millerd

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trevor
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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:47 pm

The first Large White image is a cracker, and well done by almost ' freezing ' the wings
of the Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
As for the Peacocks I have seen them at this time of year before, but there are a lot
around at the moment. One of our more gorgeous Butterflies.
Trevor.

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:42 pm

Thanks, Wurzel and Trevor. :) I could probably have done even better with that Hummer if I'd thought about it at the time, but I just wanted a reasonable record of it as it was such an uncommon sight round here. Interestingly, one was reported nearby (within a mile or two) the previous day, and I suspect it was the same one. With a bit of sunshine every day it's always worth going out, and amazingly even at this end of the season there are still a few gems to be found.

However, the sun over the weekend was somewhat at a premium, though somehow this little area to the west of Heathrow avoided being rained on during daylight hours at least. 16th & 17th September: With less sun, far fewer Red Admirals seemed to be around, but by casting the eye upward to the ivy around the higher parts of the trees, many more could be spotted. These two were lower down.
RA1 160917.JPG
RA1 170917.JPG
Speckled Woods seemed unaffected, and were flying happily even when the sun was in and the breeze felt decidedly chilly.
SpW1 160917.JPG
SpW2 160917.JPG
White butterflies had almost vanished from the scene...
LW1 160917.JPG
...but of course there were still Commas to be found - a lightly marked example.
Comma1 170917.JPG
On Saturday, there was also a moth... but it was exactly as it appeared to be - a Silver-Y.
SY1 160917.JPG
However, the real highlight of the weekend was seen during a sunny hour on Sunday afternoon: A new third brood female Common Blue.
CB1 170917.JPG
CB3 170917.JPG
CB2 170917.JPG
The underside looked a bit unusual and closer scrutiny of the photos showed one of the hindwing black spots had a distinct orange centre.
CBcu1 170917.JPG

The season continues, and the weather forecast is steadily improving now... :)

Dave

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:47 pm

What a beautiful specimen that female Common Blue is, Dave. You got lucky seeing her.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 pm

Beautiful fresh Common Blue Dave :D :mrgreen: , try as I might I couldn't find any at the Devenish yesterday though there were still a few Adonis at Larkhill a couple of days ago :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:04 pm

Thank you both - that female Common Blue was a lovely butterfly, and must have been out that day. The fringes are 100% intact as shows up particularly well in the close-up. You can also see the two separate fringes well, with the chequer marks only extending into the one nearest the wing itself. Not that there are any Adonis to confuse it with in these here parts!

Monday 18th September: More local ramblings in the brief period when there was a bit of sunshine. In fact everything interesting was to be seen on the small open area just a few minutes from home - starting with another female Common Blue. Today's specimen was by contrast brown and rather worn, but I have seen very few in this spot this year (mainly because the grass is mown in May when all the flowers are out, and again in July).
CB2 180917.JPG
CB3 180917.JPG
Close by on one of the many dandelions out at present was a Comma. They don't usually come down to these flowers, but this one seemed very keen.
Comma2 180917.JPG
Comma4 180917.JPG
I saw perhaps half a dozen Commas altogether, including this quite dark individual...
Comma9 180917.JPG
...plus the usual numerous Red Admirals. These latter butterflies always seem to be brand new individuals and very few even slightly worn ones, so I suspect that they are currently setting off southwards after a day or two to be replaced by further new ones.
RA4 180917.JPG
There were a few Small and Large Whites (the GVW do seem to have disappeared again very quickly), and plenty of Speckled Woods.
SW1 180917.JPG
LW2 180917.JPG
SpW1 180917.JPG
However, more interestingly I spotted a Small Copper at a distance in the same spot as I have seen two others recently. I wish I could track down where they are coming from!
SC1 180917.JPG
This was reinforced a few minutes later by another sighting, but of a different individual. I managed to approach a bit closer to this one.
SC2 180917.JPG

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby badgerbob » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:18 am

The problems with going away for a week!! I have only just spotted you posted your Wall photos from when I bumped into you. Great to see them as well as the other species from the day. Good to see you that day.

trevor
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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:16 pm

We'll have to run a beauty competition, Dave. I was drooling over your ' blue ' female Common Blue,
only to find a real cracker myself today. Shall we let Wurzel adjudicate ! :lol: .
We both seem to be leading hectic lives at the moment.

Great stuff, as always.
Trevor.

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:04 pm

Thanks, Bob - it's a great little spot you have down there and I'm very envious of you having it close to hand. Good to meet you too and put another face to a name. :)

The trouble is, Trevor, that the sun has been out for a short while at least every day recently - the last day I failed to photograph a butterfly was 3rd September. This does make for a busy schedule! Your female Common Blue was at least as colourful as mine too - another splendid individual. :)

Tuesday 19th September: I had to stay reasonably local again today, but headed to Bedfont Lakes Country Park for a change. Now that I no longer work nearby, I'd almost forgotten about it. :wink:

There was not a lot to see, really - three or four Speckled Woods, a scattering of whites, one Red Admiral and no Commas were all the majority of the Park could manage. There are some blackthorn hedges that look eminently suited to Brown Hairstreaks, but unfortunately they haven't spread here yet. Worth a winter trip to look for eggs, just in case. However, one little corner of grass and flowers which had been untouched by the mower all summer was home to a small selection of other species: four new male Common Blues...
CB1 190917.JPG
CB4 190917.JPG
CB6 190917.JPG
CB7 190917.JPG
CB8 190917.JPG
...a rather tatty male Brown Argus, which spent most of his time chasing the blues around...
BA+CB1 190917.JPG
BA+CB2 190917.JPG
BA2 190917.JPG
...and a single Small Heath in good condition.
SH1 190917.JPG
SH2 190917.JPG
A third brood of Common Blues is relatively normal here as far as I can tell, so I suspected I might see a few. I was surprised they were confined to just one small area though.

There was time late in the afternoon to look around for a minute or two near home as well - with predictable results...
Comma1 190917.JPG
RA2 190917.JPG

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:07 am

Great set of shots Dave :D But it makes working out what's going on a bit tricky. There is a definite end of the season feel yet there are really fresh Common Blues and Small Heath :? Not that I'm complaining mind, an extension o butterflying is always welcome. :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: millerd

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:20 pm

I'm surprised you saw anything yesterday, it was so cold! Perhaps I need to move to the other side of London where I might actually get to see the sun again this year! :mrgreen:

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:55 pm

Thanks, Wurzel. You have to be really choosy about where to go and the usual "good" sites often have next to nothing around now. On the other hand my local patch is full of Red Admirals at the moment! :)

I was lucky with the sunshine yesterday, Essex. If it had been cloudy I'd have seen nothing at all. I have to say it was a bit warmer yesterday too - the Heathrow "heat island" effect is a reality and can easily up the local temperature by a degree or two. :) There are a number of disadvantages as well... :(

Wednesday 20th September: A promise of some sunshine mid-morning, and a bit more warmth in the air tempted me back up to Aston Rowant. However, within twenty minutes, the cloud was back and stayed resolutely. The sun didn't reappear until after five when I was back home, which is a bit late to wake anything up. Aston Rowant managed to produce a single new Small Tortoiseshell...
ST2 200917.JPG
...and half a dozen Meadow Browns, one of which I managed to catch in a moment of sunshine.
MB1 200917.JPG
After a quick bask she moved on and stopped again to lay an egg:
MB egg2 200917.JPG
There are still good numbers of flowers out here and a bit of more prolonged sunshine might have conjured up a few more butterflies, but today that was it for the visit.

As ever there were Red Kites over the hillside, a long way up, but I saw a much smaller hawk hovering lower down. I'm not much into birds, but no doubt someone can identify this one in an instant!
hawk1 200917.JPG

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:47 pm

Lovely markings on the female Meadow Brown Dave, more sort of splodges than the usual 'wash' of orange :D After my last failed ID attempt on Philzoid's post I'm steering clear of any further ID's :? :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: millerd

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:34 pm

It's a kestrel, Dave. They often use the slope, at the motorway end, for hovering. On cool days in August, I often wonder if they take their share of Silver-spotted Skippers!

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Re: millerd

Postby Art Frames » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:44 pm

Some lovely pictures Dave. Especially like that Common Blue and that bright Small Copper. I agree get out as often as you can. I am usually surprised at how much I do see. :D
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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: millerd

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:16 pm

Any luck with the Wall Browns today Dave? It was a bit windy today but I saw a few not far from home.

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:49 pm

Thanks, Wurzel. :) Fresh Meadow Browns are worth a study for their variety - are they getting more orange, and are two-pupilled eye-spots becoming more common? The trouble is we tend to ignore them except when not much else is left...

Thanks, Essex - hopefully I'll be able to pick out a kestrel in the future! :)

Thank you, Peter - yes, I always go out if I can. If you stay in, you won't see anything, but if you go out, you might... :)

Hi James - yes, I was down at High & Over by 1030 today, followed by a look at Mill Hill on the way back home. The change in the direction of the wind moved the Walls to the other side of the hedge at High & Over, and the very warm sunshine made them extremely active (more like they are earlier in the year). There were a few at Mill Hill as well, which was more sheltered, but they didn't stop at all. Reports to come in due course...

Thursday 21st was pretty well a blank - despite it being a bit warmer, constant cloud meant a couple of glimpses of Red Admirals was all that was on offer locally.

Friday 22nd September: a better day with plenty of sunshine, but I couldn't venture far. My local patch sported its usual Autumn collection of Red Admirals and Commas, and I also saw Holly Blues (high up, unfortunately), Various Whites, and Speckled Woods. A Painted Lady joined some of the Red Admirals high on some of the ivy, but too distant for even a pink smudge type of shot for the record.
RA6 220917.JPG
RA5 220917.JPG
RA1 220917.JPG
LW1 220917.JPG
Comma4 220917.JPG
Comma3 220917.JPG
Comma1 220917.JPG

Saturday 23rd September: Warmer again, but mostly cloudy in the morning which was my opportunity for the day. Having not seen any for several days, I came across two separate female Green-veined Whites as well as the usual suspects.
GVW1 230917.JPG
GVW2 230917.JPG


Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:44 pm

"The trouble is we tend to ignore them except when not much else is left..." Peter (Art Frames) pointed out something similar on my PD the other day, but when you've got limited time you have to try and make the most of it. Lovely first shot of the Red Admiral, I love it when they adopt that pose. Also it's got the white spot in the band as well as blue spots in the black marginal spots on the hind wing, so a Silver-studded Red Admiral :D :mrgreen: The Comma is none too shabby either, thought the GVW is, there's always one letting the side down :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:46 pm

Don’t despair, Dave. What you’ve seen is good for the time of year and we all must acknowledge that the season is coming to an end.

You still managed some lovely Comma shots, and one hopes there will be many more opportunities before the nights and the cold weather finally close in towards the end of next month.

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:43 am

Hi! Dave, looks like we're on the same track with the Butterflies :D let's hope we see lots more before they disappear. Goldie :D

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:38 am

Thanks, Wurzel - yes, the GVW were a bit ragged compared to the pristine Commas and Red Admirals! :)

Thanks for the encouragement, David! Fingers crossed for continuing reasonable weather - the season doesn't usually end completely until November round here, and this year it started in mid-February. A three- or four-month gap is just about bearable... :)

I'm hoping, too, Goldie. You seem to be doing well up there with the end-of-season species. :)

Dave


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