April 2012

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MikeOxon
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Re: April 2012

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 am

Worst weather yet, here in Oxon! By small compensation,there is a small group of beautiful Black-necked Grebes on my local Farmoor Reservoir at present. In this weather, they won't be moving soon!

Grebes3.jpg
Black-necked Grebes, Farmoor Res., Oxon - 27 Apr 2012
Nikon D300s with 300f4 + 1.4X TC - 1/750s@f/8 ISO800

Mike

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David M
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Re: April 2012

Postby David M » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:00 pm

Those are lovely birds, Mike. Are they indigineous?

April has saved its worst till last here in Swansea. It bucketed down overnight and although the rain has now largely eased up, it's blowing a gale and is no more than 9c.

Please God let us have a break from this soon...we've bloody earned one!

Imagine if the royal wedding had been 29 April 2012 rather than 2011?!?

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MikeOxon
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Re: April 2012

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:15 pm

David M wrote: Are they indigineous?


Yes - a small breeding population, mainly in the North, at places like Loch of Kinnordy* in Tayside. More commonly seen in Winter around Southern coasts, when they lose their 'finery' and become plain black & white birds.

Mike

* none has bred there since 2002
Last edited by MikeOxon on Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hoggers
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Re: April 2012

Postby Hoggers » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:28 pm

After two days of rain the sun came shining through this afternoon and within minutes there were Small Whites, a Green veined White and this Holly Blue in my garden
P1010008.JPG

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David M
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Re: April 2012

Postby David M » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:01 pm

MikeOxon wrote:
David M wrote: Are they indigineous?


Yes - a small breeding population, mainly in the North, at places like Loch of Kinnordy in Tayside. More commonly seen in Winter around Southern coasts, when they lose their 'finery' and become plain black & white birds.

Mike


Thanks, Mike. I've certainly never seen that species before.

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MikeOxon
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Re: April 2012

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Alas, I should have said they used to be at Loch of Kinnordy - apparently none has bred there since 2002.

Mike

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Dave McCormick
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Re: April 2012

Postby Dave McCormick » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:52 pm

I finally found 2 orange-tips yesterday (both males) at a National Trust wetland nature reserve, but they would not sit still long enough for a shot, oh well, least I saw them, also heard my first grasshopper warbler there although I didn't see it fully.
Cheers all,
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Mark Tutton
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Re: April 2012

Postby Mark Tutton » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:57 pm

No butterflies today - unsurprisingly - but did manage to photograph this regular visitor to my garden- at last :) There are a pair of sparrowhawks that have nested nearby over the last few years but only the male seems to visit my birdfeeders - regularly! He has a cunning strategy of a high speed low level dash down the drive between the houses and about 10m across the garden to the feeders in a holly tree. This gives virtually zero warning to the assembled finches and sparrows. If he is not successful he rarely hangs around. This time it was an unfortunate Greenfinch that was lunch and allowed me to make a hasty grab for the camera. Not a particularly good photo as it was through the kitchen window and, as usual, he made a quick exit when i tried to open it - he is particularly camera shy. Mark.
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Hugh Middleton
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Re: April 2012

Postby Hugh Middleton » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:01 am

Well what a month! Here we are in drought ridden Lincolnshire with a hosepipe ban and all the rivers in flood.
Heard my first cuckoo on Saturday.
This morning while listening to seven different nightingales and despite seeing five of them never got a decent picture saw a male orange tip.Back at the car recording my sightings realised this was my first since 1st April!
Despite been out and about birding throughout the month this is my worst for butterfly sightings for many a year. Have hardly been able to get the moth trap out either.

Hugh

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Vince Massimo
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Re: April 2012

Postby Vince Massimo » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:15 pm

It was 18 degrees here on the North Downs of Surrey and the butterflies were making the most of it. At a local site comprising mixed woodland and downland along the North Downs Way there were courting Peacocks, egglaying Brimstones and mating pairs of Dingy Skipper and Orange Tip. As has previously been observed and reported by others, there was no courtship in the case of the Orange Tip. The male mated with the female within a few seconds of finding her and they remained coupled for 20 minutes in the sunshine.

IMG_7256-01GS.jpg
Orange Tip pair - Woldingham Woods, Surrey 30-April-2012

IMG_7287-01G.jpg
Brimstone egg (freshly laid on Common Buckthorn) - Woldingham Woods, Surrey 30-April-2012


The local vegetation is looking very lush as a result of all the rain, which bodes well for species to follow.

Vince

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Re: April 2012

Postby Hoggers » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:37 pm

At Denge Wood this afternoon in warm sunshine I found three Dukes
P1010040.JPG
P1010042.JPG
P1010046.JPG


Several Brimstones,Small Whites, a Larger White, many male Orange Tips and a single female Orange Tip
P1010026.JPG


A great end to my butterflying April!

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Re: April 2012

Postby ronniethepoo » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:42 pm

whilst the south is swimming, we are in wall to wall sunshine on the western isles of scotland
no pics (didnt have my camera) but shed loads of newly emerged Green Hair streaks here in warm hollows - usually downwind of willows (sallow??)

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NickB
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Re: April 2012

Postby NickB » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:19 pm

Hooray - a sunny day at last! Visited some local Grizzlie sites, one new to me.
Amidst the OT, Large and GV White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Brimstone and first Small Copper of the season, I found my Grizzlies :)
Initially just a couple, but later saw at least 5 at one site. Also found a beautiful Green Carpet....

Green_Carpet_1_low_Over_30th_April_2012.jpg

GS_1_low_FAP_30th_April_2012.jpg

GS_1_x2_low_Over_30th_April_2012.jpg

Sm_C_1_low_Over_30th_April_2012.jpg


...and as I stepped out of the car, a male Holly Blue dropped down into the car-park to welcome me home....
Back to the rain tonight.... :(
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

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Wurzel
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Re: April 2012

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:48 pm

4 male Orange-tips between Pewsey and Durrington, Large White near Cotts Cottage and Red Admiral in Wilton.
2 Peacock at Martin Down as well as 3 Grizzlies (at last)!

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: April 2012

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:22 pm

Glad to see that some have managed to get out and see butterflies today :D

Unfortunatly I had already picked the wrong side of the weekend to have a day off, I was back in today looking out at the sun and fluffy white clouds :(

Oh well, fingers crossed for next weekend.

Neil F.

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MikeOxon
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Re: April 2012

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:44 pm

It was a bright sunny day in Oxon today, so I went for a walk in meadows near the upper Thames at Longworth.

Despite all the wet and cold weather of the last few weeks, I was pleased to see many Orange Tips along the footpath, together with Green-veined Whites, Peacock and Comma. It was good to see how these seemingly fragile creatures are immediately back in business as soon as the weather permits!

I took the following photo of a Green-veined White before I noticed the 'passenger' on the wing:

GVW1.jpg
Longworth SU390999, Oxon - 30 April 2012
Nikon D300s with 300f4 + 1.4X TC - 1/750s@f/5.6 ISO400

Perhaps someone can identify this insect from the close-up:

GVW2.jpg
Longworth SU390999, Oxon - 30 April 2012
Nikon D300s with 300f4 + 1.4X TC - 1/750s@f/5.6 ISO400

Mike

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David M
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Re: April 2012

Postby David M » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:56 pm

You lucky people! Whilst the rain stopped in the early afternoon, the wind didn't and although the temperature has risen to 14c, these are not conditions that I would anticipate seeing butterflies in.

More tomorrow, apparently. It is due to p**s down until mid-afternoon. :(

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Re: April 2012

Postby Gibster » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:08 pm

After my 3-day Stag Do on Portland Bill I now know everything I ever wanted to know about rain. Vertical rain, oblique rain, horizontal rain, rain that stings like having gravel thrown in your face, ice cold rain, rain that messes up your optics, rain that keeps you awake at night...and I'm not even going to start on the wind speeds! And yet today, my first day back at work, the sun came out, the skies were blue and the warmth was delightful. As a result I managed 2 male and a female Brimstone, a Holly Blue and several Small Whites. Quite how they survived the pummelling is a bit of a puzzle (and quite possibly a minor miracle) but I was very glad to see them!

Gibster (now just 4 days left until I'm married...) :shock: :D :D
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NickB
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Re: April 2012

Postby NickB » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:09 pm

MikeOxon wrote: It was good to see how these seemingly fragile creatures are immediately back in business as soon as the weather permits!
Mike

Yes - the first dry and warm day for days, and so many butterflies by the end of the day. The Grizzlie pair I saw had wasted no time at all.....
I guess their ancestors have experienced drought and flood before and developed strategies to cope, otherwise they wouldn't be here....
Just being out all day and seeing their response has put a smile back on my face :D
N
And so has the thought of Gibster tying the knot..... :wink:
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

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David M
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Re: April 2012

Postby David M » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:14 pm

NickB wrote:And so has the thought of Gibster tying the knot..... :wink:


God, I'd forgotten about that!

I think Sami and Seth would be better going to John O'Groats and walking south the way the forecast pans out till mid-May.


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