Padfield

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essexbuzzard
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Re: Padfield

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:30 pm

Over here, there is much talk about rain, with snow on higher ground, in your part of the world at the moment- how are you doing? ( Happy New Year BTW).

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David M
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Location: South Wales

Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:27 am

Well done with the QoS, Guy. As you say, it's strange how they remain active so far north when they do not appear till February further south. Perhaps you have a special microclimate?

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:36 pm

Hi Buzzard. Further east from me there have been huge snow falls, with tourists getting snowed in and tragically one Brit still missing (I believe). In my own region it has been much drier recently, with a little rain even, but the pre-CHristmas snowfalls were so good the skiing is still guaranteed. The temperatures have suddenly dropped massively and more snow is forecast, so it should stay good. And Happy New Year to you, too!

Hi David. It is a very special microclimate indeed near Martigny, with a number of Mediterranean species resident (cardinal, iolas blue, hoopoe, crag martin, cicadas, prickly pear &c. &c.). It was once a thriving Roman town but eventually the chill winter winds got up their togas and they left.

The Romans wouldn't have liked it today. When I arrived it was probably about -5°C (rising to a maximum of about 1°C in the afternoon):

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There was also quite a breeze in my usual hotspots and I didn't expect to see anything. Despite that, I did see one Queen of Spain - the same individual I photographed last week. This week it flew down nearer to the road, just above where Minnie was looking for lizards and grasshoppers:

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I told her to stay put, and although she carried on looking for her quarry, she didn't move and the Queen sunned itself long enough for me to move in and get a closer shot:

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Right at the end of my walk, passing through a woody stretch where I wasn't really even looking out for butterflies, I put up a large tortoiseshell. I suspect the poor thing might have been roused from hibernation by storm Eleanor - it really shouldn't have been on the wing in January. It flew past me, up a sunny hill and over some trees where I couldn't follow:

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I hope it is able to go back into some state of torpor for a few weeks. Mid-to-end-February is the usual date for the first large tortoiseshells here.

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

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Andrew555
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Re: Padfield

Postby Andrew555 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:14 am

Wow, beautiful QoS Guy. :D
Great shot with Minnie as well, good girl! :D

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Goldie M
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Re: Padfield

Postby Goldie M » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:37 am

You've certainly got Minnie well trained Guy :D My late Dog would have gone in to take a closer look :D Lovely Butterfly I've yet to see and I've certainly enjoyed your scenery shots up to now.Goldie :D

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Thank you for your comments, Andrew and Goldie.

The weather has been pretty grim recently, alternating between snow, rain and wind - or various combinations of the three. On Friday I took my first 2018 visit to the Papiliorama to make up for the dearth of butterflies in the wild. As always, there was a great variety of species flying and plenty of interest - on the way home I jotted down a minimal list of what I had seen, allowing for the fact I didn't check every Parides and Heliconius, and came up with 47 species. This number included just one I hadn't consciously seen before, Hamadryas fornax:

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This species is surprisingly easy to distinguish from other, similar Hamadryas species by the strong orange tone to the underside, clearly visible as the butterfly cruises around on strong flaps and glides. Altogether, I have seen 5 Hamadryas species in the Papiliorama: laodamia, februa, amphinome, feronia and fornax. Here are those others, photographed on previous occasions:

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(laodamia)

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(feronia)

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(amphinome)

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(februa)

Morpho peleides breeds freely within the Papiliorama and there are always dozens, if not hundreds of caterpillars to be found:

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These early-instar larvae are most peculiar creatures, with massive heads:

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I must look for peleides pupae one day.

Various Danaids breed freely too. Here is the empty chrysalis of one:

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Other than that, nothing I haven't posted here many times before, so I'll spare the usual photogallery!

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com


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