Neil Freeman

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David M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:53 pm

A couple of nice reports there, Neil, including images of two supposedly common species I haven't see too often this year - Small Heath & Small Skipper.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:18 am

They're still in reasonable nick for this 'late' in the season, I say late because it feels like everything's coming to end, though hopefully there's still a good while to go yet :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:54 pm

Hi David, I haven't seen that many Small Skippers myself this year although I am not sure if that was partly down to me being caught out by this season and not being in the right place at the right time. Small Heaths are certainly far less numerous around my local patch than they were just a few years ago.

Cheers Wurzel, hopefully there is still some life left in the season...still got a couple of trips to look forward to :wink: :D

Recent Garden Moths

Over the past few weeks, the moth trap has continued to go out in the garden on suitable nights...and also a few which turned out to be less suitable with some blustery winds and sudden showers that have turned up regardless of what the forecasts predicted.
Now we are into August, the nights are drawing in and the mid-summer species are giving way to those late summer and early autumn which also include second generations of many species. Typing this I have just realised that butterflies tend to be referred to as having broods whereas moths tend to be referred to as having generations...wonder why?
Large Yellow Underwings are turning up in increasing numbers, the most I have had so far on one night is 41, still less than last year when I had double that on some nights. Anyone who has ever had a trap full of these things will know why they are often called blunderwings.

Anyway, a selection below from the past couple of weeks, all fairly common species but nevertheless nice to see in my garden.

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Least Yellow Underwing - smaller relative of the Large Yellow Underwing and a first for my garden.


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Latticed Heath - another first for the garden, I usually see these at my local sites in the daytime.


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Square-spot Rustic - a late summer 'trap filler'


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Orange Swift - lots of these over the past week or so.


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Carcina quercana - a nice attractive micro.


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Canary-shouldered Thorn - probably the most attractive of the 'Thorns'


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Canary-shouldered Thorn - is this the cutest moth in the UK?


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Poplar Hawk - presumably second generation at this time of year.


Off to finish some packing now, we are heading down to Cornwall in the morning for a family holiday with my mom, daughter and grandson...and hopefully a bit of butterflying...

Bye for now,

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Good luck Neil and enjoy. Not so many coppers about, but plenty of other stuff down there, especially at Kynance Cove. :mrgreen:

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:30 pm

Neil Freeman wrote:Canary-shouldered Thorn - is this the cutest moth in the UK?


I'd have to say yes, Neil. That little moth is absolutely adorable. Never seen one myself, sadly, but I'd very much like to now you've posted that.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:26 am

Definitely the cutest Moth Neil :D The Lattice Heath must fall into the 'most attractive under wing' category :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Pauline » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi Neil

Apologies for the late comment but just wanted to say that I love those shots of the Canary-shouldered Thorn. I had one in the trap last year but I really need another shot at getting images as good as yours :mrgreen: Burying beetles just don't do it for me! :(

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:39 pm

essexbuzzard wrote:Good luck Neil and enjoy. Not so many coppers about, but plenty of other stuff down there, especially at Kynance Cove. :mrgreen:


Thanks Mark, just got back this afternoon...yep, loads of stuff about, not just Kynance Cove either :D

Cheers Wurzel and David, that head on shot also has an almost cartoon like look to it too :D

Thank Pauline, fortunately they a docile moth and easy to tease onto a bit of stick for a photo :D

Cornwall – August 19th to 26th...part 1

I have just spent a cracking week down in Cornwall where Jane and myself took my Mom and our daughter Sarah and grandson Frankie to stay in a caravan at Kennack Sands on the Lizard. This was the second time Jane and myself had been to the Lizard this year having spent a few days in a B&B in Mullion back in early June and also the second time we had stayed at Kennack Sands, the last time being in June 2015.
With this being primarily a family holiday, any butterflying had to work around what the women and Frankie wanted to do but fortunately I had an ally in Sarah who has recently been getting into photography (mostly landscapes and 'arty' type stuff) and who was keen for me to show her some good locations.

After arriving late on the afternoon of Saturday 19th by the time we were settled in it was too late to do much and as we were all feeling a bit peckish we headed to Lizard village and the most southerly fish & chip shop in Britain.

The following day (Sunday 20th) was wet and horrible all day with persistent drizzle punctuated by spells of heavier rain. Luckily, that was the only wet day we had and from Monday morning the weather improved though the week with some good warm sun and although there was sometimes a fair bit of cloud about the temperature was consistently in the high teens or low twenties...apart from one notable occasion when I had just arrived at Kynance Cove at around 4.00pm on Monday afternoon just in time for a bank of low cloud to roll in from the sea. Still, it had an attractive quality of its own and there were still some butterflies about.

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Low cloud over Kynance cove - 21.08.2017


My tally of butterfly species for the week was 19. Some of these were in large numbers and were seen just about everywhere (Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Red Admiral), some were more localised and seen in lower numbers although often well into double figures (Small Tortoiseshell, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Painted Lady), and others were seen in ones or twos up to a total of maybe half a dozen or so (Small Copper, Clouded Yellow, Grayling, Wall Brown) or just single worn and tatty examples (Small Skipper, Silver-washed Fritillary).
I visited Kynance Cove a couple of times and had a drive over to Upton Towans on the last Friday (25th) afternoon but in truth I actually found the area and coast paths around Kennack Sands to be as productive as anywhere and actually saw all the species seen within a 20 minutes or so walk from our caravan.
As usual, I have loads of photos to sort through so reports on these to come over the next few days.

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Morning sun over Kennack Sand 21.08.2017


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Kennack Sands - looking the other way to the previous shot and taken about 20 minutes later.


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Kennack Sands - SPBF and Clouded Yellow seen in the area in the foreground here.


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Cove by Poltescu - 21.08.2017


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Sarah between Lizard Point and Kynance Cove - 22.08.2017


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Looking toward Kynance cove - 22.08.2017


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Sunset from Lizard Point - 23.08.2017


To be continued...

Neil.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:30 pm

Cornwall – August 19th to 26th ...part 2.

When we booked our holiday in Cornwall earlier in the year, the dates were set by a combination of my available time off work and also when Sarah and Frankie were available. Butterfly flight times were not the prime consideration but of course I was aware that Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries usually have a second brood in Cornwall around this time. I was also aware that the best time for these is usually in early August and that as we would be there in the third week of the month that they would probably have been on the wing for some time. Last year I had seen a couple of worn and tatty Small Pearls still hanging on at Upton Towans in the first week of September so I was hopeful that I would find some in not too bad condition.

As it turned out I saw probably 20-30 during the week, usually in small numbers at any one spot and in varying condition from nearly fresh to really tatty and faded. As well as being in the latter stages of their flight period, I reckon that the day of rain that we had on the Sunday had also taken a toll on their numbers and condition.

During the week I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of Small Pearls at Kennack Sands, including a few in a sheltered south facing bank right behind the beach. We had stayed here in early June of 2015 when despite a careful search I did not see a single first brood SPBF at this location. (although there were plenty on the wing at Kynance Cove at that time) but had thought that the habitat looked 'right'. Given how easily I found them this time I don't think I overlooked them on the previous occasion so perhaps they simply weren't there then. I also found a few individuals along the coast path a little way to the north of the beach and also scattered along the path going south towards Cadgwith Cove.

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Kennack Sands - showing area where a number of SPBF were found


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and friend - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Kennack Sands 22.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


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The same male as above seen again 3 days later - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - seen between Kennack Sands and Cadgwith Cove 24.08.2017


I walked the coast path between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point twice, first on the afternoon of the Monday when the low clouds had rolled in off the sea as described in my previous post. The second time was on the following (Tuesday 22nd) afternoon when I returned with Sarah in much better weather. Due to the damp and misty conditions, no Small Pearls were seen on the fist visit but the second walk produced half a dozen or so worn and faded examples in the usual spots.

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Kynance Cove - Graylings at the top, SPBFs and Clouded Yellow at the bottom.


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


I also popped over to Upton Towans for a couple of hours on the Friday (25th) afternoon when I saw another half a dozen or so Small Pearls scattered about across the extensive dune system there.

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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Upton Towans 25.08.2017


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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Upton Towans 25.08.2017


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A nice darkly marked female - Upton Towans 24.08.2017


I mentioned in my previous post that I saw 19 species in total during the week so plenty more to come.

to be continued...

Neil.

trevor
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby trevor » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:29 am

Well done with the Small Pearls, Neil, Excellent views of the Cornish coastline too.
I wonder which one of next year's broods these late SPBF will contribute, as the lifecycle
of some Butterflies takes a whole year.
The SPBF's released earlier this year in East Sussex have also had a second brood.

Best wishes,
Trevor.

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:06 pm

Hi! Neil, great shots of the Pearl's, we're short of the Spring ones up here very few having been seen this year compared to other years, we don't get second broods here either as far has I know. love the shots of Cornwall :D Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:36 pm

Thanks Trevor, I have noticed that your Sussex Small Pearls have had a second brood, a great reward for all the hard work that Neil Hulme and the team has done down there.

Cheers Goldie, the Small Pearls in the Wyre Forest here in the midlands don't do a second brood either, at least not regularly and not since 2009 according to the Butterflies of the West Midlands book.

Cornwall – August 19th to 26th ...part 3.

One species that I always look out for when I am down south is Clouded Yellow. Living in the midlands I tend not to see many of these locally and have only ever seen the odd one or two around my patch, the last time being a couple of years ago now. During my times down in Cornwall (and Dorset) in recent years I have found that there are some locations which can usually be relied on to produce a Clouded Yellow or two in most years.
One of these spots is at Kynance cove and sure enough when I was there on the Tuesday (22nd )afternoon there were at least three flying around there. One was at the spot in the photo in my previous post, this one stopped occasionally to nectar which gave me the chance for some photos.

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Clouded Yellow - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


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Clouded Yellow - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


A little later I saw two in the air together some distance away towards Lizard Point and who were chasing each other around the steep cliffs...needless to say, I was not equipped for rock climbing and so these two stayed out of reach.

I also saw a couple at Kennack Sands, in the same area just to the back of the beach which had produced Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. I saw two different individuals here late on the afternoon of the Wednesday (23rd) and singletons on a couple of occasions later in the week. I am not sure if these were the same as already seen or different individuals, quite possibly they were the same ones hanging around this spot.

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Clouded Yellow - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


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Clouded Yellow - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


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Clouded Yellow - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


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Clouded Yellow - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


A few single examples were also seen along the coast path both to the north of Kennack Sands and to the south towards Cadgwith Cove. These were usually fly pasts without stopping but one did settle to feed on some fleabane just long enough to get another photo.

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Clouded Yellow - between Kennack Sands and Cadgwith Cove 23.08.2017


Painted Ladies were also about in slightly higher numbers than the Clouded Yellows, maybe a dozen or so scattered about during the week.

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Painted Lady - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


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Painted Lady - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Painted Lady - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


On the morning of the Thursday (24th) we were just having breakfast when I noticed the shadow of a butterfly flying around on the decking outside the caravan. During the week we had noticed that Red Admirals would often bask on the caravans and decking, especially early in the morning and again later in the afternoon between feeding on a number of nearby buddleias.
On this occasion the butterfly turned out to be a Painted Lady and I just managed a couple of photos before it was off.

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Painted Lady - basking on plastic chair outside caravan - 24.08.2017


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Painted Lady - taken through caravan decking railing 24.08.2017


During the week numbers of Red Admirals increased to the point where I was seeing them everywhere, these and more still to come.

To be continued...

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:54 pm

Great reportage and shot from your break in Cornwall Neil, especially the Cloudies :mrgreen: :mrgreen: It seems wierd rading a report of SPBFs just by the beach :shock: and seeing them in a wood enclosure is so ingrained...

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:55 am

Great shots of the Cloudy Yellow's Neil, I had a Painted Lady in my garden this Weekend, it was lovely and fresh, it always seems strange to me that they fly all the way from Africa and we see them here, yet the Clouded Yellow don't visit so far north very often and when they do it's mostly up the coast in the Lakes area they're found. Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:23 pm

Cheers Wurzel, Having seen SPBFs in Cornwall a number of times now I am used to seeing them in that kind of habitat.

Hi Goldie, I saw a Clouded Yellow at Arnside a few years ago...like you say, not far from the coast.

Cornwall – August 19th to 26th ...part 4.

From when the weather started to improve on the morning of the Monday, I started to see a few Red Admirals and as the week progressed I saw more and more until by the second half of the week I was seeing them everywhere we went.

During the day these were mostly actively flying around at high speed but during my wanders along the paths around Kennack Sands later in the afternoons I would find good numbers feeding up on the many clumps of hemp agrimony that were dotted about.

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Red Admiral - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Red Admiral - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Red Admirals - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


On the holiday park itself there was a children's play area that we could see from our caravan and which little Frankie enjoyed playing around with a little gang of new found 'mates'. There were a number of 'islands' of shrubs dotted around this play area and in each of these was one or two buddleias. We could keep an eye on Frankie at the play area from the decking of our caravan and whilst sitting there I soon noticed some butterflies flitting around these buddleias which would usually prove to be Red Admirals. On a couple of early evenings I did a quick circuit around these shrubs and a rough count produced over 30 Red Admirals and about a dozen Small Tortoiseshells each time, either feeding on the buddleias or basking on the adjacent shrubs.

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Red Admiral - Kennack Sands 25.08.2017


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Red Admirals - Kennack Sands 25.08.2017


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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 25.08.2017


Small Tortoiseshells were also seen in good numbers through the week, albeit not as numerous as the Red Admirals and during the late afternoons could usually be found alongside them on the clumps of hemp agrimony.

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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


A couple of Peacocks were still feeding up at Kennack sands and another one was doing likewise at Kynance Cove.

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Small Tortoiseshell - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


On the Thursday (24th) afternoon, whilst the women were on the beach at Kennack Sands with Frankie, I sneaked off for a little wander and had just started down the path behind the beach when a large faded orange butterfly settled on some hemp agrimony at the side of the path. This turned out to be a raggedy looking Silver-washed Fritillary, probably the latest example of this species I have ever seen. I just managed the one shot before it was up and over some trees.

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Silver-washed Fritillary - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


I think the other critter in the shot above is a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly, I saw a few of these around and they have been turning up in my garden for the past couple of years. Another species that seems to be creeping northwards with climate change.

To be continued...

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:17 pm

After humble beginnings as the early August weather turned out awful, things seem to be progressing in a promising way.

Like you, Neil, I'm suddenly seeing Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells quite regularly, with a few Painted Ladies thrown in.

All I need now are a few Clouded Yellows and I'll feel like I belong!

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby essexbuzzard » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:14 pm

Interesting you saw SPBF at Kennack Sands. Although I've walked the coast path there, I don't know the area as well as I know Mullion-Kynance-Lizard area. I know Neil Hulme saw them there as well. I'm glad you picked up some Clouded Yellows, I saw some there at the beginning of August. Great pic's as well!

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby bugboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:25 am

Just catching up on a few diaries in my lunch break. Cornwall is still a part of the world I need to make time for. Perusing your recent reports makes want to visit even more. :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:47 pm

Hi David, it seems that happily the season has a bit of life left in it yet :D

Thanks Mark, I didn't see Neil's report until I returned so was unaware he had seen the SPBFs at Kennack Sands, must admit they were a pleasant surprise :D as, like I mention in my previous report, I didn't see any there on my previous visit.

Hi Bugboy, it is the other way around for me, I haven't been to the south-east for years. I must make the effort one of these days with all the Long-tailed Blues, Queen of Spain Fritillaries and such like that have been turning up in recent years.

Cornwall – August 19th to 26th ...part 5.

There were a number of species that were seen everywhere and usually in large numbers, these being Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and Common Blue.

It looked as if Meadow Browns were still emerging with some very fresh examples seen, both male and female, although getting a decent photo was difficult with most of them being either very active or settling with wings closed. This species is known to fly in cloudy conditions and sometimes in light drizzle and sure enough they were still quite active on the Monday afternoon when the cloud and mist rolled in from the sea at Kynance Cove as described in my earlier report.

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Meadow Brown - Kynance Cove 21.08.2017


Over the past few years I have been seeing more and more females with extended orange forewing patches including quite a few with orange patches on their hindwings. I am now in the habit of looking out for these and found a number amongst the population between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point.

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Meadow Brown- Kynance Cove 21.08.2017


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Wish I had got a better photo of this one - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


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Meadow Brown - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


Equally as numerous as the Meadow Browns were Gatekeepers and these also included some in remarkably good condition considering the time of year. I always think of these as a butterfly of hedgerows and woodland rides and I was surprised to see how many were on the wing along the cliff top paths and more open areas that I visited, as well as flying in the more usual spots.

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Gatekeeper - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


Speckled Woods were also ubiquitous along every path I walked along, again in all conditions from old and tired to nice and fresh.

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Speckled Wood - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


It was good to see Common Blues living up to their name, in fact to the point where they were the most numerous butterfly seen during the week. The males were the most obvious, chasing each other about in almost every patch of grass, but there were also plenty of females who varied from very brown individuals to almost totally blue ones.

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Common Blue - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


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Common Blue - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


As well as the species mentioned above there were also a few species seen in much lower numbers. These included Small Heath, Grayling, Wall Brown and Small Copper, all of which were seen in ones or twos scattered about around Kennack Sands and on the coast path between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point. Apart from the Small Heaths which looked quite fresh , the others were all looking faded and past their best but no less active for that.

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Small Heath - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Wall Brown - Kynance Cove 22.08.2017


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Wall Brown - Upton Towans 25.08.2017


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Grayling - between Kennack Sands and Cadgwith Cove 23.08.2017


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Grayling - Kennack Sands 24.08.2017


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Small Copper - Kennack Sands 21.08.2017


I got the impression that the few Small Coppers that I saw were the tail end of the previous brood. I saw loads of them between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point last year but that was in the first week of September and I was just that bit too early for their next emergence this year.

Large, Small and Green-veined Whites were all seen flying with a few of each stopping long enough to be positively identified and at Kennack Sands a single worn female Small Skipper made up the final tally of 19 species seen during the week.

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Small Skipper - Kennack Sands 23.08.2017


Just one more report to come from Cornwall...

Neil.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:56 pm

Interesting variation in those Meadow Browns Neil - one of them could almost be a Hedge Brown :shock: :D That Small Skipper is in very good nick for the time of year as well :shock: Looking forward to the next installment :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel


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