Butterflysaurus rex

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bugboy
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby bugboy » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:02 pm

What a couple of beauties!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:41 am

Maximus wrote:Stunning photos, James :D

Many thanks Mike, Didn't think I would ever get 'that' close to a fresh Purple Hairstreak!

Pauline wrote:Wow!!! A phenomenal set of images James, especially the Hairstreaks :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

Very kind of you Pauline, I was very lucky to come across such a pristine female PHS, definitely one of the biggest highlights of my butterflying life so far!
jenks wrote:Absolutely stunning photos, especially of that valezina SWF. To my way of thinking the valezina form is more spectacular than Purple Emperor ( and more obliging ).

I had an amazing sighting last Sunday, 2 July. I popped into my local Tesco near Pontypridd just before they closed at 4 pm. When I got back to the car I found a White letter Hairstreak sitting on the windscreen ! I looked around the edge of the car park but couldn`t see any Elms. There were a line of Elms alongside the River Taff, less than 500 yards away as the butterfly flies but these are now almost completely dead. I used to see WLH in those trees but not this year. I suppose this was an individual looking for a nectar source. Sunday was very hot so the windscreen provided some heat but sadly no nectar ! I gently removed it and it flew off. I hope a colony remains in existence somewhere locally.

Jenks.

Hi Jenks, unbelievably I've now seen a Valezina SWF two years on the trot! It is a spectacular butterfly, this particular example looked lighter in colour than the last one I saw.

It's always a treat to see White-letter Hairstreaks, fortunately they do appear able survive on Elm suckers. If you check the area near the dead Elms you might find some scrub Elm nearby. Dutch Elm Disease has been decimating my local WLH colonies. It's now getting very difficult to find WLH's where only a few years ago they were reasonably plentiful. That makes an unexpected sighting like yours all the more delightful.

bugboy wrote:What a couple of beauties!

Errm I hope you're referring to my photos there Paul! :shock: :lol: Seriously - I was incredibly lucky to see both a pristine PHS and a Valezina SWF!!

Thank you very much for your kind comments, they are most appreciated.

Best wishes

James

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Wurzel
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:55 pm

Those Purple Hairstreak shots are amazing Rex :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Goldie M » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:42 am

Lovely set of shots I can't pick out which I like the best they all look fantastic. :D :mrgreen: Goldie :D

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:31 pm

Wurzel wrote:Those Purple Hairstreak shots are amazing Rex :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Many thanks Wurzel :D I loved your SSB photos and your Heath Frit shots are great too.

Goldie M wrote:Lovely set of shots I can't pick out which I like the best they all look fantastic. :D :mrgreen: Goldie :D

So kind of you Goldie, I could say the same about your splendid White-letter Hairstreak shots! They're one of my favourite butterflies.

Best regards to you both.

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Goldie M » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:36 pm

Many thanks rex, it was my favourite day out to date, Goldie :D

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:54 pm

Goldie M wrote:Many thanks rex, it was my favourite day out to date, Goldie :D

I'm not surprised Goldie! It's a real joy to be in amongst some lovely White-letter Hairstreaks!!


Woodland Surprise addendum.

Whilst going through my photos of those two fantastic days spent over the 30th June and 1st of July I came across a photo that I'd forgotten I'd taken, after all there had been a lot of excitement! I thought I'd post it up in case anyone was interested as I've never personally seen another one quite like it. The only one I can think of is Downland Boy's wonderful mating pair of Purple Hairstreaks. Anyway I don't think having a pair of Purple hairstreaks in one photo is a very common occurrence so I here it is.

Pair of Purple Hairstreaks.jpg


Before I could decide which one to try and photograph the uppermost Hairstreak flew away so I tried to get a photo pf the lower one, it was clear that this one had only just hatched as it was still expelling a little bit of meconium.

Purple Hairstreak.jpg


Thanks for looking

James

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bugboy
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby bugboy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:29 pm

Butterflysaurus rex wrote:
Before I could decide which one to try and photograph......

James


That's not something said very often about that species :mrgreen:
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:19 pm

Hi James,

I have managed to get two Purple Hairstreaks in one shot a couple of years back but have never come close to getting any photos like your stunning topsides in your previous post. Beautiful images :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:51 pm

bugboy wrote:
Butterflysaurus rex wrote:
Before I could decide which one to try and photograph......

James


That's not something said very often about that species :mrgreen:

Absolutely! It wasn't a situation I'd ever been confronted with before! And to think, it was only last year that I had my very first close encounter with a PH. That only resulted in a record shot and I was thrilled to bit's with that! As you can imagine I was slightly bewildered.

Neil Freeman wrote:Hi James,

I have managed to get two Purple Hairstreaks in one shot a couple of years back but have never come close to getting any photos like your stunning topsides in your previous post. Beautiful images :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

Cheers,

Neil.

Very kind of you Neil, of course it was all down to timing and good luck, I'm extremely relieved that I didn't fluff the shot at the critical moment. I think if I'd had this encounter several years ago the outcome would have been quite different. I had to draw on all of my experience as the lighting and conditions were less than ideal. When I checked the back of the camera I couldn't believe what I saw! As we know things can look very different when loaded onto the computer back home. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I saw it in all it's glory on the big screen. It is a truly stunning 'almost gothic' looking butterfly!

BW's

James


Independence day.

On the 4th of July I visited my local patch, as an Englishman I decided it would be awfully splendid (spiffing even!) to celebrate with some butterflies instead of watching fireworks.
Another species that is having an excellent year (at least around here) is the Essex Skipper, they are easily outnumbering the usually more numerous Small Skippers.

1.Essex Skipper 4th.jpg
Essex Skipper

2.Essex Skipper 4th.jpg
Essex Skipper

Small Skipper 4th.jpg
Small Skipper


And it's been delightful to see Commas in greater numbers than usual around here too!
Comma 4th.jpg
Comma

C is for Comma 4th.jpg
Close up of the Comma


As I made for home I noticed a huge patch of thistle attracting lots of Marbled Whites, Skippers, Comma's and best of all a couple of very fresh Painted Ladies. By now I was late home for dinner so I took a quick shot and vowed to return there as soon as possible.

PL 4th.jpg
Painted Lady


Thanks for looking - toodle pip.

James

peterc
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby peterc » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:12 pm

A good selection of photos, James.

That Essex Skipper looks incredibly dark :)

ATB

Peter

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:42 pm

Two PHs in one shot :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Lovely set of Smessex and that Essex is lovely and dark - sometimes that's a useful way of distinguishing them in the field :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:26 pm

peterc wrote:A good selection of photos, James.

That Essex Skipper looks incredibly dark :)

ATB

Peter
Many thanks Peter :D yes I've noticed quite a few dark Essex Skippers about, perhaps they were 'lightly toasted' during that heatwave we had the other week!

Wurzel wrote:Two PHs in one shot :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Lovely set of Smessex and that Essex is lovely and dark - sometimes that's a useful way of distinguishing them in the field :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel
Hi Wurzel, only yes last year I thought I was lucky to see one but this year! It's been crazy!! The dark topside and slightly paler underside are a bit easier to spot than the tip of the antennae, thankfully it's been made easier this year thanks to the explosion in Essex numbers.

Best Wishes :D


Hopping about.

On the 5th of July Badgerbob and I went to a few different local places to see what we could find, then on the 6th of June I went out alone returning to the large thistle patch hoping to meet some Painted Ladies.

On our first stop Bob and I went searching for some White-letter Hairstreaks, sadly our local area has been devastated by Dutch Elm Disease so they have become very difficult to find. Thankfully Bob had seen a couple the day before - so after blanking at 2 spots we ventured the place where he'd seen one previously. Soon Bob spotted the first WLH high up on some Bramble.
1.WLH 5th.jpg

I then spotted a second one flying from another bramble bush nearby, I quickly lost sight of it, but then we saw a different and much fresher WLH on the same bush, we both agreed it was probably the one I saw only a moment before.
2.WLH 5th.jpg

unfortunately they both remained up high so we could only manage a couple of distant record shots, not that we cared it was just great to see some.

We then hopped over to the woods hoping to see some Scarlet Tiger Moths, by now the day was so hot and the moths were wisely staying in the shade but I still managed a reasonable record shot.
Scarlet Tiger Moth 5th.jpg

With a few fresh Small Whites about I tried to grab a half decent shot of one, never an easy species to photograph this is probably the best I'll manage all year.
1.Small White 5th.jpg

Then it was on to the downs where I hoped to see my first Chalk-hill Blues of the year, however when we arrived there we were surprised to see unusually high numbers of Forester Moths. They seemed to love nectaring on Scabious with up to four sharing a flower head at once!
1 Forester Moth 5th.jpg

2.Forester Moth 5th.jpg

3.Forester Moth 5th.jpg

4.Forester Moth 5th.jpg

5.Forester Moth 5th.jpg


It had been a very enjoyable day, and tomorrow I had a date with those Painted Ladies at the large thistle patch!
These were so fresh it was obvious they had only just emerged, probably from the same patch of thistles they were now nectaring on.
1.Painted Lady.jpg

2.Painted Lady.jpg

3.Painted Lady.jpg

They were so active and tricky to photograph I was late for dinner YET AGAIN! But as I was about to leave I saw a lovely fresh comma nectaring, I simply couldn't resist.
Comma.jpg

On the path back home I had noticed some fresh speckled Woods about, I stopped briefly to put my camera away when I had the strangest feeling - like I was being watched. I quickly turned around and there! I found the culprit!
SW.jpg

Thanks for Looking

James

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bugboy
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby bugboy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:02 pm

Well done with those WLH and nice shots of the Foresters, I've never seen them in the UK :) :mrgreen:
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:32 pm

bugboy wrote:Well done with those WLH and nice shots of the Foresters, I've never seen them in the UK :) :mrgreen:

Thank you Paul :D the WLH photos are about a million miles away from my best but I'm still thrilled to have seen some, especially under the circumstances. I think it's a bit of a stronghold for the Forester moths around here but I can't ever remember seeing this many before! It was so remarkable Bob and I returned there for a count. Every year throws up a few surprises, Purple Hairstreaks and now Foresters. I wonder if there will be any more?

All the best

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:05 pm

Some of those Painted Lady shots really leap out of the screen :D :mrgreen: and in my book any photo of a Whitter is a good one :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:37 pm

Wurzel wrote:Some of those Painted Lady shots really leap out of the screen :D :mrgreen: and in my book any photo of a Whitter is a good one :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Cheers Wurzel, I certainly did a lot of leaping about trying to photograph them, something that can cross a continent with ease had no trouble out manoeuvring me!!
Yes it's a privilege to get any photo of a WLH I'm sorry to say.

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby trevor » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:37 am

Just seen your images of a female Purple Hairstreak, on the previous page.
A mrgreen is in order, they don't pose better than that ! :mrgreen: .

What a year !,
Trevor.

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:46 pm

trevor wrote:Just seen your images of a female Purple Hairstreak, on the previous page.
A mrgreen is in order, they don't pose better than that ! :mrgreen: .

What a year !,
Trevor.

Thanks Trevor, it's been a remarkable year for Purple Hairstreaks, I hoped to see some but never dreamed that I'd get as close as I did! Glad to see you saw some yourself. Hopefully next year will be just as good.

Best wishes

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby kevling » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:49 pm

Rex,
Playing catch up with your diary. Your 'Woodland Surprise' photos of the Purple Hairstreak are amazing. The wing open shots couldn't be much better. Had a similar encounter last week but a s stiff breeze and poor light meant a slightly blurred finish. I'll take one of yours for sure.
Also like the Painted Lady shots, very striking.

Regards Kev


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