millerd

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:22 am

millerd wrote:...plus a couple of Large Whites on the buddleia - one of each sex, but they took no notice of each other whatsoever


That is normally the case at this time of year, Dave. I think they're too busy feeding up before the flowers disappear to concern themselves with other distractions.

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:51 am

Hi! Dave , love the shots of the open winged Whites, Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:52 pm

I think you must be right, David - I saw the same lack of interest again today.

Thank you, Goldie - they must be some of the trickiest butterflies to persuade to open up. They go just so far - and no further... :)

Monday 11th September: more sunshine here and there, and reasonable temperatures (up to 20 degrees or thereabouts). I stayed local today, and was rewarded with the sight of at least 30 Red Admirals in various locations throughout the walk. They were largely newly emerged individuals, and most were enjoying the wealth of ivy flowers there are now to be found everywhere.
RA3 110917.JPG
RA12 110917.JPG
RA13 110917.JPG
RA14 110917.JPG
RA19 110917.JPG
RA22 110917.JPG
Some, however, had metaphorically adjourned to the pub and were making the most of the fermenting blackberries instead.
RA18 110917.JPG
RA4 110917.JPG
RA7 110917.JPG
Fresh new Commas were also now appearing and one or two of these were also indulging in Mother Nature's alcoholic bounty.
Comma12 110917.JPG
Most were just basking.
Comma1 110917.JPG
Comma2 110917.JPG
the "C" mark has a gap in it
Comma5 110917.JPG
fresh and unafraid of the world
Comma6 110917.JPG
Comma8 110917.JPG
Comma11 110917.JPG
There was a single Peacock, possibly the one seen a couple of days ago, which preferred the dandelions to the ivy and basked lower down.
Peacock3 110917.JPG
A scattering of Speckled Woods and assorted whites completed the picture.
SpW2 110917.JPG
SpW3 110917.JPG
SW1 110917.JPG
Small White (M)
GVW1 110917.JPG
GVW (m)

Though there is very little real variation between different individual Red Admirals (with the main exception of some having the extra white spot: var. bialbata), I did notice one with a noticeable additional patch of red scales towards the tip of the forewings.
RAcu red scales 110917.JPG

Dave

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:23 pm

Hi! Dave, I see your into Red Admiral's has well :D I've just seen one today with a huge blotch of white on it's wing and there seems to be a lot of the bialbata ab's about this year too. Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:03 pm

Tuesday 12th September: The forecast was for another sunny morning at least, so I decided another trip down to Bookham couldn't hurt. The first butterfly was a brand new Comma.
Comma1 120917.JPG
Then, for the third or fourth time here this summer, I bumped into Bugboy - whose mind clearly works in a similar fashion. Good to see you again, Buggy! :) The Small Coppers were the principal attraction again today, with perhaps even a few more around than last week - at least a dozen. There were more Commas too ( I think I counted eight in various places during the morning), including another definite newly emerged individual. The tell-tale splash of meconium could be seen on the leaf below, and as we watched, the butterfly expelled another visible droplet.
Comma2 120917.JPG
Comma4 120917.JPG
Comma5 120917.JPG
There were two or three Red Admirals (nothing like the numbers I've been seeing on my local patch), a few Speckled Woods and the last couple of faded Meadow Browns. Buggy and I disturbed another butterfly from near the ground, and it made its way up and over the hedge - almost certainly a Brown Hairstreak. This supposition was reinforced later when Buggy had a definite BH sighting and the individual concerned flew in exactly the same fashion. I made do with successfully locating a single BH egg.
BrH egg 120917.JPG
In the end, I was unable to resist the variety and brilliance of the Small Coppers.
SC3 120917.JPG
SC7 120917.JPG
SC8 120917.JPG
SC9 120917.JPG
SC11 120917.JPG
SC15 120917.JPG
At one point several were in the same area, and a male accosted a female in no uncertain terms. However, despite him getting very close to success, she decided to escape his attentions.
SCx2 1 120917.JPG
SCx2 3 120917.JPG

Finally, there are a couple of things to be identified, one caterpillar...
caterpillar 120917.JPG
...and one moth.
moth 120917.JPG


Dave

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bugboy
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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:26 pm

Hi Dave, nice to bump into once again, sorry you missed out on a Hairstreak but those Coppers are a good compensation. You did much better with the Commas than me though, only saw that one!

That caterpillar isn't what I thought it was, its a Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis and the moth well....

looking through my guides I'm leaning strongly towards something called Dewicks Plusia Macdunnoughia confusa, a rare migrant with about 50 records on the British list. Might be worth sending the picture to the local BC branch to get the expert eyes on it :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:42 pm

I've just Googled that moth and I think you're right, Buggy. I'm glad I stopped to get a shot or two of it. UK Moths says:

"This moth is a vagrant to Britain, having occurred only a few dozen times, mostly attracted to light on the south and east coasts. August is the optimum month for this species, but records have occurred between July and October."

Goodness - I'll contact the BC Surrey branch and see what they say. :o

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:44 am

A well found Moth. Did it excite you as much as a rare Butterfly migrant ?, probably not.
But it does sound like a major find, so well done !.
Like you I've found plenty of fresh Commas and Red Admirals feeding up before hibernation,
a great sight at this time of year. Lovely Pics.

Trevor.

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Vince Massimo
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Re: millerd

Postby Vince Massimo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:21 am

millerd wrote: "This moth is a vagrant to Britain, having occurred only a few dozen times, mostly attracted to light on the south and east coasts. August is the optimum month for this species, but records have occurred between July and October."


Nice find, Dave,
One was also reported by Colin Knight on the Sussex coast on 9th September, so there could have been a small influx.
http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/sightings/

Vince

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:53 pm

Trying to catch up with your PD Dave which is proving difficult what with me working and you not :mrgreen: Cracking set of white images, Question Mark (odd Comma) and to cap it all a rare vagrant moth :mrgreen: By the way when you mentioned 'they must be some of the trickiest butterflies to persuade to open up.' are you now branching out into White Whispering as well? :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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bugboy
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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:02 pm

Wurzel wrote:... By the way when you mentioned 'they must be some of the trickiest butterflies to persuade to open up.' are you now branching out into White Whispering as well? :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel


Well he does have a fair bit of spare time on his hands now :wink:
Some addictions are good for the soul!

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Thanks, Trevor, and no, there wasn't the same frisson of excitement around this as there would have been if it was a Camberwell Beauty for example. :D However, once again this was an ID after the event, and maybe if I'd known what it was at the time I wouldn't have been so casual taking a few snaps of it down in the grass. :)

Thanks, Vince - interesting to know that at least one other has been seen recently. I've let the moth recorder for Surrey know, and am waiting for a reply back (which may have some other news of them of course).

You're right about the retirement lark, Wurzel (and Buggy!). Any sign of the sun and I'm off out! :wink: The nearest part of my local patch is only two minutes walk away and most of what I'm seeing at the moment is on this part - it has a large wild buddleia, loads of ivy in full flower (and in full sun for much of the day), and lots of bramble too. It's also sheltered for the most part. And talking of whispering... Guess what appears in the post below? :)

Wednesday 13th September: After the overnight blow with attendant lashing rain, the day dawned brilliant blue, and amazingly remained sunny for good portions of the day. I confined my attentions to my local area, with a couple of forays before and after midday. Commas were to be found all over the place today...
Comma1 130917.JPG
Comma3 130917.JPG
...and two at least were seen prior to their maiden flights, with the telltale signs of meconium on the foliage beneath them.
Comma7 130917.JPG
Comma8 130917.JPG
Comma2 130917.JPG
There were once again dozens of Red Admirals, many of which also appeared brand new.
RA2 130917.JPG
RA3 130917.JPG
A Peacock joined them on the ivy today...
Peacock2 130917.JPG
...eschewing the dandelions, which were left to the Whites...
LW1 130917.JPG
...to a solitary Small Copper...
SC1 130917.JPG
...and to a single Small Tortoiseshell. This last individual had rather a granular look to it, which may well be recognisible next spring if it survives the winter.
ST1 130917.JPG
ST2 130917.JPG
Another singleton, rarely found in this particular area, was a very worn Small Heath.
SH1 130917.JPG
Finally, to cap a very productive day, I spotted two separate Holly Blues. One of these was down low, and not flying far. It turned out to be brand new male, probably a third brood individual (given today's date and the earliness of the second brood this year).
HB2 130917.JPG
HB3 130917.JPG
HB4 130917.JPG
HB5 130917.JPG
HB6 130917.JPG

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:39 pm

Great Holly Blues Dave, looks like you've still got the knack :wink: :mrgreen: Nice to see the Small Torts out before they head off for bed til February :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: millerd

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:00 pm

Nice find with the Dewicks Plusia Dave :mrgreen: :D ...that one would have been the find of the year for some I know up here.

I am still getting the odd second brood Holly Blue lingering around my garden in the odd bit of sun between all the heavy showers, looking well tired now though.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:33 pm

Those two Holly Blues were quite a find, Dave, and I should imagine quite a surprise.
I'll have to keep an eye on the old railway.

Trevor.

PS.High and Over might be worth another visit.

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:36 pm

Thanks, all.

Third brood Holly Blues are an annual event round here, sometimes in surprising numbers. Hopefully the weather will settle a bit and there will be a few more. :) The moth was extraordinary luck, Neil. I thought it was a Silver-Y as it flew to ground, but behaved entirely differently and just sat there as I took its picture. I had no idea what it was until Buggy did the initial research. :)

I will try and fit in another little trip down your way next week, Trevor...

Thursday 14th September: Another surprisingly sunny day with showers avoided on my local patch at least. More interest today - the first surprise was another migrant moth! However, this was a Hummingbird Hawk, the first I have ever seen round here.
HBH1 140717.JPG
HBH2 140917.JPG
HBH3 140917.JPG
HBH4 140917.JPG
The photos were somewhat disappointing though, partly as the sun kept going in and out.

There were more Commas...
C+RA1 140917.JPG
Comma1 140917.JPG
Comma4 140917.JPG
Comma8 140917.JPG
Comma10 140817.JPG
...more Red Admirals...
RA+C1 140917.JPG
RA1a 140917.JPG
RA2 140917.JPG
...and more Speckled Woods.
SpW3 140917.JPG

The only Holly Blues today stayed up high in the ivy up in an ash tree, sparring with (and thoroughly outnumbered by) Red Admirals. However, to compensate I came across a lovely fresh male Common Blue, probably also a third brood individual as I haven't seen a fresh one for some while now.
CB2 140917.JPG
CB3 140917.JPG
CB1 140917.JPG

Another very good day!

Dave

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:25 pm

Great selection, Dave - a gorgeous and rare Hummingbird Hawk moth, a fresh looking Common Blue and I just love those Red Admiral/Comma combos...a real taste of autumn!

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:12 am

Hi! Dave, Great find for you, ( the moth ) :mrgreen: I'm still chasing that Holly Blue in the Garden, it suddenly appears then pops over next door's garden. :lol: Lovely shots of the the Butterflies too . Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:11 pm

Thank you, David. It was great to see the Hummingbird Hawkmoth - I haven't seen one anywhere this year, and to come upon one two minutes from home was a very pleasant surprise. I'm glad you liked the two Comma+Red Admiral shots - a bit of whimsy on my part alternating the focus... :)

Thank you too, Goldie - Holly Blues can be very frustrating like that and can cover quite a distance before stopping. :( If you can catch up with them when they do they are worth the effort.

Friday 15th September: More local butterflies. Despite more lovely Commas and Red Admirals, including more newly-emerged examples of the former, I concentrated on the Whites. During the rest of the year they get neglected through being thoroughly uncooperative, but currently their habits have changed and much time is spent nectaring on the dandelions - they have little or no interest in the ivy or the blackberries. This makes them easier to approach. Large Whites...
LW1 150917.JPG
LW2 150917.JPG
LW4 150917.JPG
...a male GVW...
GVW2 150917.JPG
...and a lovely and very new female Small White.
SW2 150917.JPG
SW4 150917.JPG
SW1 150917.JPG

OK, in the end I couldn't resist the Commas. The second one seems to be floating above the ivy...
Comma1 150917.JPG
Comma5 150917.JPG

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:54 pm

Fantastic shots Dave, it's difficult keeping up with your rate of posting :shock: :D :mrgreen: Those Commas are lush as are the Whites and the Blues, in fact they're all mighty good but the best of the lot for me was the third Hummingbird Hawkmoth - brilliantly captured especially when you consider that the wings when viewed like that a actually just a blur :D 8) :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

you're probably doing another posting as I type :wink:


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