rows it looked like a floral version of an allotment with rows of Dahlias and the like instead of rows of carrots and potatoes. The only problem here was that there were no paths offering access to the butterflies that seemed to have a penchant for this little space. I watched as a couple of whites flew up the field making a bee-line for the flower patch only to disappear once they reached it somewhere in amongst the multitude of blooms. In the end I took to walking round the margins and trying to spot the butterflies on the edges a trick which seemed to work as I soon found a Hedge Brown, Comma and ripped and torn Meadow Brown.
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We then made our way back towards the bottom on the Lavender field and while my mum and wife sat and chatted, my dad had a nap the girls set out to explore and play in and around the wild flower garden. This left me free to have a bit of a nurdle by myself. Apart from a territorial Hedge Brown that I could keep going back to the only other butterflies were a few whites a few of which eventually landed. There were also some interesting bees that that had burrowed into the stone centre piece in one of the small areas of garden. They had three white markings on their heads which gave them the look of a Marvel character. Despite there being only a few butterflies about it didn’t really matter as it was such a peaceful and meditative place to be that I could feel myself unwinding which each step and as we left I gave a huge contented sigh.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

p.s. Before we left we had quick look in the greenhouses at the plants for sale and I came across a tiny little fly – at least I think it’s a fly and not a micro moth as it only has one pair of wings?
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Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:03 pm

Sounds and looks like a lovely place Wurzel. Your last image is a Moth Fly. A cunningly inventive name for a fly which looks a bit like a moth!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:32 pm

Wurzel, Lavender does that to you, it's the most relaxing thing you can have in your House, I always get a bunch from the garden before it dies off and you were in the fields where it was growing, what with that and the cream tea :mrgreen: :mrgreen: ( not had a one since I left Kent) no wonder you were so relaxed. Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:22 am

Cheers for the ID Bugboy :D They have come up with something a bit more interesting sounding as a name couldn't they :roll:
Cheers Goldie :D It was a most chilled out afternoon indeed and it'll hopefully now be a regular fixture in our diary :D obviously to see what butterflies there are at different times of the year and definitely nothing to do with the Cream Teas :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:12 pm

Sounds like a great trip with nice images of Lulworth Skippers from Swanage a couple of posts back. I was there about a week after you, and my impression was that numbers of Lulworths, while reasonable, were slightly lower than recent years.

Interesting that you saw an Essex Skipper, for I have never seen them there and didn't know they occurred.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:28 am

Cheers Essex :D It's difficult for me to make a judgement on numbers at that site as that's only my second visit for butterflies. Possibly they emerged earlier and so there were fewer about or perhaps they hadn't reached their peak yet? :?

The Devenish 16-07-2017

Having spent time the day before out at the Lavender Farm I felt the need to get out once again and see what was out there. So I packed the girls into the car (one Padawan and one Oracle) and we headed out to the Devenish. As I pulled into the car park The Oracle gave a positive for Chalkhill but not for Clouded yellow, hopefully not a forebear of things to come and with her prediction cast she led the way up through the wood and over the gates. My young Padawan demonstrated her gate traversing skills which she had learnt here on a previous visit and once we were in the Orchid Meadow they set up camp by the stile; one reading some Teen-Vampire- Roman God- Monster story and the other the Beano. Instead I set about mooching and scanning across the flower tops for butterflies teetering on the top. The first I encountered was a Small Copper which turned out ot be the first of many. A tired looking Brown Argus fluttered past and put up a Common Blue. The odd Hedge Brown and Meadow Brown flew by and there was also a roving Brimstone and Small White. So far pretty much the usual with perhaps the exception of the Copper. As I carried on scanning a white flag caught my attention and as I approached it became apparent that it wasn’t one but two butterflies; a pair of Common Blues in cop.
I started to make my way back to the girls when a ghostly blue drifted across the meadow, appearing from higher up on the side of the Down. It was my first Chalkhill but as luck would have it as I moved in to take some shots the cloud covered the sun and I didn’t really get to capture the true colours and the shots felt a bit washed out.
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After a quick check in with the girls I headed up the track and the steep path right up the side of the Down. I must be getting older as my knees sounded like Castanets as I took the ‘stairs’ cut into the chalk. Once at the top I then took a left turn and followed the track that cut diagonally across the side of the down. Another Chalkhill flew by, male again and then I found another Copper, slightly tired looking but still holding on. A Brown Argus caught my eye and when I turned back to the Copper it had moved slightly and rejuvenated in the interim.
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As I started back up on the far side of the Down and then worked my way along the top the precious little else about and I didn’t see anything other than Meadow Browns right up to the pint when I started my descent back down towards the Orchid Meadow when I was joined by several Whites, a male Chalkhill and yet another Small Copper.
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As I been gone for a bit I checked in once again and my Padawan had finished the Beano and so joined me in exploring the far end of the Meadow. She spent a lot of the time collecting burrs and then calling me back to ‘point something out’ to me. This apparent interest was all a ploy and I found myself covered in little prickly/sticky green cones with little L in stitches. Mind you on the plus side her eye sight is sharper than mine now and she quickly pointed out one of the smallest Brown Argus that I’ve ever seen. It was more akin to the smallest of Small Blues in size.
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As we headed back guess what we saw? Yep another Small Copper. There must have been an emergence of them here as this was number 5 for the day. After years of struggling to see the odd one at a site to come to this small reserve and find 5 really easily was a pleasure.
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As we were leaving another or the first Chalkhilll put in an appearance amongst the ubiquitous Meadow Browns but again the light was weird and it always looked washed out again. I’ll have to have another try for this species. Once we broke from the tree tunnel into the field on the other side the sun ahd come back out and I was tempted to head back but there were two tired ladies that decided that they were going home and so I was outvoted. They did let me have five minutes in the final field though where the Ragwort(?) proved to be very popular. There was a lovely Brown Argus but unfortunately I couldn’t quite get it into the shot with the the other selection of species and so I settled for an individual shot of it and then a four species shot to account for the others.
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It really was time to go and so we bundled back in the car. The Oracle was correct again and the Padawan had learnt how to spot a Brown Argus as well as how to infuriate dad…I’m still finding burrs now!

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:08 pm

A four-species shot, Wurzel - with another nearby... :mrgreen: You don't get many of those! A nice selection all round, in fact. :)

Dave

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:32 am

Cheers Dave :D There was a nice selection, the best thing about the trip is that that range was present in two small fields, it's a great little micro site :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:06 am

Larkhill Week beginning 17-07-2017

AM
The final week of term had finally arrived and somehow I’d made it despite everything that had been thrown at me. To celebrate I made a quick stop off at Larkhill. I didn’t get further than the half way point on the Northbound path as I was slightly rushed for time but to be honest I didn’t really need to go much further as it was very quiet and everything was centred around the patch of flowers there. There were a few tired looking Meadow Browns, even more tired looking Ringlets and a smattering of Hedge Browns. They seem much more flighty this year and approaching for photos proved difficult but in the end I managed to find a few that were willing to pose. After the initial ‘excessa’ here on the first day that I saw them on site I haven’t encountered anything unusual since.
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PM
I wasn’t able to stop on the way home as I was on a mission from my wife to procure a Fiddle-leafed Fig plant from a Lidl. This meant cutting across the Plain in a diagonal to get to Lidl Tidworth first before heading to Amesbury should I draw a blank at Tidworth. Unbelievably I struck lucky and managed to get the last one in the shop so with it strapped in passenger seat I set off homewards. I didn’t fancy getting caught in the traffic and so I cut through the backway to Amesbury via Bulford. As I was motoring along I suddenly recognised the road ahead, it was behind the Hotspot Hedge at Shipton Bellinger. So I pulled in and strolled along the Hedge as a bit of a recce. It would have been absolutely ideal if a Brostreak landed in front of me but I knew this wouldn’t happen as they hadn’t been recorded from this site and it was long past the 3pm curfew this species seems to adhere to. Instead there were Red Admirals, a Comma, various Whites and Browns and several gorgeous Peacocks. I drove homewards wondering why I hadn’t twigged about driving here before as the route was much quicker and easier than traveling through the Winterbournes etc.
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18-07

AM
This really was a quick stop-off as the road works after the Pack Way had added an extra 10 minutes to my journey time. So I pulled in and legged it along the Northbound path to the halfway point and scanned around quickly. There were the Meadow Browns and Hedge Browns and that seemed to be it. Then there was a Smessex still hanging on but not quite past its sell by date. But I couldn’t hang around so I had to pack up and leg it back to the car so as not to be late for work, doing so for the first time in the final week would be bad form.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:06 am

Homewards! 21-07-2017

On the last day of the summer term we often finish early so we can have the ‘final lunch’ and say our various goodbyes. This is really handy as I can make a longer stop off at a site on the way home and so start my holiday properly. This time I had the idea of stopping at Shipton Bellinger as a Brostreak would have been a proper start. With the goodbyes done I hit the road and set off at a pace across the Plain. Unfortunately I still didn’t make it to the site while the sunshine lasted, in fact as I pulled into the car park the last glimmers shone down to be replaced by thickening cloud. Still I set off up along the hedge anyway scanning both high for flying and alighting males and down low for females looking for Blackthorn ‘whips’. I also scanned at mid-range for those nectaring on the Brambles. By about half way along the hedge I was feeling pretty dizzy and things weren’t looking hopeful. I couldn’t find much apart from the odd fly-by white and Meadow Browns. Even the Hedge Browns seemed scarce as the cloud thickened some more. I then started a return walk back along the hedge and added a couple of Hedge Browns to the list and decided to cut my losses hopefully things will improve here…
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I then set to driving across the ranges, through Bulford Camp, over the A303 and on round the outside of Amesbury. From there I cut down through the Woodfords and called in at The Devenish. This stop was to be even shorter than that at Shipton as by now the clouds had thickened some more and had darkened as well. As I broke up through the wood the raindrops started to fall so I stood up close to the trunk of the biggest tree I could find a waited for it to pass. The drops got smaller and the drips sounded quieter and so I moved out from cover and directly into Orchid Meadow. I scanned about and managed to pick out a little white flag – a Chalkhill sitting out the rain. There was a reddish coloured drop on the grass stem which looked like it could have been meconium but I’m too sure? My time with the Chalkhill was cut short as the rain started to fall again and with much more gusto this time.
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Not a brilliant start to the holiday, fingers crossed it picks up some.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:13 am

Hi! Wurzel, I know just how you were feeling after spending a couple of hours looking for the Brown Hair Streaks at Gait Barrows the other week.and finding nothing. :( I love your shot of the Chalkhill it sums up the weather for that day ( Rain! not again) :lol: Goldie :lol:

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:12 pm

Cheers Goldie :D Some days are just like that aren't they :roll: Good luck for future visits :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:04 pm

Godshill 23-07-2017

So the holiday had begun and with it some time to try and catch up with a few species that I hadn’t had the time to make trips for in this fast moving season. Seriously normally this time of year is quite relaxing but his year everything has come thick and fast that I’m behind not just with my PD but also with the butterflies. Hence today I took a mid-morning stroll to the triangle hotspot at Godshill to try and find some Grayling. As I crossed the Cricket pitch and started down the stony hill tracks the sun was shining and Meadow Browns and Hedge browns did their best to distract me. A single Red Admiral buzzed be a few time as I continued on my way downhill hemmed in on other side by Bracken.
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From here I forded the stream and started to walk along the hypotenuse of the triangle of paths here. Just to my left I spotted something which seemed too large to be a Meadow Brown. Also the flight was wrong, it was less flappy than a Meadow Brown as it threw in the occasional glide as well. I slowly moved across the through the heather and got into position. The clicking of my knees must have spooked the butterfly as it flashed the orange underwing at me as a warning. So I moved backwards and watched as a second flew into view and landed nearby. Again I managed to get in for a few shots. This seemed to be a productive area with a third and fourth all in this one little area. I was able to accurately count as two landed quite close to each other while another pair flew around behind me. I could have stayed here for the rest of the day but felt the need to check out the other areas to see if they held more Graylings...
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(Better head off now as my winters log supply has arrived and it needs getting of the road :shock: )

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Philzoid » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:58 pm

Wurzel wrote:Cheers for the ID Bugboy They have come up with something a bit more interesting sounding as a name couldn't they

They are also known as the Owl Midges; or more aptly Drain Flies or Sewer Flies in relation to where their larvae are found. I've found them in my car on a few occasions :shock: .... perhaps it's in need of a clean out :wink: .

Great report from Durlston by the way :D . The "powder paint" covered was a spot-on description of that male Lulworth. The 24 species seen easily beats the number I saw in Southern Spain in 2 weeks .... but I won't give too much away.

Phil

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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:48 pm

Great to see your Graylings. I missed the local population around here this year.
But just like yours, it is almost impossible to obtain an image without grass blades in the way.
I prefer Graylings on Heather, but that involves a long journey from here.

Glad you found some Wall Browns in the church grounds ( but where are the Ladies ? ! ).

All the best,
Trevor.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Wurzel wrote:... and started to walk along the hypotenuse of the triangle of paths here...
Wurzel


I reckon only a teacher would put that in a butterfly report :wink:

Great reports and photos as usual Wurzel. Don't worry about being behind with your reports...I am behind in keeping up with reading everyone elses lately.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:10 pm

Cheers Philzoid :D Owl Midge is a much better name :D Looking forward to your Spain posting as I'm sure there will be some good stuff in there :mrgreen:
Cheers Trevor :D The trick to a Grayling without the grass is to try and find them on a path, but then they fly off too quickly :roll: Fingerrs crossed that some lady a Walls make it :?
Cheers Neil :D It was the most accurate way to describe it :oops: :lol: Thank you for relieving me of the pressure of catching up with my PD :D that being said I better try and finish off the posting from this morning which got interrupted by the wood delivery :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel
15

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:52 pm

Godshill continued...(now the wood is stored :roll: )

...The Adjacent of the triangle didn’t actually hold much a fact which wasn’t helped by the decreasing drop in sunny weather. Instead of blue skies and sun it was grey cloud and the odd drop of rain in the air. All I could muster was a purple bar moth and a few Hedge Browns and Meadow Browns, even the Dragonflies were keeping a low profile. At one point I even had to sit out a small sharp shower by rolling under a Gorse bush. My trekking round brought me to a wide cleared area with the occasional patch of Cotton Grass, an area which looks good for Silver-studs next season, though none were seen today. After this I found myself back within view of the Hypotenuse and so started back across the brush towards the main path. I was about a hundred yards away when butterfly went up from under my feet. I stalked it and there was another Grayling. Whilst watching this one take off and fly free I spotted a different one, really contrastingly marked.
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After this I decided to call it a day as I had to race back to pick my daughter up from a sleep over. As the law of sod decreed as I reached the car the sun had come back out…oh well Grayling down, Silver-spots next…

Have a goodun

Wurzel
PS As always here are a few ‘Where’s the Grayling’…
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:52 am

Nice shots of the Grayling Wurzel, I laughed at your last two shots, that's the way I usually find them :D Goldie :lol:


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