July Sightings

Discussion forum for sightings.
Piers
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Piers » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:52 pm

Zonda wrote:I may have to go to north Dorset for this one. Fontmell down here i come.

Don't bother with Fontmell Zonda. :(

You may see one or two, but the days when the down was teaming with thousands of chalkies (I remember it well) have long gone, ever since DWT introduced the '3mm' grazing regime...!

I went there a week ago. The down is 'managed' for Silver Spotted Skipper. As soon as I arrived and saw the state of the sward I thought "oh no". Sure enough, a thorough search produced a couple of 'Silpot Skippers', however, a quick hunt off the reserve in the area of downland where the grass is considerably longer produced a dozen...! This is also the area favoured by the Adonis Blue since DWT butchered the main down. :roll:

You could have tried nearby Melbury Beacon, but that too was in a right two-and-eight as a result of the NT's 365 day per year cattle grazing. The areas where I used to find heaps of Common Blue, Brown Argus and Chalkhills is now all chewed tussocks and cow flop (nicely enriching the down).

Why don't you head for Portland? Tout Quarry used to yield good numbers of Chalkies, and as far as I am aware still does. Or if you don't want to spend a morning with the pong of landfill then Church Ope Cove still produces good numbers.

Happy Hunting.

Felix.

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:20 pm

felix123 wrote:Oh yeh because when I saw the SWF at the Lyme Regis Undercliff they constantly flew near me and my mum because of the colour of my T-shirt!

Thanks for that info David :D

Felix :)


Yup, SWFs will swoop at the merest suggestion of orange/brown.

I'm tempted to photocopy life sized pictures of female SWFs next year, cut them out and pin them onto bramble flowers and see what happens. I reckon that for male SWFs they'd be like a bullseye is for Phil Taylor.

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Matsukaze
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Matsukaze » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:33 pm

Jersey Tiger
250710_008.jpg


Found this at Shapwick Heath last weekend, where it was fluttering around in the roadway doing a fair impression of a Painted Lady.

Saw Painted Lady later that day, and another on Monday. Is there a mini-influx taking place at the moment or are these offspring of the small wave of immigration that came through in early June?

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Perseus
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Perseus » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:29 pm

Hello,

30 July 2010
On a cloudy day the first two brown female Chalkhill Blue Butterflies were spotted crawling amongst the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the south-eastern bank of the Mill Hill Cutting where 25 males flew in this small garden-sized patch, and latterly another two, including a mating pair, were spotted on the transect 1.2 acre of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, where an estimated hundred males were disturbed on a very dull middle of the day visit. Thirteen butterfly species were seen on an unfavourable day on a restricted outing.

Image

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


Mill Hill Reports 2010
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2010.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2010.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: July 2010
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/July2010.html
Sussex Downs Facebook Group
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111843132181316

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Potential trap for the unwary.
This is not a butterfly but an Early Thorn moth. (caught last night)
Image
Jack

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:14 pm

David M wrote:SWFs will swoop at the merest suggestion of orange/brown.

I'm tempted to photocopy life sized pictures of female SWFs next year, cut them out and pin them onto bramble flowers and see what happens.


I've read somewhere that in Victorian collecting times, they used to pin dead SWF specimens to their hats to attract fellow SWF butterflies, along with other orange coloured bait....so your colour copies may work!

Neil Kipper told me the other week that the cap of a lucazade bottle is effective too.

Cheers

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

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Perseus
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Perseus » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:39 pm

Felix wrote:
Zonda wrote:I may have to go to north Dorset for this one. Fontmell down here i come.

Don't bother with Fontmell Zonda. :(

You may see one or two, but the days when the down was teaming with thousands of chalkies (I remember it well) have long gone, ever since DWT introduced the '3mm' grazing regime...!

I went there a week ago. The down is 'managed' for Silver Spotted Skipper. As soon as I arrived and saw the state of the sward I thought "oh no". Sure enough, a thorough search produced a couple of 'Silpot Skippers', however, a quick hunt off the reserve in the area of downland where the grass is considerably longer produced a dozen...! This is also the area favoured by the Adonis Blue since DWT butchered the main down. :roll:

You could have tried nearby Melbury Beacon, but that too was in a right two-and-eight as a result of the NT's 365 day per year cattle grazing. The areas where I used to find heaps of Common Blue, Brown Argus and Chalkhills is now all chewed tussocks and cow flop (nicely enriching the down).

Why don't you head for Portland? Tout Quarry used to yield good numbers of Chalkies, and as far as I am aware still does. Or if you don't want to spend a morning with the pong of landfill then Church Ope Cove still produces good numbers.

Happy Hunting.

Felix.


I also strongly disagree with cattle grazing for Chalkhill Blues. The cattle destroy the Horseshoe vetch, and the toxic dung kills the butterflies. It is a disaster.

felix123
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Re: July Sightings

Postby felix123 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:55 pm

Went to Powerstock common today in cloudy weather but plenty of butterflies where out that include: Numerous meadow browns, ringlets, gatekeepers(that include a mating pair) I was trying to find some purple hairstreaks but no success :( BUT at least 12+ silver-washed fritillary and 5 marbled whites, 7 peacocks, 2 small tortoiseshell, 5 red admiral, numerous common blues,whites and 4 small skippers....... phew. :D

Great day,

Felix
Young Enthusiast!

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Zonda
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Zonda » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:38 pm

Felix,,, get your dad to take you to Alners Gorse tomorrow, loads of Purple Hairstreaks there at the moment, and Brown HSs too,,, and if you are luckier than me you might spot a White-letter Hairstreak.... Sorry DAD. :lol:
Cheers,,, Zonda.

Piers
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Piers » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:04 pm

Zonda wrote:Felix,,, get your dad to take you to Alners Gorse tomorrow.

Ok Boss.

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David M
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Re: July Sightings

Postby David M » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:18 pm

Cloudy again in S.Wales this morning (it's like living on bloody Venus at the moment). I figured it might be a bit brighter on the west coast so I trekked to Pembrokeshire to do two things; firstly to check out the prime Brown Hairstreak site in SW Wales (not much hope of seeing any as it was windy and very cloudy for all but 15 minutes), and secondly to take a look at the Castlemartin Ranges, where there are several populations of Silver Studded Blues.

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/vc45leps/rep ... s_VC45.pdf

It's a bit late in the season for them and although the weather WAS much brighter on the coast, it was far from ideal (mainly overcast and just 16-17C). I went via the route through Broadhaven bay and there were plenty of butterflies on the wing (I've never paid Common Blues as much attention in my life). Sadly, I saw no SSBs, although I DID find the stretch of disused tramway which supposedly holds a decent colony.

The major positive was my first sighting of a Wall Brown in S.Wales. Just what has happened to this species? When I was a kid they were all over the place. Also nice to see a Dark Green and three Silver Washed Fritillaries on the wing. On a pretty poor day weatherwise, the numbers seen were:

1. Meadow Brown 50-70
2. Common Blue 40-60
3. Green Veined White 20-40
4. Hedge Brown 15-25
5. Small Copper 6
6. Large White 4
7. Silver Washed Fritillary 3
8. Speckled Wood 2
9. Small Heath 2
10. Grayling 2
11. Comma 2
12. Red Admiral 2
13. Peacock 2
14. Small Skipper 1
15. Dark Green Fritillary 1
16. Wall Brown 1
Wall.jpg
Close as I could get as it was closing its wings within 5 seconds of alighting
Wall uside.jpg
Underside shot was a little easier

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Trev Sawyer
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Trev Sawyer » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:42 pm

Felix mentioned Tout Quarry on Portland yesterday when talking about Chalkhill Blues:
We went to Broadcroft Quarry on Portland earlier in the week (which is slightly South East of Tout)... there were loads of Chalkies as well as Common and Small Blues. We were hoping to find the Silver Studded Blue cretaceus subspecies, but I assume they had finished for the season. We also saw a few Lulworth Skippers there, which was good - the other areas where we saw these during our holiday was too "warm and windy" to get any in-focus shots. The skippers were unbelievably fast and seemed to disappear before your very eyes!

IMG_LS.jpg
Male Lulworth Skipper at Broadcroft Quarry (Portland)

IMG_SB.jpg
Small Blues at Broadcroft Quarry (Portland)



Trev

felix123
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Re: July Sightings

Postby felix123 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:49 am

Zonda wrote:Felix,,, get your dad to take you to Alners Gorse tomorrow, loads of Purple Hairstreaks there at the moment, and Brown HSs too,,, and if you are luckier than me you might spot a White-letter Hairstreak.... Sorry DAD. :lol:


Not today but my dad has agreed to go next Thursday or the Thursday after that and I CAN'T WAIT!!! :D :D :D

Hope the weather is good then.

From a very happy Felix :D
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Padfield
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Padfield » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:27 am

When's your birthday, Felix? Haven't you been 'Only 12 years old' since you joined, in August last year? You must be due to become a teenager any moment now... :D

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

felix123
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Re: July Sightings

Postby felix123 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:35 am

I was born 20th November 1997 still got some time to go can't wait though!

Felix
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NickB
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Re: July Sightings

Postby NickB » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:49 am

No comment on my birthday.... :lol:
Found a nice female CB in the cemetery on Saturday...
CB_f_1_low_31st_July_2010.jpg

CB_f_1u_low_31st_July_2010.jpg

CB_f_2_low_31st_July_2010.jpg
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

Piers
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Re: July Sightings

Postby Piers » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:36 am

Hey Nick,

You do seem to have a knack for finding superb Common Blue females.

(Please, no jokes about Nick attracting rough miserable women...! :lol:)

Felix.

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NickB
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Re: July Sightings

Postby NickB » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:53 am

I'm always on the look out... :lol:
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."


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