July Sightings

Discussion forum for sightings.
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Michaeljf
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Michaeljf » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:12 pm

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Silver-studded blue at Fairmile Common


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Dark Green Fritillary at Alun Valley (female)


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High Brown Fritillary, Alun Valley


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High-Brown Fritillary, Alun Valley


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Underside, High Brown Fritillary

millerd
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Re: July Sightings

Postby millerd » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:10 pm

Yesterday I was up in Rugby, so took the opportunity to go over to Ryton Woods with my three boys in tow. No Purple Emperors seen (though some have been spotted here this year), but we saw at least half a dozen each of White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries in the woods and a profusion of Marbled Whites, Ringlets, Gatekeepers and assorted Skippers in the adjacent meadows. Singles were seen of Brown Argus, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Admiral, and several Green-veined Whites. Notable moments: Marbled Whites taking an undue amount of interest in a mating pair of GVW (pheremones, perhaps?), and a three-way tussle between three entirely unrelated black-and-white butterflies (GVW, WA and MW) which you would just love to capture on camera - but they were up and away so quickly...
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GVW pair resized.jpg

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:46 pm

Took a trip out to Hendre Wood near Monmouth this morning as the weather was pretty sunny even though temperatures were hovering around 20 degrees.

I arrived at just before noon and spent two and a half hours wandering through the site, which is principally coniferous woodland, with several substantial tracts of deciduous areas. There were a few scrubby areas and many pathways, including one interesting one that was marshy underfoot which realised huge numbers of egg-laying Green veined Whites.

The day's tally was:

1. Ringlet 100-150
2. Green Veined White 50-70
3. Meadow Brown 40-60
4. Hedge Brown 20-30
5. Silver Washed Fritillary 16
6. Large White 10-15
7. Small Skipper 10-15
8. Speckled Wood 9
9. Large Skipper 9
10. Comma 3
11. Red Admiral 3
12. Marbled White 3
13. Common Blue 2
14. Small Tortoiseshell 2
15. Small White 1
16. Peacock 1

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:08 pm

After leaving Hendre Wood, I made my way to the Springdale Farm Resrve for the fourth time this year to check on the wild flower meadows on the south facing banks.

Right now, these meadows are replete with knapweed, which obviously attracts many different butterfly species.

Sadly, the weather was starting to become overcast by 1530, but even so there were huge numbers of butterflies taking advantage of this sheltered spot.

I already knew Small Skippers were present on this site, but I had a suspicion that the habitat would also support Essex Skippers as this area is just about within the known Western range of this species.

Sure enough, two individuals were closely examined and I can only conclude that both were definitely Essex Skippers, as they had extremely inky black antenna tips.

I have posted a photo on the 'Identification' thread, but am sufficiently confident to go ahead and record them as 'Lineola' as they both showed classic characteristics as far as antenna colouration is concerned.

The afternoon's tally was:

1. Meadow Brown 150-200
2. Marbled White 50-70
3. Hedge Brown 40-60
4. Ringlet 30-40
5. Small Skipper 20-30
6. Small Copper 6 (all were darkly patterned with blue markings and/or tails)
7. Green Veined White 5
8. Common Blue 4
9. Large White 2
10. Essex Skipper 2
11. Small Tortoiseshell 2
12. Large Skipper 1
13. Peacock 1
Female Meadow Brown.jpg
Several MBs were feeding wings open on knapweed
Two male HBs.jpg
Hedge Browns were particularly common along the field edges
Female Hedge Brown.jpg
First female HB of the year for me
Knapweed Meadow.jpg
Never seen a field with more knapweed. Marbled Whites loved it.
Small Copper with tail.jpg
Small Copper with distinctive 'tail'
Unusual SC.jpg
This SC was dark in colour with blue spots
Essex Skipper.jpg
Surely this is an 'Essex'?

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:41 pm

Jack Harrison wrote:David M:
.... Old Castle Down, near St Brides Major in Glamorgan....
Thanks for the reply but I'm still not entirely sure from the maps exactly where you start the flog up the hill and where the best spots might be; it looks rather a large site so would be easy to get it wrong.

Jack


Jack, if you click on the Google map below and then take the Street View cursor and drop it right on the B4265 sign (the one immediately east of Southerndown Golf Club) you will be practically there.

Turn the view to face south and you'll see a silver Volvo estate parked on a grassy bank with a sign warning people to keep dogs on a lead due to stock grazing. That's the slope you have to climb.


http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=e ... a=N&tab=wl

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Michaeljf
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Michaeljf » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:49 am

David M wrote:on the B4265 sign (the one immediately east of Southerndown Golf Club) you will be practically there.

Hi David,
it seems that the spot I go to for the High Browns and the one you're going to are different even though they are both in the Ewenny Area (which might explain why the shots you took of the landscape in the rain rang no bells with me). The site I go to which (I presume) is looked after by Butterfly Conservation and is off Wick Road - the site is half way down Heol Y Stepsau and is no more than a small south-facing field covered with bracken with some small clearing for thistle (and also currently Rosebay Willow Herb). The back of Southerndown Golf club isn't that far away from it as the crow flies but it sounds like your spot has a much higher number of butterflies. A grid reference for the Southerndown site would be good if anyone can find one...the B4265 is in between the Golf club and the Heol Y Stepsau site.

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:01 pm

Many thanks for the info, both on the forum and in private messages, about HB Frits in the Vale of Glamorgan; I am making plans for next season already.

It seems that two different sites have been discussed, albeit quite close to one another. The western of the two is that referred to by David M and the eastern one is the one mentioned by Michael Field. So it might be that HB Frits occur quite widely in that area around Ewenni with pockets (colonies) of higher density.
Image

Jack

Eris
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Eris » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:13 pm

I was on the phone in the garden when I suddenly let out a yell and told my sister I would call her back... I rushed for the camera but sadly it had gone when I got back so no photo However I can report...... A White Admiral was in MY GARDEN...Whoop!!! I thought having the purple hairstreaks in our oaks was brilliant and a SWF which landed on my front door frame was wonderful....But a White Admiral in my garden? That is something, totally unexpected.

Sorry to go over the top at you guys, but my OH will just not understand why I am excited.

Our field hedge has quite a lot of honeysuckle in it, so I am really hoping it was a female looking for somewhere to lay eggs.

I'll calm down now - but I just had to tell someone....

Oh today I saw a peacock, loads of gatekeepers, ringlets meadow browns and some fresh looking Green veined whites.

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Rogerdodge
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Rogerdodge » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:44 pm

Sorry to go over the top at you guys, but my OH will just not understand why I am excited.

Tell her it is a bit like unexpectedly finding a new pair of Jimmy Choos in her wardrobe. That would work for my OH!
Cheers

Roger

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:09 pm

Eris, I fully understand your excitement. When last Saturday I found that SW Frit miles from its nearest known colonies but more to the point, scarcely 250 metres from my home, I had to tell someone.

I’ll be going through my records in the autumn and post the highlights on my blog. I suspect this SWF will top the list. I have seen SWFs in their dozens in their strongholds, but this was special.

On a parallel note, I once saw Long-tailed Blues in huge numbers around a leguminous shrub on an airfield (can’t remember which one – perhaps Sharjah) on the northern coast of Arabia, and thought “so what!” But if I saw a LT Blue in Britain, I wouldn't be able to contain my excitement.

Jack

felix123
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Re: July Sightings

Postby felix123 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:41 pm

Last friday: On a school trip we went to Lulworth cove to look at the landscape there but I had my eyes set on the lulworth skipper but I don't think I saw one but there where lots of skippers about but they didn't land! BUT I did see a Dark green fritillary( first ever! :D ).

Yesterday I went with my mum to the Lyme Regis Undercliff to find some Silver-washed fritillaries(I have'nt seen a singel one in my life) and I had...........SUCSSES :D :D :D I saw 2 pairs we thought and they where beautiful. I love it when they flap there wings a few times and then glide.( it did says on the notice board "The sheltered glades support a thriving population of Silver-washed fritillaries" :D )

Felix
Young Enthusiast!

bugmadmark
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Re: July Sightings

Postby bugmadmark » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:49 pm

I'm a very happy chappy having seen my first ever Purple Emporers yesterday, plus good numbers of White Admirals which I'd only ever seen briefly once before at Brampton Woods. Also, the kids loved walking along the grass paths where 'clouds' of grass loving butterflies - Ringlets, Meadow Brown, Small Heaths, Ringlets flew up around their feet etc. We saw one aberrant looking summer brood Comma.

Thanks to Trev for telling me where to locate the Purps at Fermyn Woods. The site was partly given away by a reasonable number of cars by the track and several snapping photographers up ahead! I took my 11, 6 and 3 year old along which meant my chance of getting any photos was quite restricted. Also, we got there a bit later than intended (12noon) so much of the 'action' had already occurred. But still, the Purps did come to ground and onto the log piles for feeding. Shortly before we arrived, I gather the Purps had even landed on one photographers hand after handling salted crisps. The specimen I was to be able to get up close to stayed perched upon a dried and dusted dog poo for ages and ages - allowing everyone a shot. I'm not so sure my wife would be so happy to know the children and I were say next to it! I would so love to go in the week one day when I have no kids and a chance to photograph them myself but I'm booked out this week ;-(

Whilst there, we met a number of butterfly photographers and some bird watchers who'd popped over to take a look. A big thanks to Steven & Debra Cheshire of britishbutterflies.co.uk for being so patient and for taking the time to show some of their images to my kids. All I can say is how wonderfully friendly and tolerant everyone was given that I had three children, 2 of which were quite lively and somewhat frustrated due to the lack of swings/slides and the immense heat that afternoon. My eldest was in his element with his own small digital camera and did his best to snap some of the butterflies and dragonflies. As for me - i took very few and most were (once again) out of focus and over exposed or poorly composed/hidden up. Still - the experience of seeing them first time will suffice - even though they didn't open their wings much. :D

thepostieles
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Re: July Sightings

Postby thepostieles » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:47 pm

im just back from paignton and saw a fritillary, think it was a dark green variety flyin over victoria park, stopped for few secs and had green sheen on wings, first one ive ever seen :D

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Jack Harrison wrote:Many thanks for the info, both on the forum and in private messages, about HB Frits in the Vale of Glamorgan; I am making plans for next season already.

It seems that two different sites have been discussed, albeit quite close to one another. The western of the two is that referred to by David M and the eastern one is the one mentioned by Michael Field. So it might be that HB Frits occur quite widely in that area around Ewenni with pockets (colonies) of higher density.
Image

Jack


I see that now. Thanks for the map, Jack. It's very useful.

I had intended to cross over the ford leading to the site Michael visited, but the weather was pretty poor at that point and on the grounds I had already observed quite a few DG and HBs I decided to arc back by the perimeter. The highest density was undoubtedly to be found just north west of the '76' on your map, along that curved black line. There was excellent tree cover here, bracken up to your neck and brambles aplenty. In fact, all five of the SPBFs were seen along this 200 metre stretch.

Had it not been so late when I returned to my car, I'd have gone up the south facing slope on the opposite side of Old Castle Down. The terrain was practically identical and I'm sure there would have been several more Frits ekeing out an existence over there as well. I notice from the map that there's a limestone quarry at the top of that hill. Had I known that I'd DEFINITELY have made the ascent.

Still, there's always next time.

Susie
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Susie » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm

Eris wrote:I was on the phone in the garden when I suddenly let out a yell and told my sister I would call her back... I rushed for the camera but sadly it had gone when I got back so no photo However I can report...... A White Admiral was in MY GARDEN...Whoop!!! I thought having the purple hairstreaks in our oaks was brilliant and a SWF which landed on my front door frame was wonderful....But a White Admiral in my garden? That is something, totally unexpected.

Sorry to go over the top at you guys, but my OH will just not understand why I am excited.

Our field hedge has quite a lot of honeysuckle in it, so I am really hoping it was a female looking for somewhere to lay eggs.

I'll calm down now - but I just had to tell someone....

Oh today I saw a peacock, loads of gatekeepers, ringlets meadow browns and some fresh looking Green veined whites.


I completely understand. I would have been chuffed to bits too! :D

Good numbers of chalkhill blue, meadow brown, marbled white, and gate keeper, ringlet, large and small skippers, brimstone, large and small whites, small heath and a single white admiral at Denbies hillside today.

Susie
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Susie » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:11 pm

Nearly all the marbled whites and some of the skippers I saw today had parasites.
marbled-white-with-parasite.jpg

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:43 am

Felix123:
....Lyme Regis Undercliff....
That’s interesting Felix. Your first experience of Silver Washed was in an untypical habitat. Normally in this country it is species enjoys wide rides in mixed and deciduous woodland where there is plenty of bramble and tall thistles for nectaring. I understand that in southwest England it is far less restricted to such woodland habitats and you are lucky to have been able to see them in one of its alternative homes at Lyme Regis.

Jack

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NickB
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Re: July Sightings

Postby NickB » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:47 am

RE: SWF Distribution in the S & W.
I have been to some of these areas, Jack, and, in my humble opinion, I would not say it is "un-typical" habitat. Much of the Lyme undercliffs are covered in low-growing scruby woodland, especially in areas where land-slips have occured, amongst bits of isolated grassland along cliff-faces and edges where flowers grow that provide the fuel stops as well as the larval food plants. The SWFs use the cliff-edge above the trees as their "rides". The same is true in the South West, where steep wooded valleys run down to the sea from moorland above; I sat above the Lynton & Lynmouth cricket pitch in the Valley of the Rocks, with 300 foot sea cliffs to my back, watching SWFs play across the tops of the trees below.
It doesn't get much better than that - watching cricket in such a spectacular setting, whilst clocking the Frits and other butterflies as they went about their business on the cliffs around me....
N
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:10 pm

Stuff the cricket, I'd be out amongst the Frits.

There's just something about them which generates a particular, subconscious pleasure. They way they glide and swoop, remain generally aloof and distant, yet occasionally forget themselves and allow you close approaches when they're in a nectar-feeding stupor.

Beautiful creatures, and if ever I wanted to demonstrate to someone the awe that butterflies can exert on you, I'd take them to watch Silver Washed Fritillaries in a thistle/bramble laden woodland clearing.

bugmadmark
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Re: July Sightings

Postby bugmadmark » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:10 am

Jack Harrison wrote:T
Whatever is going on, as a Norfolk native would say:
“Tha’s a roight rummin tha’ is!” (We might speak funny, but we know about apostrophes).

PS. I always wonder if Admiral Nelson – Norfolk’s most famous son (after Jack Harrison of course) -said that when enemy cannonballs hit his ship?

Jack


As a fellow Norfolkian who has (sadly) lost his accent due to my relocation from East Dereham to St.Ives in Cambs when oy were just 12, i's good to see this reference agin bor! My grandparents used to use that expression a lot. For me, I am limited these days to a few (pronounced 'foo'), hangover such as 'loyk' (like), 'rarely' (really) and references to Bishy Barnabees and Dodermans. Of course the emphasis on use of these being a 'hangover' has a double meaning - i.e. I tend to use them after a few drinks! Oh the good ol' days.

For those needing to update their knowledge and skills on how to speak Narfolk proper like whilst out hunting for butterflies - check this brilliant site out where you can have a beginners, intermediate and advanced lesson!


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