Neil Freeman

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Wurzel
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:31 pm

Lovely looking Comma Neil, I love it when they pull that pose :D Interesting comment about the marks on Red Admirals, definitely on to something there as I've witnessed similarly attacked Admirals :)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:00 am

Hi! Neil, I've noticed the marks too on the Admiral's, we've had such a lot in the garden and quite a few were like that! Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:21 pm

Love your moths, Neil, especially the Red-Green Carpet. I suppose it's that time of year when one can pay more attention to them, given the relative absence of their butterfly brethren.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:19 pm

Cheers Wurzel and Goldie, I would hazard a guess that the blue spots maybe attract the attention of birds in much the same way that eye spots do.

Thanks David, there are a number of moth species that don't appear until the autumn and a few that are winter specialists. The Red-green Carpet flies from September to November and overwinters as an adult and may occasionally come to light on mild winter nights, I had one in my trap last December.

It seems that Red Admirals are still around many parts of the country in good numbers and I have spotted a few from my car on the way home from work this past week although I have not seen any more in the garden.
The only other butterflies I have seen have been a couple of Large whites passing through the garden...or maybe the same one hanging around, and a few Speckled Woods. A couple of males are still holding their corners although they are looking well worn now and I spotted a nice female basking in a sunny spot earlier today before the clouds rolled in this afternoon.

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Speckled Wood female - Coverdale 06.10.2017


I see that Wurzel has posted that the favourite photo threads are to start soon so it is time to start looking back through my photos :D

Bye for now,

Neil

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:14 pm

Great looking Specklie Neil :D
"the favourite photo threads are to start soon so it is time to start looking back through my photos" - this is my favourite 'onerous task' :wink: :lol:

Havea goodun

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:41 pm

Love your Speckie Neil, it's great to see the green colour coming through in your shot some thing that's not always caught in Speckie shots :D Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:05 pm

Normally, we take Speckled Woods for granted, Neil, but at this time of year they are precious so well done for capturing such a fresh example.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:35 pm

Thanks for the comments Wurzel, Goldie and David :D

Still a few Speckled Wood hanging on here but mostly looking to be on their last legs now and apart from a couple of Red Admirals last Sunday that has been it for me this week. By the time I get in from work the shadows cast by the trees and shrubs around my garden are lengthening and any Specklies seen are usually fluttering about high up where the higher branches still catch the sun when it has been out.

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Red Admiral - Coverdale 08.10.2017


Back in mid August, I had a nice fat female Poplar Hawk Moth in the garden moth trap where she laid a small batch of 15 eggs. Poplar Hawks are usually on the wing from May until July but there is often a partial second brood in August/September, particularly down south, and this phenomenon has also been occurring more regularly further north in recent years.
The eggs consequently hatched and I have been rearing the resulting caterpillars, 12 of which are still surviving, 3 having died shortly after hatching for some reason. Apart from Poplar and Aspen, they will also take Willow and Sallow, the latter being what I am feeding these on, simply because it is easier for me to get hold of.

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Poplar Hawk Moth Caterpillar 4th instar - 07.10.2017


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Poplar Hawk Moth caterpillars showing 2 different green colour forms


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Poplar Hawk Moth Caterpillar 4th instar - 07.10.2017


As well as the Poplar Hawks, I also have some Yellow-tail Moth caterpillars, again from a batch of eggs that a female left in the trap. These hibernate as small caterpillars and continue feeding in the spring.

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Yellow-tail Moth caterpillars - 07.10.2017


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Yellow-tail Moth caterpillars - 07.10.2017


Looks like we may well be having a bit of good weather over the weekend so it may be that I can fit in a wander around a local spot for a look...fingers crossed.

Bye for now,

Neil.
Last edited by Neil Freeman on Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi! Neil, your Hawk Moth reminds me of a dinosaur ,It's a lovely colour of green too.Goldie :D Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby millerd » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:55 pm

Lovely chunky hawk moth caterpillars, Neil. I hope they get through ok. Best of luck with the weekend weather too - let's hope we get sun with the warmth that's promised. :)

Dave

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:18 pm

Good luck over the weekend Neil :D Interesting to see the two colour forms, do they show a preference for different feed sources to match their colouration?

Have a goodun

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:03 pm

Beautiful, high quality images of those moth larvae, Neil. The hawk moth in particular looks impressive, although the Yellow-Tails are attractive in their own right too.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:40 pm

Thanks all for your comments, greatly appreciated as always :D

The Poplar Hawk caterpillars recently started wandering around which is the usual behaviour when looking for somewhere to pupate so they were moved to a plastic tub with a few inches of soil and leaf mould to burrow into.
The Yellow-tail caterpillars have joined some leaves together with silk and gone into hibernation in small groups within these little shelters.

The other weekend didn't turn out anywhere like the forecast, grey and breezy, and then we had Ophelia which livened things up around here a bit, although not as much as a bit further west.
The last butterfly that I saw around here was a solitary Red Admiral last week and although there is always the chance that I may see a hibernator tempted out again by a sunny spell, I am not expecting to see any more butterflies now until next season.

As is usual this time of the year, increasing numbers of birds are coming to the garden feeders including regular visits from a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
The photo below was taken through the window whilst I watched the activity on the feeders from the comfort of my back room :)

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Great Spotted Woodpecker - Coverdale 20.10.2017


I don't know what has been happening to the time lately but the past few weeks have shot by. Lets hope that the winter flies by likewise.

Bye for now,

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am

Great shot of Woody Neil :D Fingers crossed for a 'good' winter and a prompt return to March :wink: :D

Have a goodun

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:24 am

I like your caterpillars Neil, I always try and get a pic and an id if I see one.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:15 pm

Nice Woodpecker, Neil.

Keep your eyes open for developments on the butterfly/moth larva front. In a couple of weeks we may have little else to cheer us.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:49 pm

Thanks for your great comments Wurzel, Andrew and David :D

Sunday 29th October

A pleasantly sunny Sunday morning here tempted me out to do a bit of gardening, although with the lower sun at this time of year casting a large part of the garden into shadow it did feel a bit nippy with the temperature struggling into double figures. Even so, there are are still a couple of sunny patches and I was pleased to see a Red Admiral had staked a claim to one and spent most of the morning chasing away anything that came close before returning to bask.

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Red Admiral - Coverdale 29.10.2017


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Red Admiral - Coverdale 29.10.2017


Recent Garden Moths

The moth trap has been out in the garden a few times on the milder and less windy nights through October with some nice autumn species turning up.

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Green-brindled Crescent - Coverdale 13.10.2017


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November Moth - One of a few closely related species that are difficult to tell apart.


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Brick - Coverdale 15.10.2017


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Feathered Thorn - 23.10.2017


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Large Wainscot - 25.10.2017


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Silver-Y - More often seen during the day, this was the first one this year to come to the trap at night.


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Shoulder-striped Wainscot - a very late example of this species which normally flies in a single brood from late May to Late July


This morning we had the first proper frost around here and I had to clear my car windscreen when I set off for work at 06.00. Looks like the rest of the week is going to be bit nippy too.

Bye for now,

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby bugboy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:03 pm

That Green-brindled Crescent is a right little stunner!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Wurzel
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:59 am

I thought exactly what Bugboy thought Neil :D Cracking shot :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:36 pm

You certainly make up for your relative lack of butterflies with your fabulous array of moths, Neil. Some real crackers in there.


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