essex buzzard

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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:27 pm

Interesting image of the pair of Lulworths, Mark. The male is holding his wings flat, which I've never seen before. A good tutorial into the differences between the sexes, I'd say.

Your Small Blue is very blue...almost Silvery Argus-like.

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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:28 am

Great sequence of shots Essex and as David mentioned that is an unusually posed male, it clearly shows how similar the sex brand is to the male Small Skipper :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:46 pm

If that Small Blue had been in Europe, I would have had to do a double take, David!

I think the male Lulworth was posed like that because he was displaying to the female, possibly showering her with scent scales.

I felt that the number of Lulworths at Durlston was a little lower than I normally see in August, but this was more than compensated for by sightings at many other sites.

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:28 pm

In the early evening, we checked into our excellent bed and breakfast at the bottom of Bindon Hill, West Lulworth. Then there was just time before dinner, to have a walk on the hill, where Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Lulworth Skipper, Wall and Marbled Whites were going to roost.
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:43 am

Lovely fresh Marbled Whites Essex, they practically glow in the right lighting :D Durlston is a 'late' site for this species and so they might not have peaked yet, I was there about a week before you and they'd only just started emerging in any real numbers so hopefully that's the explanation for them being in fewer numbers.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:23 pm

Next day, Monday 17 July, dawned bright, so we had a walk up the hill before breakfast, to enjoy the views and see the butterflies waking up. We say fewer butterflies than we normally see in August-we could only find two Chalkhill Blues, for example, which we were a little surprised at. However, we saw more Lulworth Skippers than normal, which is ample compensation.

Full list was Lulworth Skipper, Small Skipper, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Wall.
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millerd
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby millerd » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:41 pm

I'm very much enjoying your visit to Dorset, Mark. Lovely butterfly images and steam trains as well! :) :mrgreen: I must try and spend more than the odd day down there...

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:54 pm

You really should, Dave!

That day was expected to be the sunniest day of our break, so we got our butterflies in early, then it was a leisure day. We walked the footpath, visited the coves and swam in the sea-very refreshing! All among the glorious scenery and sunshine!
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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:30 pm

The next day dawned bright again, so another early start saw me up on the hill. This time, I wanted to get a Lulworth Skipper with a view. This is what I managed. Anyone familiar with the area will recognise the chalk path in this view,
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Brown Argus were waking up too, and several Walls were basking on the footpath by 8AM, here is the best specimen.
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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:36 pm

This was a warmer, more humid day than the previous one, with thunder threatening. After a swim in the cove, we made our way to Swanage, then walked the Purbeck Way over to Corfe Castle-an area known as the Purbeck Ridge. I have never walked this path before, so it would be interesting to see what we could find.

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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:48 pm

Lovely landscape shots, Mark, and a fair few highly desirable butterfly species thrown in for good measure!

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:55 pm

Our first find was another Lulworth Skipper colony. Here is a male holding territory, which was flying at any passing insect.
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Slightly further up, this Painted Lady was feeding on greater Knapweed
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Small Skippers were about also, most fairly worn, but here is a nice female,
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Dark Green Fritillaries were seen, and a golden ringed dragonfly was disturbed from a hedge. Here is a view from the top of the ridge, toward Bournemouth and Sandbanks.
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Eventually, Corfe Castle comes into view, nestled in a gap in the Purbeck hills.

Thanks David, it sure is a great part of our country-no wonder a trip there is a firm annual fixture in our diary!
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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:02 pm

After storms in the night, the next day was misty and drizzly- classic warm sector weather. Butterflies were out of the question, so we visited the Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens. When also had a walk on Chesil beach.

In the early hours, a cold front cleared through, and the high cloud gradually cleared, making another early walk possibl. It was a lot cooler first thing, but sunshine tempted a few early risers, including Brown Argus and Gatekeeper. A Chalkhill Blue was still roosting.
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:06 pm

Brilliant shot of Durdle Door, my favourite place in the world :D 8) Good to hear that numbers of Lulworths picked up and that is one of the best Chalkhill shots that I've seen :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:50 pm

Yes Wurzel, we saw Lulworth Skipper in far more places this year.

After another sumptuous breakfast, we headed back to Corfe Castle, to check more slopes for Lulworth Skippers. To my delight, we found some, mostly females, in a new area. Even better, while watching one, she reversed down a tube of tor grass and laid two glassy white eggs. :) . All the usual stuff was here, including Small Copper and a nice male Common Blue.
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Pauline
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Pauline » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:44 am

Great landscape shots as usual Mark but I do like that Lulworth with the path in the background - reminiscent of the ones Guy and William sometimes take and which I've tried (unsuccessfully) in the past to achieve :mrgreen:

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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:21 am

Hi! essex, fantastic shots of landscapes and Butterflies you've made my mind up for next year, I'm definitely going back to Dorset.Goldie :D

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Neil Freeman
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:49 pm

Hi Mark,

Great series of reports and photos from Dorset. That area is one of my favourites and I missed my late season visit there last year...I can't let that happen two years running, so after a week back at work guess where I am heading for a few days soon :D

Cheers,

Neil.

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:45 pm

So we can expect lots of Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow pictures to appear on your diary soon, to make us all jealous Neil?

That evening, we were delighted to meet up wth Tom from Butterfly Conservation and leader of our recent Armenia trip. He showed us an area of heather heath, where we found the tiny bog orchids, then onto some recently created dragonfly ponds, where we found small red and scarce blue-tailed damselflies. Thanks Tom!
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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:24 pm

So, we come to our last day in Dorset. This was a cloudy, windy day, with a new low pressure driving rain in from the south-west. We visited Swanage, and managed a quick visit to the Arne RSPB reserve, seeing Dorset Heath and Dartford warbler, before the heavens opened.


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