August 2011

Discussion forum for sightings.
EricY
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: August 2011 - Chambers farm wood sunday 14th

Postby EricY » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:32 pm

We arrived in sunny conditions just after 9am. Walked the path beyond the 5bar gate first, not a lot to see 2 Red Admirals, gatekeepers, 1 small skipper & I did see a banded Demoiselle. going to 5ways area where we had seen BH last year I set up my portable chair & waited as I had no intention of walking all over the wood. I did a few short walks but friend went much further & came back with a young Tawny owl photo. Clouded up about noon, in meantime i had been visited by 2 Red A's, 4 Peacocks & a female common blue, lots od Dragonflies about when the sun shone. No BH's showed up, around 1pm a group of 4 people came up the RH ride & said they had been watching 2/3 Bh's way down the ride beyond the fork in ride for 1.5hrs. Hurroed on down there & found 1 tatty one with chunk out of wing that we were told was a male, nectering on hogweed & thistle. Briefly it did open wings, so would one of you experts please confirm it is a male & not a female aberation with small orange patches?
dl 14 08 11 Sony H50 022 BH upperside on hogweed.jpg
Tatty Brown Hairstreak upperside, please confirm it is a male
dl 14 08 11 Sony H50 024 BH underside on thistle.jpg
underside same tatty Brown Hairstreak

My other questions are - How does the BH underside of male differ from female? the photos on the web do not show any obvious diffs to me.
Secondly, if it is a male why would it spend around 2 hours nectering on hogweed & thistle. I suppose the obvious answer given it's tatty condition is that it had a very arduous love life! Eric

User avatar
Lee Hurrell
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 2183
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 7:33 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: August 2011

Postby Lee Hurrell » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi Eric,

Yes, that's a male BH.

For slight differences, see: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... es=betulae

Cheers

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

vawn
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:14 pm
Location: St. Ives Cornwall
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby vawn » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:11 pm

yesterday, 14/08/11
Burthallan lane St. Ives
4 x Gate Keeper
2 x Meadow Brown
2 x Speckled Wood
2 x Red Admiral
and a small Fritillary though I couldn't see which one it was, not too good at the different ids' lol
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=5][FONT=Comic Sans MS][url="http://www.mybannermaker.com/link.php?nurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mybannermaker.com"]Image[/url][/FONT]

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5770
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:45 pm

Alners Gorse for a few hours over lunch. Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown numerous. 3 Smessex skipper, 4 Common blue, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Ringlet, a couple of Whites, 1 Purple Hairstreak, at least 3 males and 3 females Brown Hairstreak and a Clouded Yellow.
More details and photos in personal diary

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: August 2011

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:32 pm

Hi everyone,
Just back from 8 days away in Cornwall,then Dorset. In 8 days,only one had any sort of reasonable sunshine. :( Put another way,this represents a dreadful 10 percent of the theoretical maximum possible ! On this day,Sunday, went to Gwithian and Upton Towans,near Hayle.Several Brown Argus were seen here,up to 4 together,which is good as they are a scarce species in Cornwall. Also plenty of second brood Small Pearl-bordered Frits,plus a few Dark Greens hanging on. A multitude of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns,and a few Wall and Common Blues.
But by time i arrived in Dorset, Monday afternoon,it was dull and damp,and thats how it stayed-for all 3 and a half days!Did try an optomistic visit to Ballard Down near Swanage one afternoon,and found a few Adonis Blues-they were all asleep! Normally there are hundreds there.
As they sit there day after day,unable to move,let alone mate and lay eggs,i wonder how long adults can survive? Some species live just a few days,according to books. These have likely not moved much in a week!
2 inches of rain and localised flooding there today-i give up!
I was hoping to visit Fontmell Down, Durlston Country Park and Alners Gorse! No chance.

Gibster
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:06 pm
Location: Epsom, Surrey
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Gibster » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Some second-hand news of a Silver-washed Fritillary on Michaelmas Daisy at Ashtead Common this morning. The guy was pretty surprised to see one this late in the season.

Gibster.
Raising £10,000 for Butterfly Conservation by WALKING 1200 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats!!!
See http://www.justgiving.com/epicbutterflywalk or look up Epic Butterfly Walk on Facebook.

User avatar
ChrisC
Posts: 912
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:51 pm

Re: August 2011

Postby ChrisC » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:57 pm

is it late for them? I had them last weekend at my local wood and one today at linford bottom.

Chris

User avatar
Michaeljf
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:15 pm

I saw a couple of Silver-Washed Fritillaries at Grafton Wood (Worcester) last Saturday. A bit tatty, certainly, but the butterflies didn't seemed to care about their appearance and were quite happy nectaring from the late summer flowers. :)

Michael

IMG_0965 edit p small.jpg
Tatty Silver-Washed Fritillary last week at Grafton Wood

User avatar
Neil Hulme
Posts: 2635
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: August 2011

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:00 pm

Tatty Michael? It's been through the office shredder. :shock:
Neil

User avatar
Michaeljf
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:58 pm

:lol: Mind you, it's the other side of the 'perfect specimen' shots we're always trying to get... :o

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7799
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: August 2011

Postby David M » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:29 pm

That SWF is ragged beyond belief.

How do they get in such a state?

millerd
Posts: 2955
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: August 2011

Postby millerd » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:33 pm

Brambles, thistles, teazels. Hiding in blackthorn from the rain and wind. I don't know how long they live, but one tear a day would soon cause the damage. It just amazes me how gracefully and skilfully they fly even in that condition.

Dave

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5770
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Wurzel » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:34 pm

Do they catch their wings when feeding on brambles?

Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm today. 1Comma, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Holly Blue, 4 Meadow Brown, 5 Common Blue (2 males, 2 females), 1Speckie, 2 Gatekeeper (females), 1 Brimstone and numerous whites (porbably all 3 sepceis represented). More details and photos to follow on personal diary.
Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7799
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: August 2011

Postby David M » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:39 pm

Wurzel wrote:Do they catch their wings when feeding on brambles?


They do, just like White Admirals, but bramble flowers died a death a few weeks ago apart from those blooms that are in north facing, shaded areas, so they must be doing something else to get themselves in such a dishevelled state.

User avatar
Wildmoreway
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:29 pm
Location: Torquay, Devon

Re: August 2011

Postby Wildmoreway » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:33 am

Ansteys Cove, Torquay Friday 19th August
Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, at least three large butterflies that looked liked Silver-washed Fritillaries patrolling, two small brown butterflies seen fluttering around brambles not close enough to get an id possible Brown Hairstreak (Ansteys Cove is given as a location).

Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: August 2011

Postby Hoggers » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:50 pm

I made my first ever trip to Arnside Knott on Wednesday 17th to see my first ever Scotch Argus! It's a long drive from here in Kent but well worth it as I saw lots of the Mc Argus ( over 50 at least ) and they are gorgeous creatures. I didn't see much else, a few Grayling,Common Blue,Peacock, Red Admiral.
Tomorrow I'm off to Steyning for the organised Brown Hairstreak Hunt with Sussex Kipper and I'll go looking for Silver Spotted Skippers while I'm in Sussex too,so fingers crossed!

Philzoid
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:18 pm
Location: Woking

Re: August 2011

Postby Philzoid » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:26 am

Having visited Noar Hill twice and dipped twice on Brown Hairstreak :( I decided to take up Gibster's recommendation of Bookham Commons in Surrey, a site much closer to home. Over the next few days I inspected the Commons on three occasions with varying results and still managed to squeeze in a trip to Denbies whilst at the same time entertaining my parents over from Sunderland :) . The first trip on the 13th was primarily to inspect a moth trap release at 13:00. Although all the larger moths were all considered common species, As a relative newcomer to these events I felt like a kid in a candy shop :D . I might post a thread in the winter months with some of the moth pictures I have taken over this summer, to (hopefully) show anyone who has any doubts about how impressive looking some of the moths are.
After the moth count and release a short inspection of the blackthorn area was carried out but did not reveal any hairstreaks.
The following day 14th my parents arrived and the only thing my dad was up was a nap after his 300 mile drive. I persuaded my mum that she'd like to see the view over the North Surrey Downs :wink: and took her and the rest of the family over to Denbies, where I was able to have an hours fun searching out Silver-spotted Skipper whilst they soaked up the sun and fresh air :D .
A 2011.08.14 DSCN6077 Silver-spotted Skipper male,.jpg
male SsS, Denbies 14th
B 2011.08.14 DSCN6049 Silver-spotted Skipper female,.jpg
Female SsS, Denbies 14th

On the 17th my parents left for home and desperate to get back out in the field I drove back over to Bookham Commons with my daughters in tow. Unfortunatelythe weather was overcast and the only thing noticable about the butterflies was their absence. After a couple of hours the sun came out and so did the butterflies. Starved of any photo'ing opportunities up until then, I happily snapped away at meadow brown; gatekeepers and whites, hover flies etc. until .... the camera baterry ran out :evil: :cry: .
D 2011.08.17 DSCN6145 Meadow Brown and SWF,.jpg
Meadow Brown and late Silver-washed Fritillary female
E 2011.08.17 DSCN6155 Bush Cricket,.jpg
Bush Cricket
G 2011.08.17 DSCN6158 IMG_0971 Peacock, Bookham Common 01a.JPG
Peacock
F 2011.08.15 DSCN6152 Hover Fly,.jpg
Hover Fly. Anyone I coud PM for HF ID's please?

On the way back to the car I encountered a Brown Hairstreak female :o (orange upperwing flashes were clearly visible in flight) who 'lolloped along' at about a metre height and landed into a small blackthorn bush. There she proceeded to go walkabouts, occasionally stopping as if to check the status of the bush (I've observed similar behaviour from a Purple Hairstreak in an oak tree). I coud see her curling her abdomen where she was depositing eggs in the forks of the twigs. Fortunately I had my video camera and was able to get a minute's footage before she decided to move on :D .
H 2011.08.17 DSCN6189 Brown Hairstreak female,.jpg
female Brown Hairstreak on blackthorn TV image
I 2011.08.17 DSCN6163 Brown Hairstreak female,.jpg
J 2011.08.17 DSCN6180 Brown Hairstreak female, ovipositing,.jpg
ovipositing
K 2011.08.17 DSCN6179 Brown Hairstreak female ovipositing, egg just visible.jpg
ovipositing

Apologies for the poor quality of some of the pictures :| .

Work on Thurs and Fri curtailled any further ventures until the 20th where I was back to my usual haunt camera fully ready. Unfortunately the good weather didn't last and no more hairstreaks were sighted, just a 'false hairstreak' :lol: of which there were plenty.
L 2011.08.20 DSCN6233 Speckled Wood,.jpg
Speckled Wood
M 2011.08.20 DSCN6252 Green-veined White,.jpg
Green-veined White
N 2011.08.20 DSCN6253 Gatekeeper, (false brown hairstreak).jpg
Gatekeeper or False Hairstreak

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5770
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:08 am

False Hairstreak - brill! That's what I'll call them from now on :lol:
Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
Michaeljf
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:55 am

David M wrote:
Wurzel wrote:Do they catch their wings when feeding on brambles?

They do, just like White Admirals, but bramble flowers died a death a few weeks ago apart from those blooms that are in north facing, shaded areas, so they must be doing something else to get themselves in such a dishevelled state.

Hi David / Wurzel,
I spent the day with Neil (Sussex Kipper) yesterday and he commented that their wings would get like that due to bursts of very heavy rainfall.
Hoggers - I'm sure you'll enjoy your tour whith Neil, and hopefully the weather will be good for the Hairstreaks :) .
Michael

User avatar
Michaeljf
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: August 2011

Postby Michaeljf » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:13 am

Saturday 20th August 2011- Steyning Rifle Range and South Downs

The forecast for Wales and the South West didn’t look good (with a few deluges in the morning expected), so we had arranged for a long trip to Steyning (West Sussex) and hoped to meet up with Neil (Sussex Kipper) who could hopefully show us where to look for the Brown Hairstreak colony that had thrived since the introduction of the Steyning Downland Scheme and much work done by volunteers led by Neil on the land that was previously the Steyning Rifle Range. After a 3 hour plus journey from Wales we arrived in the pretty village of Steyning just after 10 am – the weather driving across had looked much more positive than the forecast. Neil had done his best to discourage us from coming down (!) due to the fact that the forecast didn’t look brilliant for the Brown Hairstreaks and he was worried about us having a wasted journey, but I wanted to get out and about and it was certainly a better prospect than Wales! :D

Steyning was covered in light cloud with dull sunlight for the first hour when we made a quick walk round the edges of the reserve. The Rifle Range has become a lovely little reserve – there were plenty of dog-walkers making their way through to the woodlands, and already 3 butterfly enthusiasts at the lowest edge of the reserve (northern edge on the map) looking in rather vain hope at the Blackthorn bushes. On the highest edges of the reserve there were plenty of flowers (Scabious, Marjoram, Teasel, Bindweed) and here there were plenty of Small Heaths, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues and even the odd lone Marbled White. Neil joined us just after 11:30 – and had predicted that the Brown Hairstreaks would show at 11:45. However, although the reserve was quite warm (20c) the sunlight wasn’t very strong and the conditions were ‘borderline’. The strong sunlight broke through briefly for about half an hour just before mid-day and Neil spotted a single Brown Hairstreak flying low around the Blackthorn. I got a couple of photos and the individual sped into the middle of the main field: Neil followed it briefly but the butterfly gave him the slip :shock: . The weather returned to it’s earlier dull light and we left the reserve about 1pm when we’d seen the distance skies :( .

Neil then very kindly gave us a guided tour over some of the nearby South Downs were a lot more conservation work had been done. By the time 2pm came round the sun came out fully and within a short time the downs were covered in bright sunlight and completely blue, cloudless skies as we watched an array of Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blues, Silver-Spotted Skippers, Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells, Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Small Skippers and Gatekeepers took flight. Of course, now the weather was too warm for the butterflies to stop for easy photographic opportunities. Neil must have the ‘Guy Padfield mountain goat’ gene and is quite happy going up and down the steep slopes in his pursuit of the butterflies, I admit I felt a bit out of breath at times! The landscape on the South Downs especially in good light is absolutely breathtaking (though doesn't make good photos in broad sunlight). :D

About 4pm we said our goodbyes to Neil while Karen and me returned to the Steyning Reserve just to see if we could see any more Brown Hairstreaks. Neil had suggested they wouldn’t show after 3pm, and he was proved correct again! :wink: We started our return journey home at 6pm - though Steyning was still bathed in warm evening light. Although we hadn’t seen more than one BH we had a great day in Sussex - thanks again to Neil who is - of course - great company, and we couldn’t have hoped for a more generous or knowledgeable host (and he’s leading a guided tour of the reserve on Sunday). Our only thought on leaving was that we must return in spring! :mrgreen:

Michael

Image
The welcoming sign at the entrance to the Steyning Butterfly Reserve on the old Rifle Range.

Image
Although it was warm in Steyning, the early morning light was dominated by light cloud.

Image
Up the higher side of the Steyning reserve, Small Heaths were abundant even in the dull light.

Image
There were plenty of wild flowers at the Steyning reserve including many Teasel flowers (right).

Image
Almost as soon as Neil arrived he spotted the first Brown Hairstreak, soon after the sun came out fully...

Image
I managed to get a few photos before the only Brown Hairstreak of the morning flew off!

Image
On the South Downs, Small Tortoiseshells were some of the first butterflies to greet us.

Image
Brown Argus and other common butterflies were plentiful.

Image
Neil shows remarkable desterity and determination getting a good photograph...

Image
Chalkhill Blues were abundant, some still in good condition, though not wanting to stay still.

Image
There were many different species of flowers in bloom on the Downs.

Image
In the heat the Silver-Spotted Skippers didn't stop for long.

Image
Walking back over the South Downs, there was nothing but blue sky in contrast to earlier.

Image
Returning briefly to Steyning, the sun was still fully out but the Brown Hairstreaks have gone to bed.

Image
A last look near the entrance to the reserve at Steyning. I hope we'll be back in this area next year.


Return to “Sightings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest