August 2009 Sightings

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Lee Hurrell
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August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:54 pm

Getting you all started.

10 male and 2 female common blues, 2 gatekeepers, 4 meadow browns, 2 large whites and a small white in Greenford Park Cemetery, despite the drizzle.

IMG_0360.jpg

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IMG_0370.jpg

Lee
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Gruditch
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Gruditch » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:04 pm

Small Blue x2, seen at Broughton Down today, never spotted them there before. :?
Also saw 14 or so other species, including 3 very fresh Silver-spotted Skipper.

Gruditch

small blue 2 08 09.jpg

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Dave McCormick
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:28 pm

Gruditch wrote:Small Blue x2, seen at Broughton Down today, never spotted them there before. :?
Also saw 14 or so other species, including 3 very fresh Silver-spotted Skipper.

Gruditch

small blue 2 08 09.jpg


Nice Small Blue. I have looked for them in Northern Ireland in past, but I have been told they have not been found since 2001, so they might have went extinct here.
Cheers all,
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Padfield
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Padfield » Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:02 pm

Dave McCormick wrote:Nice Small Blue. I have looked for them in Northern Ireland in past, but I have been told they have not been found since 2001, so they might have went extinct here.


I haven't got my millennium atlas here in CH, but Kudrna's European atlas has them as recorded since 1981 in at least 4 places in Northern Ireland. It would be extremely surprising if the species had become entirely extinct since then (but not impossible).

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Dave McCormick
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Excellent day today. Saw in Mountstewart Gardens:

50+ Painted Ladies
50+ Red Admirals
30+ Small Tortoiseshells
10 GV Whites
2 Small Whites
1 Large White Female
1 Holly Blue
1 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Peacock

Photos from today:

First the Buddliah bushes (3, very large and sweet smelling):
Image

Painted Ladies:
Image

Two (one on each side of photo):
Image

One feeding (sorry for lightness, very sunny here today):
Image

Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell (there was a Painted Lady here, but a wasp came and landed on it and it flew off before I could get it in shot:
Image

Meadow Brown Male:
Image

GV White Male:
Image

Red Admiral:
Image
Cheers all,
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Eris » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:27 pm

I really don't care if these pictures show rather tatty butterflies, today was a great day for me as it was the first time I have seen a fritillary anywhere on our property, I take it this is a silver-washed? It was out in the field feeding on the fleabane.
frit1small.JPG
fritsmall.JPG



And then when looking for some teensy little bees that have been feeding on the clump of tansy (which is supposed to be an insect repellent) at the end of the garden in my chicken run I suddenly spot this guy..( is it a guy or a lady?) Now I knew we had them as I have seen them twice before but never when I have a camera to hand... I guess that annoying clump of Tansy is quite nice after all.

purplehssmall.JPG


phs7small.JPG

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Pete Eeles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:30 pm

Very good. Male Silver-washed Fritillary and female Purple Hairstreak.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:32 pm

Gruditch wrote:Small Blue x2, seen at Broughton Down today, never spotted them there before. :?


Wow - great find - that really is good news! I don't think they've been seen there for a few years.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:28 pm

:mrgreen: Eris. :D

Today in the garden, 80+ Painted lady, (back and front garden) 14 Peacock, 2 Red Ad, 20+ 'whites' of all three species but mostly fresh Large White, a few each of Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper.
IMG_2583 (Medium) (Small).JPG

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:59 pm

I spent 3 hours at Bernwood Forest and Shabbington Wood this afternoon. I was hoping I might see a 2nd brood Wood White or even a Brown Hairstreak, 2 new species for me. Didn't see any of those but did see the following:

Painted Lady x 28
Peacock x 28
Small Tortoiseshell x 1
Comma x 1
Silver Washed Fritillary x 4
Ringlet x 46
Meadow Brown x 15
Gatekeeper x 40
Speckled Wood x 17
Marbled White x 3
Common Blue x 4
Large White x 20
Small White x 8
Green Veined White x 40
Purple Hairstreak x 2
Small Copper x 1
Large Skipper x 12
Identified both Small and Essex Skipper but gave up counting.

Cheers
Lee

Some photos of today:
IMG_0377.jpg

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Just a hint of blue dots, is this usual?

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Strange wing shape, more like a Comma on the forewing

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Normal wing shape

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Closest I've ever been to a SWF. Not sure what the plant is but the SWF and Peacocks seemed to love it

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Thought I had a Brown Argus but I think by the hind wing dots it was a female Common Blue

IMG_0440.jpg
I think she was saying no...?

IMG_0444.jpg
She was still on the same plant on my way back!
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Pete Eeles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:27 am

The plant is Hemp Agrimony, I believe.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby wavelea1 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:51 am

Lee

When you see a female White in this position I don't think she is saying no' - it's more like 'take me, take me' I want your babies and so on....

Sadly she obvoiusly didn't measure up or he was done for the day cos he didn't hang about.

Mike
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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:11 pm

Pete - thanks, it was literally covered in butterflies yesterday.

Mike, thanks also. I suppose looking again it does seem somewhat forward....My shadow passed over them both after that shot and they both flew off with him in hot pursuit....

Cheers

Lee
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:20 pm

Hi Lee and Mike,
The female GVW is definitely saying "NO" - that's the classical rejection posture for female 'whites'. Male butterflies will never turn down the opportunity to mate a female. They spend most of their lives doing little else but try, getting hundreds of rejections from already-mated females. Any virgin will get the 'wham bam thank you mam' at the first opportunity - and they aren't choosy!
Neil

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:40 pm

Hi all,
Yesterday I returned to the Steyning Downland Scheme area and saw the same 26 species that I recorded on 31 July (July Sightings thread). In addition, one of the two Brown Hairstreak Master Trees was now occupied, with the first two males up high in the ash - doing very little! I'm leading a walk here on 9th September, by which time I'm confident that a few females will be showing. Wall Brown numbers had increased to 26. Later I visited Newtimber Hill a few miles east, and despite quite cool and hazy conditions still managed to see 21 Silver-spotted Skippers. Some of these were pristine, but others looked quite worn after being hammered by recent heavy rains.
Neil
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wavelea1
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby wavelea1 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:34 pm

Sussex Kipper

Thanks - unbelievable. So he was trying it on and this is her way of rejecting him.

Well there you go Lee and I thought the complete opposite. So nature is no different - she probably had a headache.

Mike

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:44 pm

wavelea1 wrote:Sussex Kipper

Thanks - unbelievable. So he was trying it on and this is her way of rejecting him.

Well there you go Lee and I thought the complete opposite. So nature is no different - she probably had a headache.

Mike


Yeah, females usually only have a few days when they are sexually active, then lose their interest. If the female (small white and GV Whites too I think) in those two species are ready to mate, the male can "wrestle" the female into submission then mate with her. I used to have a video of this, but I lost it when my hard drive packed in as I forgot to back some parts up. Well, I'm of out to see whats around.
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby eccles » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:16 pm

Further, to mate, males have to connect, to put it crassly, from the rear. By lifting her abdomen in this manner, it means he cannot do so. So as already stated she is saying a definite NO. :)

Yesterday Jerry (Xmilehigh) and I decided to try our luck with kestrels over Draycott Sleights having been given a wonderful aerial display by three birds a few days previously. But you cannot expect wildlife to perform to order, and the kestrels were nowhere to be seen, although decent numbers of chalkhill and common blues were out and about. So we walked over to the nearby Stoke Camp reserve, meeting UKB member Romansnumber7. A surprise sighting was a very late marbled white. Three years ago, this reserve was a mass of chalkhills but we only saw a single male. What on earth has happened to them I don't know - I suspect grazing isn't taking place as much as is ideal as large areas of the reserve are dense grass. Conversely, the Sleights are now grazed by sheep and have good numbers of CB. Having said that, the rather tenuous grip that small blue had in the reserve seems to have strengthened with two distinct second brood colonies found, so it's not all bad news. Hopefully the colony of chalkhills on the nearby Sleights can repopulate this reserve.

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:06 pm

Weather turning into rain here, so all I saw was 1 GV White, 1 Small White and 1 Large White. Small white was egg laying as I planted nasturtiums in garden recently and that helps detract from the vegetables in the garden
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Piers » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:48 pm

eccles wrote:So we walked over to the nearby Stoke Camp reserve, meeting UKB member Romansnumber7. A surprise sighting was a very late marbled white. Three years ago, this reserve was a mass of chalkhills but we only saw a single male. What on earth has happened to them I don't know - I suspect grazing isn't taking place as much as is ideal as large areas of the reserve are dense grass. Conversely, the Sleights are now grazed by sheep and have good numbers of CB. Having said that, the rather tenuous grip that small blue had in the reserve seems to have strengthened with two distinct second brood colonies found, so it's not all bad news. Hopefully the colony of chalkhills on the nearby Sleights can repopulate this reserve.


Hi Eccles,
Stoke Camp and The Sleights were my stomping grounds when I was young, I only lived a few miles away as a child.

That's terrible news really as Stoke Camp used to have a very impressive colony of Chalkhills, much better than the neighbouring Sleights. I am surprised and disappointed if grazing has lapsed, isn't it a BC Reserve :?: :?: I recall that the Grayling was lost from there too a while back :(

Can you tell me Eccles - do Grayling still occur on Draycott Sleights? and what about Crook Peak?

Thanks in advance...
Felix.


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