Wurzel

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Wurzel
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:57 pm

Cheers Goldie :D Did you find them? :wink:

September 2017
Fingers crossed for something over this way... :D

9 Sep.jpg


Have a goodun

Wurzel
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Last edited by Wurzel on Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gary.N
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Gary.N » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:05 pm

Great shots of the Graylings. I keep meaning to go to my local spot. A mile from my transect, but I have not made it there in 3 Years. I'll have to go next year.

Gary

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:24 pm

Cheers Gary :D Graylings are good value for money butterflies; interesting behaviour, nice range of variation, different habitat and the intrigue as to whether you can capture an topside view :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:33 pm

Hi! Wurzel, I was lucky this year I found some Graylings on Heather at Arnside Knott, my first and last of the year. Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:11 pm

It's great seeing your Grayling shots, unfortunately I missed them this year, the first time for years that I've not seen them. You've just made up for that. :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:58 pm

Nice Graylings, Wurzel - yours seem more colourful than those on the sandy Surrey heaths. A butterfly full of character, this one. :) I do like your annual "Spot the Grayling" competition: I always forget and put the butterfly in the middle when I try to set these up - bit of a giveaway, that. :wink:

Dave

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Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Ahhh the old 'spot the Grayling' segment. I forgot to take some this year :roll: (bit sneaky putting one in 'soft focus' :wink: )
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:05 pm

Cheers Goldie :D Arnside sounds better and better :D :mrgreen:
Cheers Rex :D There's always next year to catch-up with them, not so with the QoS :mrgreen:
Cheers Dave :D The Graylings at Godshill do show a nice range of variation :D
Cheers Bugboy :D That's not sneaky it's 'offering challenge' :wink: :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:39 pm

Broughton Down 24-07-2017

With my success at ‘mopping up’ species the day previously I managed to wangle a few more hours out over at Broughton Down. It was still early for Silver-spots here as we’re normally a week or two behind areas further East from this site but then most things seem to have been early this year and with my holiday calendar getting rapidly filled by Mrs Wurzel it had to be now or never. So I was soon making my way up the steep hill and then down through the tree tunnel to the gate. One of the best things about this site is the way that you enter. From the shade under the canopy of large Beeches where you can only see a metre or so in front of you then you step out into the sun with the world dropping away beneath your feet. After a few minutes on site I’d seen numerous Meadow Browns, a few faded DGFs and a small female Common Blue. So small I had to check cell spot and look for the ‘arch’ on the underwing to confirm. Then something buzzed by me, my first Silver-spot of the year.
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After this early success I made my way around the site. I started by walking back along the path and then started down the Down. A Painted Lady played hard to get for a while and while I was following Her I’d ended up at the bottom of the Down. I’d not been here before and so it made a change to visit Broughton and actually walk on level ground! All along the bottom the foliage was fresh and filled with a lovely selection of Blues and Brown Argus. There were also a nice selection of Vanessids with a single Red Admiral and two a piece of Comma and Peacock. All the butterflies were taking advantage of the slight brightening of the sun and so they were very difficult to approach.
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My mooching took me right the way along the bottom of the site and back up the other side putting up many Meadow Browns and the occasional ripped or tired looking DGF. A couple more Silver-spots were about but slight temperature rise brought about by the sun peaking out from behind the clouds meant that they too were very flighty. I’d forgotten how difficult they are to follow in flight as they zip in one direction, pull a 120 and zip off in another before veering right round and behind you. Then they’re gone, often landing quite close to where you initially saw them but in the all the confusion you are totally oblivious to the fact that they’re right there in front of you. This happened numerous times on a short turfed area at the top of the down. I reckon there were at least 3 different males here as but that can only be an estimate. I decided to try my luck back off the path and so I was back where I’d started having completed a circular walk. I carried on as this little area with its path, small tracks and criss-crossing rabbit runs as well as plenty of nectar sources seems to be a haven for the Silver-spots but they little blighters were even harder to follow here as now they could weave in and out of the foliage. So again I carried on this time working about half way down the Down where the turf became more closely cropped and straight away I saw and managed to follow a Silver-spot. It landed and so elbow crawled across the turf so I could get close enough for a few photos and then a bit of video on my iPod. It was joined by a second which was more intent on nectering than basking but when the former caught sight of the latter there was a short scuffle and both slowly vanished from few in an ever decreasing golden blur.
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I made my way up hill a little more and re-joined the main path heading towards the Mound and beyond. Along the way there were more of the usual suspects joined by a few Hedge Browns and a single Holly Blue. Down a steep sided ditch path up again and the field opened up. It was like I was at Martin Down. Even more so when a couple of male Chalkhills flew into view.
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Time was running away from me and the sun was spending more and more time behind the clouds so I slowly started to wend my way homewards stopping on the way for another cracking little Silver-spot. After this I bumped into a couple who were looking for Silver-spots and so I said I’d follow the usual protocol of giving a holler should I see one. A few minutes later I was hollering as I almost stumbled onto one sitting backing on the edge of one of runs. He very nicely remained in position so both I and they were able to get some nice close up shots.
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I made my way down the hill and homewards ruminating to myself about what I’d seen. Not one female but several males and this early in the season that boded well so I started humming an Ian Dury song…“Reasons to be cheerful”…

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:20 pm

Hi! Wurzel, I love to read your Posts it's just like being there :D Great shot's of the SSS, I just missed them in Kent , but last year I was lucky and got some good shots so no worries :D Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Maximus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:07 pm

When I saw the Silver-spotted Skipper I thought you were up to August, Wurzel :shock: :oops: :wink: but I guess they're early at Broughton this year :o Great third shot of the SSS :D

Mike

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:02 pm

Cheers Goldie :D I was chuffed with the Silver-spots as I wasn't sure that they'd actually have merged that early :D
Cheers Mike :D Everything was early this year, and I don't know if that was a good or a bad thing :? ?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:55 pm

Very nice Silver-spots, Wurzel. Not only were they early this year, they seem to have had quite a long season. Lovely to see them fresh from back in July, though. :)

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:09 pm

Cheers Dave :D The Silver-spots do seem to have hung about, I reckon it's because the weather has been so up and down this summer, we've only had a couple of great days in a row before going back to cool and cloudy for a day or two, particularly round this way. It's been a double edged sword as getting the timing of a trip right has been awkward but at least there's been something to see if it works out :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:27 am

Oxford 25-07-2017

Having bagged some more Chalkhills and Grayling and Silver-spots for the season next on the list was a Brostreak. The weather looked great and today looked like being the only decent day of the week but instead of heading to Shipton to reach my target I was driving into the cloud and mist heading Northwards towards Oxford to visit friends. The butterfly prospects didn’t seem that great but I had a mooch around the garden in between cups of tea etc. The flower beds in the back held a couple of Hedge Browns, I’d watch as various Whites would enter over the ancient forge’s roof and work their way along the border before disappearing up and over the other end of the house and a Red Admiral stopped in very briefly, very high up on the tall wispy Buddleia. There were also a couple of Meadow Browns round the garden one of which landed and took nectar posing like a tired and worn Hedge Brown. In the front garden the Whites stopped fractionally longer but still not long enough for a decent shot. There was also a Hedge Brown here close to the dried up pond.
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After lunch we took a walk there and back which provided me with the opportunity to see a greater range of species. There was quite a mixed bag with and despite the fact that the sun had come out and it was now nice and warm there was a strange almost autumnal feel to arts of the walk due to the butterflies seen, yet at other times it felt obvious that it was mid-summer. First we found a Red Admiral and a Comma, so far a bit autumnal. Then further along a tired looking Ringlet and Large Skipper dragged us back to mid-summer. On the return leg another worn Comma and a Peacock lent itself to the autumnal feel; strange as we were still in July and in previous years I’ve encountered Purple Emperors around now and fresh SWFs. Mind you it has been funny old year…
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

PS When I got back I happened to see that it had indeed been a fantastic day at Shipton :roll: – oh well some you win, some you lose…

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:20 am

Hi! Wurzel, seems like the SSS emerged whilst I was in Kent at Temple Ewell but I never saw them when I visited there and by the last weekend there I was ready for home and didn't feel like climbing any more slopes. :lol: Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:02 pm

Cheers Goldie :) Maybe next year then, they certainly seem to be hanging around over the summer period :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:06 am

Welsh Trip 30-07-2107

It seemed that the precedent had been set for his holiday; it was going to be one ‘of those’. Last year was stunning with plenty of trips out here and there wrapping things up nicely at Shipton before jetting off to Lisbon then popping out to Martin Down for a Clouded Yellow upon my return. This year it seems that whenever the weather was good I’d either be somewhere else where the weather isn’t great or travelling. And so as we set off towards Aberaeron it was no surprise that the forecast was great at Shipton, in fact ii was going to be great the whole way only it would get worse over the course of the week once in Wales and where I’d come from was going to stay pretty good.

On the journey up there were plenty of Whites on the verges which once past Swansea were awash with colour but try as I might even squinting as hard as I could I couldn’t magic any of the Brimstones into a Cloudy. When we arrived a Red Admiral flew across the garden to greet us and then we had to set to unpacking.

31-07 Monday

When we awoke on Monday the weather had started to roll in but it seemed to not be able to make up its mind and so there were glorious periods of sun intermingled with noticeably cooler greyer weather. After the girls had been swimming at the local pool, lunch had been obliterated and cleared away I nipped out for a short while to investigate the Lane and Rhu Goch. First round the corner and across the road to work my way along the flat top stretch of Rhu Goch. The tall Buddleia bush on a neighbours drive was packed with Red Admirals and I counted 5 and Green-veined White thought there could have been more on the garden side hidden from view. The clouded rolled in and it all went grey and the butterflies disappeared. I carried along checking the hedge hopefully and munching on Blackberries until the road started to drop and then I turned to make my way back. Then the sun came out and with it the butterflies. At first I noticed the buzzing of the bees and then as the temperature crept back up, the breeze slowed and the sun shone more strongly the butterflies started to join them. Whites at first and then what I’d been hoping for a lovely fresh Hedge Brown. She was resplendent with extra spots on her forewing, even with a tiny spot above each of the ‘eyes’ and a band of colour – mid way between the orange and brown colours of her livery – which ran along the length of the body to the tip of the hind wing.
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After a brief sojourn (minus kids) with my wife into town I was back out in another of the brighter spells. This time I headed up the Lane only as far as the first farm entrance. A different neighbours Buddleia had another couple of Red Admirals and Large White that just refused to settle. The steep banks of the Hedge housed several Hedge Browns but only a few were well behaved enough to stop for a photo or two. I wasn’t that worried as I was able to give each a quick check and nothing stood out apart from a ‘normal’ female with a sizeable chunk missing from her hind wings- possible bird strike?
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01-08 Tuesday

I had high hopes for today as we were off to Aberystwyth to walk Constitution Hill. This would mean the walk along the riverside path into town and then up the gorse and heather laden hillside with hopefully a Wall or maybe even a Grayling gracing the slate paths. However it wasn’t to be as it was cool enough for a fleece and the likelihood of rain was high enough for a raincoat as well. There were a couple of Specklies and a single Holly Blue on the walk in but nothing stopped. Then by the time we were in the foothills of Constitution Hill the cloud had covered the sun and the only Lepidoptera I saw was a Burnett Moth at the top. As we were coming down the heavens opened and there was a deluge for half an hour so we took refuge in the Vernacular railway station. Not great.
Once back and with the raincoats drying the sun poked his head out for a bit so I headed back to Rhu Goch. The Red Admirals were on the tall Buddleia, only four this time and all up high though ‘number 98’ did stray a little bit lower. There was also a Small White which had been something of a rarity this year, true they’ve been about but they’ve certainly been difficult to photograph.
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Further along the hedge is prime Hedgie habitat and set about looking for interesting variations. I relocated the female excessa from the day before but also found a slightly battered male which was very busy holding a territory from another male that wasn’t allowed to land. Further along was a Green-veined White and one of the Red Admirals had decided to leave the Buddleia for a bit.
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On the return journey I fund a cracking looking male which looked a little odd. It was only when I focused in that I realised that the ‘eye’ only had one and not two pupils. I don’t know what it is about this little area but it is really good for throwing up variants. The other Buddleia only two Red Admirals on it today but at least they were low down. It’s been a good year for this species.
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Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:07 am

Hi! Wurzel, I agree with you, it's been a great year for Gate Keeper's and there seems to have been a lot more excessa's than I've seen before, in-fact the the very first Gate Keeper I saw this year was an the ab excessa. Goldie :D

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Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Cheers Goldie :D My first at Larkhill was also an excessa but tey always look better on the ladies, more contrast between the spots and the orange background I suppose :) I better crack on and get the second half of the holiday written up, so much to do, so little time :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel


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