Butterflysaurus rex

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David M
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby David M » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:25 pm

Excellent efforts with the Hairstreaks, Rex. I envy you.

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:36 pm

kevling wrote: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

Hi Kev, thank you for the kind words, like you I had to contend with poor light and a breeze but thankfully there was an occasional lull that allowed me to grab a few 'relatively' still moments. I was extremely relieved when I got home and realised that I'd taken what was for me a dream shot of a Purple Hairstreak! I think I'd really have to go some to get a better one!!
The Painted Lady session was the exact opposite, no wind bright sunshine and very active & fidgety butterflies. No holding my breath and being as stealthy as possible this time, they had me running all over the place.

David M wrote:Excellent efforts with the Hairstreaks, Rex. I envy you.

Most kind of you David, it was a special moment. Times like those are very rare and require all of your experience to make the best of them. Even then we can easily mess it up, I certainly have lots of times.

Best wishes to you both.

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Janet Turnbull » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:51 pm

Just catching up on your diary! Wonderful Purple Hairstreak shots, I clearly have a lot to learn about taking pictures of them! :mrgreen:
Love the Forester moths. Time I made a trip to the Downs :D
Janet

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:59 pm

Janet Turnbull wrote:Just catching up on your diary! Wonderful Purple Hairstreak shots, I clearly have a lot to learn about taking pictures of them! :mrgreen:
Love the Forester moths. Time I made a trip to the Downs :D
Janet

Many thanks Janet :D the Purple Hairstreaks, Valezina - Silver Washed Fritillary and the unusually high numbers of Forester moths have all been personal highlights of my year so far.

Best wishes

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:53 pm

Mosqitoes dinner!

On the 7th of July I had dinner early and went for a wonder over the downs. It was still quite hot after a scorching day, there were a lot of butterflies on the wing and unfortunaltely it also brought out the mosquitoes who made an early dinner of me! I had been eaten alive by the time I got home!!

1.Essex Skipper.jpg
Essex Skipper

2.Essex Skipper.jpg
Essex Skipper

Chalkhill Blue.jpg
Chalkhill Blue

Common Blue.jpg
Common Blue

Cinnabar moth.jpg
Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Sunset.jpg
Sussex Downs


I'm now a month behind on my diary, hopefully I can catch up over the coming week.

Thanks for looking

James

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Wurzel
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:43 pm

More lovely shots Rex :D The trick I've used is tell the boos that you'll be back an hour later than you intend and then you earn brownie points for getting home early OR if something catches your attention just as you're about to leave (which is often the case :roll:) then you'll be home on time :D It does work sometimes...honest :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:28 pm

Wurzel wrote:More lovely shots Rex :D The trick I've used is tell the boos that you'll be back an hour later than you intend and then you earn brownie points for getting home early OR if something catches your attention just as you're about to leave (which is often the case :roll:) then you'll be home on time :D It does work sometimes...honest :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Cheers Wurzel, having dinner "before" you go out really helps me to stay out of trouble!


Friston fun.

On the 14th of July I went to Friston Gallops in a strong wind to see if I could find any sheltered spots (not an easy task) but it turned out to be a reasonably productive day. I saw all of the usual species you expect to find there but the highlight of the day was the freshly emerged Small Coppers - most were sheltering from the wind.

As I sat down to have a drink and a snack I felt something tickling my left hand I looked down and to my surprise I saw a freshly emerged Chalkhill Blue had crawled onto it!

1.Chalkhill.jpg
Chalkhill Blue

2.Chalkhill.jpg
Chalkhill Blue

3.Chalkhill.jpg
Chalkhill Blue


Despite there being good numbers of Small Coppers they spent most of their time sheltering from the wind, this meant getting a good photo was impossible, this was the best I could manage.

Small Copper.jpg
Small Copper


I don't know the name of this fly but I see them every year and their head always reminds me of a skull.

Fly.jpg


The field margins were alive with Gatekeepers, this year has provided the best showing of this butterfly I've seen for quite a while.

Gatekeeper.jpg
Gatekeeper


In a few sheltered bays I saw both Common Blue and Brown Argus trying to avoid the worst of the weather.

Common Blue.jpg
Common Blue

Brown Argus.jpg
Brown Argus


Finally there were plenty of Burnett's about including loads of mating pairs.

Burnett.jpg
Burnett moth


It was a very enjoyable day despite the howling wind.

Thanks for looking

James

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David M
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby David M » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:42 pm

What a stroke of luck with that male Chalkhill, James! The female you photographed is lovely too.....and nice to see a Brown Argus, a butterfly I haven't seen much of this year. :(

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:21 pm

Fantastic set of shots Rex, and to have a Chalkhill just emerge before you is mighty impressive :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:12 pm

David M wrote:What a stroke of luck with that male Chalkhill, James! The female you photographed is lovely too.....and nice to see a Brown Argus, a butterfly I haven't seen much of this year. :(

It certainly was David! Brown Argus have had a really good year down this way, hopefully you'll see more next year.

Wurzel wrote:Fantastic set of shots Rex, and to have a Chalkhill just emerge before you is mighty impressive :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel


Many thanks, It's was a first for me Wurzel! Perhaps on such a cool and windy day I was a convenient source of warmth?

Thanks both for your kind comments.



Wild and windy. Or the end of a long quest.

After my stroll around Friston Gallops I was unable to get out for a while, I did manage one single brief visit to Steyning on the 17th where one pristine female Brown Hairstreak stayed well out of reach. In the end I made the best of things with a very nice female Brimstone.

Female Brimstone.jpg
Female Brimstone


My next opportunity to look for Brown Hairstreaks didn't arise until the 27th. The weather was absolutely terrible and despite the bulk of fresh male Brown Hairstreaks being over it was too tempting not to go there and have a look. Despite the awful conditions we stumbled on an area where some male BHS's were clinging onto thistle heads for dear life in the strong and blustery wind. Now the challenge was to try and get some half decent photos under very dark leaden skies with the Hairstreaks being constantly blown about. In spite of everything we had an amazingly successful trip with about 9 males seen plus a bonus pair of mating Small Heaths. Frustratingly a pristine male BHS did make an appearance but stayed well out of reach grrr.

1.Male Brown Hsirstreak.jpg
Brown Hairstreak - Male

2.Male Brown Hairstreak.jpg
Brown Hairstreak - Male

3.Male Brown Hairstreak.jpg
Brown Hairstreak - Male

Small Heath Pair.jpg
Small Heath - Mating Pair


Having missed out on the fresh males I decided to try and make up for it by finding a fresh female. Not and easy task if you only manage to make a handful of trips into BHS country each year. I thought for the best chance a return to Knepp would probably be my best bet. So on the 1st of August the mission was on! After wondering about for most of the day with only one single very tatty male on view I was starting to give up hope until....

2.Female Brown Hairstreak.jpg
Brown Hairstreak - Female


And then!

1.Female Brown Hairstreak.jpg
Brown Hairstreak - Female


With that last shot I finally achieved a long held personal ambition - to get a photo of a BHS that I am really happy with. It has taken me many years to accomplish. Now if only I could get a similar topside shot to go along with it! And it almost happened too, but thanks to the wind every time this pristine hairstreak attempted to open her wings a big gust slammed them shut again. can't have it all I suppose.

Thanks for looking

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby millerd » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:18 pm

Lovely Hairstreak shots, James and well done on achieving a long-held ambition - very satisfying! :) She is rather a splendid butterfly. :mrgreen:

Dave

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:53 am

I can see why that one allowed you to meet your ambition, cracking shot that is :D :mrgreen: A just reward for perseverance :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby David M » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:00 am

Nice selection of Brown Hairstreaks, James, particularly the males which never descend from the trees at the Welsh site I visit. :(

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:21 pm

millerd wrote:Lovely Hairstreak shots, James and well done on achieving a long-held ambition - very satisfying! :) She is rather a splendid butterfly. :mrgreen:

Dave

Hello Dave, thank you - it was certainly a long time coming, I've had a wonderfully satisfying year in general with the Hairstreaks. I hope next year is another good one. :D

Wurzel wrote:I can see why that one allowed you to meet your ambition, cracking shot that is :D :mrgreen: A just reward for perseverance :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

I was beginning to think it would never happen! Finding such a fresh and undamaged butterfly I mean. I was incredibly lucky, the shot came out a lot better than I expected. to photograph a Brown Hairstreak with such a clean background was more than I'd hoped for. I'm a long way from getting as many great shots as you though. :D

David M wrote:Nice selection of Brown Hairstreaks, James, particularly the males which never descend from the trees at the Welsh site I visit. :(

Many thanks David, well this was a first for me!! It was a remarkable sight, I never thought I'd witness it here in the south east. I suppose you need to be in the right place and have just the right conditions for these unusual things to happen.

Thank you all for your kind and generous comments.

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:30 pm

Wonderful Wood Whites.


On the 7th of August I joined Badgerbob on a trip out west with the intention of looking for Brown Hairstreaks. It soon became obvious that the weather was not on our side, it was very overcast with occasional light rain - not good weather for Hairstreak hunting! Thinking on the fly Bob suggested we try for Wood Whites. Upon arrival it didn't take very long to spot one and we spent a very enjoyable few hours with these lovely and dainty little butterflies.

Thanks to Bob an unpromising start to the day turned out to be a very memorable one.

4.Wood White 07-08-17.jpg

3.Wood White 07-08-17.jpg

2.Wood White 07-08-17.jpg


Thanks for looking.

James

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David M
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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby David M » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:50 pm

That's an unusually marked Wood White, James. Very smudgy black markings on the hindwing.

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:07 pm

David M wrote:That's an unusually marked Wood White, James. Very smudgy black markings on the hindwing.

Hi David, I think it might have happened when I reduced the image size, on the full Rez images you can see all of the scales. But you're right it does look a bit smudged!

Best wishes

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:51 pm

Cracking set of Wood Whites Rex :D :mrgreen: I missed them this year, twice :( which site did you visit for them if you don't mind me asking?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:20 pm

Wurzel wrote:Cracking set of Wood Whites Rex :D :mrgreen: I missed them this year, twice :( which site did you visit for them if you don't mind me asking?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Thank you Wurzel :D Hopefully you'll catch up with them next year. We saw the Wood Whites at Chiddingfold Forest Just inside Surrey. PM me if you plan on visiting and I'll put you on the right path. I send my apologies to you and others that I've not had enough time to comment on your personal diaries as much as I would like. I'm so pushed for time these days I'm finding it very difficult to post anything here at all!

Best Wishes

James



Blue is the magic colour.

With so little time on my hands these days it's just as well there is a small colony of Adonis Blues not far from home. This means I can pop out when I get the chance and enjoy the most dazzling of the Blues.

On the 13th of August the weather made a very welcome return to something more like summer. I spent the morning on my local patch with the intention of seeing my first 2nd brood Adonis. It seemed I was right on time with several very fresh males on the wing.

1.Adonis Blue 13-05-2017.jpg

2.Adonis Blue 13-08-2017.jpg

3.Adonis Blue 13-08-2017.jpg

It appears that this male Adonis was desperate to take some minerals on board, he decided to hop onto my hand for a bit! This has never happened to me before!!
4.Adonis Blue 13-05-2017.jpg

5.Adonis Blue13-05-2017.jpg

6.Adonis Blue 13-08-2017.jpg

On the way home I saw a few Migrant Hawker dragonflies, one landed right in front of me so I decided to take it's portrait.
1.Migrant Hawker 13-05-2017.jpg

2.Migrant Hawker 13-05-2017.jpg


It was a very enjoyable morning and seeing as I didn't manage to get the open wing shot I was after I vowed to return as soon as possible for another go. So only a couple of days later on the 15th I set out again, this time in the afternoon to see if I could do any better.

1.Adonis Blue 15-08-2017.jpg

2.Adonis Blue 15-08-2017.jpg

3.Adonis Blue 15-08-2017.jpg


Silver Spotted Skippers are having a tremendous year, most were so active getting a half decent photo was impossible, I only managed one reasonable shot. If only it had been a fresh one!
Silver Spotted Skipper.jpg

And finally the sheer number of Wasp Spiders about locally must be a total nightmare - particularly if you're a grasshopper!!
Wasp Spider.jpg


Thanks for looking

James

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Re: Butterflysaurus rex

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:40 pm

Lovely Adonis James, your Dragon fly looks quite evil, cracking shot though :D Goldie :D


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