Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:02 pm

Cheers Goldie :D There seems to have been a noticable shift towards Common Blues being more blue than brown over recent years - it would be interesting to find out if it is an actual shift or whether it's an artefact of people being more attracted to the blue females and so taking more photos of that form?
Cheers Andrew :D The 5-10 minute' stop-off is a practice I've been developing over the last couple of years - so far I've gotten away with it :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:58 pm

Middle Street 23-09-2017

When I look back on this trip it is with fondness. It was one of those serendipitous days where you don’t set out to do anything but things fall into your lap. The weather was warm and sunny and it being the weekend and not knowing how long it would last all the family headed out. We didn’t really know where we were going to end up but somehow our feet pointed us in the direction of the Town Path which cuts across Harnham Meadows. It was glorious to see the still lunch green grass and poking out amongst the trees, well more like towering out, was the spire of the Cathedral. On round the Mill we went with the autumnal sun warming our backs and then rather than turning left and completing a circuit which would take us back into town via the Cathedral and The Close we went right and onto Middle Street.

I’d brought my camera, the girls had a jam jar and bright pink fishing net and my wife had a blanket and a good book so we were totally sorted. Once on site my wife found a warm spot to settle back in, the girls headed to the jetty to fish for Minnows and I checked out the dried up pond – a rich source of butterflies early in the season. Today however it was really quiet and it wasn’t until I started round the pond that I located my first butterfly, a tired looking Red Admiral. There was a second flightier one as well but it stayed out of reach, fluttering and landing high on the birch trees rather than down where I could reach it with my lens. I didn’t mind I was feeling lackadaisical and so I mooched back to check in with my wife. I would then make little sorties out to see if the Red Admirals were ready to have their photos taken or to help the girls identify something that had come out of their net. On one such sorties the Red Admirals were ready to grant me an audience and so I finally got some shots which were all the better for the patient wait.
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Back at camp the girls were ready to try another jetty and so we moved slightly further along. While they dipped in their new locale I checked out the benches as these seemed quite attractive to the Common Darters. Happy that everyone else was happy I took myself off for a slightly longer foray wandering upstream along the river and cutting down into the Meadow that’s not mown as harshly as the football pitch. It was all quiet it here with only a fly-by UFW, possibly a Small…
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Unperturbed I made my way back to camp and then stopped as a little orange jewel bumbled across worn turf. I approached wondering why this Small Copper appeared so orange and when I got up close I could see straight away that it was very lightly spotted. It was hard work keeping up with it as it fed frenziedly at a flower before sprinting to the next source of nectar. I’d just get into position, focus and then maybe if I was quick enough get a shot or two before it was off again. It felt like I’d wound down too soon, I should have kept myself sharp! In the end I found it easier to follow it and then look further ahead in the direction it had been taking and then station myself and wait by any of the few remaining flowers. This paid off and I correctly predicted its movements 3 times out of four and after the fourth I let it go on its way and headed back to collect the girls.
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We packed up and somewhat reluctantly started for home, the peace ceased and we came out of the happy little bubble that we’d been in all afternoon. A Comma put in a final goodbye on one of the walls of the houses along the road and then we were back into normality. But what a fantastic afternoon spent with family and butterflies, they don’t come much better than that! :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:58 pm

Hi! Wurzel, your afternoon out sounded Ideal, obviously one to remember and with another ab to record as well :D Goldie :D

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:26 pm

More great reports and photos Wurzel, helps to remind me what better days look like during these cold and dark recent times :D .

Wurzel wrote:... There seems to have been a noticable shift towards Common Blues being more blue than brown over recent years - it would be interesting to find out if it is an actual shift or whether it's an artefact of people being more attracted to the blue females and so taking more photos of that form...


During my wanderings up and down the country over the past few years I have noticed the bluest females mostly further south, those up around Arnside for instance are predominately browner forms. That is very much a generalisation but possibly indicating climate change may have something to do with it.

cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:41 pm

Very nice Wurzel, as the sleet falls outside this reminds me of warm great days past, and to come. :D
Excellent close up's, especially of the Darter. :D

Cheers

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:47 pm

Cheers Goldie :D I had a quite a few family/butterfly orientated trips to remember from 2017 - it was a vintage year for me :D
Cheers Neil :D Indeed Neil - but the new season could be only 4 weeks away if like last year I manage to get a Small Tort in early February! :D WRT the blue female Common Blues - it would be interesting to see if that pattern holds out - it would make sense bearing in mind darker colours absorb heat more effectively and it's generally cooler in the North...Sounds like a good thesis for an Undergrad this.
Cheers Andrew :D Not long now, it'll soon be shorts and T-shirt weather :lol:

Have a goodun

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:39 pm

Larkhill 26-09-2017

This was likely to be my final visit to this site in 2017; what with the nights starting to draw in, the weather starting to cool and also term time now in full swing, so I was hoping to end with a final flourish.

I started in the area round the Car Park but the patch of Golden Rod was looking all mined out and only a distant Small White lingered here amongst the Nettles. I remembered that there was a large patch of late flowering plants about half way along the Northbound path and so that was the route that I took. A few steps into my journey and a Comma appeared trying to blend in with the yellowing leaves as they started to turn to copper.
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A few more steps along and a black and white flash announced the arrival of a Red Admiral, a lovely female showing the white spotting and making her a ‘bialbata’. She seemed disinclined to go anywhere so I took plenty of photos before carrying on my way. Strangely she waited for me to pass by and carry on my way before she left her spot – flying over my head and then up and over the hedge. And that was it for 2017…
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When I look back on the year here I’m drawn to the conclusion that it was a ‘reasonable one’ when reflecting on the fact that I wasn’t able, for a multitude of reasons, to stop off here as much as in previous years. However when considering the species seen it was actually a pretty great year – with Greenstreak, Small blue and Dark Green Fritillary again on the year list with the excellent addition of Marsh Fritillary!
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Next year a Duke or Duchess would be nice…and actually not that unthinkable…

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi! Wurzel, It's quite a while since I saw Marsh fritillary but at least I saw/ and have shots of them, it would be nice to see them again though. May be this year :D Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:21 pm

I love seeing Commas in the spring and then the bright Hutchinsoni in the summer but I've always seen Commas as an autumn butterfly and I think they always look their best when perched on autumn foliage or fatten up on ripe blackberries which is why that first image is definitely the pick of the bunch for me!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:54 pm

Cheers Goldie :D They seem to have done quite well on calcerous grass over the last couple of years, if you're down this way when they're flying I know some cracking sites for them. :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:37 am

Cheers Bugboy :D I totally agree with you Bugboy I reckon they're at their best come September/October, they appear more vivid to my eye in an autumnal glow :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi Wurzel,

Another vote for autumn Commas...I love the colour combination in your photo :D

Cheers,

Neil.

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:12 am

Cheers Neil :D I'd love to take credit for the colour but Nature did all the hard work :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:38 am

Great Comma shot Wurzel, beautiful colours. :D I also love the Marshie, a butterfly I have not yet seen, maybe this year. :)

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:48 am

Cheers Andrew :D If you take a trip back to Dorset at the right time there are some really 'easy' sites for Marshies, the 'Sites' section on this website has got some great info but if you need anymore then just PM me :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel
2:17

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:05 am

February 2018

Just missed it...late as usual :roll: Hopefully not too long to wait for some of these beauties :D

2 Feb.jpg


Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:21 pm

Hi! Wurzel, I'm looking forward to your march calendar :lol: Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:39 pm

Cheers Goldie :D Me too I can barely wait, I keep seeing a leaf caught in the wind and thinking it's a Red Admiral :( Hopefully this cold snap will be the last and the Small Torts will be out soon :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:52 am

The image on your calendar is a familiar one. My part time job is on farm premises,
and at the end of March the Small Tortoiseshells emerge en-masse from the roof spaces
of the out buildings, on a warm day.
Many are seen in the ' nose to tail ' position as in your image, others are make for
the Dandelions, the only source of nectar in the area at that time of year.

Remember last year, when we found our first Small Torts. by that rubbish heap ?.

Not long now !
Trevor.

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:13 pm

Cheers Trevor :D Unfortunately they never seem to want to go to the next 'base' :roll: :lol: I do indeed remember the Small Torts from the rubbish heap - one of those made it as my 'Favourite' selection :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel
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