August 2011

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David M
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Re: August 2011

Postby David M » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:17 pm

Can anyone explain why Graylings love denim jeans so much?

EricY
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Re: August 2011- Warham camp for CHB's again

Postby EricY » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:41 pm

Decide at 8.30 this morning to go down the coast as forecast seemed good for today. Sunny when I set off but arriving at Warham 90% cloud cover arrived with a cold wind. Started in the first large ditch & soon found about 8 males & 1 female hunkered down in the grass. Weather against them flying & totally different to last tuesday when according to a post on the web a BC survey produced a grand total of 851 with male to female ratio of 10 to 1. When the sun did come out there were soon lots flying about but very low down in the wind. Still 10 - 1 mf ratio in my opinion. Managed to find some females but all bf's seemed well worn. This first male underside has hardly any black/orange chevrons showing although the rest of him seems in fair nic.
dl 09 08 11 Sony H50 013 male Chalkhill blue underside.jpg
male Chalkhill with minimal chevrons underside
dl 09 08 11 Sony H50 016 female Chalkhill blue underside.jpg
female chalkhill underside
dl 09 08 11 Sony H50 021 female Chalkhill.jpg
female chalkhill

Very difficult in the wind to get good photos. I went to Cley & Salthouse beach's after & the waves were crashing in with lots of spray, good for a few landscapes & a foolhardy few dodging the waves. then called at NOA's small Walsey hills site, they had one small buddlea with 6 Red Admiral on it. Rounded off the afternoon with a walk on the marsh at Morston while tide was in (not too high or I would never have gone). Great to be out there watching the tourist seal trip boats go past & taking a few landscape pics.

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Re: August 2011

Postby EricY » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:16 pm

Wednesday 10th, cloudy & breezy in Norfolk this morning. Decided at 10.30 to have a look in the sheltered woodland of NWT Roydon common reserve. Quite a few Speckled wood's, several Meadow browns & Gatekeepers & just one small copper well down in the grass. Looked in the oaks for the PH's that I know are there, but saw none. I then noticed quite a few Fungi were already out (Autumn must be nearly here!) & concentrated on looking for those. Now my eyesight does not pick up on detail quickly, so thought I saw an interesting dark fungi not seen before. Then realized it was a curled up juvenile Adder, managed some pics before it sloped off. Eric
dl 10 08 11 Sony H50 007 Adder juv 2.jpg
Adder juvenile

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Michaeljf
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Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:53 pm

Tuesday 9th August 2011 – Arnside Knott, Cumbria

I had been toying with going up to Arnside Knott recently - and had to abandon these plans only last weekend due to the poor weather coming in at the last minute :( ! However, on Monday morning I saw what might be my best chance and suggested to Karen that we take a day off work for one day in Cumbria – perhaps madness, but I think she’s used to that by now :mrgreen: . So I booked us into the Travel-lodge about 25 minutes from Arnside, making good time on the drive up (4 hours from South Wales!) on Monday night :) .

Tuesday morning greeted us with fantastic early morning sunshine and an almost cloudless sky above Arnside Knott. We’d been a couple of times previously (the most recent was about 4 years ago). For those who have never been – it’s a lovely site, quite self-contained and (for a change) quite well signposted. Considering the long trip I was very happy to see the weather was even better than the forecast :shock: :lol: ! We got to the site about 8:30 and immediately met a fellow butterfly enthusiast who was off back to Sussex, having seen some Scotch Argus. Within a couple of minutes they were apparent on the sunny slope right above the entrance to the reserve, and I spent the first hour trying to get a good photograph. As mentioned by others, they can be difficult to photograph – not just because they stay low in the grass, but also because if the sun is on them the light seems to bounce ‘straight off’ :shock: . The best shots were when the cloud came over briefly, though at this time I wished I had a tripod...

After watching the Scotch Argus, we wandered over the top of the reserve and found another wooded section with a host of Marjoram flowers. As well as Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods and the Scotch Argus fighting for a spot on the flowers, there was also a surprisingly newish-looking single High Brown Fritillary :shock: (I didn’t expect any to be out this late). The High Brown soon flew off, but it was soon replaced by a Dark Green Fritillary. We walked across the rest of the reserve for the next hour or so: and as the sunshine continued (a bit of a surprise) it was now clear that there were Scotch Argus everywhere – there must have been up to at least 200 individuals :) . Alongside these were several Graylings, sometimes just resting on the rocks and other times nectaring from the many ragwort flowers that were out in full force.

The sun was still shining as we left about 1pm (we had a long drive back and only had one day booked off work :( ) but we did stop on the way to Wales at Grafton Wood (Grafton Flyford, near Worcester). We got to the East end of the reserve at 5pm where there were 4 or 5 Red Admirals, a lone Small Tortoiseshell and plenty of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. At the south end of the reserve we bumped into a local butterfly enthusiast who had just photographed one Brown Hairstreak, but this had left almost as soon as he had seen it :wink: . We stayed on until just after 6pm but saw no Hairstreaks – but we did stop at the Oak pub on the way home (a couple of minutes down the road) and had a very nice meal – highly recommended if you’re ever in the area :) ..

Michael

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Tuesday morning on Arnside Knott greeted us with warm, clear skies. Thank god....!

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There were plenty of Scotch Argus about in the grass. Some would sit as I tried my best to get a photo.

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The Scotch Argus butterflies were easier to photograph in the few cloudy spells.

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The good weather continued throughout the morning, after a short cloud break about 10 am.

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Perhaps surprisingly there was a High Brown Fritillary on the Marjoram flowers, albeit briefly.

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The Scotch Argus would join Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods and Gatekeepers on the Marjoram.

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We would also see several Dark Green Fritillaries on the reserve. More butterfly species than I expected...

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Graylings were in smaller numbers, mostly on rocks as per usual..

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There were plenty of secluded spots on the reserve where the Ragwort and Thistles would grow.

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A Grayling stops briefly on the Ragwort flowers.

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The Scotch Argus also liked the Ragwort flowers - there were plenty of both them to nectar from..

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Wurzel
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Re: August 2011

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Stockbride Down - warm but windy! Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue (including some aberrants),Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Brimstone, Dark Green Fritillary, Small White and Silver Spotted Skipper (yay - about time!). More details and photos on Personal Diary

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Willrow
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Re: August 2011

Postby Willrow » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:13 pm

Very pleased to see you managed to get to Arnside Knott Michael and had the sunshine as a nice bonus too :)

Now I know your not exactly a 'butterfly twitcher' :wink: but how many species is that for the year :?: (UK only mind!)

Bill :D
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Michaeljf
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Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:07 pm

Hi Bill,
I'd certainly agree I'm not a twitcher - I'll always go for quality rather than quantity :wink: and some quite easy species I've missed this year - but I think I've seen 44 in the UK this year (missing some 'easy' species like Wall and Adonis Blue). Some of the British species I've seen abroad. I think there's probably 4 UK species I've still not seen in all my years of watching butterflies (Chequered Skipper, Mountain Ringlet, Large Heath, Northern Brown Argus). Of those I'd really like to see Chequered Skipper the most next year... :)
Michael

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David M
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Re: August 2011

Postby David M » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Michaeljf wrote:Hi Bill,
I'd certainly agree I'm not a twitcher - I'll always go for quality rather than quantity :wink: and some quite easy species I've missed this year - but I think I've seen 44 in the UK this year (missing some 'easy' species like Wall and Adonis Blue). Some of the British species I've seen abroad. I think there's probably 4 UK species I've still not seen in all my years of watching butterflies (Chequered Skipper, Mountain Ringlet, Large Heath, Northern Brown Argus). Of those I'd really like to see Chequered Skipper the most next year... :)
Michael


Get down to Kenfig if you want to see Wall Browns, Michael.

Glad the weather was kind to you at Arnside. It's a long way to go to find the forecast was grossly inaccurate. I did consider making the trip myself but will leave it as one of my main priorities next year, along with Chequered Skipper, Black Hairstreak, the artaxerxes form of Northern Brown Argus and, of course, Purple Emperor.

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Re: August 2011

Postby Gibster » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:19 pm

Michaeljf wrote: I think there's probably 4 UK species I've still not seen in all my years of watching butterflies (Chequered Skipper, Mountain Ringlet, Large Heath, Northern Brown Argus)


I've only seen Northern Brown Argus at one English site, they're easier (I found) in Scotland. The English site was...Arneside Knott!!!! Not very far from that scree slope in your fantastic first pic. And Large Heaths aren't too far away either. Time to book another day off work, mate. :shock:

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Michaeljf
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Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:52 am

Gibster wrote:
Michaeljf wrote:I've only seen Northern Brown Argus at one English site, they're easier (I found) in Scotland. The English site was...Arneside Knott!!!! Not very far from that scree slope in your fantastic first pic. And Large Heaths aren't too far away either. Time to book another day off work, mate. :shock: Gibster.

Aaarrrrrgggghhh! :lol: Thanks Gibster. I didn't think that the Large Heaths would still be about, and the Northern Brown Argus - I didn't think they were at that site. I think if the weather had been better in June / July this year I would have had more of a chance to see Large Heath in Wales, but hey ho, if you only have one good weather day on the weekend (most of June/July this year, except the week we were in Bulgaria!) there's only so much you can do :? . Maybe we'll finally have a good summer next year?! :shock: :shock:

David - I think you've done a lot of travelling this year as it is - and done very well with your British species - and I think at some point you just think "This is too much to do"! As great as it was for me to get good weather at Arnside and see the Scotch Argus, I would have loved to spend more time up there, as it's such a lovely area. Oh well, next year maybe.. :roll: Good point about Kenfig though, as I believe 2nd brood Small Blues are down there as well at the moment.

Michael

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: August 2011

Postby Lee Hurrell » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:53 am

Lovely report and photos as usual Michael! :D

Have you considered starting a personal diary on UKB? I think your reports should be more prominent for posterity!

I guess the High Brown would emerge later up there? Also, prime time for second brood Adonis now :D

Cheers

Lee
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Neil Hulme
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Re: August 2011

Postby Neil Hulme » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:37 am

"Lovely report and photos as usual Michael! Have you considered starting a personal diary on UKB? I think your reports should be more prominent for posterity."

I agree Lee. Nice and easy to flick through those memories in the cold, dark depths of winter.

Reading your report brought back a few happy memories of my own Michael. Good shooting!

Neil

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Paul Wetton
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Re: August 2011

Postby Paul Wetton » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:49 am

Hi Michael

Almost certainly too late for Large Heath at Meathop Moss near Arnside and although NBA are at the Knott you're possibly too late for them as well. If there are any left around they'll be pretty faded by now. We found them mostly over the far side of the Knott from the main car park on the slope down towards the wall with alot of bramble at the bottom of the slope. Helen found a female egg laying dowm there last year. They were over most of the area though.
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Ian Pratt
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Re: August 2011

Postby Ian Pratt » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:37 am

My cousin and his wife have been visiting the Isle of Wight this week from Scotland and have had the pleasure of seeing 23 different butterfly species including silver-washed and dark green fritillaries, adonis blue and brown argus plus all the big butterflies -peacock,red admiral, painted lady and small tortoiseshell.
They are suitably impressed. Also osprey seen at Newtown Creek on Monday. :D

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Michaeljf
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Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:58 am

Hi Neil / Lee / Paul,
thanks as always for the kind comments - always nice to share our memories! As to the personal diaries - I'm not sure I'd ever commit to doing one :? I felt quite lucky on our trip - as much as I may have missed the Large Heath and Northern Brown Argus, the lovely weather made up for it - plus the extra surprise of seeing a High Brown Fritillary. It's nice to make a trip at the last minute and for things to work out. Maybe next year I can go for longer, but it's a busy schedule, trying to chase all these butterflies in different regions of the country... :mrgreen:
Michael

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Re: August 2011

Postby EricY » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:05 pm

Yesterdays forecast for this area of Norfolk was bad so I made no plans for this morning. Woke up to bright sunshine & warm sunny periods all morning. Went to Ringstead Downs (only bit of chalk grassland in west Norfolk) to find first section where I saw 100's of butterflies a few weeks ago had been failed down to soil level. Few butterflies about, counted about 25 lge white, same number tatty Meadow browns, 10 gatekeeper, 2 Red Admiral & 1 tatty Coma. Did see 2 stoats & 2 green woodpeckers. Having an hour to spare thought I would pop down to the hides at Holme village part of NWT reserve. 10 spec woods, 15 common blue, several gatekeepers. But highlight was the Bittern who flew so close & landed about 20 yds from hide my cam could not cope with a flight shot!. Sorry to upload another non bf photo but Bitterns are stil scarse to see & some may never have seen one. Eric.
dl 11 08 11 Sony H5 003 Bittern fluffed up.jpg
Bittern fluffed up ready to fly
dl 11 08 11 Sony H5 006 Bittern.jpg
Bittern

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David M
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Re: August 2011

Postby David M » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:54 pm

Michaeljf wrote: Good point about Kenfig though, as I believe 2nd brood Small Blues are down there as well at the moment.

Michael


They sure are - they're pretty common in the grassier areas of the site.

Don't rule out Painted Ladies or even Clouded Yellows either. I was looking at some stats for Kenfig recently and there seem to be two or three Clouded Yellows recorded every year (that'll give me something to do on sunny September days).

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Re: August 2011

Postby NickB » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:30 pm

Had a few dull and damp days over here, so just went local.
CB_4_low_MRC_13th_Aug_2011.jpg
Can't quite compete with Guy for a backdrop....

A few CB, MB, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Small whites and the odd Large around...
N
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Ian Pratt
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Re: August 2011

Postby Ian Pratt » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:55 pm

Second brood Adonis blues are now on the wing at Bonchurch Down near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. :)

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Re: August 2011

Postby Hugh Middleton » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:03 pm

At last a Brown Hairstreak in the Limewoods this afternoon - my first of the year. Two others were reported ( thats a swarm up here :D ) so good luck if you go tomorrow eric.
Thats the set of all the Lincolnshire species seen this year though as celery will confirm it aint a big list :roll:

Hugh


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