millerd

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millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:02 pm

A very good showing from the Bookham Coppers, Buggy - definitely worth another visit and hopefully they'll have been well down out of the wind. :)

I'm glad to hear that, David! They were an uplifting sight - full of character and colour. :) I think quite a few of the wet spells have passed through here overnight after soaking points west during the previous daytime. This can put quite a different perspective on exactly the same weather. :)

Monday 2nd October: breezy after the overnight wind and wet, but a fair bit of quite warm sunshine in the morning before the cloud increased again. After quite a poor showing on the Red Admiral front a few days ago, I half-expected them to be nearly absent on my short local walk today. How wrong can you be? There were dozens (I managed to reach 30 before retracing my steps and risking double-counting) and most of them looked quite fresh. Another flush of new hatchlings from the abundant nettles around here: it will be interesting to see if they head southwards as their predecessors seem to have done. I also spotted half-a-dozen Commas, a similar number of Speckled Woods and a couple of Small Whites.
Comma2 021017.JPG
Comma1 021017.JPG
SpW1 021017.JPG
SpW2 021017.JPG
SW1 021017.JPG
RA2 021017.JPG
RA4 021017.JPG
RA5 021017.JPG
RA9 021017.JPG
RA7 021017.JPG

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bugboy
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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:57 pm

Your patch really is quite remarkable at this time of year, I've practically given up looking for butterflies on my patch, it's barren! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:02 pm

A splendid array for this time of the season Dave, it's great to see butterflies persisting and just shrugging off inclement weather :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:33 pm

bugboy wrote:Your patch really is quite remarkable at this time of year, I've practically given up looking for butterflies on my patch, it's barren!


Indeed. My patch too is quite bereft. I'm actually starting to wonder whether I'll see another butterfly before the year is out!

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:02 am

Hi! Dave , those Red Admiral's are very harder , I've been amazed at the numbers I've seen this month :D
I love the Comma on the Berries, really autumnal :D Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:07 pm

Thank you all - it's the Red Admirals that keep things going, like they seem to be with you, Goldie! :) However, they aren't the only thing around still, amazingly. Several species are (to use your word, Wurzel) persisting, much to my pleasant surprise today. Some areas are indeed barren and bereft, but not all...

Tuesday 3rd October dawned sunny and a bit nippy compared to recent mornings. However, the temperature rose quite quickly to around the 16 mark by lunchtime. The initial object for the day was to do a more scientific count of the Red Admirals around my normal local walk. I managed this, but was constantly distracted by other things, so may have missed one or two. The total overall came to 35, so yesterday's estimate wasn't far off. Of these about a third were around one big ivy patch and two thirds within five minutes of home. Almost all of them looked very new, and some were definitely freshly emerged. It's certainly the largest number I've seen this year on one day, though I've had higher numbers in the past.

However, they were not the only attractions. Altogether, I saw ten species today, and managed to photograph seven out of ten, which was a bit annoying because of those that eluded me. As I was in counting mode today, the league table looked like this:

Red Admiral 35
RA1 031017.JPG
RA5 031017.JPG
RA6 031017.JPG

Comma 6
Comma1 031017.JPG
Comma3 031017.JPG

Speckled Wood 6
SpW1 031017.JPG

Peacock 1
Peacock1 031017.JPG

Small Copper 1
SC2 031017.JPG
SC3a 031017.JPG

Common Blue 1
CB8 031017.JPG
CB6 031017.JPG
CB3 031017.JPG
CB9 031017.JPG

Small Heath 1
SH1 031017.JPG

...and those that evaded the camera:

Small Tortoiseshell 1
Holly Blue 1
Small White 1

The Small Copper was in the same area as other recent sightings, though another different individual. The Common Blue was where I'd seen eggs being laid a while back, and was very fresh. The Small Heath was a ghost of a butterfly in their usual area, but barely able to fly. The Peacock was seen near the same spot as the Small Copper, and appears to have the extra hindwing spots seen on the one at Mill Hill. It's probably a second brood individual. I disturbed the Holly Blue from an ivy patch where I was counting Red Admirals, the Small Tortoiseshell was basking on the path and I failed to see it before it set off rapidly downwind and the Small White was pottering in the sunshine and failed to stop.

One particular Red Admiral caught my eye. It was very new and the red band on the forewing was divided in two as well as it sporting prominent bialbata white spots.
RA7a 031017.JPG
RA7c 031017.JPG
A striking individual.

An excellent day for the time of year.

Dave
Last edited by millerd on Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trevor
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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:01 am

What amazes me Dave, is that in the height of Summer, June, there's hardly a butterfly to be seen,
then in October, with Christmas items appearing in the shops, you can find a haul like that !.

Trevor.

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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:31 am

A cracking array Dave, especially nice is that Red Admiral :D :mrgreen: - isn't there a named ab where the red line is cut through with black like yours?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:08 am

Wow! Dave, that's a great haul, love the Admiral :D they've certainly had a great year, it's strange isn't it how in different parts of the country we're still seeing lots of Butterflies :D Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:38 pm

It surprised me somewhat too, Trevor - some were quite unexpected and the sheer numbers of Red Admirals was amazing. :)

Thanks, Wurzel - I think there is a named ab., but I don't know what it is... It was a striking bialbata anyway, even without the other factor. A lovely specimen. :)

Thank you too, Goldie - yes, Red Admirals have been good round here too, and it's great they are still going strong up your way. I must ask my sister how they are doing over in York... :)

Wednesday 4th October. Barely a glimpse of proper sunshine today, and not exactly warm - but this didn't daunt the Red Admirals much. Over the same route as yesterday I still counted 18 - and a few of those were seen in some of yesterdays blank spots.
RA1 041017.JPG
RA2 041017.JPG
Also seen were a Comma...
Comma2 041017.JPG
...a Speckled Wood...
SpW1 041017.JPG
...and to make up for me not getting a shot yesterday, a male Small White.
SW1 041017.JPG

To emphasise that it was autumn, there was also a nice specimen of a type of fungus, the name of which escapes me...
fungus 041017.JPG

Dave

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bugboy
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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:43 pm

Impressive array of species Dave. The Broken red band RA is ab. fructa
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Re: millerd

Postby Greenie » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:04 am

Your autumnal fungi is Coprinus comatus / Shaggy Ink Cap or Lawyer's Wig .

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Thank you for the ID on the fungus, Greenie - I remember the inkcap name now. :) We used to get them in the garden when I was a kid.

Cheers, Buggy - a double ab, then - I thought there had to be a name for the broken red band.

Thursday 5th October: My local patch again. The overnight cloud kept the temperature up a bit, so that when it cleared around 10, the sunshine turned the day into a fairly warm one. The butterflies responded beautifully. On top of the ten species seen so far this week, I saw another three (Large White, Painted Lady and Brimstone) and perhaps a fourth (a questionable GVW). I also managed a shot or two of one of those I missed the other day.

First to be seen today were a Red Admiral and a Comma, basking on windowsills of nearby houses. White PVC does a great job of reflecting the sun onto basking butterflies. A bit further on, and there were more Red Admirals basking in the more natural environs of the bramble bushes. A couple of Speckled Woods disturbed them, and suddenly there was a multi-species bundle of butterflies. What else was in there? A passing Large White male and a new male Holly Blue minding its own business in the sun. The latter butterfly posed very nicely with regard to its lovely silvery underside, but no amount of whispering could persuade it to open beyond a certain point. Nevertheless, I took quite a few shots from all angles of this near-perfect third brood butterfly.
HB11 051017.JPG
sucking up moisture I think
HB2 051017.JPG
HB3 051017.JPG
HB5 051017.JPG
HB6 051017.JPG
HB7 051017.JPG
Eventually moving on, there were more Large Whites (one of each sex).
LW1 051017.JPG
LW3 051017.JPG
They stopped - however, four Small Whites (and the one possible GVW) did not - the sun encouraged them to cruise across the grass endlessly. Along one hedgerow came something similar, but it soon resolved itself into a male Brimstone. This also didn't pause, behaving more as they do in Spring and making no attempt to stop and nectar. Throughout all this I was counting Red Admirals again, and having ticked one off on an ivy clump, I spotted that as well as a Comma companion, there was a rather faded Painted Lady avidly nectaring. Heading south no doubt, making use of the strong northwesterly wind to help it along.
PL1 051017.JPG
PL3 051017.JPG
PL4 051017.JPG
I managed one or two shots of the regulars as well, of course.
SpW1 051017.JPG
Comma2 051017.JPG
RA2 051017.JPG

So, today's count:

Red Admiral 24
Comma 9
Speckled Wood 8
Small/GV White 5
Large White 3
Brimstone 1
Holly Blue 1
Painted Lady 1

Species seen here this month: 13 (perhaps 14)

Every day brings a surprise! :) (As well as the old favourites...)
RA3 051017.JPG


Dave
Last edited by millerd on Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:09 pm

Another great smattering of butterflies Dave, that's still mighty impressive whispering skills :wink: :D :mrgreen: Cheers to Bugboy for the ab name :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 pm

And another slightly different smattering today, Wurzel... :)

Friday 6th October: Another sunny morning and most of the afternoon, but with a distinct chill to it first thing. My local patch didn't disappoint, with nine species seen today.

First of note was a male Holly Blue in the same spot as yesterday, but a different individual. It was also sucking up moisture from the leaf.
HB1 061017.JPG
HB2 061017.JPG
Next, while following a Small White, I spotted a flash of orange and found the Small Copper I had seen on the 3rd, looking no more worn.
SC1 061017.JPG
SC4 061017.JPG
Making the most of the dandelions in the same area was a Peacock (and also a Large White).
Peacock1 061017.JPG
Peacock3 061017.JPG
All around were the usual Commas, Speckled Woods and Red Admirals it's sad to think that it won't be long before they will have all disappeared.
Comma2 061017.JPG
RA4 061017.JPG
RA3 061017.JPG
Out in the large meadow area near the motorway, I had almost given up seeing anything now, but three separate female Common Blues were around, struggling with the wind and blown into uncomfortable positions.
CB1 061017.JPG
Nearby was a male Small White, bouncing from yellow flower to yellow flower, and also battling with the breeze.
SW1 061017.JPG
I later found another Peacock, low down in the undergrowth at the bottom of a fence, apparently trying to squeeze its way between the slats. After a while it gave up, and flew straight into the shade of a large copse, where its hibernation prospects might well be better.
Peacock4 061017.JPG
Peacock5 061017.JPG
I also came across two Speckled Woods battling like there was no tomorrow for some considerable while.
SpWx2 1 061017.JPG
Some context...
SpWx2 2 061017.JPG

The overall tally today:

Red Admiral 22
Speckled Wood 9
Comma 8
Common Blue 3
Small White 3
Peacock 2
Large White 1
Small Copper 1
Holly Blue 1

Hopefully there will be some more sunshine next week, and the chance of another trip south for some more Clouded Yellows.

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:53 am

That last shot must be a World first !, airliner and Speckled Woods in the same image.
I'm in Wiltshire most of next week, so I will miss any more Cloudie action for now.
If you manage to get to Shoreham, hope you have a great day.

Trevor.

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:30 pm

Hi! Dave, another great for you, :D I'm loving your HollyBlue shots, keep them coming :D Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby Allan.W. » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:09 pm

Some brilliant Holly Blues there Dave ,not had much luck with them myself this year . Regards Allan.W.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:12 pm

That last shot is a cracker Dave, it looks like they're about to go and have a word with Jet for invading their airspace :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:08 pm

That aircraft shot was a bit fortuitous, Trevor and Wurzel - I was snapping away at the Specklies as they battled and circled around me and the A340 got in there somehow. To be honest I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often! :) Red Admirals, when in fighting mood and chasing everything, often react to the planes passing over. Goodness knows what they hope to achieve... :? :)

Thanks, Goldie - as you know, I have a soft spot for Holly Blues, and if I see them I shall do my best to bring them to you! :)

Thank you Allan :) - even round here, where they are pretty common, there haven't been so many around this year. A natural fluctuation I hope.

Saturday 7th October: Grey all day, though definitely warmer. A short local walk could only muster six half asleep Red Admirals and one Speckled Wood.
RA1 071017.JPG
What hasn't helped is that the area full of flowering dandelions and clover was mown flat (again!) soon after I took some of Friday's shots. That poor Small Copper will have to find somewhere else now for late season nectar...

Sunday 8th October: A better day; however, I had other commitments for most of it, watching my son playing u-13 rugby. In a bright spell in the afternoon, I had another brief walk around and managed to see a dozen Red Admirals, four Speckled Woods and a couple of Commas.
RAx2 081017.JPG
SpW1 081017.JPG
Two basking Red Admirals, as ever, looked pretty new.
RA1 081017.JPG
RA2 081017.JPG
However, some of the older Red Admirals, and also the Speckled Woods, have started basking on the ground, either on bare patches or on specially selected fallen leaves to which they persistently return. This is in preference to the usual spots higher up on vegetation.
SpW2 081017.JPG
RA3 081017.JPG

Dave


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