William

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Pauline
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Re: William

Postby Pauline » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:01 am

Beautifully composed photographs William - my particular favourite is the Apollo :D , and the Titania :D and the Marbled Fritillary :D , and the ......... :lol:

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Goldie M
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Re: William

Postby Goldie M » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:15 am

Hi! William, your photos remind me of Water colours (delicate works of art) love them :D Goldie :D

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William
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Re: William

Postby William » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:31 pm

Thanks, David, I was delighted to stumble across the Asian Fritillaries (more luck than judgement), though I'd swap one for a Glandon Blue :) . It would be nice to get the odd mugshot once in a while, Neil, and a big thank you for your kind comments, a huge compliment - hope the Fritillaries and Emperors have been behaving themselves, look forward to seeing some photos on your diary when you get the time! Thanks Pauline and Goldie too :)

Foreign fling - Skippers and Others

Skippers were out in force throughout the trip, with Essex and Small omnipresent pretty much wherever there was grass.

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Essex Skipper


Pyrgus were encountered sparingly, and in the heat, were difficult to approach. The bulk of them were seen at higher altitudes where, on the short turf, Silver - Spotted Skippers popped up fairly regularly.

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Silver - Spotted Skipper


In wooded areas and by streams, I was pleased to spot the odd Chequered Skipper.

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Chequered Skipper


And in the Loire, Large Chequered Skippers were seen in good numbers, they really do skip, with an almost yo-yo like flight - wonderful!

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Large Chequered Skipper


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Large Chequered Skipper


In the same place, I found a couple of Glanville Fritillary larvae.

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Glanville Fritillary larva


Whilst up in the Alpine meadows, I enjoyed the wonderfully bizarre owlfly, Libelloides coccajus.

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Libelloides coccajus


All in all, an amazing holiday, with the sheer variety and abundance of insect life in the Alps something that will live long in the memory - I'll be back :D
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Wurzel
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Re: William

Postby Wurzel » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:12 pm

Fantastic images William :mrgreen: :mrgreen: That Large Chequered Skipper is a stunner :D And what branch does the Owlfly fall into - it looks like a cross between a Dragonfly and a Skipper :shock: 8)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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William
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Re: William

Postby William » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:18 pm

Thanks Wurzel, Large Chequered Skippers are wonderful butterflies :)

Catching Up

Since returning from France, things have been fairy quiet butterfly-wise, what with the awful, windy weather. Nevertheless, I've managed to get out and about close to home, and things seem to be ticking over.

Grayling are putting on a strong showing on the Quantocks, the amount of joined-up habitat here is unusual in its size, not just the odd isolated reserve, and these, and Green Hairstreaks can be found all the way along the hills.

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Grayling


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Grayling


I was pleased to also record a couple of flyby Dark Green Fritillaries (and an amazingly late Green Hairstreak), the first records for 15 years, it would seem :)

Marbled Whites are also around in fairly good numbers, these two were seen during a failed hunt for some more Dark Greens.

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Marbled White


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Marbled White


I was delighted to find a Meadow Brown egg-laying on my wildflower bank last week...

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Meadow Brown Ovum


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Meadow Brown Ovum


And a Large Skipper doing the same whilst on a local walk...

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Large Skipper Ovum


Continuing the theme of immature stages, one of my Brown Hairstreak pupae popped open a few days ago, revealing an absolutely stunning male.

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Brown Hairstreak - Male


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Brown Hairstreak - Male


This Common Blue larva, looking for a place to pupate, met a sadder end, at the hands of a marauding earwig that somehow snuck into its pot.

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Common Blue Larva
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Matsukaze
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Re: William

Postby Matsukaze » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:22 pm

Excellent news on the Graylings, they are gone from the Mendips east of Crook Peak now and even abroad I only seem to come across them in ones and twos. They are butterflies of great character and I really must make the time to visit a strong colony and watch them for a good while.

Do Keeled Skimmers turn up widely in the Quantock combes? There are the odd records of what is a rare species in Somerset, and it would be good to get a sense of how common they actually are there.

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Pete Eeles
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Re: William

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:40 pm

Excellent observations and posts of late, William! I just love the "colouring up" of the Meadow Brown ovum!

Cheers,

- Pete

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William
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Re: William

Postby William » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:48 pm

Thanks Pete, I was pretty chuffed with the Meadow Brown egg, it's nice to think they all colour up in different ways - each one is unique :)

Chris, Graylings and Green Hairstreaks are everywhere on the Quantocks - I would highly recommend it :) . If you fancy looking for Graylings, I'd park at Staple Plain Car Park (ST117410), and walk up to the hill to the trigpoint and then along to Bicknoller post, I saw about 20 on that route the other day, all perching on the path. Dragonfly wise, I haven't seen a great deal on the Quantocks (yet!) just a few Broad - Bodied Chasers and an Emperor at Wilmott's Pool (ST152382) - whereabouts were the Keeled Skimmers, I'll keep an eye out, as that's a species I haven't seen!
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David M
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Re: William

Postby David M » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:10 pm

Some beautiful, sharp images there, William. Your male Brown Hairstreak is so fresh I mistook him for a female!!

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Wurzel
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Re: William

Postby Wurzel » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:13 pm

That is indeed a stunning Brostreak :mrgreen: Not long now til they really get going :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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William
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Re: William

Postby William » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:51 pm

Thanks chaps, I was delighted to have the chance to examine the Brown Hairstreak up close, definitely one of our most exquisite butterflies :)

Portland

Having visited the legendary 'isle' of Portland before, and been amazed by the quantity of rare butterflies, and the place itself, I was delighted to get the chance to visit again this August, with some friends.

For me, Portland always seems like a giant industrial estate, with grassland interspersed with both abandoned and working quarries, after the island's sought after honey-coloured limestone. Despite the heavy industry, and no doubt because of it, butterflies thrive on Portland, with the abandoned quarries, with poor stony soils perfect for Kidney and Horseshoe Vetch hosting thriving colonies of Dingy Skipper, Small Blue, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Silver - Studded Blue, and one of my targets, Chalkhill Blue.

Safe to say, they were absolutely everywhere, indeed, they could hardly be avoided, being found in small numbers in any area on the island with wildflowers, and in extremely large numbers in the quarries on the West Cliffs, in particular Bower's Quarry, where spectacular communal roosts could often be found during the evening - amazing!

Lulworth Skippers were still around in small numbers, in the grassland around the bird observatory (where I stayed - great place!), albeit looking rather sad, along with a few Small Blues, Common Blues and Wall Browns - a thoroughly enjoyable trip :)

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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blues


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blues


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue - Marbled White Combo


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Chalkhill Blue


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Chalkhill Blue


And my favourite picture, a blue and a view - Portland at its finest :D

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Chalkhill Blues
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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: William

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:23 pm

Lovely selection of photos William, it's been a long time since I last visited Portland, your report and photos make me want to return there.

All the best

James

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Katrina
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Re: William

Postby Katrina » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:20 pm

More charming photos but the photo of Chalk Hill Blue on the rock is awesome! I like the way the lichen matches the orange on the wing. :D

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William
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Re: William

Postby William » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:12 pm

Catching Up

August has been a busy month, and it's been difficult to keep on top of photographs with so much happening. The second rescued Brown Hairstreak produced a rather nice pale pupa back in early July, and emerged as a beautiful female in early August - an absolutely stunning butterfly!

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Brown Hairstreak Larva - Pupating


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Brown Hairstreak Pupa


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Brown Hairstreak


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Brown Hairstreak


During my visit to Portland I did pop into Alner's Gorse as well, where I caught up with many more Brown Hairstreaks (all bar one male), several Purple and my first low-level White-Letter, at one point, all three species were feeding on the same Bramble bush, quite amazing!

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White - Letter Hairstreak


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Purple Hairstreak


Back at home again, there's been lots of egg-laying/larval doings in and around the garden.

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Comma Ovum


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Common Blue - First Instar


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Large Skipper Ovum


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Large Skipper Larva


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Large Skipper Larva


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Large Skipper Larval Tube


Of particular excitement, was a Brown Argus ovum on some Common Rock Rose that I had planted on my wildflower bank. This is by no means a common butterfly in my part of the world, and it was interesting to find the egg on this foodplant, which I've never found in my area (I think they probably use Cut-Leaved Cranesbill).

UKB  1.JPG
Brown Argus Ovum
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Wurzel
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Re: William

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:19 pm

Three Hairstreak species in one day? :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Cracking shots too! :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: William

Postby David M » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:14 pm

You have a great eye for early stages, William, not to mention the ability to provide excellent images.

Thanks for sharing.

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Pete Eeles
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Re: William

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:47 pm

Excellent observations, William! Keep up the good work :)

Cheers,

- Pete

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Maximus
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Re: William

Postby Maximus » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:07 pm

Stunning freshly emerged female Brown Hairstreak, William and excellent early stages images as always :)

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Neil Freeman
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Re: William

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:59 pm

Hi William, great photos of the early stages and stunning Brown Hairstreak images.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: William

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:33 pm

WOW three species of Hairstreak all feeding on the same bramble bush at once! That's not a sight you'll see every day in the British Isles! Great stuff as ever William. You must be really pleased to finally catch up with the While Letter Hairstreak. Hopefully I will do the same with the elusive Purple and see one low down next year.

All the best

James


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