essex buzzard

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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:44 pm

So, in summary, we had a very nice time in Dorset. We went a month earlier than normal (end August), and overall numbers of butterflies were probably slightly lower, which was a little surprising to me. However, in August we normally see Chalkhill and Adonis Blues by the hundred, whereas in July the Chalkhills were only just starting. This was levelled to some extent by much higher numbers of Lulworth Skippers, while Small Skipper and Gatekeepers were abundant, they are usually gone by late August. Clouded Yellows would have emerged by August.

Weather was a typical British mixed bag, so not very different from August. However, there are about two hours a day extra daylight in July! Here are my last couple of pictures from Arne, of Dorset Heath and Dartford warbler, a little grainy I'm afraid in the poor light.
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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:38 pm

Wow-did someone forgot to tell the weather gods it was a Bank Holiday weekend?
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:53 pm

We didn't see as many Chalkhill Blues in Dorset as expected , so on our next day off it was time to put that right. On 26 July, with cloud and light rain spreading across the country, we decided our best chance was to get as far east as possible. The nature reserve at Lydden Temple Ewell is great for downland butterflies and flowers, and we had a great 3 or so hours sunshine, which is more than we would have had anywhere else , before the cloud arrived.

Chalkhill Blues were everywhere, many freshly emerged and warming up in the early sunshine. They made a glorious sight, including the first females, and were feeding on marjoram and chasing each other around.
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At rest, the Chalkhills underside is quite as attractive at the upper side;
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Lots of lovely Common Blues were present, Esther spotted this beauty;
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With so much stuff to see at the bottom, it took some time to start climbing the hill, by the time we did the sun was going. I was not expecting to see Silver-spotted Skippers today, so I was delighted to find several, nice fresh adults, mainly males;
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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:09 pm

Lovely late summer shots there, Mark. You look to have had a very productive holiday (which seems to be a theme wherever you go!)

Chalkhills & Silver Spotted Skippers are always welcome, but with their presence comes the realisation that things are winding down.

A bittersweet time of year.

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:29 pm

Bearing in mind I took these pictures at the end of July when we still had all of August to look forward to, which turned out to be a belter! Cheers David!

Other stuff was seen at Lydden TE. Small Torts were about, as were fresh Brimstones, and I was delighted to see some Walls, as I don't always see them here. Although it was now cloudy, in the sheltered long grass at the top of the slope were several Brown Argus males.
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The Gatekeepers were looking worn by late July,
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The weather by late morning was turning against us, but no complaints, in a few early hours we had seen hundreds of butterflies. So I'll sign off with a habitat shot, and memories of a great morning in east Kent. :D
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:47 am

Those Chalkhills are lush Essex :D I think when fresh they're more beautiful than their showing cousins :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:55 pm

Thanks Wurzel. Yes,they truly are beautiful and, thankfully, common in the right places.

A visit to Aston Rowant is one of the highlights of the butterfly calendar-for sheer numbers and variety this place is hard to beat. With the early emergence of Silver-spotted Skippers this year, I decided to come early, at the end of July. An early arrival found the butterflies just waking up on the southern section. Good numbers of Chalkhill Blues were basking, some already showing signs of wear, but most were excellent. I spent some time here at the bottom of the slope, where a wealth of whites, blues, browns and a few fritillaries were enjoyed.
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Then, by mid morning, it was time to turn my attention to the SSS. The wind had increased and some dark clouds started to appear, so I made the most of the sunniest spells. Males were about in good numbers, and the first females were present too, they had not reached their peak yet. Mostly in excellent condition,these fantastic little butterflies were a great pleasure to see. After enjoying them, I headed briefly to the much noisier northern section, where I met a couple from Northamptonshire who had never seen an SSS before. I had the pleasure of finding them a male, as well as showing them the best area to look. Early afternoon and time to leave as I had commitments elsewhere, but it had been a great morning. :D
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:42 pm

Great stuff Essex :D I saw my Silver-spots early in their season so didn't get to see any females this year, something to remedy next season :D

Have a goodun

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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:21 pm

West Cornwall early August.

I need no excuses to visit west Cornwall, but there were two things in particular I wanted to see this time. The moors and cliff tops clothed with the glorious colour of heather and western gorse, and the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, which are unique in west Cornwall in always producing a second generation in August. Strangely, PBF, which fly slightly earlier, are not known in Cornwall to do so. Remarkably, this second brood is actually larger than the first in good years.

The weather during my holiday was a typical mixed bag, those long, warm dry days earlier in the summer a distant memory. The first day was misty and drizzly, while the second was much brighter but windy. Here are a few pictures from near Lands End. Despite the weather, a glorious setting.
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:35 pm

The colour from the clifftops is amazing Essex :shock: :D We could do with a few female Walls round this way too :mrgreen: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:44 pm

I missed your posts from Lydden and from Aston Rowant - what a lovely selection from both spots, which I know well. :) And that colourful Cornish clifftop is just astonishing.

Dave

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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:42 am

Lovely shots from Cornwall essex, you can almost smell the flowers and the sea from your photos. Goldie :D

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:11 pm

Thanks everyone. Yes, even in the mist and drizzle the colour here was spectacular. One of the things I came here for!

The next day, it was time to do a bit of walking on the north coast, between Holywell Bay Perranporth. The area between Holywell and the rather unattractive Penhale army camp has a vast population of Silver-studded Blues in season, but for now I had to make do with Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary, Gatekeeper, Grayling and Speckled Wood.
Cornish chough are spreading on this north coast, and a couple were seen.
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Holywell bay
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Later, I visited a site near Truro. Unknown to many, the Dorset Heath is also found in Cornwall, though only in a very small area. The marsh valley I visited was being grazed by ponies and the site is also home to other marsh plants like sundews, and also dragonflies. This area contains the only population of Dorset Heath outside Dorset.
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:00 pm

Beautifully marked Copper Essex, a proper blue badger :D :mrgreen: So how did Dorset Heath end up in Cornwall - have the populations between been lost or was seed transported there? :?

Have a goodun

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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:48 pm

It's a good question Wurzel-if only I knew the answer? But if the Cryptic Wood White can find its way to Northern Ireland, anything is possible.

Saturday 5 August. This was the day I had been waiting for. A splendid blue, early start saw us at Kynance Cove first thing. In the sheltered dips and cliff slips, the first of the second generation Spall Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were warming up, wings spread wide, and angled to the sun. Here, they live in much more open populations than woodland sites further east, flying over large areas of habitat, containing sheltered patches of violets used for breeding. Here are some males...
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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:24 am

Great to see those SPBF second brooders, Mark. To my knowledge, this doesn't occur in south Wales, though I think I'll make a special effort to go looking for them in their favoured locations near where I live in August next year just to see.

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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:35 pm

Lovely Pearl's essex, they don't appear in the North, no second Broods here, wish there was,Goldie :)

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:03 pm

Second brood SPBF have been recorded more widely this year, David. So you never know- certainly worth a look!

Thanks Goldie, they are a treasure, just another reason why Cornwall is so special!

As well as the males, females were warming up in the early sun, and were easier to approach than the males, even this early in the day...
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Maximus
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Maximus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 pm

Nice to see that SPBF are doing well in Cornwall, Mark, and lovely shots of the second brood males and females.

Mike

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bugboy
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby bugboy » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:30 pm

You don't arf get about! I thought I had a busy year...! Looks like it was all well worth it though :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!


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