August 2009 Sightings

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xmilehigh
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby xmilehigh » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:56 pm

Small blues from Stoke Camp today. Apparently the Small blue was reintroduced here, according to a person I met whilst there today.
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My stinky old trainer being investigated !
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Pete Eeles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:01 pm

Despite the increasing cloud cover and rain, I spent the morning at Stockbridge Down, most of it in the company of Felix, who made it all the more enjoyable with his anecdotes and experience.

Before meeting up with Felix I saw many female Chalkhill Blue - most looking very fresh. Even some of the males were in good condition. But the surprise of the day was seeing a very worn valesina Silver-washed Fritillary - especially since this species is only an occasional visitor onto the down from nearby woods. I saw 3 Silver-spotted Skipper in total, but only one, a female, waiting around long enough to get a photo of. Eagle-eyed Felix also spotted a couple of Chalkhill Blue aberrations. One was a female that not only had additional spotting on the forewings and hindwings, but also had a hint of blue reaching out from the thorax.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Gruditch » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:44 pm

Not too sure what's going on at Stockbridge Down. With a rabbit population spiralling out of control, the place is starting to resemble a bowling green, and now they decide to graze the place with cattle, the whole year round. :?
The area near the bottom car park, where that Numpty released the Black-veined White, was once, one of the best butterfly hot spots on the site. I didn't even recognise it the other day, sooo changed, and not for the better. I think someone has got it very wrong on Stockbridge Down.

Gruditch

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Vince Massimo » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:11 pm

Hi all,

I saw 2 Holly Blue today, one in the garden and the other nearby. These are the first I have seen for ages. I then spent most of the afternoon on my local patch, Quarry Hangers Nature Reserve, which is on the North Downs near Chaldon, Surrey. There were good numbers of Painted Lady and Peacock, plus 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Brimstone. Also loads of Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Whites and a few Speckled Wood as well as 5 Small Heath and a Small Copper. Most numerous butterfly however was Common Blue with about 60 seen including 15 females. Best of all was 1 or possibly 2 Clouded Yellow.

Cheers,

Vince

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Pete Eeles
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:18 pm

Gruditch wrote:The area near the bottom car park, where that Numpty released the Black-veined White, was once, one of the best butterfly hot spots on the site. I didn't even recognise it the other day, sooo changed, and not for the better.


I couldn't agree more with regard to this spot - I couldn't believe it when I saw it earlier in the year. What was once an area of lush vegatation and surrounding scrub, absolutely loved by Small Copper and Marbled White, had been completely dessimated with almost no fauna to be seen.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Piers » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:39 pm

I agree Gary.

Adrian Hoskings mentioned the over grazing as well. What ever happened to the concept of a mosaic of habitats...? St Catherines Hill in Winchester has also been decimated by an over enthusiastic grazing regime.

Stockbridge Down would have benefited far more from a compartmentalised grazing programme over an extended period rather than just letting the herd loose to munch where they choose. Cattle are not the best animals to use on an area like Stockbridge Down either.

The other problem that Gary touched on was the rabbit issue. Of course as soon as any mention is made of culling the fluffy bunnies to manage their numbers people fly off the handle (fully how the same people are usually happy to see rats killed off). It is an unfortunate fact that areas like Stockbridge Down, isolated islands in a sea of intensive agriculture, have to be managed by man in order to preserve diversity.

Felix.

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:49 pm

I think we must anticipate some vigorous views from a member who lives near Mill Hill, Sussex – over grazing is his “bête-noir”.

Jack

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:16 pm

Cloudy and drizzle here this afternoon. :(
While I was preparing the evening meal, I saw a blue butterfly land in the garden. I rushed out to get my first garden Holly Blue shot of the year only to find this. :D
Copy of IMG_2719 (Medium)b.JPG

That's two in two years! Not very common around here.

Denise
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Dave McCormick
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:20 pm

Another warm sunny day here, minus a little cloud. Saw in forest near my house:

10+ GV Whites
3 Speckled wood (2 male)
2 Male Holly Blue
2 Large White
2 Meadow Brown

Speckled wood male and female from today:
Image

Image
Cheers all,
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby nick patel » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:25 pm

Great sight today in my front garden. while on the comp, lookin out the window at the budlia, i could see (all at once) 14 p ladies, 5 red admiral, 4 pcock, 6 whites, 3 small ttshell n a comma. not too bad eh!

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:20 am

This morning, as it was bright and the sun was coming up, I decided to sit in the garden and watch and wait for the butterflies to appear, to see where they came from.
Most of them appeared from the hedge and the mock orange bush, and flew to the back wall of my house, as this is the first place the sun touches. It was an amazing sight :D I counted 27 Painted Lady, 14 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Comma and a Small Tort. This was all before 7.30am. A very nice way to start the day.

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Denise » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:20 am

Oh WOW. :D Look what I just found in my garden.
Copy of IMG_2755 (Large).JPG

That's a garden tick for me. :mrgreen:

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:07 am

Hi all,
Copy of my report to the BC Sussex website below.
Neil

News for Wednesday 5 August 2009: I spent a very enjoyable day with Guardian journalist Patrick Barkham, who is touring the UK in an effort to see every species of British butterfly, and whose experiences along the way will provide the material for a book. With only three species to go we had high hopes of bagging Brown Hairstreak, Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper to complete the set. The sun refused to show over Steyning, denying us the opportunity of seeing the first on our list, but by heading a few miles east we managed the others without difficulty, getting a few bonus species along the way. The highlights of our tally of 26 species were 25+ pristine Adonis Blue (including a mating pair) and a second brood Dingy Skipper at Mill Hill, Shoreham (also Wall, Chalkhill Blue, Common Blue, Small Heath), and 73 Silver-spotted Skipper and 2 Clouded Yellow at Newtimber Hill (also Wall, Chalkhill Blue, Essex Skipper, Brown Argus). We then moved on for an early evening visit to the meadow above Ditchling, where Penny and Dave Green had reported an estimated 120,000 Painted Ladies the day before. We bumped into BC Sussex officers Clare Jeffers and Michael Blencowe, who were also there to view this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. The sea of thistles here has been stripped to a degree that one associates with a biblical plague of locusts. Eggs and caterpillars would have undoubtedly been here in their millions.This is nature in an unusual state of complete imbalance and there is a hopelessly insufficient supply of food for the next generation - many will have to move on. How many Painted Ladies are here? Penny and Dave are both very experienced recorders and their figures should be taken seriously. Their estimation of the area (200m x 300m) appears quite conservative. It is difficult to gauge an average figure for butterflies per square meter over the entire site (some areas held fewer than their estimated average of 2, others held 10). Whatever the number, I doubt that this quantity of butterflies in a relatively small area of the British countryside has been exceeded on many occasions. We retired to the bar at Devil's Dyke to watch the last rays of sunshine illuminating the gentle folds of the Downs, and absorb some of what we had seen and would probably never see again.
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xmilehigh
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby xmilehigh » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:17 pm

Clouded Yellow's every where it seems :D

Eccles & I spotted this one at Somerford Common this afternoon.
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Clouded Yellow
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby eccles » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:30 pm

Great catch Denise, and well spotted Jerry. Glad you got such a nice shot eventually. :)
We think we *might* have seen one or two male brown hairstreak at Ravensroost meadow high in the usual ash master tree very briefly but not a chance of photos. Several purple hairstreak were also flying in and out of the same tree.
Greets to Wayne of Swindon if you look in. :)

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby mikem » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:23 pm

Hi All

I'm new to UK butterflies & relatively new to Butterflies! Great site.

Went up to Horsenden Hill, West London this evening on the way home from work. Not much activity. Some Meadow Browns, Large Whites, a Small Copper and a couple of Common Blues. Some pics below.

Mike
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090807 Common Blue HH.jpg

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Susie » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:52 pm

Blimey, someone else from my old neck of the woods. :D Welcome to UKButterflies. Those are cracking photos. :D

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Dave McCormick » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:57 pm

Hi Mike and welcome! Love the shots, they are great. I have not seen any small copper at all this year, does not look good for them here this year I think. Saw more last year, even if it was only a few.

xmilehigh, love the clouded yellow. If more are being seen, been wondering if we get a chance to see them in Northern ireland by end of the month/start of September?
Cheers all,
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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:16 pm

I was browsing various BC sites and the Upper Thames website has an absolutely amazing shot for 4th August. The page is:

http://upperthames-butterflies.org.uk/b ... tings.html

And the image is:

http://upperthames-butterflies.org.uk/P ... Miller.jpg

This shot really is quite amazing. Not only has the tail-end of this female Purple Hairstreak been zapped by a bird, no doubt, but it's also egg-laying - something most people will never have seen. Amazing shot!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: August 2009 Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:28 am

Hi Susie and Mike,

Talking of Horsenden Hill, I don't live far from there either and used to go up there on my own at the weekends for a walk and some photos as it's the nicest place for it near to me. Not growing up around here though (I grew up in Sevenoaks and had plenty of countryside on my doorstep), one day I was followed through the woods by other men 'out on their own' just waiting in the woods. (Actually in the woods, off the footpaths...). Nothing against that but it did rather put me off my walk and butterfly watching.

Anyway, my girlfriend is local to the area it turns out it's apparently a well known site for activity of that nature and I now go out with a friend and her dog to overcome any misunderstanding....!

Cracking shot of the small copper by the way.

All the best,

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


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