philm63

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Andrew555
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Re: philm63

Postby Andrew555 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:19 am

More great shots Phil, lovely Orange Tips. :)

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:46 pm

Cheers essexbuzzard, Andrew

I have amended the posts appropriately

Nymphalids

Comma

2014 was not a bad year with a few sightings throughout the summer, the first on 2 July and the last on 10 September. 2015 was quieter with only a few seen in August. None seen at all in 2016 and seen twice in 2017 in July with three at Bingley Bog North on the 16th

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Red Admiral

Normally ranks 3rd in the frequency of nymphalids seen locally and 2014 to 2016 were in that pattern. However, there was an explosion in 2017 and the late summer saw bumper numbers locally. In one day in September I had 5 together in the garden, it was the only nymphalid I saw on most days in late summer, and some days the only butterfly I saw

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Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:47 pm

More great shots Phil - that first Comma is really well marked :D Glad you manged to round up the errant Hedge Brown :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:18 am

Cheers Wurzel

Remaining Aristocrats

Painted Lady

No good years for this species locally since 2009, none in 2014, 2 in 2015, none in 2016 and a single in 2017

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Peacock

Normally Peacock is a reliable local butterfly, and 2014 to 2016 followed the general trend. However, in 2017, the late spring and early summer were promising but the late summer was dismal, with very few sightings at all. A picture shared with Small Tortoiseshell

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Small Tortoiseshell

Usually seen in good numbers at the right time but 2017 started well and ended badly like the Peacock with very few seen in the late summer period and none after late July. The garden buddleias were only attracting Red Admirals when in late bloom, with few STs or Peacocks at all

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Phil

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David M
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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:32 pm

Beautiful images that make me yearn for spring, Phil. Sadly, it's likely to be three months at least before I see my next Small Tortoiseshell. :(

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Re: philm63

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:40 am

Lovely,I especially like your Small Tortoiseshell shots Phil.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:25 pm

Cheers David, Andrew
Spring cannot come quick enough, I have had enough of winter already and it hasn't really started yet

Memories

Having re-capped the butterflies during the period I couldn’t finish without mentioning the memories stirred as I went back over 3 years’ worth of Trip Reports and the photographic memories included within them


Travel broadens the mind!

Swallow and Wheatear - North Norfolk Autumn 2014

My local area sitting in the foothills of the Pennines can be just a bit barren at times (a gross understatement). In September 2014 I went with the wife to the Titchwell area, on the north Norfolk coast, for a few days. Gorgeous weather and a profusion of wildlife, this reminded me that I need to get out a bit more from my local area and see what else is on offer around the country; if only to keep fuelling that desire to see, enjoy and try to understand. Despite the numerous shots of species I see all too infrequently, I chose two of my favourite shots from the trip which show species that may have been visitors like myself, who knows they could even have been in my local area in the spring and summer

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Conservation!

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher – Local 2016

Quite a few species across the board are being added to the Threatened List in the UK, butterflies in particular. Birdwise, in my local area we have lost Willow Tit, Marsh Tit, Yellowhammer and Yellow Wagtail, although the latter has started re-appearing in small numbers. So it is nice to see that one threatened species, Spotted Flycatcher, is appearing more frequently. Now I expect to see them annually at some sites in the summer and on passage in the autumn; and this year I had family groups at two different spots on the same day during the autumn return passage

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Perseverance pays off!

Little Owl and Grey Partridge – less than a mile from home

After trudging round my local patch week after week especially in winter and seeing little apart from a few crows and a couple of passerines attempting to hide from the wind: it is nice now and then to see it rewarded. That stray Merlin and Stonechat, the over-wintering Long-eared Owl, the White-letter Hairstreak and other summer butterflies. And every now and then you manage a really close-encounter with one of the usual species, as shown by these two images. That makes it all seem worthwhile in the end

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The reason for doing it at all!

Snipe and Red Grouse at Bradup

On any sunny day from middish-April to late May if the chance is there I head to Bradup. It sits at the transition from rough grazing to heather moorland and has a good, but quiet, access road. Getting out the car the air is full of displaying Lapwings, Curlews call all around, drumming Snipe buzz over. If I am lucky Redshank and Golden Plover will also show. In the background the “go-back go-back” calls of Red Grouse, numerous Meadow Pipits with accompanying Skylark, Reed Bunting and occasional Stonechat and Linnet. The first of the spring butterflies braving the higher and harsher terrain; and then the occasional raptor breaks the skyline somewhere. It is almost primordial and never fails to lift my spirits and remind me what it is all about, this communication with nature I believe we all need

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Retain a sense of humour!

Roe Deer – Walsh Lane June 2017

Out in all weathers, little seen, subject moved just as you were going to press the shutter button; we all will have suffered it. So it is nice now and then to be able to have a chuckle at it all. So when your subject does something amusing it is an added bonus. This female Roe Deer was not far from my home and I was within 30 metres of it. There is a series of photos, some very good, of that encounter. But I just loved the pose on this one with its tongue sticking out – almost a “and this is what I think of you standing there taking my picture” moment

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The artistic element!

Little Egret – Fairburn Ings 2016

I seem to have read a number of articles on wildlife photography on the web. Rule of thirds, depth of field, exposure compensation, shutter or aperture priority, composition, post-editing methods. Most of it goes over my head it seems. I tend just to point and click and consider myself fortunate to get an image I can appreciate and use. However, the rule of averages means that every now and then, one of the photos will be that little bit special. Personally I just love the subject here surrounded by still water with the reflective images of the vegetation on the water, the photo is straight out of the camera with just a little cropping

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Enjoy the unexpected!

Wood Mouse? – Eldwick Reservoir June 2017

I almost missed this little mouse as it foraged in a fallen tree near the reservoir; just looking in a different direction at the wrong time would have been enough. It happily sat there whilst I watched from a few feet away. It is nice to be able to see the occasional different thing whilst out looking for the expected or hoped for. I presumed it was a Wood Mouse but if anyone has a proper ID I would be interested to know

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Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:15 pm

More cracking shots there Phil - especially like the Red grouse as that's a species I still haven't seen :D :mrgreen: Also some really lush looking Small Torts - if they were rarer they would probably be even more desirable than a Purple Emperor i reckon. :D
Your rodent ID meant I had to use my mammal ID App for the first time and I reckon it's a vole (the more rounded face with smaller, rounded ears), probably Bank Vole (?) as it was active during the day.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:10 pm

Cheers Wurzel and thanks for the mammal ID
The old offer still stands, if you ever venture up this way in spring would be more than happy to show you my local moorland stomping grounds, weather permitting. What is glorious on a sunny day can be harsh and uninviting on a bad one

Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Andrew555 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:38 pm

Great shots Phil, of some lovely creatures. :)

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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:38 pm

More uplifting images, Phil, especially the one of the owl, which is absolutely superb.

I can't wait till winter retreats, whereupon we will all be able to get out and about in comfort again, and hopefully experience some of those moments you have shared with us.

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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Cheers Andrew, David

I couldn't agree more about wanting next Spring to come quickly, hopefully we are going to have a decent summer in 2018, and who knows a repeat of 2009, with a good year for Painted Ladys. I certainly have plans to widen my visiting area at the appropriate periods. I know of two sites within a hour or so driving that would give me two butterflies I have yet to see. It is just getting that combination of available time and correct weather right

Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:52 pm

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And a good 2018

Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:40 pm

Happy Solstice and a very Merry Christmas to you to Phil :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:59 pm

Thanks for the recent images, Phil, and I look forward to more of the same in the New Year.

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas.

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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:58 pm

So far we have been lucky enough locally to miss most of the bad weather. Just three snow falls and none lasted more than 24 hours on the ground. The day light is extending and I actually see some light when finishing work, briefly admittedly, but it is a start. So any observing is limited to the weekends, when I can see what is going on around my feeders. Besides the usual Blackbirds, Robins, Dunnocks and assorted tits, the main users are the finches. I love finches, they really do add a splash of colour to the feeders in a similar way to the tits. I am lucky in that I seem to get a good cross-section of the main British finches in the year, except for Brambling and Linnet which are yet to show in the garden, at least when I am looking that is.
I have collected together below some of my better images of finches to illustrate how attractive they can be

Chaffinch
Usually a pair in residence and seen almost daily when I am looking. The numbers do occasionally go up but not much. The male is a nice bird, especially in spring

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Male Chaffinch


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Female Chaffinch


Greenfinch
Nearly a year round bird, there are occasional periods when I see none for a few days. They occur in greater numbers than the Chaffinch and on some days I will see 6 or more, usually with Goldfinches. The male is quite gaudy and the female more subdued. When seen alongside Chaffinch it is obviously a more chunky bird, with the yellow in the wings fairly obvious

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Male Greenfinch


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Pair of Greenfinches with a Goldfinch


Goldfinch
Probably the one finch I can see any day and sometimes in good numbers of 12 or more, but more usually 6 - 8. The flocks often drag in with them the occasional Siskin or Greenfinch. Sexually they look the same but this is a very attractive bird with some subtle hues

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Goldfinch


Bullfinch
A noticeably bigger bird with a large bill and some beautiful colouration. The female just a bit less so as she lacks the rosy tinge to the undersides. Normally a pair is quite frequent for months then will vanish for a period of weeks, to return again later.

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Male Bullfinch


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Female Bullfinch


Siskin
A favourite of mine and a bird that seems to show some variation, some males are almost canaryish in colouration others more subdued, the females are duller but some can appear quite bright at times. I can go months without any then a small group will appear, sometimes in decent numbers; I once had 30 in the garden

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Male Siskin


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Female Siskin


Lesser Redpoll
Now back as a species since the BOU adopted the new British List in January, based on the IOC list
A much duller bird showing similarities to the Siskin in size and behaviour. it is not regular in my garden, with only a handful of appearances over the years

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Lesser Redpoll


Phil
Last edited by philm63 on Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:32 pm

Great set of images Phil - especially the female Bullfinch - to get a shot of a male is difficult but the females are even harder work :D :mrgreen: I still don't understand why we can't call the Lesser Redpoll Common as it is the British species and the Common Redpoll a Mealy as it far less common :roll: Just one of the reasons I moved from birds to butterflies :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:19 am

Beautiful selection of garden birds there, Phil. Bullfinches are a favourite of mine and the Swansea area is pretty good for them. However, I haven't seen Siskins for years and I don't think I've ever seen a Lesser Redpoll so hats off for those!

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:18 pm

Cheers Wurzel, David

There seems to be an on-going issue over the naming of species. Admittedly the Lesser Redpoll is commoner in the UK, but is restricted to here across to Central Europe, whereas the Common Redpoll has a wider distribution, including North America, so is the commoner Redpoll. I usually record it as Redpoll myself (and also continue using Wheatear, Robin, Wren etc etc) which is of course not politically correct. Then you get into such ditties as Kentish Plover, Bath White, Camberwell Beauty, Common Gull, Essex Skipper
The good thing from the BOU decision to adopt the IOC list is it starts what hopefully will become the norm across most national bird organisations leading to a standardized classification. It may spread to other areas of agreement in different branches of Natural History
The new list has some interesting changes in order of species, some lumping and some splitting
Although it happened before the adoption of the IOC list. the most unusual thing now is seeing the Falcons split away from the other birds of prey and now being sandwiched between Woodpeckers and Shrikes

Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:46 pm

Great selection of garden finches Phil :D

I am particularly jealous of the Siskins - only ever seen one in my garden - and the Lesser Redpoll, never seen one of these at all.

Cheers,

Neil.


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