June 2017

Discussion forum for sightings.
Cotswold Cockney
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Re: June 2017

Postby Cotswold Cockney » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:13 pm

Two weeks ago I counted a dozen what appeared to be Brimstone Ova on my two potted Alder Buckthorns in my garden. Soon after, following heavy rain and strong winds I found both 1.5 metre high plants on their side having been blown over during that period of poor weather. These ova appeared much smaller than the last time I bred this fine insect but, looked like them. Standing up the two plants I could only find four ova instead of the dozen previously. I also found two near fully grown larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird which are turning up in good numbers in my garden in recent years. Beetle larvae combined with storm damage :(

Today I counted five young Brimstone larvae on the two plants so not all bad news. There was a bonus too when checking the plants, A 2/3rds grown larva of the Holy Blue feeding on the flower buds and fruits of the plants. These images show what I found today:~

Holly Blue larva followed by two images of Brimstone Larvae all on same Alder Buckthorn potted plants. :~
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2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 006.JPG
2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 004.JPG
2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 003.JPG
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David M
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Re: June 2017

Postby David M » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:04 pm

Surprisingly few butterflies on the wing today at St Govan's Head on the Pembrokeshire coast.

40+ Common Blues, but aside from that, just small numbers of Large Skippers, Small Heaths & Meadow Browns.

I did manage to locate a couple of male Silver Studded Blues though, which are at the very beginning of their flight period here:

1SSBuns2(1).jpg

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Michaeljf
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Re: June 2017

Postby Michaeljf » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:53 pm

Bernwood Meadows, Bernwood Forest & Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire 18th June

Hi all,

I don’t get a chance to post on here these days due to being too busy but I went to one of my favourite places today and thought I’d share the findings as I was a little surprised. My wife Karen and I visited Bernwood Meadows and then carried on to the main forest track before finishing at Whitecross Green Wood in Oxfordshire this afternoon. We only got to the meadows just before 1pm and the light cloud had come over, but just as well as it was really quite hot in the open meadows! It was nice to see so many flowers in the meadow and the Red Kites above us.

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Bernwood Meadows under the warm and cloudy skies.


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Red Kite above Bernwood Meadows field


It took us about half an hour before we saw our first Black Hairstreak, probably a female looking for spots to egg-lay on the Blackthorn about 150 yards from the small gate leading to the forest. Once spotted the female stayed for about 5 minutes until flying further up and over the Blackthorn hedge, nearer to the larger Oaks and possible the field behind. There were plenty of Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and Ringlets in the main field as well as some Common Blues and Marbled Whites.

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Black Hairstreak amongst the Blackthorn, Bernwood Meadows


We then followed the main ride through the forest and immediately saw two White Admirals that were a bit too flighty to photograph. The weather was still a bit changeable. I was very pleased to see the White Admirals as I hadn’t expected to see them this early. I did have a few exchanges with some other keen lepidopterists that were passing down the lane and into the main meadows.

Once I got to the main ride near the Bernwood Forest car-park there the sun returned fully for about half an hour: there were a few Silver-Washed Fritillaries flying through. On the main ride I thought I’d seen another White Admiral but then it turned out to be a male Purple Emperor.

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First view of a male Purple Emperor on the main ride


There were in fact two males along the main ride though photographing them in the sunshine was definitely out: the only dog-pooh the males could find were in the shade so I spent about 20 minutes happily laying on the path trying to get photographs. I think I can still smell the pooh now, several hours later.

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One of the few photos of the Purple Emperor on the path in the shade.


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A close-up of the male on the path.


This is definitely the earliest I’ve ever seen Purple Emperors in this country and I certainly didn’t expect to see them today – so it was a real bonus.

I did briefly speak to Mike Oxon who passed with his family (Mike used to frequent the UK message board) so we had a nice chat and I showed him my pictures from the day. Later in the afternoon Karen and I walked through the Bernwood Meadows again (no hairstreaks unfortunately) and when we arrived at the Whitecross Green Wood Site there was a lovely male Brimstone and plenty of rather flighty White Admirals - but no Hairstreaks were seen by me. Though I did speak to four heavily-lens-laden butterfly photographers (on their way back from the pond area) - they’d all seen several Black Hairstreaks (although the butterflies were probably a bit past their best). It was extremely hot when we left Whitecross Green Wood about 5:30 but there were some lovely Swallows to see on the telegraph lines near the house opposite the entrance to the reserve.

Best wishes to all,

Michael

adrian riley
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Re: June 2017

Postby adrian riley » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:12 am

Hi, Gang
Latest from Bugalert 19.6.17:

Camberwell Beauty, Sussex
Monarch, Lancashire
Swallowtail, Berkshire; Essex; Kent

For full details go to http://www.bugalert.net.

Cheers,
Adrian Riley

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bugboy
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Re: June 2017

Postby bugboy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:16 am

Since I got back from Scotland I've discovered I have Shingles (luckily mostly pain free) but since a few work colleagues haven't had Chicken Pox I'm officially infectious and have had to stay away. I'd go stir crazy if I locked myself away in my tiny London flat so I've used my spare time wisely whilst doing my best to stay away from crowds, the details of which will appear in my PD in due course but to give a brief overview:

Dark Green Frits, Marbled White and Ringlet are all out in force at Box Hill.
I saw more White Admiral in one day at Bookham than my combined tally of 2016, Silver-washed are also starting to fly here.
I had a most excellent day with Heath Fritillary in South Essex, the recent habitat regeneration over the winter has certainly come up trumps!
My White-letter Hairstreak site, also in south Essex is doing exceptionally well, at least 30 individuals feeding low down on Bramble. Mostly freshly emerged so probably yet to peak (if someone told me they saw 50+ today I wouldn't question it!)
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stuart read
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Re: June 2017

Postby stuart read » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:15 am

I was surprised to see a male Purple Emperor at Chessington World of Adventures yesterday, it's rather early nut I guess the hot weather has brought them out.
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NickHull
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Re: June 2017

Postby NickHull » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:56 pm

A lot of early things this year; if the heat continues could be very early for my pilgrimage to Fermyn Woods. Having moved up north to a new patch, have been sussing-out sites within striking distance of Hull, not noted for it's lepidoptera. That said, within a 45-mile radius there are plenty of sites in the Wolds and up on the N Yorks moors and also in Lincs. Went to Crowle Moor early today with PhilB and Rosalyn for Large Heath - good job we were early as by 9:30am it was roasting, the butterflies were very flighty and the light very stark. Saw some 10 LH, some quite tatty by now, but did find a nice cooperative specimen that was nicely marked....
LH_1a_19_06_2017.jpg
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peterc
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Re: June 2017

Postby peterc » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:40 pm

After last week's success with the WLHs on my local site I thought I'd try again this morning. I got there at 7:45 am and amazingly I saw around 20 individuals in ten minutes on the eastern side of the elm clump flitting in between the 'gaps' in the middle third (in height terms) and just a few (3 or 4) in the canopy. I returned to the site at 9:15 am and saw very little activity at all - just a couple taking very short flights between basking and possibly feeding and a couple more, maybe, in the canopy. What a difference in less than 2 hours.

Later, in the local woods, I found a Comma taking salts on my arm and at one point it landed on the tip of my nose :) . Should I spray on insect repellent now that the Purple Emperor season is upon us?

ATB

Peter
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Comma 4 Norton Green 19Jun17.jpg
Comma Norton Green 19Jun17

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Charles Nicol
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Re: June 2017

Postby Charles Nicol » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:24 pm

popped over to Fermyn Woods this morning. the car park machine had been stolen & the cafe was not open to buy a ticket so parked near the gliding club.
this was about 7 am !

i saw the first Emperor at just after 8 am. thereafter a steady supply of single Emperors throughout the woodland paths.
also a single Silver Washed Fritillary and numerous White Admirals. by the time i left at midday it was clouding over somewhat after hours of unbroken sunshine.

apparently the first Emperors appeared on Saturday.

i drove home via Thrapston; i usually pop into the CO-OP for something cold & refreshing after a trip to Fermyn. however the shop was closed as the cash machine had just been stolen...

here are the pics i took:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/3801418@N21/

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NickC
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Re: June 2017

Postby NickC » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:36 pm

I saw plenty of Essex skippers on Wanstead Flats, north-east London on Saturday 17/06. They were very active in an area of long grass and wild flowers. Thanks to peterc for confirming the id over in the Identification section. A couple of heavily cropped shots (one showing the black undersides to the antennae) are attached below.

Also seen were several speckled woods, around the footpaths in a more wooded area.
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skipper3.jpg

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David M
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Re: June 2017

Postby David M » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:40 pm

Michaeljf wrote:It took us about half an hour before we saw our first Black Hairstreak, probably a female looking for spots to egg-lay on the Blackthorn about 150 yards from the small gate leading to the forest...On the main ride I thought I’d seen another White Admiral but then it turned out to be a male Purple Emperor.


Your timing was impeccable, Michael.

I've often wondered whether Black Hairstreaks & Purple Emperors could potentially be seen at the same site on the same day and you have proved that they can!

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David M
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Re: June 2017

Postby David M » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:56 pm

Fritillaries galore at Old Castle Down, near Ewenny, Glamorgan, this morning.

Of 70-80 Frits seen, probably 30-35 were Dark Greens, 20-25 High Browns and 20-25 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries.

They were whizzing around like bullets and few stopped even for a few moments.

This was one of only three High Browns that settled long enough for a definitive ID:

1HBF1(1).jpg

A_T
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Re: June 2017

Postby A_T » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:59 pm

Silver-studded Blues out in full force at Prees Heath.

Image

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Jack Harrison
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Re: June 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:55 pm

20th June near Nairn, one definite Large White and possibly more. I say possibly more as unsure about distant whites I saw. (GV White first brood probably finished). I managed to chase one which provided definitive i/d. Large White is something of a rarity in many pasts of Scotland. Indeed, this was the first I had seen. I suspect that they are migrants and only temporary residents.

I have mixed feelings about finding Large White here and fear for my Nasturtiums in the garden. I could never grow them in the south (always hit by caterpillars) but have managed in Scotland for the past four years. I like Large Whites but also like Nasturtiums.

Jack

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David M
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Re: June 2017

Postby David M » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:24 pm

What have conditions been like up in Nairn these last few days, Jack?

Are you sweltering like most of the rest of us or have you suffered from that Atlantic front that predominantly affected the west of Scotland?

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Jack Harrison
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Re: June 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:58 am

The weather has been delightful up here with max temperatures at the weekend 21C. Picture taken Sunday.
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Jack

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P.J.Underwood
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Re: June 2017

Postby P.J.Underwood » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:44 am

In my area of S.W.Surrey,first P.E.'s seen on 16th,including a female on the 17th.I saw two flying on the 19th,then the 20th was the day we hit the jackpot.Two coming to ground for about two hours with many photo opportunities.These were enjoyed with Trevor and Millerd.Then I saw none the next day(today)during a similar time frame.It is amazing how it can vary.
However there were many White Admirals and Silver Washed Frits. to keep us amused.
P.J.Underwood
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The Doc
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Re: June 2017

Postby The Doc » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:59 am

A mate sent me a picture this morning confirming Purple Hairstreak at his local patch on the southern side of Northwich, Cheshire. This was is first ever record of this species there, although he has plenty of oak trees. I am passing it on as no-one has mentioned this species yet and it is just about at the start of their emergence time, another early butterfly in this year of early records.

kentishman
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Re: June 2017

Postby kentishman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:47 am

West Kent yesterday:

Dene Park. A single PE spotted in the canopy at the usual hot spot.

Lullingstone Park. 2 or 3 dozen Marbled Whites on Orchid Bank by the golf course but no DGFs seen. Notably there were vast numbers of Blue damselflies at the site, probably Common Blue but I am no expert.

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bugboy
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Re: June 2017

Postby bugboy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:54 am

4 or 5 PE on the ground (And also supping up from several sweaty and very excited butterflyers) at Bookham this morning :D

At this stage he was becoming a bit of a pest, wouldn't leave us alone :lol: 8)
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