Lee Hurrell

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Lee Hurrell
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Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:49 pm

Saturday 6th March 2010

The warm sunshine (around 10 degrees) prompted a good walk around West Middlesex Golf Course but nothing on the wing. I also had a look at head height branches on a small oak where last year I had seen around 30 Purple Hairstreaks but couldn't see any eggs.

Sunday 7th March 2010

Another warmish day and I had a good look around Horsenden Hill. Still nothing on the wing. I found another oak with branches at head height but again didn't find any eggs. We also didn't find any snow drops or nectar sources of any sort. There was a little fresh growth at ground level (looked a bit like flat leaf parsley) but in the areas where I was seeing Commas and Peacocks at this time last year the ground still looks like winter. I think the cold spell may have put spring back a bit!

Lets see what next weekend brings!

Cheers

Lee
Last edited by Lee Hurrell on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:24 am

Sunday 7th March 2010

It was on the drive back from Horsenden Hill that we decided that a holiday was in order. As we both love France some research at home led us to the Loire Valley near Varennes sur Loire between Angers and Tours. We arrive on 7th June and come back on the 18th. Can't wait! I've been through Tolman and Lewington and am very excited about the butterflies that might be about.

The reason for the holiday urge was because I had some good news on Friday - after being told I was to be made redundant back in December, I had secured a job I had applied for where I work. :D

Cheers

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

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:00 pm

After finding a Double Striped Pug moth in the hallway above my front door last weekend, I've found another two today. One on the outside of my front door and one on the inside of the bathroom window. Weird.

I've liberated the one inside.

Cheers

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

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:34 pm

A warm and mainly sunny day, around 12 degrees. A 2 hour walk around Brent River Park between Greenford and Hanwell was warm and I didn't need a coat.

No butterflies but I did see:
Green Woodpecker x 2
Blue Tits
Robin x 3
Wren
Blackbirds
Magpies
Crows
Pigeons
Starlings
Long Tailed Tit x 4, at least one of which was ringed:
IMG_2757.jpg


Plenty of bumblebees, this was one of 5 on my neighbours heather as I got home:
IMG_2764.jpg


There were a few more signs of spring this week:
IMG_2744.jpg

IMG_2745.jpg

IMG_2749.jpg


The weather forecast looks good for this week with 14 degrees likely. :D
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:09 pm

Monday 15th March

I'm on holiday this week (hooray!) and the spring sunshine is out. A brief walk around Greenford Park Cemetery and a longer walk around West Middlesex Golf Club in warm sunshine but no butterflies (boo!). There was quite a chilly breeze though.

I did see a Kestrel (thanks Trev & Denise), a pair of Green Woodpeckers and some Long Tailed Tits though.

I also found what I think were 3 Purple Hairstreak eggs but they seemed much more rounded and less patterned than Guy's photos so probably not. And don't even get me started on the photo I tried to take!
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:21 pm

My first butterflies of the year today! :D

A trip to Horsenden Hill and I saw 2 Red Admirals and a Comma.

Red Admiral 1:
IMG_2783.jpg


I then saw a Comma who wasn't hanging about and as I made my way back this second Red Admiral was in the same location as the first, of which there was no sign. Going by the markings (even if the wing tear had happened while I'd been off walking) they were different individuals.

Red Admiral 2:
IMG_2806.jpg


I also saw (I think) a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk, a Nuthatch, a pair of Mistle Thrushes and a Robin singing its heart out.

IMG_2810.jpg

IMG_2792.jpg
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Zonda
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Zonda » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:42 pm

Gosh that is a lot Lee. Spring is coming, and maybe some little Hurrells wil be on the way soom. good luck in whatever you do in 2010. Your enthusiasm is inspiring.
Cheers,,, Zonda.

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby ChrisC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:49 pm

i used to bunk off school and walk along the Brent. Also used to be my journey up to Perivale wood. Is the giant hogweed still abundant down there?

Chris
(lived in Greenford for 27 years)

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks Zonda, the season is finally off to a start! No little Hurrells, well not yet anyway.

Chris, I seem to remember some from last year that way but there is certainly some in the cemetery. Scary looking plant it is too as it's essentially last years skeleton. I definitely won't be touching any either after what Guy and Dave have said it does to your skin. Are you not in Greenford any more?

Cheers

Lee
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby ChrisC » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:35 pm

Hi Lee,
No not in Greenford any longer. from there i went to Hayes and now living down in Verwood, Dorset. I do still come up that way for the annual Perivale Wood open day or try to. I recommend it if you can get over there.

Best Wishes
Chris

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:04 pm

I used to work in Hayes... but I would rather be in Dorset! I looked up the Perivale Wood open day thing, Sunday April 25th this year. I will try and go, maybe see you there Chris!
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:13 pm

No butterflying yesterday as I was off to Cambridge for a job interview.

It was another lovely day today, warm but with a little more breeze. By the time I went for a walk around 2.30pm the sun had become more hazy through a thin veil of cloud and the wind had got up a bit.

Went for a brief walk around Greenford Park Cemetery and a longer walk around West Middlesex Golf Course but didn't see anything on the wing. There are resident Canada Geese, Moorhens and Coots around the lake and I snapped a few of them until they waddled off, squawking. Probably in disgust.

I also saw a Kestrel. I saw another (or probably the same one to be honest) earlier over my garden. However, seeing as I seem to have lost the ability to differentiate between the two in flight from distance, I maintain it was the new species I've discovered - the KestroSparrowHawk.
Last edited by Lee Hurrell on Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Susie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:41 pm

I'm enjoying your reports too, Lee. It's nice to hear what's going on in that area. I did 21 years in Greenford before moving on. I knew Horsenden Hill and the surrounding fields to the Grand Union Canal well. I remember when all the huge Elm trees got dutch elm disease and were cut down, it looked very different after that. As a kid we used to dig up Victorian glass bottles from the fields canalside as it used to be a dumping ground for the barges when they came down from London. I've got many fond memories of days spent there with my parents, youngest brother Chris and our dog, covered in mud and nettle stings from exploring when I should have been behaving! :lol:

Edit:And sorry, with my first post in the diaries section I have already broken a rule and gone off topic! Apologies and I am sure that with all those stingers, as we used to call them, I chased plenty of butterflies over the Hill. :)

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:16 am

Fine with me Susie, don't worry. If we start a conversation about White Letter Hairstreaks or something I'll re-post in the appropriate place! So is Chris C your brother?

Friday 19th March

The weather today didn't really lend itself to spring sightings being grey and drizzly. Plus I was very busy getting ready for a family weekend, my Dad is over from Spain and is getting re-married tomorrow and we are going to have a house full...
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:26 am

It was really warm overnight, must have been around 11 degrees - very pleasant, no heating needed for a change!

I think this fresh rain will help the spring growth and nectar sources :D I read something yesterday that confirmed what I thought last week, spring is behind due to the cold. I think it was on the RSPB love nature forum.

I have a family day today and my sister is staying with us and she's bringing Henry, her brown labrador puppy. He'll need a good walk at some point so good excuse to get out for a good walk, probably tomorrow, which looks like a better day weather wise.

Here's Henry at Christmas in Somerset, feeling festive:

IMG_2366.jpg
Ho Ho Henry
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:05 pm

Saturday 20th March 2010

Before we all headed off for the day I took Henry for a walk around Brent River Park to Hanwell and back. It was grey and drizzly so nothing on the wing apart from a couple of parakeets.

Just after Henry spotted a rabbit and slipped his collar, (he came back, don't worry), I found this Ruby Tiger caterpillar (thanks Pete!) trundling toward certain doom on the road:

IMG_2830.jpg


I was sorely tempted to take it home, as I figured it was on the move away from the verge and must be looking to pupate. But seeing as I didn't know what species it was at the time I then thought it may have just come out of hibernation and was looking for spring breakfast. So I did carry it a little way and then thought I had better let it go. Here it is mid rescue:

IMG_2833.jpg


However, Pete has ID'd it as a Ruby Tiger, which hibernates as a fully grown caterpillar, so chances are it was looking to pupate after all. I placed it at the base of a tree with some undergrowth so hopefully all will be well.
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:25 pm

A much nicer day today weather wise.

There was a Goldcrest in the garden this morning. I love the way they seem to fly off but then hover around as if they can't decide where to land. Charming little birds.

Had a brief walk around the cemetery around 11am. The sun hadn't quite burnt though the clouds yet and it was a little chilly. No sightings, but there does appear to be some building or landscaping going in one of the two wild areas. All the top soil has been scraped away and there are portacabins there so it doesn't look good for the Common Blues and Small Coppers this year :roll:

A hearty pub lunch later and pulling into the drive I saw this Comma on (no idea what the bush is actually) from the road - it stood out so much against the light yellow leaves:

IMG_2838.jpg


We were taking Henry to Horsenden Hill for a run and my hopes were high being warm and sunny. Unfortunately our trip coincided with the only cloudy spell of the afternoon and so no sightings. Henry loved it though.

I did see a Green Woodpecker and a Goldfinch.

Back home and there was a family of Long Tailed Tits out front and a female Chaffinch in the back garden, only the second time I've seen one at home, after a male last year. We also used to get Greenfinches regularly when we moved in but only very occasionally now. I think it may stem from when a couple of years ago I found a dead one in the garden and assumed it had flown into the patio doors. I don't suppose you can blame them for staying away...

Anyway, it's been a lovely week off but back to work tomorrow (boo...)
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Susie » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:34 am

Your plant looks as if it could be Choisya ternata sundance but there isnt much in the picture to go on so dont blame me if I'm wrong! Greenfinches were affected by a virus a few years back which killed a lot so that may be the answer as to why you dont see many now.

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Vince Massimo » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:09 am

Hi Lee,

Just to say that I like your installments. They contain a good mix of subjects and photos. I can confirm Susie's identification of the garden shrub. Anyone who has one in their garden will recognise it instantly. However, there will always be some discussion as to what it is meant to smell like. The leaves are more aromatic than the flowers and some will say they smell like spicy oranges, but others may detect fried onions or cats pee :?

Cheers,

Vince
Last edited by Vince Massimo on Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lee Hurrell

Postby Susie » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:50 pm

They smell like cat pee to me but the flowers are attractive to insects and you will often find bees (and in this instance a butterfly) sunning themselves on the leaves (I assume they reflect heat?) so they are a good shrub to have in the garden as well as providing year round colour. :)


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