Painted Lady influx!!!

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walpolec
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby walpolec » Thu May 28, 2009 10:44 pm

Pete Eeles wrote:
jackharr wrote:I can just visualize the literature in 2100s referring to "amazing Painted Lady" immigration in the early years of the twenty-first century.

"We will never experience anything like that again."

We are witnessing history in the making. We can all say “we were there”

Jack


Well said Jack and I couldn't agree more. Even the experts are saying the numbers of significantly greater than the last great invasion of 1996. I was planning on going out to see Wood White tomorrow - but have decided to focus on the Painted Lady migration instead - I've waited years for something like this and am determined to make the most of it!

Cheers,

- Pete


So - what are your plans?

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu May 28, 2009 10:53 pm

walpolec wrote:So - what are your plans?


Good question - and not sure how successful I'll be! But I have a 3-fold plan:

1. Visit a natural "funnel" that migrants are likely to pass through. Old Winchester Hill (in the Test valley) is always good for migrants, for example.

2. Visit sites where I've found larvae before. Sichester Common and Pamber Forest are close to where I live and I've found them in good numbers there in previous years.

3. Visit sites with good nectar sources.

Of course, I'm going to have to think of a site that has all 3 characteristics :?

Cheers,

- Pete

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walpolec
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby walpolec » Thu May 28, 2009 11:07 pm

Pete Eeles wrote:
walpolec wrote:So - what are your plans?


Good question - and not sure how successful I'll be! But I have a 3-fold plan:


Cheers,

- Pete


Best of luck, Pete, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't wait to see how you get on. I saw your post on the BBC Springwatch message board. No reaction so far? But here's hoping. I've been a butterfly fan (off and on) for 40 years and have never known anything like it. I suppose it has happened reasonably often, but the advent of the Internet and websites like this one does make it so more apparent. Just the kind of thing that Springwatch should be featuring. Now if only anyone had some video footage....

I've not had the fortune to see masses flying overhead, but just "out and about" in Northants over the last couple of days I've seen so many flashes of PL's zooming about.

Great stuff

Chris

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Jack Harrison » Fri May 29, 2009 5:52 am

Iceland is a possible unusual landfall. Not unknown in the past I believe.

It is thought that huge Painted Lady build-up probably began in the late winter in the Atlas Mountains of North Africa with favourable wet weather (good plant growth) and the ones we are seeing are the next-but-one generation. Apparently there has been a parallel migration from Mexico into California. So presumably (parts of) Mexico also experienced a wet winter. I will look into this when I get time, but I wonder if global weather patterns such as El Nino, have played a part? The Painted Lady explosion is merely a fascination to us. But a parallel explosion of locusts wouldn’t be quite so benign in the affected areas. Research into the correlation between insect population explosions and global weather patterns could be very productive.

Although the dynamic of other species are very different, some of the Continental residents would seem to have a good chance of reaching Britain this year (Black-veined White already reported). European Swallowtails, Queen of Spain and the enigmatic Map Butterfly (why not established here already?) perhaps?

Jack

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Padfield
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Padfield » Fri May 29, 2009 6:10 am

It may be just local and not reflect the European situation, but this spring in CH large tortoiseshells were significantly down in numbers compared with their recent bonanza and Camberwell Beauties very significantly UP. I've already seen half a dozen without even going looking for them. Clouded yellows have yet to put in a good showing, while the first red admirals passed through last week (we don't have resident red admirals except in years ending in '07').

Guy
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Neil Hulme
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri May 29, 2009 8:34 am

Hi all,
A copy of a report I sent to the Sussex BC website yesterday:
Today I made a standardised count of Painted Ladies flying through a 20 metre wide 'recording corridor' at Butterfly Conservation's Park Corner Heath Reserve in East Sussex, between 13.30 hrs and 14.30 hrs. Minimum count was 12 per minute. Maximum count was 42 per minute. Mean count was 26.5 per minute. Hourly rate of passage was 1590 Painted Ladies. They were being channelled along a recently cut woodland ride adjacent to PCH, and then coming onto the reserve itself through the narrow gap in the trees opened up last winter, before heading off in a NNW direction. Brian Henham was simultaneously seeing similar numbers passing him on 'the plateau', many of which were coming over the canopy in this area. I also saw a Cream-spot Tiger.
Neil

Eris
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Eris » Fri May 29, 2009 9:18 am

Huge numbers moving over the downs near Chichester. Hundreds were stopping at a garden centre for a quick snack on the summer bedding plants.

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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Annie » Fri May 29, 2009 11:04 am

Counted 15 in the last half hour flying over our yard at work - all entering from north-west corner and exiting at south-east corner - all that I saw took exactly the same route

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Jack Harrison » Fri May 29, 2009 11:11 am

Annie:
flying over our yard at work - all entering from north-west corner and exiting at south-east corner
Now that is the REVERSE direction. You haven’t said where you are. Might be significant. Maybe they are deciding that Britain isn’t as good as it’s cracked up to be and are returning.

Jack

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Charles Nicol
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Charles Nicol » Fri May 29, 2009 11:21 am

here are a couple of pics of the 2006 Painted Ladies:

3390023054_0d14ae16af_o.jpg


3385127106_84402eea21_o.jpg


they were at Grafham Water enjoying the teazels

Charles

8)

Annie
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Annie » Fri May 29, 2009 11:28 am

Jack - I'm in coastal Somerset (in a town that faces west onto the Bristol channel).

I've just been into the town centre and they're pootling about every which-way.

I wondered if their direction over our yard had something to do with heat convection - the area of tarmac is about 20m x 20m so in this sunny weather it reflects a lot of heat.

Or maybe they have been funnelled up the Bristol Channel and are making their way inland.

While typing this, three more have flown in exactly the same direction.

I am in Vanessa heaven :)

Eris
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Eris » Fri May 29, 2009 12:21 pm

So I take it they will be looking for fields of thistles?

If so my neighbours field has about 9 acres of the prickly things.

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Mikhail
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Mikhail » Fri May 29, 2009 6:25 pm

No sign of an influx today at Bournemouth. A 4 hour walk along the cliffs and over Hengistbury Head produced fewer than ten. To be honest there wasn't much sign of migration yesterday either, just fair numbers feeding up on the Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus) that is so abundant on the cliffs. Now most have moved on, so it's all gone quiet. In this area I would say the invasion has been less impressive than that of 1996, so far. At least I did see a couple of Broad-bordered Bee-hawkmoths.

Misha

nick patel
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby nick patel » Fri May 29, 2009 6:32 pm

Had loads of painted ladies flyin around Lancs the last week or so, but non really landin for me to hav a look at them (except for one battered one on the moors), so a nice colourful individual in the 20 'c sun today in the garden was one of the nicest surprises of spring so far. couldn't believe how tame it was compared to how i've seen them before. it loved these leek/onion family plants (shown last) and also took nectar from bluebell and forget-me-not.

cheers.

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Gruditch
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Gruditch » Fri May 29, 2009 7:21 pm

The big day was defiantly yesterday, saw less than 100 today, :( I feel sorry for those that missed it, it was a wonderful experience.

Gruditch

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Matsukaze
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Matsukaze » Fri May 29, 2009 8:53 pm

Fewer Painted Ladies about today - but still easily the most common butterfly. I also noticed that they seemed to be heading south, if they were headed anywhere.

A few Small Coppers about. They seem to have had a good spring.

Susie
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Susie » Fri May 29, 2009 9:24 pm

The wind today and over the next few days is east north east and north east so I wonder if that is why some people aren't seeing as many around. As soon as the wind direction changes to a southerly I hope we will have another influx. :D

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eccles
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby eccles » Fri May 29, 2009 10:27 pm

After two rotten years for butterflies in general because of awful summer weather, this has been an amazing event. I had to post this one from a few days ago.
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sarahrookley
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby sarahrookley » Sat May 30, 2009 10:02 am

Ours don't seem to be going anywhere! They're just here day after day, all over a berberis hedge which is in flower. The situation hasn't changed for a week now, and they seem in no hurry to move west, east or anywhere else. As I walk past the hedge, huge clouds of them rise up and then settle again. Lovely :)

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Painted Lady influx!!!

Postby Jack Harrison » Sat May 30, 2009 10:31 am

I was out (Cambs) between 0930 and 1030 hours and didn’t expect to see many migrating PLs. I anticipate that any major influx (having left mainland Europe this morning) will not be arriving until mid-afternoon.

However, I did see three or four PLs all flying fast towards the northwest. I presumed these were already in the country yesterday. My presumption was confirmed when I noticed that one that was carrying a receipt from a B&B on the Suffolk coast.

Jack


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