Pauline

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:04 pm

That first Small Blue should be done under the trades description act, yes it's small but it's not blue! :lol: Will those eggs still hatch or is that their lot? :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:47 pm

That's an interesting question Wurzel. I don't think Small Blues are known for a 3rd brood and I am assuming these eggs are the produce of the currently worn 2nd brood (rather than eggs which haven't hatched from the 1st brood). I posed a similar question last season relating to the many eggs laid by the 3rd brood Small Coppers. Perhaps someone reading this might have an answer for us.

At last I was able to escape briefly today and OWH did not disappoint delivering at least 3 Clouded Yellows - I know this for a fact as I could see one in the distance whilst another couple were circling each other in front of me. The brief close up views I got showed that the butterflies had probably suffered from the recent downpours as they certainly weren't pristine. Perhaps just as well that I couldn't get close for photos relying instead on the zoom and heavy cropping. Still, good to see them:

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I was pleased to see a couple of (worn) Painted Ladies gliding around. Again I had to rely on zoom. Perhaps it is the old hamstring injury stopping me sprinting up the hill or perhaps the newly diagnosed Tennis Elbow :roll: :lol: I'm sure if I try hard enough I can find something to blame apart from my lack of skill and field craft for these shots :wink: :lol:

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There were some lovely fresh Small Tortoiseshells (and some not so fresh) as well as a couple of velvety Peacocks. I shall not apologise for the lack of symmetry in these images as I just grabbed some shots as I passed. It was a joy just to watch so many butterflies. If I saw one mating pair of Chalkhills I must have seen 2 dozen at least with dozens more displaying courtship behaviour. It was a similar story with the Small Blues although not quite so many and I wasn't able to spot a single Adonis:

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Wurzel wrote:That first Small Blue should be done under the trades description act, yes it's small but it's not blue! :lol: Will those eggs still hatch or is that their lot? :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel


Small Blue overwinter as fully-grown final instar larvae and pupate in the spring without feeding further. These eggs should, therefore, hatch and the larvae feed up to get to that point.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pauline

Postby MrSp0ck » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:19 pm

Small Blue larvae would not have any food in the Spring, so make sure they, like the Dingy Skipper are ready to pupate in March/April, and produce early butterflies. Any fully grown 2nd Brood SB larvae would only pupate in Oct/Nov if it was very warm and Sunny [like July]and day length is not a factor, and would be the end of them as hatching in late November/December would not suit them at all. At Hutchinsons Bank we have had Small Blues every week for the last 16 weeks, and now there are only about 10 or so Kidney Vetch flowers on the whole site. Luckily our 2nd Brood is in small numbers so there is just about enough flowerheads for them to get through to fully grown before the end of the season and boost the Spring Brood next May.

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Goldie M
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Re: Pauline

Postby Goldie M » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:10 am

Hi! Pauline, glad you got some Clouded Yellows, I think your lucky if you can get close to them they're so quick and never seem to stay any where for very long, I depend on my longer lens all the time, you know me, I get down, I can't always get up. :lol: Goldie :D

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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:05 pm

On behalf of Wurzel and myself, thank you to Pete and Martin for your responses to our query - I am sure others will find that very informative too.

Thank you Goldie - I shall keep trying for those close-up shots. I am doing my prescribed exercises and hopefully my leg will soon improve.

This morning at Noar Hill I noticed the Autumn Ladies Tresses were just coming into flower bringing back fond memories of an outing with Mike and Ros, but without their sharp eyes I was able to spot very few:

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Spurred on by this, and recent shots posted by Tuts, I went in search of more orchids! What is happening to me :shock: No-one told me how difficult it would be to photograph them in the darkest part of the woods, under a dense canopy, with little natural light and a stiff breeze. I tried. I really tried - just about every setting I could think of, banging up the ISO until it was so grainy it was unrecognisable. I got bitten by horse flies, scratched by holly leaves and still I didn't get an acceptable image. No good trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear as they say so I post these images for ID purposes only as I have no idea at the moment what they are:

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I had intended to post a couple of shots of stunning fresh Peacocks but for a whole selection of glorious images look no further than Millerds diary :D

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MikeOxon
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Re: Pauline

Postby MikeOxon » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:37 pm

Hi Pauline,

Nice to see that the Autumn Lady's Tresses are flowering; it was a memorable visit with you, last year, although I should point out that it is Ros's sharp eyes that find things - I simply take the photos :)

I think your woodland flowers are Violet Helleborines (Epipactis purpurata). The stems look to have the violet colour and the plant also has the 'lanky' look of this species. They certainly are difficult to photograph, since they choose the "dark caverns of Southern Beechwoods", as I describe in my website. One seems to have suffered an accident to its stem, which has twisted back on itself - the photos puzzled me at first.

Mike

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:12 pm

Cracking Cloudies Pauline :D :mrgreen: Hope I get some soon :?
Also a thank you to Pete and MrSpock from me as well, more info to try and store away in the brain, it will be so much easier when Pete's Project Frohawk is completed :D 8)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:39 pm

I see you are now turning your hand to rare flowers, Pauline?

Nice shots of these as well, of course, as those Clouded Yellows which I hope will eventually find their way into south Wales!

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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:26 pm

Thank you for that ID Mike. It surprised me as I thought it was 2 different types of plants - they seemed very different. The first one had grown in that twisted manner (it wasn't broken at all) and the flowers seemed different .... but hey, what do I know about orchids :roll:

They're being seen all over Wurzel so I expect by now you have already seen a couple?

I surprised myself David! Well, who would have thought I'd have developed an interest in immature stages or moths????????? So, I guess it might be possible. Those orchids were definitely attractive, elegant little plants, screaming out that they were something a bit special :D

I had a fabulous morning at Noar Hill today meeting up with Nick. Between us we spotted a total of 6 female BH, all egg-laying and ranging from pristine to quite ragged. To be fair, Nick spotted most of them yet generously allowed me the first shots, probably because I was just so excited at seeing so many at once at close quarters. They all seemed to be down at once and we just didn't know which way to turn. What a great problem to have! I could write pages giving a step by step account but instead I'll just post a few images:

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Several other visitors had recorded at least another 5 different BH between them, 4 F and 1M.

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Re: Pauline

Postby millerd » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:33 pm

My turn to admire your Brown Hairstreak shots, Pauline. Lovely butterflies all of them! :)

Dave

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:45 pm

Yes. Always a joy to see Brown Hairstreak images. This butterfly is a godsend at this time of year as we lose the bulk of our single brooded summer species.

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:18 am

Thank you Dave. It is rare imo to see so many down at any one time egg-laying. It reminded me of when I found all those female SWF a couple of years back, all egg-laying around the same 2 trees for just one day. Perhaps it's just a coincidence, perhaps it's just because conditions were perfect, or perhaps there's an advantage to survival in having so many laid/hatch at the same time? Either way, it made for a fantastic morning :D

Looks like it all came together for you too David with BH AND Clouded Yellow - although I think I can trump your 3 eggs :wink: :D It wasn't just seeing the butterflies that was so interesting. It was watching (or trying to watch) the egg-laying process. This is always difficult as the females are secretive and tend to crawl into the thickest part of the Blackthorn - quite often disappearing entirely from sight. I have long wanted to get some shots of the process but it has never been possible before without risking disturbing the egg-laying female which I would never do. I have always had to wait until she had moved on before inspecting the branches, which is exactly what I did with these below. I had watched this female disappear into the blackthorn at least 3 times and eventually discovered these having carefully 'marked' by eye which branch she was on:

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For a 4th time she crawled into the Blackthorn and although Nick was calling to me that he'd found another 2 females I stayed with the female I had found and tried to record the process. I was astonished to watch her lay yet another 4 eggs before pausing again for a rest:

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When coming across multiple eggs in the past I had always wondered whether they had been laid by different females. Well, in this case at least, I now know the answer.
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trevor
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Re: Pauline

Postby trevor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:28 am

What a lovely sequence of the Brown Hairstreak.
Both this year's adults, and the next generation.
If the weather holds, i'm going on a BH hunt today.

All the best,
Trevor.

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:56 pm

Cheers Trevor - hope you got lucky where ever you ended up :D Today I saw for the very first time what I believe are Rufous Grasshoppers. Having read a bit about them I am looking forward to seeing their courtship display:

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Re: Pauline

Postby bugboy » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm

:shock: That is an amazing set of images Pauline!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:54 pm

That's another fantastic Brown Hairstreak sequence, Pauline, and yes, you have trumped my 3 eggs being laid simultaneously with that amazing batch of four! I wonder whether anyone has ever seen 5 being laid like this?

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Re: Pauline

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:32 pm

Pauline, Some great Hairstreak photos recently and those egg laying shots are really cool. You have a knack of getting some great images.

Regards Kev

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:41 pm

Fantastic sequence Pauline, hopefully I can see something similar tomorrow :mrgreen: Still no Cloudy though :? :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Pauline

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:29 am

Great shots recently Pauline especially the Hair Streaks and the egg laying, :D :mrgreen:
I returned your e-mail did you receive it. :?: Goldie :D


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