August 2009 Sightings

Discussion forum for sightings.
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steveh
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby steveh » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:38 pm

Had a quick road trip over the weekend to dorset/new forest.
Managed to capture a poor quality vid of a Grayling.my first ever seen..
Is it laying eggs on horse dung?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfkM2Qc8_0E

Kind regards
Steve
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Dave McCormick
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:10 pm

Hi Steve,

I think the grayling is either testing the area around the dung to see if its sutiable to lay or laying on the grass around it. I have noticed that butterflies sometimes use their abdomen to "test" a plant to see if its ok to lay on, before they do, but I don't know how they can tell which plants are sutiable.
Cheers all,
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m_galathea
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby m_galathea » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:52 pm

Steyning circular walk:

I had a good walk around Steyning (Sussex) today, firstly taking in the old rifle range. I had hoped to find Brown Hairstreak here but I think it just wasn't sunny enough. A fair number of Wall Brown were seen on the downland slope - these were difficult to approach. Other species present were: Common Blue, Small Heath, Large White, Small White, Clouded Yellow, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

In the woods on the crest of the Downs (TQ161103) I found a very worn female Wall which allowed me some photographs. Peacock also present here.

Steyning Round Hill had lots of Wall, especially near the top, the most seen at once was three. Also seen were Painted Lady, Common Blue, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled wood and Small White.

Heading back down along the Bostal at 2pm (TQ171103) good luck came my way and a Brown Hairstreak jumped out of the hedge next to me! I watched her for ten minutes catching the sun and occasionally walking along Blackthorn stems and testing them with her abdomen. I could not see whether any eggs were laid. After many dissappointed trips I am delighted to have eventually caught up with this species :D

Alexander

Wall Brown (F) ups small.JPG

Female Wall Brown in woodland

Wall Brown (M) uns2 small.JPG

Male Wall Brown on Steyning Round Hill

Brown Hairstreak 2a small.JPG

Female Brown Hairstreak - Bostal Road

Brown Hairstreak uns small.JPG

Female Brown Hairstreak - Bostal Road

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Piers » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:54 pm

A very nice little film Steve, clearly showing the classic stilted jerky walk that a female Grayling adopts when about to oviposit.

A female Grayling will spend a considerable amount of time selecting where to lay with the tip of her abdomen probing around the vegetation. They will often lay on dried grass and bits of detritus in the immediate vicinity of what she has selected to be a suitable tuft of grass. I have even seen female Graylings oviposit on their own legs, with the abdomen curled right around underneath the body.

Having unexpectedly had a considerable amount of time on my hands this summer I spent a depressing amount of it on the Dorset Downs surveying former Grayling haunts in the hope of discovering a surviving population on the inland chalk. Sadly I drew a blank and it really does look as if the chalk downland Grayling colonies are a thing of the past in Dorset until one ventures near the coast.

Did anyone see them on Ballard Down this summer?

I know of one inland chalk colony in Hampshire which may or may not still just hang on, as well as another well known colony on high security MoD land.

Can anyone tell me which of the Isle of Wight downs still support colonies? PM me if appropriate.

Thanks in advance.
Felix.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:15 pm

With mine and Dave's worn Painted Ladies and Alexander's Wall maybe we should have a 'most worn and still flying' thread!?

I have seen Small White and Common Blues mating this year but that's it.

I did see a female Speckled Wood ovipositing at the weekend and have also seen female Green Veined Whites laying on what looks like most unsuitable, befeft of foilage foodplants near me.

Cheers

Lee
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Jack Harrison
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:36 pm

Butterflies fading slowly but still getting some attractive moths. Angle Shades, one of my favourites, has most peculiar 'twisted' wing-tips when resting.

Jack
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steveh
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby steveh » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:34 pm

Felix wrote:A very nice little film Steve, clearly showing the classic stilted jerky walk that a female Grayling adopts when about to oviposit.

A female Grayling will spend a considerable amount of time selecting where to lay with the tip of her abdomen probing around the vegetation. They will often lay on dried grass and bits of detritus in the immediate vicinity of what she has selected to be a suitable tuft of grass. I have even seen female Graylings oviposit on their own legs, with the abdomen curled right around underneath the body.

Having unexpectedly had a considerable amount of time on my hands this summer I spent a depressing amount of it on the Dorset Downs surveying former Grayling haunts in the hope of discovering a surviving population on the inland chalk. Sadly I drew a blank and it really does look as if the chalk downland Grayling colonies are a thing of the past in Dorset until one ventures near the coast.

Did anyone see them on Ballard Down this summer?

I know of one inland chalk colony in Hampshire which may or may not still just hang on, as well as another well known colony on high security MoD land.

Can anyone tell me which of the Isle of Wight downs still support colonies? PM me if appropriate.

Thanks in advance.
Felix.


Thanks Felix,I found this one at Burley(New Forest) whilst heading to Poole if this helps you in any way?
Steve
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Perseus
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Perseus » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:04 pm

Hello,

25 August 2009
On a breezy day, the one acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Old Shoreham) hosted 38 Adonis Blue Butterflies with the 17 females the highest recorded count for this gender. There were at least a handful of couples courting and mating.

Mill Hill Reports 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2009.html

Mill Hill and its Butterflies
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2009Article.htm


First Adur Butterfly Dates 2003 to 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ButterfliesFFT.htm

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: August 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/August2009.html

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Piers » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:01 pm

I discovered an Orange Tip pupa on a dessicated old Gralic Mustard stem. It was the brown form of the pupa and superbly camouflaged. I have never managed to find an Orange Tip pupa in the wild before.

Felix.

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Dave McCormick
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:33 pm

Felix wrote:I discovered an Orange Tip pupa on a dessicated old Gralic Mustard stem. It was the brown form of the pupa and superbly camouflaged. I have never managed to find an Orange Tip pupa in the wild before.

Felix.


Thats good find. I have never been able to find anything past young caterpillars or eggs of Orange-Tips in wild, cause everyrime I look for pupae, I go to where the foodplants of the OTs are and where I find them, but the foodplants are eaten away and can't see any, supposed to be one of the easiest to find in the wild, but not for me
Cheers all,
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Ian Pratt
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Ian Pratt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Seen at Shalcombe Forest and Walters Copse Newtown last Sunday 23 August. Is the hover fly Helophilus pendulus?
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Matsukaze
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Matsukaze » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:32 pm

has the top Meadow Brown in the bottom picture only just emerged?

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Ian Pratt
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Ian Pratt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:11 am

has the top Meadow Brown in the bottom picture only just emerged?
Not sure. They were flying together.

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eccles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby eccles » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:41 am

Both meadow browns look mature to me, and there's wing damage to the top buterfly's wings. I suspect the apparent crinkling is due to the angle of light on the wings. Incidently, the top one is the female. I've seen this before where the female MB continues to fly around from flower to flower, casually nectaring while coupled, with the unfortunate male unwilling or unable to let go.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:56 pm

Well the season seems to be over at Greenford Park Cemetery.
Apart from 4 Speckled Woods seen on the way in today (2 males, 2 females, one of these laying) and one Riband Wave moth, not a single butterfly seen. Not even a white. I don't know if they have poisoned the meadow on one side but all the plants seem to be brown or dying and not many wildflowers seen at all. Actually quite a lot of the flower heads were black as if they had been burnt. Who knows.

Thinking about it I haven't seen a Painted Lady since last weekend either. I blame X Factor, that must be the barometer. As soon as that returns they all go south!

However, I did come across 3 of these fantastic looking spiders, what on earth are these bad boys? I'm not a spider man (can't stand them actually) but they damn near took my foot off! About 2 incles across. The top of the body was really strikingly black and yellow, like a chunky bee or wasp. Only the last shot below really shows this. My book gets as far as Orb Web spiders of the Araneidae family but doesn't go into species. It says there 4000 species, I guess that might be why...Any ideas?

IMG_1157.jpg
underside

IMG_1159.jpg
underside

IMG_1161.jpg
rear view


Cheers
Lee
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Denise
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:24 pm

Looks like a wasp spider to me Lee, but I could be wrong.
IMG_5206Small.jpg

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Pete Eeles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:29 pm

Lee H wrote:Well the season seems to be over at Greenford Park Cemetery.


Yep - that sounds like the definition of a cemetery to me :lol:

Same here; I still saw quite a few butterflies today, but there's most definitely a chill in the air now. I think we're heading into autumn big time now.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:48 pm

That's it Denise, thanks. I nearly trod on the first one. Are they quite common?

Certainly is Pete, quite chilly tonight. As for the cemetery, by all accounts they're dying to get in there. I'll get my coat...

Cheers
Lee
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Denise
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:58 pm

Lee H wrote:That's it Denise, thanks. I nearly trod on the first one. Are they quite common?
Lee


I've only ever seen them once at Stockbridge Down, last year with Gary, Lisa and co.
It's a very good find Lee, if your into spiders.

It's been quite quiet here at home this week, until today. A few Comma, my first three Painted Lady for a week, all looking quite worn, a few Speckled Wood and the odd white in the garden today, and that's about it. :(

Denise
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NickB
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby NickB » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:01 pm

Definite nip in the air this morning...and breezy too. Fleam Dyke transect despite that turned up 59 butterflies. 1 Large, 35 Small (mostly Small when ID'd) with 5 definite Green Veined White, 3 Common Blue,4 Chalkhill Blue, 3 Painted Lady, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 1 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Heath. Not bad - 12 species. The Meadow Browns (as noted earlier in thread) looked quite fresh - I too wonder if a partial 2nd brood has emerged?
N
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