Pauline

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:34 pm

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


That immediately struck a chord with me too. I have this book and it's one of the sequences I remember best. In fact, the author talked of how blessed he felt to be witnessing such an uncommon event.

Seems there were more witnesses than first reported!

millerd
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Re: Pauline

Postby millerd » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:26 pm

I missed seeing the Chichester Queens, Pauline, but your images of them are excellent. :) Having just come back from seeing the current ones today, I have to say it is actually quite difficult to take in how rare this sort of event is. :)

All the best to April as well - she looks quite a character.

Dave

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:13 am

Thank you all so much for your very kind and generous comments, and your support regarding April has been much appreciated. As David intimated, once signs of illness are detected in birds it is generally too late to take any meaningful action. The fact that April is still here one week later is encouraging but I am wary of being hopeful without knowing the cause. She is still weak and has lost a lot of weight. I am still struggling to get her to eat and I am still waiting for those lab reports. Still, it could be a lot worse.......... the upshot is that the following shots were all taken in the garden. I hadn't bothered to mention that some time back, whilst in the local garden centre, I noticed that a lot of butterfly eggs and larva that had been laid on vegetables were being disposed of. One tray of purple sprouting broccoli had been reduced to £2.00 as a result - it was well chewed and still contained many eggs. As a bonus (and to help them out of course :wink: ) I went round the other vegetables and discreetly removed any tiny leaves containing more eggs which were then tucked into the broccoli which was subsequently purchased. I must have ended up with several hundred eggs and larva in a cage. It has been a little disappointing as it became apparent that many of these had already been parasitised:

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But the 40-50 that eventually made it through are now starting to emerge:

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This prompted me to check on my own salad vegetables and I found several Small White eggs:

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and also these eggs. I am not sure what they are. They look like little pearls and seem similar to Speckled Wood eggs. There have been Speckled Wood in the garden but I am not sure if they lay on salad crops?

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I believe these eggs may be Meadow Brown?:

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Last but not least that lovely Hummingbird Hawk-moth has been visiting for at least the last 4 days (I assume it is the same one but not sure):

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:26 pm

Thanks for the update on April, Pauline. I trust you will keep us informed prior to your usual 'sabbatical' from the forum during the winter period?

Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:24 am

Is that a gentle hint David? :wink: :lol:

A few more images from home. There have been some lovely Commas visiting and the first of the Small White eggs hatched yesterday. Having seen Pete's jaw-dropping images I am almost embarrassed to post these but they are the best I could achieve:

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Pauline
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Re: Pauline

Postby Pauline » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:30 pm

Well, it is that time of the year again and it is with much regret that I must say my goodbyes until next season :( . I'd like to thank everyone who has taken an interest in my diary, whether this has been just to enjoy the images or perhaps taking the time to comment or give advice. It has been a difficult season in more ways than one – health issues, essential house maintenance and too many animal problems, all of which have resulted in a very fragmented season for me. However, the enforced ‘down time’ has given me the opportunity to reflect on the last few months, the challenges and achievements, the exciting times, various findings, learning opportunities and the inevitable battles with the British climate. I have enjoyed meeting new enthusiasts and seeing new places, not least Bookham Common, unfortunately seen on a cold, cloudy day, thankfully with Martin as my guide.

I was a little disappointed to effectively ‘miss’ the Purple Emperor season but it was my choice to take on the rearing of those tiny hedgehogs (all of which have recently been successfully released), which I found to be a very rewarding and educational experience. However, as a result, I only saw a handful of PE in flight and no photos or close-up views. Likewise, with the Small PBF – domestic issues kept me grounded. Nevertheless, I was fortunate enough to discover a 2nd brood Dingy Skipper which was a first for me. Other ‘firsts’ included watching a Gatekeeper and Brown Argus ovi-posting and managing to get images of that Brown Hairstreak laying an amazing 4 eggs!

On the rearing front I was surprised to realise that I have reared 5 butterfly species and a few moths. This is an aspect that I find more interesting year on year although once I have reared any particular species I find that I subsequently prefer to attempt to monitor them in the wild in an endeavour to make comparisons,. In the case of the Small Copper, Brown Hairstreak and White Admiral this has demonstrated to me just how many of the immature stages are ‘lost’. I have surprised myself at how my interest in the immature stages has expanded, happily spending a great deal of time just watching – perhaps it is an age thing! :lol:

I have not made as much progress on the moth front as I hoped. A lack of time coupled with their sheer numbers and the fact that I often struggle with identification leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I appreciate the help I have received in this area and continue to be inspired by Neil’s wonderful images. Hoping to encourage more moths I was very pleased to find that only weeks after planting a Mullein plant in the garden the Mullein moth had laid eggs on it. For 3 consecutive years now I have had Hummingbird Hawk-moths nectaring at my Phlox so the next mini project is to plant some Bedstraws around it.

It has become something of a tradition to end my season with a summary of images so without more ado but with some brief explanation ……….

I have been puzzled and quite disappointed by the apparent total disappearance of all those dozens of Small Copper discovered very late last season on a small site carpeted with Sorrel. As I posted their images earlier this year I decided to compile a summary of the shots I took as a reminder of some remarkable sights:

Autumnal Small Coppers.jpg


Over the Winter months there were some opportunities to see birds I have not seen before so I have tried to summarise a few of these. It is clear that my bird photography needs some work but with the advice I have received from Mike and others I hope I can improve on this over the winter and into next season:

Birds.jpg


Hairstreaks remain my favourite group so it goes without saying that they have to have their own category:

Hairstreaks.jpg


At random I pulled out a few of my favourite butterfly shots of the season. They may not be the best images technically but have been selected on the basis of the memories they evoke:

Favourites 1.jpg


Favourites 2.jpg


The time I spend on the immature stages, both at home and in the wild seems to increase year on year and to that end I have included 2 compilations which I hope reflects that. My camera is not the best to take shots of tiny subjects so I hope the images are clear enough – they will never be in the same league as the jaw-dropping images Pete has recently posted:

Immature (1).jpg


Immature Stages.jpg


Likewise, butterfly behaviour continues to fascinate me so my summary would not be complete without a few shots relating to this aspect. I suspect this is why I enjoy rearing a few species each season – I do spend a lot of time just watching them whenever possible and so I am including 2 of the species reared this year (Holly Blue and Comma):

Behaviour.jpg


Holly Blue.jpg


Comma.jpg



On the moth front I think the most exciting moth in the trap this season for me was the Lobster moth, closely followed by the Puss moth, although I only put it out 4-5 times. In the garden it has to be the Hummingbird Hawk-moth. Whenever I see it, I just have to stop and watch:

Moths 2017.jpg


I can’t deny a developing interest in all things insect related even though I find some of them distasteful – not those gorgeous Demoiselles though or the Glowworm larva which I have never seen before. To that end I have included a new ‘category’ to reflect this:

Other Insects.jpg


It really is time to go now. As well as all the usual outside maintenance I have plans to learn some new skills this winter and re-upholster all my dining room chairs which Jaffa has torn to shreds. If I am successful, perhaps I’ll post a shot in the Spring. In the words of Wurzel ‘have a goodun’!! :D :D

millerd
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Re: Pauline

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:19 pm

Thank you for sharing all those wonderful images, Pauline. Have a good autumn and winter and we'll see you again in the spring! :)

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: Pauline

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:37 pm

A fantastic array of images Pauline :D Hopefully there will be a Social this year and you'll be able to come along but if not take care and have a good 'down season' :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Pauline

Postby Goldie M » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:57 am

Hi! Pauline, I'll miss your shots but will keep in touch by e-mail Goldie :D

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MikeOxon
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Re: Pauline

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:30 am

What a stunning series of images! :mrgreen: ; a collection to enjoy, as we all look forward to a good season next year.

All the best, Mike

trevor
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Re: Pauline

Postby trevor » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:50 pm

You may have missed the Emperor this year, but you managed some lovely images
of the Purple Hairstreak. A privilege afforded to many of us in this unusual year for Hairstreaks.

Best wishes,
Trevor.

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Maximus
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Re: Pauline

Postby Maximus » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:54 pm

A beautiful set of butterfly/moth images, Pauline :D I recently said to Cathy, 'it's only seven months until spring' :lol: see you then.

Mike

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bugboy
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Re: Pauline

Postby bugboy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:26 pm

You still managed to cram in a lot of butterfly action in. I hope winter is kind to you and look forward to seeing you reappear with the Orange-tips :D
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:33 pm

That's a wonderul, reflective résumé of your year, Pauline, with a superbly presented array of images to support it.

Here's hoping all will be well for you during your absence and we hope to welcome you back again next year.

All the best.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Pauline

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:08 pm

It is amazing how quickly another season has flown by and it is time for your winter break from these forums already. An interesting round up of your season Pauline...and thanks for the comment on my moth photos :D I take plenty of not so good ones as well :wink:

Hope you have a good winter and looking forward to welcoming you back again next spring.

All the best,

Neil.

p.s. I think we took an evolutionary wrong turn in not hibernating like some other mammals...if it's good enough for bears, hedgehogs and dormice, then it's good enough for me :lol:

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:00 pm

Neil Freeman wrote:..p.s. I think we took an evolutionary wrong turn in not hibernating like some other mammals...if it's good enough for bears, hedgehogs and dormice, then it's good enough for me


I quite agree, Neil. Imagine not having to go through that late autumn depression (not to mention colds and flu) and to emerge in February three stone lighter with just a week or two to wait for your first butterfly of the New Year!

Heaven.

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David M
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Re: Pauline

Postby David M » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:54 pm

Pauline wrote:The time I spend on the immature stages, both at home and in the wild seems to increase year on year and to that end I have included 2 compilations which I hope reflects that. My camera is not the best to take shots of tiny subjects so I hope the images are clear enough – they will never be in the same league as the jaw-dropping images Pete has recently posted


Maybe not, but your observations are of great interest to many of us, Pauline, and I hope you will update us on developments when you return in the new year.


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