Pauline

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Goldie M
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Re: Pauline

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:09 am

Hi! Pauline, nice shots recently , I was at GB Sunday , no BHS I'm afraid so we'll be down South looking next year. Goldie :D

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:26 pm

Cheers Trevor - when I'm out with butterfly folk I'm always in good company :D

Thank you David - it would certainly be good to see a few more migrants.

Looking at some diaries Goldie it might seem like they're really easy to find but ........ there are never any guarantees and repeat visits are sometimes necessary. Perhaps next season we might meet up again :D

Whilst at Oxenbourne I took the opportunity to monitor the small population of SSS which are inhabiting an increasingly shrinking area year on year at this site. For several seasons now I have been expressing concern about the viability of this small colony which is effectively just hanging on by a thread, the habitat becoming increasing unsuitable. I saw 4 females egg-laying. Initially I was heartened by this as it more than I usually see but .......... is it enough to sustain this colony???? 4 or 5 males were active around the area but being such a tiny area it is difficult to avoid double counting. I have tried to err on the side of caution but I doubt there were more than a dozen individuals on that site yesterday. I spent some time just enjoying watching their activities - nectaring, resting after egg-laying, attempts by the males to mate. A few shots below:

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Common Blues and Brown Argus were also busy egg-laying. I was able to grab a few shots without disturbing them:

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Brown Argus egg:

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Common Blue ovi-posting:

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Despite having watched several DGH egg-laying earlier and seeing some signs of feeding on the food plant, try as I might I couldn't discover any larva.

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bugboy
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Re: Pauline

Postby bugboy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:42 pm

Nice SSS pictures but I do hope something is done about the habitat there. It's not that difficult to get it right, a bit of controlled grazing :?
Some addictions are good for the soul!

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:01 pm

Cheers Buggy. Now I know you didn't say this explicitly but I've been moaning about this situation for 3 years now so I thought it was time I got up off my backside and found out what was happening. Well, I didn't get off my backside as such but I did make a few phone calls to try to establish ownership/responsibility etc and finally spoke to someone who outlined their management plans for the site for this Autumn and the future. Apparently there will be a 3-pronged approach - a tractor will be brought in and flailing carried out, volunteers are coming in to clear some scrub, and contractors are also being brought in. There have been attempts to bring in a 'flying flock' of sheep but because of the isolation of the site and time involved in checking the livestock there have been difficulties in this area. However, it is hoped that this will happen next year. It was encouraging to hear a positive approach being outlined but not being an expert on land management and conservation I was unsure as to whether this would have the desired effect. Today I discussed with Ashley W. ( Hants conservation committee) and he has kindly agreed to follow up on my initial approach and report back. Interestingly, during the discussion a view was expressed that the current SSS at this site are in fact a result of natural colonisation and not the original introduction in the 90's which it was thought failed to flourish due to several bad seasons.

Today I decided that I would pay a second visit to those Rufus Grasshoppers on Noar Hill and hopefully see BH. The first thing I saw was Ashley who had had no success so far. We wondered along to the Grasshoppers - I was keen to see the courtship I had read about. Under cloudy skies we saw about 6 of these insects, all male except for one female who had a following of 2 males. I glimpsed how interesting their courtship is as the male waved his head from side to side before butting the female. She was not receptive and moved away. I will be back to see more of these mahogony-coloured insects.

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Ashley and I went our seperate ways but met up again across the site as he was eating his lunch. I meandered through the hemp agrimony only to hear Ashley shout 'got one' (Well done that man!). It was a female in remarkable condition for the time of year. She posed nicely before setting off to lay a few eggs.

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Back home I was amused to see one of my tortoises roaming around the garden with a moth on his shell - this is Houdini as he is always escaping:

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... and a Brimstone on my Strawberries:

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:17 pm

Some divine butterfly companions there, Pauline (especially the Brown Hairstreaks), but a late summer Brimstone is a particular delight, especially when you can catch it with the sun rays shining through the wings like you have done. :)

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:37 pm

Thank you David but much credit to Ashley for finding such a lovely specimen. I should have mentioned that I took the opportunity to check up on many of the BH eggs I watched being laid previously. Many of them have already been predated including the 4 laid together by the same female :(

Today I only managed a quick stop off to check up on the WA cat - thankfully it was still there, sun-bathing on a leaf but made a bee-line for the stem when I accidentally touched the honeysuckle. Worryingly, the honeysuckle stem seemed connected to a spider's web but another larva (presumably moth of some sort?) was on a nearby stem:

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millerd
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Re: Pauline

Postby millerd » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:00 pm

That's nice Brown Hairstreak, Pauline, just as whole as the one I saw last weekend (not the same one though!). The shots of the WA caterpillar are terrific as well. :)

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

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

Beautiful Brostreak Pauline, she is in great nick for this time of the season :D :mrgreen: Fingers crossed for some positive feedback on the SSS :)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

ps - I think your Tortoiseshell hitch-hiking moth is a Grass moth, a Crambus species...

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Maximus
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Re: Pauline

Postby Maximus » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:37 pm

I'm glad that there are now some positives on the horizon for Oxenborne, Pauline :) You've posted some nice shots of SSS recently, the shot of the two together (at Oxenborne) is stunning :D and I agree, that Brown Hairstreak is in very good nick :shock:

Mike

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:43 am

Thank you for the compliments Dave - very much appreciated. I need some cheering up right now.

Cheers Wurzel for the comment and ID. With Ashley on board I am confident that the right actions will be carried out at Oxenbourne - the big question is, will it be in time???????

Thank you Mike - for one reason or another getting out this season has been a real struggle so it is good to get a few reasonable shots :)

Some might remember Merlin - my cheeky little Pionus parrot whom I sadly lost earlier this season due to Mycobacterium. His mate April was befriended by one of my Amazons (Heidi, altho he is male) who had lost his mate a couple of years ago.

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April with her guardian Heidi - he is devoted to her, feeding and grooming her and generally being very protective.

Sadly, April has now also become very ill, hence my lack of outings and postings. The outlook is looking bleak. Whilst waiting for lab results she is receiving hourly supportive care and at 50 years of age Heidi will be devastated at losing a second mate.

Last night at around 5.00pm I managed to get out for an hour for a break and headed to OWH where I spent most of the time just enjoying the sight of the many butterflies which were still very active. Chalkhills, Meadow Brown, Gatekeepers and SSS were all seen egg-laying. It was wonderful to watch the electric blue of a couple of dozen Adonis Blue as they searched for females who were also evident. A single Clouded Yellow patrolled the slopes and those butterflies too old and worn to worry about the opposite sex were just feeding up and enjoying the sunshine. By 6.00pm it was still incredibly hot - the butterflies showed no sign of roosting and I was still unable to get a wings open shot of the Adonis - this time due to the heat!!!! So, I'll just post a few of the shots I did take:

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On arriving at the site I made my way down the car park slope. A family had clearly enjoyed the bank holiday but the rubbish they had left strewn behind was shocking. It is not possible to see it all in this shot, but as well as many discarded cans and sweet packets, empty toy boxes, plastic bags and even a toddlers soiled trousers had been left behind. To say I was shocked and angry is an understatement. I collected up 2 full carrier bags of rubbish and ended up taking them home and putting them in my own bin!!!!! Words fail me :evil: :evil:

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Goldie M
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Re: Pauline

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:50 pm

Sorry to hear about your Parrot Pauline hope her results are not too bad. Goldie :(

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:31 pm

With pets aplenty, I hate it when you post sad tales such as this, Pauline.

Parrots are particularly precious, given their longevity (we have three African Greys) and it's particularly traumatic when things go awry.

I sincerely hope that April makes a full recovery, but I'm pragmatic enough to know that once birds show signs of sickness, they're far less likely to make it through than mammals.

Fingers (and toes) crossed!

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:55 am

All the best to April Pauline :? At least you managed to get some consolation from a trip out...before it was ruined by inconsiderate litter louts :evil:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Maximus
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Re: Pauline

Postby Maximus » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:15 pm

So sorry to hear about April, Pauline. I also sincerely hope that she pulls through.

Mike

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:42 am

Thank you Goldie. I have emailed you with fuller explanation.

You are absolutely right of course David. Being a prey animal they are masters when it comes to hiding any early signs of illness - even from observant owners. She is still with us albeit very weak - some sort of blockage came away on Tuesday night along with a lot of blood. I really need those lab results.

Thank you Wurzel. I really can't understand the mentality of folk who clearly think it is fine to allow others to clean up all their mess. I just wish I'd seen them leave!

Cheers Mike. As you would expect I'm doing my very best - everything else is on hold as she is getting all my attention. Under the circumstances I hope folk will forgive the following indulgence. It has been great reading all the diaries about the reports of the QoS in Sussex, bringing back memories from 8 years ago when a pair turned up at Chichester. I still remember well the excitement, especially seeing a mating pair. I have said this elsewhere but I shall be forever grateful to Richard Roebuck for supplying me with a battery for my camera when mine expired. I believe I also met Patrick Barkham that day. Anyway, a few shots below although I sincerely hope my photography has improved since then :lol:

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I believe a couple of years earlier a QoS was photographed on OWH in Hants and if I remember rightly Pete's comment was 'Holy Moly'! I knew then that it must be something exciting but these were my early butterfly years and I didn't even know where OWH was in those days :roll: :lol:

trevor
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Re: Pauline

Postby trevor » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:06 pm

You obviously had your Queen of Spain fix, back then, near Chichester.
Great shots too, and a lot more activity to observe, than we had this time. :mrgreen:
I only learned of the Chichester find after the event ( didn't have a laptop then ).

Best Wishes,
Trevor.

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Maximus
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Re: Pauline

Postby Maximus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:40 pm

There was nothing wrong with your photography back in the day, Pauline :wink: lovely shots :D

There is a chapter in Patrick Barkham's book, 'The Butterfly Isles', about the Chichester Qos sighting(s), amazing that you were there, Pauline :o :D

Mike

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:18 pm

Fantastic shots Pauline :D :mrgreen: That was the year that I was getting in to butterflies, fingers crossed it won't be so long until the next time :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

jenks
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Re: QoS

Postby jenks » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:24 pm

Anyone know if the Queens of Spain are still present ? A long trip might be on the cards on Saturday. And I agree with the comments re the photos. I`d be happy to have taken them !

Jenks.

essexbuzzard
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Re: Pauline

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:08 pm

Me too. Even to see . Nowt wrong with those images, either. Don't be so hard on yourself, Pauline. I also sincerely hope April pulls through.


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