Padfield

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Wurzel
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Re: Padfield

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:40 pm

Fantastic images Guy I got lost looking through them :D I must say thought that your Water Pipit ID is much easier than over here where Rock and Water Pipits can be very similar.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:45 pm

Absolutely stunning scenery as ever, Guy.

Do you think you'll be able to track any of your Emperor larvae to pupation this year?

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:52 pm

At the moment, David, assuming my four longest survivors are all still alive, only Wendy is likely still to be a pupa. And no, I haven't been able to locate her. This is surprising, as she's in a rather small tree, but the possibility exists she snuck into the neighbouring tree, whose branches touch hers (yes, gone back to calling her 'her', as those were not the marks CC was talking about!). The others, with the possible exception of Mr Garrison, will be on the wing by now. I really must get down to the woods in the next couple of days.

Instead of that, I zoomed off to the valley after school today. Minnie had another surprise:

Image

Then there were two ...

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They were actually quite friendly but I didn't want to risk Minnie getting trodden on.

This coupling I first took to be dorylas + semiargus ...

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... but on closer inspection it turned out to be a geriatric male dorylas with a fresh young female:

Image

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com
European Butterfly app for iPhone, iPad and iPod: http://www.guypadfield.com/lepidapp/lepidapp.html

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:49 pm

I've kept local for the last few days, partly because it's end-of-term celebrations at school so I haven't had time to go far, and partly because a couple of days ago I spotted two cardinals on my local patch in Huémoz. I've spent a lot of time waiting at the same spot trying (in vain) to see one again and get a photo. The sighting is significant because it tends to confirm the theory that the butterfly is single-brooded, flying up into the mountains in the heat of the summer before returning to the valley to breed. The species always disappears from its valley haunts in June and I have now seen 4 individuals in 3 different years in the mountains near me in June. The idea it might actually breed up here, producing a summer generation that returns to the valley in August is compromised (for me) by the fact there remains essentially just one place it can be found in any numbers in the valley. How could a generation born in the mountains always return to exactly the same spot? I think the same butterflies retrace their steps. This does, however, involve believing individual cardinals can live 3 or 4 months ...

Today, after checking the clover field where I saw them, I carried on to where I saw violet copper a week or two ago, hoping to find the bistort. I couldn't, on public land at least, suggesting the late individual I had seen had wandered a way from its birthplace. But I was in luck with another species.

As others have observed on Paul's thread, 'Kip on the move', woodland browns are generally difficult insects to photograph. They have supersonic earsight and can fly between the whirr of an autofocus and the click of a shutter. But it seems they have a weakness! Today I came across what I thought was a courting couple in the shade on a tree. I filmed them discretely, and as I did, realised that this was not courting but drunken fighting over a sap run! The French name for woodland brown is la bacchante, which means 'drunken reveller'. Perhaps this is why ...

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anrHKPy7anI

You can see the male doing the pushing is quite aggressive about it!

Some stills, allowing me to use flash:

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(that was from some distance, before I realised these two were not bothered by my presence)

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Eventually they came to terms with one another and drank peacefully together:

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By coincidence, in the adjoining meadow, I also had the rare opportunity to get decent upperside shots of the species. Here is one:

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Here is a female lesser marbled fritillary from the same place:

Image

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com
European Butterfly app for iPhone, iPad and iPod: http://www.guypadfield.com/lepidapp/lepidapp.html


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