millerd

This forum contains a topic per member, each representing a personal diary.
essexbuzzard
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: millerd

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:56 pm

However do you manage to find those Holly Blues? For late October, quite remarkable :mrgreen: .

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5774
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:03 pm

Stunning Dave :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D They say 'good things come to those who wait'...well you must have been, very, very patient for that one! :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
Katrina
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: millerd

Postby Katrina » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:49 pm

Lovely to see you Holly Blue photos Dave, I have hardly seen any all year.

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7807
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: millerd

Postby David M » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:00 pm

Wow! Yes, I predicted it, Dave, but that doesn't detract from the joy of actually seeing it.

What a lovely specimen she is and how lucky you were to encounter her. A female Holly Blue at any time is welcome, but in late October a fresh individual like that is simply off the scale. I hope there's still enough warmth in the season for you to get chance to encounter a few more. Your patch is certainly blessed at this time of year. Let's hope there is more to come!

millerd
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:35 pm

Once again, thank you all for the appreciation of the Holly Blue. :) To be honest, once found it was a very obliging insect and though it changed position a few times it didn't fly far and the lower power of the October sun caused it to open up a fair bit to keep warm. The newer of the two males I saw was much more active. As David says, that female was a really uplifting sight as we move into the darkest third of the year now...

Today (Thursday 26th), though still quite warm, was almost entirely grey, gloomy and distinctly damp. In a smidgen of brightness I did see a single Red Admiral quite high up, but nothing else at all. Sunshine, but noticeably cooler conditions promised tomorrow, though.

Dave

User avatar
Andrew555
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: millerd

Postby Andrew555 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:24 am

Another one!? Beautiful, I like the Comma in sunshine as well.

millerd
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:04 pm

Thank you, Andrew - beautiful is just the right word for that Holly Blue. :)

Friday 27th October: As forecast, a lovely sunny day, though a bit chilly at the start. As I had to pop into Egham this morning, I decided to carry on afterwards down the motorway and have one more look at Bookham Commons. Buggy had predicted that the Coppers might still be around at the end of the month, so it was definitely worth a look. He was quite right - in the usual spot along one particular hedgerow I found at least three individuals, one of which was still in reasonable condition. They made for very autumnal photos!
SC1 271017.JPG
SC3 271017.JPG
SC4 271017.JPG
SC5 271017.JPG
SC7 271017.JPG
SC9 271017.JPG
SC10 271017.JPG
Aside from the Small Coppers, I watched around half a dozen Red Admirals flying energetically south towards the sun. They seem to be aware of the sharp downswing in temperatures forecast after the weekend, and are heading for warmer climes. Very sensible. :)

Whether the Coppers will make it into November here, I don't know, but it'll be a close thing!

Despite endless traffic on the way back, I still had time before the sun slipped down too low to have a quick look at the nearest part of my local patch. Noticeable was the lack of Red Admirals now - I only saw two, one of which was patrolling the usual territory and posed nicely.
RA2 271017.JPG
RA1 271017.JPG
I imagine the others have, like the Bookham ones, headed south.

However, I did find three Commas - they of course are still nectaring and will do so until it gets quite a bit colder.
Comma4 271017.JPG
Comma2 271017.JPG
Comma1 271017.JPG

Looking up at the strangely empty ivy, I then spotted the little silver triangle of a Holly Blue.
HB1 271017.JPG
A wasp disturbed it and it came down a lot closer, revealing itself to be a female (quite possibly the one I saw on Wednesday). It was very cooperative, and whether the same one or not it was a lovely sight in the autumn sunshine.
HB2 271017.JPG
HB7 271017.JPG
HB9 271017.JPG
HB10 271017.JPG
HB11 271017.JPG
Another really good day. :)

Dave

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:44 pm

Great stuff Dave, Holly Blues at this time of year, quite bizarre. The last Copper I saw at Bookham last year was 2nd November (also saw a Peacock on the same day), so there's only a few more days for them to cling on and judging by the condition one or two might just make it if they are able to find shelter from the chilly wind and cold nights that are approaching. I might pop down this weekend if we get enough sun to tempt me out, that hedge should be enough to keep the worst of the predicted northerly wind at bay at least!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5774
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:23 pm

More fantastic Holly Blue shots Dave :D :mrgreen: Will them hanging on this late have repercussions next year?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7807
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: millerd

Postby David M » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:47 pm

What a day you've had, Dave....again! Those Holly Blues keep rolling along.

Beautiful!

User avatar
Andrew555
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: millerd

Postby Andrew555 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:56 am

A good day indeed, great stuff Dave

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 3134
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:19 pm

Great to be seeing Butterflies so late Goldie :D

millerd
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:35 pm

The Coppers were probably still around today, Buggy - it wasn't too bad a day at all. Though I've seen Holly Blues on my local patch into November before, they aren't usually quite as fresh as this one was. :)

Thank you Wurzel! Fingers crossed it doesn't impact them next year: to be honest it hasn't done in the past and the numbers around now are not really very high. That female was the same one as seen two days earlier (I looked closely at the photos) which in this context is a good thing! :)

An excellent day, David and Andrew - there really can't be many more of these this year now! :)

It is good to still be seeing them, Goldie. :) Hopefully, as long as the sun shines and it doesn't get too cold or really wet, Red Admirals will still put in an appearance.

Saturday 28th October: the sun was hazy today, and there was more breeze, but it still became quite warm. I took in more of my local patch today, making the most of the brief period around midday when the sun still has some strength. All I saw today though were Commas and Red Admirals, but surprisingly in higher numbers than I expected - I counted four of the former species and nine of the latter.
Comma2 281017.JPG
Comma3 281017.JPG
RA3 281017.JPG
RA4 281017.JPG
RA5 281017.JPG
RA7 281017.JPG
RA8 281017.JPG
The clocks change tonight, a real sign of impending winter, and the weather is expected to reinforce this with a very chilly night tomorrow night and a cold day on Monday. Of course the clock change makes no difference at all to the butterflies: I shall just have to remember to advance my excursions by an hour to keep in step with "real" time. :)

Dave

trevor
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:53 pm

Lovely fresh Red Admirals and Commas, Dave. And as for that female Holly Blue, well........... !.

Trevor.

essexbuzzard
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: millerd

Postby essexbuzzard » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:54 pm

Agreed, I will certainly be using BST if there is any sunshine on my days off the next week or two. Seems like there is every chance of something other than Red Admirals at the start of November, in the far south at least. I for one will certainly be keeping an eye on sightings.

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5774
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:26 pm

It seems you had some more good weather Dave, it was a lot chillier over this way and they reckon we might even get some frost next week :shock: Fingers crossed that we don't cos that could be that for the butterflies :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7807
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: millerd

Postby David M » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:18 pm

You did well to see butterflies on Saturday, Dave. It was cloudy all day by me and the forecast generally was pretty ordinary.

There may yet be time for you to find a few surprises before the first frosts put paid to butterfly activity.

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 3134
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:24 am

You cheer me up no end Dave :D yesterday was a horrible day here, rain all day and cold with it, keep it up :D Goldie :D

millerd
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:50 pm

Thank you all once again. :)

The continuing sunshine, despite lowering temperatures, seems to be keeping the butterflies going. I suppose there are many spring days when it's actually cooler than it is now during which Commas and Red Admirals (and a few more besides) are happy to fly.

Sunday 29th October: more sunshine today, and a bit of a breeze early on which eased around lunchtime. In the sun it felt warm, but the air had a slight underlying nip to it. The Commas were out nectaring again, with three individuals seen today.
Comma1 291017.JPG
Comma4 291017.JPG
Comma5 291017.JPG
Comma8 291017.JPG
One or two of the Red Admirals were on the ivy as well, but most were basking on nettles or defending territories. It seems that though some elect to migrate south (I'm sure many from round here have done this) others decide to stay put, establish territories, chase females and stick it out through the winter. I wonder what factors influence this decision? I managed to count ten individuals in various spots, quite well spaced out along my walk.
RA1 291017.JPG
RA2 291017.JPG
RA3 291017.JPG
RA4 291017.JPG
RA5 291017.JPG
RA6 291017.JPG
Finally, you mentioned surprises, David... Today's unexpected sighting was that of a male Small White, doing its best to make its way between dandelions.
SW1 291017.JPG


Dave

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:18 pm

Do my eye's deceive me or is that first RA another ab 'buggeri' :wink:
Some addictions are good for the soul!


Return to “Personal Diaries”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests