M_galathea

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m_galathea
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M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:28 pm

27th April 2010:

Had an excellent walk today through the woods and downs around Arundel. 12 species were noted for the new Sussex Butterfly Atlas including three separate colonies of Grizzled Skipper and one each of Dingy Skipper and Duke of Burgundy. Once I have got to grips with my new camera I hope to get the photos back up to my old standard!

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This female Holly Blue had not yet finished drying her wings after emerging - note the wet look to the outer half of the wings.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Mon May 17, 2010 9:44 pm

17th May 2010:

This will be my last day of Sussex butterfly watching for a while, but oh what a day! Walking over the Downs taking in some little visited sections, 13 species were seen. This included freshly emerged Small and Adonis Blues, a Duke and Dingy Skippers everywhere on the warm side of the downland valleys. Flora included Fly Honeysuckle and an uncommon form of the Early Purple Orchid.

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Male Common Blue

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Male Common Blue

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Male Small Blue

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Male Duke of Burgundy

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Male Duke of Burgundy

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Fly Honeysuckle, rarely seen as a native plant.

Early Purple special inflo sm.JPG

Pale form of Early Purple Orchid - note the purple spots.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:34 am

21st May 2010:

A trip to the Wyre Forest. This is a large area of woodland with a number of woodland types within in. The more open and rough parts were the most butterfly rich with species such as Dingy Skipper, and Green Hairstreak seen in low numbers. In a northern part of the woods I found a few nectaring Wood Whites on Vetch rich banks and Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were scattered throughout but were concentrated in Longdon Orchard. In this area the concentration was about on a par with what I've seen in Devon which is pretty good for the Midlands!
One of the most remarkable aspects of the wood was the number of calling Cuckoos. At one point I could hear three at once.

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Wood White 210510.jpg


Wood White

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Mother Shipton

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:41 am

12th June 2010:
I decided to visit Cannock Chase for the first time today. There were good numbers of Green Hairstreaks seen, although all were losing their scales. They were mainly seen around Bilberry which is quite possibly their foodplant here although many other plants were in evidence that might be utilsed including: Cowberry, Bilberry x Cowberry, Broom, Gorse, Bramble and Heather.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:47 am

25th June 2010:

After work I took an hour to enjoy a walk on the Malvern Hills. There were not many butterflies in evidence, although this Ringlet posed nicely for a photograph on the side of North Hill.

Ringlet 250610.jpg

Ringlet

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:33 am

26th June 2010:

A failed attempt to locate Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on Cannock Chase recently led to trying again. It's now post-optimum viewing time for these and only one out of the handful that I saw had good colour left in it. They were flightly, as one would expect in good weather and photography opportunities lasted just a few seconds. An SLR is definately an advantage in these conditions but I managed a few half decent shots.
In a sandy area of heath I found a Meadow Brown with deformed wings which could not fly. I watched it for around 20 minutes but could not see any noticeable improvment in this time. Whether or not it would have completed the wing development process I do not know.

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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries nectaring on Cross-leaved Heath.

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Developing Meadow Brown.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:49 am

3rd July 2010:

A trip back down to the South and I decided to visit Botany Bay in Chiddingfold Forest. It's a well known spot, but one which I hadn't been to before. My aim was to see male iris on the ground, which I succeeded in doing, previously I had only seen them up high or on sap runs. There was a really good show of butterflies including good numbers of White Admirals and a few 1st brood Wood Whites.

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Purple Emperor (male)

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Silver-washed Fritillary (male)

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:48 am

4th July 2010:

I was pleased to get a number of records down on paper for the Sussex butterfly atlas today
in Binsted Wood and the start of the downs north of Arundel. The woods held loads
of White Admirals and photographing these is something I've never done particularly well.
I was pleased with the photos I got, but my dream WA photo (ie brand spanking new, on honeysuckle)
remains one for the future!

White Ad 040710.jpg

White Admiral in Binsted Wood.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:06 am

11th July 2010:

A very hot day and I found myself at Broadway, Worcestershire. With no particular plan I
had a look at the hill behind the village which turned out to be rather rich downland.
Notable finds were Bee Orchid var. trolli, Prickly Restharrow and Pyramidal Orchids with a
large variety of lip forms.

Six Spot Burnet and pyra 110710.jpg

Six-spot Burnet and Pyramidal Orchid

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:12 am

23rd July 2010:

White-letter Hairstreaks only seem to turn up when I am least expecting them and this one
was no exception. Found after work nectaring on Malvern Common, Worcestershire. I have seen
scattered Elm in the area, but none on the common itself. It may well be there though.

WLH1 230710.jpg

White-letter Hairstreak

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:30 am

28th August 2010:

In search of Brown Hairstreaks I had a look around Grafton Wood in Worcestershire. The Orchard appeared Hairstreak free due to the direction of the wind but the sheltered side of the woods allowed brilliant views of the females. At one point I had three together on a bramble bush and observed a few eggs being laid for the first time. All of the eggs were laid between about 1' and 1.5' from the ground after the adult had 'done the hairstreak walk' and tested potential sites. I also found two females which were crawling around deep in the brown grasses almost out of sight. I'm not sure what they were up to. A good accompanying cast was present too, with Common Blues, Brown Argus and a lone and battered Silver-washed Fritillary still on the wing.

Brown Hairstreak more underside280810.jpg

Brown Hairstreak female

Brown Hairstreak upperside 280810.jpg

Brown Hairstreak female basking

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Sun May 01, 2011 10:10 am

30th April 2011:

Back in my home county of Sussex for a rather decent butterfly watching session today. A short stop at Kithurst hill revealed an unexpected 12 species, including a Duke, Dingy Skippers (nectaring on Bugle) and some lovely fresh
Green Hairstreaks. Adela reaumurella was in abundance too.

Next was Houghton Forest where 10 species were noted. A single Pearl-bordered Fritillary was present and also a handful of Grizzled Skippers (nectaring on Germander Speedwell) and Small Coppers in a felled area.
The ground flora was characteristic of felled woodland and included Sanicle, Sweet Woodruff, Wood Spurge etc. Interestingly there was lots of the pink form of Bugle which is also present in the nearby Rewell Wood. A location I previously lived near to in Devon with a very large PBF colony had the white form of Bugle - obviously these fritillaries and Bugle diversity go hand in hand!

I walked to another excellent woodland in which Kipper/BC have done an excellent job on - at least three key species have expanded their range here as hoped. I also had a chat with Martin - a pleasure to meet you.

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A fresh Green Hairstreak at Kithurst Hill.

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Male Common Blue at Kithurst Hill.

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Male Common Blue at Kithurst Hill.

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Brown Argus at Kithurst Hill.

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Male Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Houghton Forest.

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Grizzled Skipper at Houghton Forest.

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Female Duke of Bugundy near Arundel.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Mon May 16, 2011 7:09 pm

14th May 2011:
Today I went for a walk with a friend to Strawberry Banks in Gloucestershire. This is a small nature reserve that prooved to be good for butterflies.
There were a few Dingy Skippers and Small Blues on the wing, and unlike other places I've seen Small Blue, the Kidney Vetch was obvious.
Marsh Fritillaries were the most numerous species seen, with many fights going on. The males were chasing off Common Blues in particular which were also fairly numerous. Most of the Marsh Fritillaries were found around the bottom of the bank where it is most sheltered. Other species seen included a single Green Hairstreak, Large White and Speckled Wood.

The plant life here was interesting too with some species I would usually associate with woodland such as Aquilegia. Other notable species were Early-purple, Common-spotted and Lesser Butterfly Orchids, Spurge Laurel in the woods and Sainfoin.

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Common Blues, mating.

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Lesser Butterfly Orchid

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Marsh Fritillary

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Marsh Fritillary

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Sainfoin

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Tue May 17, 2011 9:05 pm

14th May 2011:
In the afternoon I went for a quick stroll around Rodborough Common. The conditions were far below that of earlier in the day and so there were not many butterflies flying. A handful of Small Heaths were about, and on the more sheltered eastern side single male Common and Adonis Blues showed briefly.

The woodland edges were interesting for their orchid flora. White helleborines must have numbered over 200 in one area including 40 which I counted growing under Hazel in deep shade. Common Twayblade was common here too. The habitat looked good for Fly Orchids, and despite searching I did not find any.

At the most northern point of the common were a number of patches of Star-of-Bethlehem which I presume is introduced in this location.

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Adonis Blue

sm sob.JPG

Star of Bethlehem

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White Helleborine

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Mon May 23, 2011 6:51 pm

15th May 2011:
Woolhope Dome, Herefordshire.

The Woolhope Dome is a rich area which contains a mosaic of woodland and limestone grassland. Despite the weather I had a good time with a few butterflies seen.
Haugh Wood is at the centre of the dome and is a decent example of how woodland management can support some of our rarer species despite past abuse including spraying with DDT etc.
Wood Whites were flying in the light drizzle - in total 5 were seen along a wide ride which was similar to their habitat in the Wyre Forest being on the side of the hill.
The only other butterfly seen was a Pearl-bordered Fritillary which flew briefly when the rain eased. Flora included Greater Butterfly Orchid.

The Crown Inn served good ale.

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Wood White

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Wood White habitat in Haugh Wood.

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Wood White habitat in the Wyre Forest, May 2010.

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:32 pm

Back from an excellent week-long stay in Scotland. The wildlife was fantastic; the highlights included: Golden Eagle, Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and many highland wild flowers
that were new me.

In terms of butterflies, the highlight for a southern observer was the Chequered Skipper as one might expect. My first encounter was on 30th May of a fast-flying, bouncing butterfly just two minutes
walk from the cottage we stayed in at Stronaba. I caught up with this rather good looking skipper soon after for a closer look. The habitat was a wet heath on the edge of a plantation dominated by Spagnum
mosses, Sweet Gale and Bracken. This is not a location shown on the map published by Glasgow and SW Scotland BC. Scotland has an abundance of wild places and so get out there and find them!

My next encounter was again on the edge of a plantation (30th May - afternoon), this time on a steep south facing bracken slope, close to Glenfinnan. Had I spent more time in the glens and not up mountains every time the sun shone I'm sure I would
have seen more! My friend found a moth here which I haven't been able to identify yet.

On the 31st May I went for a long walk up over the Grey Corries, a most excellent ridge. The way down followed a grassy moor which was rich in flowers. I found a moth here, resting on Moss Campion - again I'm not sure of
its identity, although I suspect it may be a Brocade.

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Chequered Skipper, Stronaba.

02 cs sm.JPG

Chequered Skipper, Fraoch Bheinn.

03 m.JPG

Unknown moth - any ideas?

04 broc sm.JPG

Possibly a Brocade of some sort?

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:41 pm

3rd July 2011:
Woodlands of West Sussex:
I spent the day butterfly watching in the lovely and hot woods of Sussex today. Despite getting through lots of bait, no Purple Emperors turned up, although there were good numbers of Purple Hairstreaks in the Oaks. In a small woodland clearing a pair of White Admirals made an appearance, in a location where I am sure the Emperor lives too, but is not having a good year.
Silver-washed Fritillaries were another highlight of the day, with a variety of wing variations on display.

SWF no1.JPG


SWF no2.JPG


SWF no3c.JPG

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m_galathea
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Re: M_galathea

Postby m_galathea » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:01 pm

14th July 2011:
North Hill, Malvern, Worcestershire:

A superb evening walk, with some of the most fiesty butterfly fighting I have seen. Two Graylings put in an appearance, although the stars were the Nymphalids.
Each rocky outcrop along the east side of the hill had its own attendent males, each trying its best to keep the lookouts to itself. An outcrop at the middle of the hill had four Small Tortiseshells, a Red Admiral and a particularly agressive Painted Lady claiming it as their own. This is the downwind side of the hill, although they still had a fair breeze to push against.

On the NE facing side an outcrop had a pair of Red Admirals and another Painted Lady. The fighting here was prolonged and intense with neither party giving in. An excellent show indeed and unexpected too.

Red Admiral (m).JPG

Red Admiral - keeping an eye out...

Fighting Red Ad and Painted Lady.JPG

Aerial battle - Red Admiral and Painted Lady

Red Admirals.JPG

Male Red Admirals fighting

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ChrisC
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Re: M_galathea

Postby ChrisC » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:08 pm

tawny barred angle for the first moth and one i'm not familiar with, possibly Glaucous Shears for the 2nd
Chris

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David M
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Re: M_galathea

Postby David M » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:07 pm

Love those aerial pics.

Just HOW do you get them so sharp?


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