Maximus

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:52 pm

Hard to pick a favourite image there, Mike.

I love the last habitat image but I think the Green Veined White just edges out the female Wall Brown.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:50 pm

Thanks, Wurzel, here comes the last part.

Thanks, David, glad you like the habitat shot, and the GVW.



25th July

On the final day of our Dorset trip we headed to Lulworth Cove. After parking the car we set off up the narrow footpath that leads onto Bindon Hill. Having climbed over the (rather high) stile at the top of the path, it only took us five minutes to find our first Lulworth Skipper of the trip.

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Once we had found the first one, we began to find more as we walked along the path. Quite a lot were showing signs of wear..


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..but we also found some nice fresh looking individuals.

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Chalkhill Blues didn’t appear to be as abundant as they were when we last visited in 2015, perhaps they emerge later here, however those that we saw looked nice and fresh.

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Other Butterflies we saw during our visit were: Marbled White, Brown Argus, Wall Brown, Dark green Fritillary, Common Blue, Small Copper, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper.

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During our pleasant walk across the hill, down the steps and back across the beach we also found a Green Bush Cricket, and a Humming Bird Hawk Moth nectaring on Valerian.

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View from the top of Bindon Hill with Portland in the distance and Lulworth Cove below


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During our four day visit to Dorset we made the most of the two good weather days and saw a total of 23 species.

trevor
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Re: Maximus

Postby trevor » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:00 am

One of the best Humming Bird Hawk Moth images, Mike. :mrgreen:
Forget composition, there's never time for that, the way they dart about !.

Best wishes,
Trevor.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:54 pm

I agree with that, Trevor,they give you the right run-around :roll:

I'd do a trade for your superb Qos :D :wink:

Mike

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bugboy
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Re: Maximus

Postby bugboy » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:16 pm

Just catching up with your Dorset trip, a very good range of species and a wonderful set of images :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:23 pm

Great shots of my favourite butterfly Mike and that Hummingbird Hawkmoth is a cracking shot :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: Maximus

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:16 pm

Hi Mike

I was on Bindon Hill a few days before you, and only saw three Chalkhills, but they do emerge late on that coast. Where as Lulworth Skippers emerge early :?

Great hummingbird Hawkmoth, we didn't see any while we were there so well done!

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Maximus

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:25 pm

Great shot of the Hummer mike, they are really tricky to photograph! Lovely part of the UK that, I lived near there for a few years - many years ago.

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:09 pm

The area around Lulworth Cove is extraordinarily striking, and I haven't been there for 3 years so thanks for reminding me of what I've been missing!

As others have said, Hummingbird Hawk Moths are difficult at the best of times, so well done for capturing your subject as sharply as you have.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks bugboy, a Dorset visit is the highlight of our year :D

It’s a favourite of mine too, Wurzel :D for the Hummingbird Hawkmoth it was lucky mode, yet again :wink:

Hi mark, we only saw a handful of Chalkhills on Bindon Hill, whereas there were dozens at Portland.

Thanks James, it’s a great part of the UK, you were lucky to live nearby, but now you live in Sussex :D

The Dorset coast is beautiful, David, and it’s just a nice place to be.




15th August

We decided that it was about time we paid a visit to Old Winchester Hill in the hope of finding some Silver-spotted Skippers with the possibilty of also seeing some second brood Adonis Blues. It’s a late site for Silver-spotted Skippers so we were hopeful that any we did find would be in good condition.
After parking the car we set off along the upper path and had only walked about 100 meters from the car park when I spotted a male SSS nectaring on a Knapweed flower and another close by on a Scabious.


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What long-legged beasties they are



Happy with our early success we continued along the path and began to see some other species, plenty of Meadow Browns, Essex Skippers, lots of Brimstones, several Painted Ladies and also a couple of nice fresh Small Tortoiseshells.


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Essex Skipper


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We then made our way to the hill fort and into the meadow below it where it was more sheltered, there we soon spotted some more Silver-spotted Skippers along with a few Brown Argus. There were also some Chalkhill Blue male and female but they were looking a bit worn.


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Hill fort ramparts with the Isle of Wight in the far distance


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We then searched for at least an hour before we eventually found an Adonis Blue right at the bottom of the slope, a very fresh looking male which we observed having constant ariel battles with Common Blues. It was joined by a second, by it wasn’t until it clouded over that they settled and opened their wings allowing some shots. We eventually found another for a total of three (males) and concluded that we were witnessing the beginning of their emergence. (I’ve since seen reports of counts of ten plus a week or so later).


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We decided to take the lower route back in the hope of seeing the Clouded Yellows we had been told about by another butterfly enthusiast who had seen them there that morning. Sure enough when we reached the spot in question we had fly-bys by at least three different individuals. Getting a shot was a challenge but I eventually got a couple of record shots. They were a little bit past their best, but I was not too unhappy with that :D


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The bank where the Cloudies were flying




Silver-spotted Skipper numbers were possibly a bit lower than we’ve seen in previous years (our total count was ten plus) but it’s a large site and as you’re encouraged to keep to the path it would be easy to miss some.

All in all it was a great visit to a lovely site.

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Re: Maximus

Postby millerd » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:31 pm

Some lovely Adonis shots, there, Mike - I may have to add this spot to my places to visit next year; after all it's not too far distant. :)

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:05 pm

Stunning Silver-spots :D :mrgreen: some Cloudy action :mrgreen: and the colours on those Adonis - electrifying :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:46 pm

I love the SSS on the scabious flower, Mike. A very striking image.

The habitat looks heavenly too, so no surprise Adonis Blues are at home there.

trevor
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Re: Maximus

Postby trevor » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:18 pm

You've certainly captured the ' electric blue ' sheen on those Adonis Blues.

Trevor.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:06 pm

It’s been a little while since I last posted so apologies for the late replies.

Thanks, Dave, it would certainly be worthwhile for you to pay a visit to Old Winchester Hill next year :D

Cheers, Wurzel, it’s not always possible to do justice to Adonis Blues :?

Cheers, David, yes the habitat there is managed perfectly for the Adonis Blue(and others).

Thanks, Trevor, just occasionally the light is just right to show off that electric blue :o



22nd August


Another visit to Noar Hill today looking for Brown Hairstreaks, having failed to find any during our previous visit. During that visit we had found Noar to be strangely devoid of butterfly life in spite of the massive amount of nectar rich plants to be found there.
The met office had predicted sunny spells for the Selborne area today, but they were well off the mark and as we walked up through the site we soon had to seek shelter from a heavy downpour. Once it stopped raining we headed on up to the triangle and spent a while searching this area as it can be a bit of a hotspot for BH, but not today, so we moved on. When I arrived at the top pit a butterfly flew across the path in front of me, landed on a leaf and opened its wings to reveal the orange bands of a female BH. I quickly took several shots before she flew back over the path and landed facing me. I only got one more shot before a Meadow Brown chased her off and she disappeared up the bank. Unfortunately, Cathy had walked on ahead so didn’t get to see her.


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We hung around for a while but she didn’t re-appear, so, pleased with the sighting, we decided to look elsewhere. In the centre of the reserve we found several lovely Brimstones feeding up for their hibernation. We also spotted some Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Brown Argus, Large Whites, Small Whites and a single Green-veined White.


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Autumn Lady's-Tresses with Female Common Blue

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A fairly blue female.

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As it was now getting late we began to make our way towards the gate when another BH flew across the path and settled right in front of me. I called Cathy so that she wouldn’t miss out this time and we both watched as she searched out Blackthorn suckers to lay her eggs on. In between bouts of egg laying she basked with her wings open allowing some shots. She appeared more worn than the first female, but still a lovely sight.


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The path where the second Brown Hairstreak was seen.

essexbuzzard
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Re: Maximus

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:33 pm

She is still a fine sighting and thankfully you both got to see her :)

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:37 pm

Great report and set of shots Mike, and it's really usful seeing the habitat shot/where the butterfly was found, helps out it into context :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:57 pm

That scrubby area looks like butterfly heaven, Mike, with its sheltered dip and masses of what I presume are blackthorn bushes at the bottom?

millerd
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Re: Maximus

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:01 pm

A nice pair of Brown Hairstreaks there, Mike. Neither of them was the one I saw there a few days earlier, and both of yours were in better condition. :)

Dave

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:40 pm

Thanks, Mark, Cathy was a still a bit disappointed to miss the first BH :(

I agree with you about the relevance of habitat shots, Wurzel :)

It's certainly butterfly heaven, David, and yes, those are blackthorn bushes.

I must try to get there when the BH are still fresh, Dave :)


Autumn Coppers

Looking through my photos recently I was surprised to find these beauties, taken at Hoggers’ great stomping ground Copperness, which, for one reason or another, I never got round to posting. So here they are..


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Absolutely stunning little butterflies.


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