Wurzel

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trevor
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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:40 pm

That first Adonis should only be viewed through a pair of dark glasses !.
Beautiful fresh specimen

Trevor.

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:51 pm

Cheers Peter :D I can't wait for the day when I retire as then I'll be able to actually fit in all the important stuff - like family, beer and butterflies. Work keeps getting in the way of at least two of these at the moment :roll: :wink:
Cheers Goldie :D Adonis are one of those 'kind' species that let you have two cracks at the whip :D
Cheers Dave :D I know where you mean it used to be called Kitts Wood years ago when I visited it with my parents. I've been back since and it held both DGF and Silver-washed as well as White Admiral :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:29 am

Cheers Andrew :D It's a cracking site and well worth a visit :D
Cheers Trevor :D Perhaps I should have put a row of 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) around the image :wink: :lol: ? It was easily the stand out butterfly of the trip :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:54 pm

Devon Holiday 2017

18-08-2017

To make the most of my sister being back from Australia my parents had booked a holiday cottage down at Dartington in Devon for all the family. I didn’t mind the drive down too much despite only seeing a few Whites along the verges as I’d been out the day plus there were only a few species that I could still possibly see. The journey was pleasant right up until half way through the Blackdown Hills when the ‘weakest link’ lived up to it’s name. After an hour of sitting and crawling, sitting and crawling along we finally passed the burnt out car that had been the hold up and we were again on our way, finally reaching our destination an hour later than planned and so limiting any chance to check out the garden apart from the briefest of glances while carrying luggage in from the car. I did clock what looked like a female Common Blue on the drive way – or it could have been a rain damaged Holly Blue but that was it and so ended day one.

Oak Barn Cottage 19-08-2017

Come Saturday morning the weather was a bit iffy; cloud covered the surrounding hillsides but it looked like it might brighten later so I took the girls and went with my dad to stock up with provisions at Totnes. Once back and lunched the sun broke through and while everyone else decided what we were going to do over various days I headed out to have a look round the garden. The ‘upside down’ cottage was built into the side of the hill with a small leveled lawn also cut into the hillside at the same level as the upstairs kitchen. A small path and steps took you up and past the woodshed on one side and a small flower patch on the other coming out at the parking spot – again cut and leveled into the side of the hill. On the other side the garden was allowed to be a ‘hill’ with a few fruit tees and a swing which little L made very good use of. The main area of interest was the almost vertical banks surrounding the parking spot as here there were good nectar sources cascading like Victoria Falls. I spent most of my time here when I was ‘up the garden’.

On this first visit I got straight onto a couple of older looking Hedge Browns. Actually looking back at the photos there were at least four different identifiable females. The first was great as despite not being in the best nick she had reduced orange panels on her hind wings and was a single spot excessa but the spot had run into the ‘eye’. The second was a cleaner looking excessa, the third and the fourth were more typical Hedge Brown females. Also around here were a few Small Whites and a heavily marked Green-veined.
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Not a bad start and I was obviously going to have to keep an eye on the Hedgies as it looked like there could be some interesting variations available here. I wandered back down the little path to the cottage and a blue fluttered across the garden. As it landed in some Ivy I was pretty sure that it was a Holy Blue. Luckily whilst the Ivy being a good height would normally mean that the HB would land beyond reach because of the way the garden was plotted I was actually seeing the top of the bush and so the HB was pretty much level with my camera. She was pretty tired and her fore wings seemed to have lost a lot of their blue colouration – possibly water damage (?). Mind you she still played hard to get, hiding herself in amongst the foliage. I channeled a bit of Miller luck and whispered away and she did come out into the open but I don’t think I’ve got the technique quite right as she didn’t open up for me.
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Back to the cars I headed and this time I arrived to watch a Specklie land and sup nectar for a while. It looked really fresh and still had golden sprinkles around the margins of its wings and close to its thorax. The Hedge Browns were still bumbling around and a Red Admiral did a fly past, stopping too briefly for my lens. As I watched it sail up and over the wall of vegetation something else caught my eye, a Southern Hawker. After watching it not move for a good few minutes I got back to the butterflies, finally locating a male Hedgie which seemed to have three and not two pupils in its ‘eye’.
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Just as I was about to head back in to find out where we were heading (despite a Large White final settling) I was stopped in my tracks by a little jewel of a butterfly – a Small Copper. True it was tired and ragged looking, it lacked blue badges but when the light hit it glittered golden.
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Chuffed I went in to face my fate…

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Andrew555
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:44 pm

Great entry Wurzel, this helped ease me through a friday afternoon. :D
That is one fine lookin' Speckled, love the Small White and the Copper on those red flowers.
All good stuff. :D

Cheers

Art Frames
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Art Frames » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:03 pm

Agree with Andrew, a nice start to the story and a lovely small copper on the red flowers (Crocosmia?) ....and an even nicer Southern Hawker. Glad to see Dragonflies on here as well as butterflies as I do spend time watching and photographing those too.

Speaking as a semi retired person I do get to do a few more things I enjoy, but I do wish I still had the energy and commitment of youth! i'd swap the beer for that!
Peter - Art Frames
A few photos on Flickr

millerd
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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:02 pm

Keep on talking to those Holly Blues, Wurzel - they do play hard to get sometimes. Females do pop out for a bask in sunny weather in between bouts of egg-laying deep inside the bushes. A bit like Brown Hairstreaks in that respect: in fact they have quite a lot of Hairstreak behaviour. :) Tat's a lovely Speckled Wood by the way, and those flowers really bring out the Small Copper's colours. :)

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:13 am

Cheers Andrew :D Glad it helped get you through the afternoon, Friday is the most painful afternoon of the week - if I had my way I'd ban people from working from around midnight on a Thursday...but then I suppose Thursday afternoons would become the new Friday? :?
Cheers Peter :D I don't know about this 'energy thing - i seem to have missed out on that when it was handed out :shock: :lol: Cheers for the Dragonfly comment - I try and fit them in if I can, under the radar like :wink:
Cheers Dave :D I'll keep practicing and maybe one day I'll be able to talk them down out of the trees like what you does 8) :mrgreen: You're right about the Holly Blue, it is the most Hairstreak like Blue :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:19 am

Great shots Wurzel , they bring back great memories of Summer :D Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:06 pm

Cheers Goldie :D As I sit here with the embers dying in the burner any memory of summer’s warmth is more than welcome :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Last edited by Wurzel on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:31 am

Buckfast Abbey 19-08-2017

I headed back inside and we started planning out what we would do over the coming days and it was decided that as we were so close we should look around the grounds of Buckfast Abbey. SO we bundled into the cars and headed over. When we arrived there was a slightly autumnal feeling with some of the leaves starting to turn and a cool wind. The lack of butterflies didn’t help with the strange feeling. The only butterflies I saw flying were whites and those that I could get close enough to were all in some state of disrepair. They were also very fidgety, not staying still nor indeed in one pace for long enough for any type of shot apart from the worst ones. In the end I waited for a while in the tiny Lavender garden while the girls ran over the lawns. The occasional white and even a Brimstone stopped but I was only able to capture a few shots of one of the less worn whites. Their fidgety mood was further exacerbated by the breeze that seemed to strengthen just as I was getting any subject in focus.
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After this despite checking out the other small gardens I wasn’t able to capture any more butterflies. There were other highlights including watching a Peregrine come in to roost atop the Abbey and spying a Red Admiral flying across the stained glass windows but the afternoon activity was drawing to a close and we needed to get back for tea. In the car park a Common Darter landed on one of the walls. These were covered in Ivy but the Common Darter landed on one of the only clear patches, almost like a chopper landing on a Helipad.
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The Autumnal feel to the afternoon was nicely rounded off by a set of fungal fruiting bodies…
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Andrew555
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:57 am

That's a great close up of the Darter Wurzel :D

Cheers

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:19 am

Hi! Wurzel, I saw loads of Darters this year, more I think than I've seen in other years, your shot looks like I feel some times when the weather's wet and I can't get out with the Camera :lol: ( disgruntled ) Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:02 pm

Cheers Andrew :D I was chuffed with that one as the light caught the facets of the compound eye just right :D
Cheers Goldie :D he does have a slightly annoyed expression :? ...probably from having a camera shoved in his grill :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:23 pm

Wurzel wrote:Cheers Peter :D I can't wait for the day when I retire as then I'll be able to actually fit in all the important stuff - like family, beer and butterflies. Work keeps getting in the way of at least two of these at the moment :roll: :wink:


I could have said those words myself.

Just catching up on your recent stuff Wurzel, been a bit busy lately and not logged on that much. Some great reports nicely illustrated with great photos as usual. Hard to pick a favourite but I do like the colour combination of the Small Copper on the crocosmia :D

Cheers,

Neil.

trevor
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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:59 pm

That Specklie image is one of the best I have seen of that species,
nice and fresh, and in full Pullman livery !. :D

All the best,
Trevor.

Paul Harfield
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Paul Harfield » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:43 pm

Hi Wurzel
Just doing a massive catch up on your diary.
Great selection of Hedge Browns as always, I love the ab. from your Welsh trip :D.
I can always rely on you to provide some Brown Hairstreak action from Shipton. I am very envious this year as I missed out both the site and the species :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:38 am

Cheers Neil :D Only another 27 years and counting - that is 27 until they raise the Retiring Age again :roll: :(
Cheers Trevor :D That one was fresh out of the box and off for it's first day at work :wink: :D
Cheers Paul :D 'The Lane' always seems to throw up something good Hedge Brown wise :D If you can make to Shipton next year I reckon Karma will come into play and after all your sterling work with WLH this year you'll be tripping over the Brostreaks :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:55 am

Devon Holiday 2017 Cont'd

Pennywell and ‘Home’ 21-08-2017

The day after the Abbey I spent mostly in bed and so missed out on visiting the Riverford Farm which supplies the Wurzel World with most of it’s food. All the muscles in my limbs felt like they were about to cramp and I could barely walk at one point. Luckily it must have only been a 24hour thing as the next morning I was right as rain and we all headed out to Pennywell, a local farm park. There would be pig cuddling and pony rides as well as small pet handling I was sure but I took my camera along anyway reasoning that there would be hedges and therefore Hedgies…

Once we were there and through the gate the girls, all of them (my sister, wife and mum included) had a great time. While they were all engaged with the pigs I sloped off, primarily to find out about the pony and tractor rides but really to scope out the site. At the bottom pf the park was a small pond where the visitors could go pond dipping and the Swallows were making much use of it. However the best thing about it was a small Buddleia bush along the path between the pond and the go karting course.

As I approached it a Peacock took off never to return but it was crawling with butterflies and I counted at least 8 Red Admirals, I say at least because it was a struggle to see round the whole bush as half of it hung over go karting track. Also present were two Small Tortoiseshells and a real surprise find – a female Silver-washed. I have seen them slightly later than this in previous years but I was under the impression that they were all over for this season. She wasn’t anwhere near pristine but still enjoyable to watch as she fed, another diner at the butterfly bush.
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After this I tried for a few shots of the Swallows as they took sips of water by skimming the surface of the pond but by now the sun had gone in, just like the Peacock it didn’t return, and so getting shots was difficult in the less than ideal light. I made my way back to the others and enjoyed the rest of the farm yard frolics.
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We got back and while tired and happy girls had their baths I nipped out for a few minutes to bring in some things from the car and I took my camera just in case. The usual suspects were present but two Hedgies stood out as it were. One was a ‘one spot’ excessa with very small orange areas on the hind wings and the other had extra eyes visible on the fore wings.
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Chuffed with the brief interlude and the butterflies from a family trip I headed inside for tea wondering what the wilds of Dartmoor would bring on the next day?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:57 am

Always great to follow your escapades Wurzel, :D Like you I love to watch the Swallows when they dip for water, that's a good shot considering how quick they are. You always seem to find the Gate Keeper ab's has well on your travels :D There did seem to be quite a lot of the excessa ab this year. Goldie :D


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