Wurzel

This forum contains a topic per member, each representing a personal diary.
User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:45 pm

Cheers Trevor :D Both the girls have informed me that we are going back to the Bell :lol: See below for the photos from the day :D
Cheers Goldie :D The butterflies will be out before you know it :D
Cheers Neil :D It can't be too long to wait now...

The Bell 11-03-2017

We got to The Bell slightly later than expected partly because the Courtesy car I’m in has a digital petrol gauge which suddenly drops to nothing so I had to refuel and also because of a Caravan, my first of the year and I’m hoping they’ll have a bad one!
After the introductions between children and Grandchildren Trevor and I could catch up as the children disappeared off to either play hide and seek, arrange pranks or complain about schools. We then had a great lunch – I can still taste the burger now, lush and then Trevor and I took a little stroll to the local church and the attached graveyard. The sun was still shining intermittently but it was noticeably cooler and now being in just a T-shirt was slightly chilly when the breeze picked up.

On the far side of the graveyard there was a big wood heap with dead foliage and old Christmas trees on it. Three little brown blobs rocketed skywards from amongst the debris. Two entwined and kept flying upwards and the third detached itself and flew towards us landing briefly on a small clump of Heather that had been placed on someone’s grave.

Trevor and I then staked out the clump and set about getting some shots. Two of the Small Torts seemed particularly fond of this heap, constantly flying around, landing and buzzing each other. The third occasionally put in an appearance but seemed to be heading further and further out each time until eventually we were left with the pair. Despite the chill they kept flying but getting shots was tricky as they were rapidly vibrating their wings in (I’m guessing) an attempt to keep their flight muscles up to temperature.
DSC_0305 - Copy.JPG

DSC_0320 - Copy.JPG

DSC_0328 - Copy.JPG

A later trip and walk down a local Lane didn’t yield any further sightings but it looks like Trevor has a great little ‘Local patch’ for when he’s down visiting this way. Unfortunately I had to get back to pick my wife up else I and the girls could of stayed there for much longer but duty called and so we made our goodbyes.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

trevor
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:07 am

HI Wurzel,

You've summed up Saturday nicely. I think we were both surprised by how fresh those Small Torts appeared to be.
At last things have perked up at home too. Had a great morning yesterday.

All the best,
Trevor.

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:52 am

More than happy to swap a few Commas for some Torties. Still waiting to see some day-glow orange this year!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:21 pm

Cheers Trevor :D I saw your cracking morning :mrgreen: I did manage to see a Peacock but it didn't stop for any photos :( Cheers Bugboy :D I've got my Commas now, but I'd be willing to swap some Small Torties for a Peacock? :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Art Frames
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:59 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby Art Frames » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:19 pm

Hi Wurzel

I am busy catching up with all of the diaries (I have a fair way to go still!) but your posts of 2017 have given me a 'kick up the a..' (in a good way) as I have clearly got to get busy. The pictures of torts and commas are very encouraging. Hopefully I'll get something worthwhile tomorrow in Oxfordshire.

Peter
Peter - Art Frames
A few photos on Flickr

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:10 pm

Cheers Art Frames/Peter :D If the weather report for Oxford is like that for Salisbury then I'd probably leave it until midday - mind you the weather reports have been unduly pessimistic recently so the best way is too look out the window and go if it looks good :shock: :lol:

Browns

BROWNS INTRO.JPG


28 Specked Wood, 06-05-2016 Vera Jones Mill

I think the Specklies round my way had a bit of a ‘down and up’ year. I saw my first one a fortnight later than last – this time at Vera Jones’s Mill and I wasn’t able to get a photo. After this the rest of the first brood proved to be just as hard to either track down or photograph. The cold March and April didn’t help this I think as perhaps they had started to emerge but were knocked back?
After this I had much better success and they seemed to have come on much stronger, were in all the usual haunts and also lasted well into September and possibly through into October – though I can only speculate on this from my observations of freshly emerged individuals in the second week of September. Their greater success in later broods is further supported by finding one at Larkhill during my final visit there of the season, a bit of a rarity at this site!
SP 1.JPG

SP 2.JPG


29 Wall, 05-06-2016 Lulworth

If the Small Pearl was a catastrophe then the Wall Brown was only just shy of an un-mitigating disaster! I missed them at my Marshire site, usually a sure thing, on both occasions that I visited. Likewise they were absent from my Duke site and were non-existent on any of my trips to the coast when I visited the Outlaws (again another sure thing). I only saw one all year, a fleeting view of one taking off from a wall, it flew past me and disappeared at Lulworth. That was it. The dearth of this species could have a number of reasons; the further contraction of its range, it’s put too much into a risky third brood in 2015, or the weather are among a few off the top of my head. That being said there was a plus pint; 25 were recorded on one visit by a lucky blighter to Morgan’s Hill. Perhaps the usual crew that frequented my Marshie site up moved North? Fingers crossed that was the reason…

30 Marbled White, 21-06-2016 Larkhill

This species was about a week later this year but as I saw them further North in Wiltshire I don’t know if this portrays any pattern? I must confess to be at a loss when it comes to considering this species. After my first I found them in all the expected places and in such numbers that at times I didn’t even give them more than the cursory glance only noting their presence which I’m embarrassed to admit. The one site which I did record numbers from was Larkhill, where I saw my first this year and they seem to be roughly on a par with last year.
MW 1.JPG

MW 2.JPG

MW 3.JPG


31 Grayling, 23-07-2016 Godshill

By the time the first Graylings were on the scene things had really settled down and we were looking ahead to more a more productive summer some species had caught up from the slow start to the season yet the Grayling were still 5 days behind. It certainly felt that way as Godshill presented me with reasonable numbers of Grayling perhaps not as many as last year but still good numbers. I missed out on any chance to corroborate this feeling as I didn’t make it back home to Dorset this year during their flight. Again as last year I was struck by their variability as this year I found two individuals from the extreme ends of the scale. One was honey coloured and the other, sitting nicely on a cowpat was almost jet black. It would be interesting to see if females showed any preference for a colour type, a form of sexual selection, or whether mating choice is purely based on chemical attraction?
G 1.JPG

G 2.JPG

G 3.JPG


32 Hedge Brown/Gatekeeper 17-07-2016 Bentley Wood

Almost a fortnight later this year and my first came from Bentley Wood. Now when this has happened in the past I’ve then gone on to find His Nibbs as well, and so the pattern continued this year as well. It’s difficult to make an overall estimate of how well this species fared as there seemed to be so much regional variation. I would guess overall that they were down – they certainly were at The Devenish, Larkhill and Bentley Wood. However the The Lane (Ffos-y-ffin) was absolutely jam packed with them during my annual summer visit to my Outlaws. Those present were also well represented by the ‘excessa’ with two particularly heavily marked individuals, one form each gender and also in opposite states of repair. I don’t know why this little area seems to produce so many excessa – whether it’s to be expected as others have reported their prevalence further North or because it’s an small, semi-isolated population? Whatever I’m just pleased that they appear to be doing so well somewhere.
HB 1.JPG

HB 2.JPG

HB 3.JPG


33 Meadow Brown, 18-05-2016 The Devenish

This species really became the prime ‘bucker’ of trends this year. First up it was almost a month early. I had to wait until the second week of June last year before finding one at East Blean (it was one of only three species seen on that day!). And so it continued when it came to numbers as they did well this year, definitely on the increase in my neck of the woods at least.
MB 1.JPG

MB 2.JPG

MB 3.JPG


34 Small Heath, 14-05-2016 Duke Site

I found my first Small Heath at roughly the same time this year but at my Duke Site further North in the county. For a number of years now I and others have been bemoaning the decline of the Small Heath and so it continues this year with them still on a downward trajectory. When will their fall top?
SH 1.JPG

SH 2.JPG


35 Ringlet, 21-06-2016 Larkhill

Only a day earlier this year but unusually I saw them on the same day as my first Marbled White. Normally this species is around at the same time but often a few days to a week later. This year I got a nice little ‘twofer’ at Larkhill which suitably set me up for the day. I feel that the Ringlets had a very good year particularly at Larkhill where the highlight of the year for me for this species came when I made an early morning stop-off. As I crossed the road and started down the small track I caught sight of something dark brown in the bushes, a Ringlet and I could soon see another, and another and so on until eventually I counted over 20 just sitting in the same bush. I really struggled to get even a quarter of them in a single shot. Over the season they provided more great moments – great shots of the underside, odd numbers of spots, huge spots on the underside and the endless times they would erupt from the path as my dew drenched trouser legs scythed through the long grasses but this was the best Ringlet moment of 2017.
R 1.JPG

R2.JPG

R 3.JPG


Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 2556
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:03 pm

You've got some great shots there Wurzel, beautiful Butterflies :mrgreen:
It was a lovely day here today 15c but still no Butterflies spotted but lets hope the weather got them to wake up :D Goldie :D

millerd
Posts: 2356
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: Wurzel

Postby millerd » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:55 pm

Ah, summer days, summer days... I love the stained glass Ringlet - unexpectedly beautiful seen like this. :)

Dave

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:15 pm

Cheers Goldie :D The butterflies will come soon I'm sure, just hang on in there :D
Cheers Dave :D I was happy with that shot even though I spent the rest of the day with dew dampened socks and shoes :(

Work 13-03-2017

At this time of year there is so much going on at work that I have to take whatever chances present themselves to me, doubly so now that lunch has been reduced to 30 minutes. Today was one of those times as I knew no-one would be turning up for Intervention/Revision as:
a. I hadn’t emailed them to tell them they had to come
b. I hadn’t corralled them into my classroom after assembly
c. They were sitting a Maths exam all afternoon.
So as soon as they were off for lunch so too was I. I cut straight across the field scanning the panel fences and every yellow flower within range on the football pitch. It paid off with Small Tort number 1.
DSC_0337 - Copy.JPG

From there I made my way along the path with the field on one side and gardens on the other. In one of these gardens another Small Tort appeared. As it was right by the edge of the garden I focused in through the wires took a few shots in the hope that they’d crop okay.
DSC_0341 - Copy.JPG

I carried on and it got a bit quieter along the next stretch until the path dropped down and started back up. Here is opens up with another path leading off back through the housing estate towards work. This is a good little spot and just past the concrete stairs I spied a large Small Tort which quickly refocused into a pair. After a few shots I left them in peace and carried on along the path. A butterfly took off from the fence and flew overhead. It looked a lot like a black bat – my first Peacock of the year but it didn’t stop so no shots. I might have to try my luck at Middle Street latter in the week for this species.
DSC_0352 - Copy.JPG

DSC_0354 - Copy.JPG

A Brimstone then flew over another fence before disappearing back again and there was a distant Small Tort. I took a photo anyway just in case it proved to be a Scarce but no matter how I squinted at the cropped image it just remained a distant Small. Right at the end there was my 6th Small Tort and then I started back encountering four previously met Small Torts including the courting couple who’d only moved up slightly.
DSC_0371 - Copy.JPG

Time was running out and so I took the short cut back up through the estate noting Small Tort number 7 on the way but it was too far into someone’s garden for any shots.
Not a bad haul for 20 minutes work, it would be nice if I can get out again this week…

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:37 pm

So many Small Tortoiseshells, I can't remember when I last saw that many in a single day. Also I'm not sure who you are but can you hand this diary back to the real Wurzel, the one who's about 6 months behind the rest of us, its very disconcerting seeing up to date posts here :lol:
Some addictions are good for the soul!

trevor
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:02 pm

Swap you some Commas for some Wiltshire Small Torts.
Loads of Commas locally, but no Small Torts yet. Even along the old railway they have always been scarce.
I think this week has seen one of the best hibernator awakenings for some years.

All the best,
Trevor.

User avatar
NickMorgan
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:07 pm
Location: East Lothian

Re: Wurzel

Postby NickMorgan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:51 pm

Great to see that you are off to a good start Wurzel. My available time hasn't coincided with the warm sunny days, so only a distant Peacock for me so far.

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 2556
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:55 pm

Glad your seeing the Tort's Wurzel, it proves they're out some where at least :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D
Not a chance here, cold yesterday, nothing but rain today, at least the daffs are out :) looks like the Butterflies will be late round here, maybe that's a good thing, last year I saw my first Tort March 7th then nothing until March 17th, then just a few, so if they're late they could have a better chance of missing the bad weather. Goldie :D

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:22 pm

Cheers Goldie :D A cold snap is generally a good thing and is better than it getting warmer, the butterflies emerging and then getting knocked back by a cold snap...
Cheers Nick :D I'm sure your fortunes will improve soon.
Cheers Trevor :D I'd be up for swapping a few Peacocks for some Small Torts :wink:
Cheers Bugboy :D I'm purposefully holding back on a post from midweek to stop you freaking out anymore :wink: :lol:

36 Duke of Burgundy, 08-05-2016 Duke Site

I think I only saw one Duke all season but on two separate occasions. The first time I saw it was five days later than last season and it was beautifully fresh, so much so it looked like it had only just emerged. I think I’m correct in assuming this as it was the first record for the County. I then saw it a week later when Philzoid and I headed there after picking up the aberrant Pearl at Bentley Wood. I’m pretty sure that it’s the same individual a week older as the markings seem very similar?

As I saw only one I’m left with a slightly concerned feeling towards the Duke in Wiltshire. They also didn’t do too well at Bentley Wood but on a more positive note I didn’t make a return visit to my Duke site at the peak of their emergence here so they could have done alright and I just didn’t witness it. On a very positive note one was observed and photographed at my Marshie Site. This would be great news especially as the local branch have been managing/clearing back the wood to encourage this species.

At my Duke site this year I noticed that again they seem to have moved even further up the hill. When I first encountered them here they were all over the paths a field away from the car park. The following year they were moving into the next ‘field’ up from the paths, then about half way across this ‘field’. This year they were right at the top of this path in a little patch of very springy turf with a lien of trees forming a border before the next section up the hill. So in 2017 I guess I start looking just beyond this line of trees?
DSC_5249 - Copy.JPG

DSC_4823 - Copy.JPG

DSC_4782 - Copy.JPG

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 2556
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby Goldie M » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:45 am

The Dukes were very sparse at Gait barrow last year Wurzel but they've opened their site up more by coppicing and people can't go beyond the roped area's so it's very hard to see them and get shots of them if they're in the distance, still, if it protects them that's more important, I suppose there could have been more' , I hope so like you we only saw one. Goldie :D

Philzoid
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:18 pm
Location: Woking

Re: Wurzel

Postby Philzoid » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Great Duke photos Wurzel :D . I was so glad you spotted that one on your way out of the Duke site. At the time, I was too far ‘north’ on the chalk escarpment and had to make a mad dash through the undergrowth. Perhaps that will be the ideal spot in a couple of years’ time if your theory holds :?:
That Duke was one of only two seen all season (the other at Butser 10 days earlier), so for me it wasn’t a particularly fruitful year for them either, although I may have missed going at peak emergence.

Phil

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:46 pm

Cheers Goldie :D Hopefully they were ding their thang just out of view Goldie :D
Cheers Philzoid :D Hopefully my hypothesis won't be proven and they'll be all over the place! This does seem to be a late site compared to elsewhere in the country (although my first was also the first for the county) so hopefully we were there to witness the first emergence :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 4760
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury

Re: Wurzel

Postby Wurzel » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:56 pm

Work 15-03-2017

The continuation of the exams for year 11 meant that rather than having to round them all up and herd them into my lab for Intervention I was able to nip out with my camera over the lunch break. This won’t be happening for the foreseeable future so I need to make the most of it now.
It seems that the Junior Groundsman had been on duty again and so I had to miss out the first part of my usual route and cut through the housing estate. On the way there were two Small Torts to start the lunchtime foray off.

Once onsite proper I walked along to the end of the path stopping now and again for various Small Torts on the way. At one point there were three all basking in a garden on the dug over soil and I also encountered a courting pair. By the end of the walk my Tally had reached 11 Small Torts and three Barking Dogs.
DSC_0381 - Copy.JPG

DSC_0390 - Copy.JPG

DSC_0394 - Copy-002.JPG

I then turned round and mad my way back to school restarting my count. I probably encountered the same butterflies on the way back just in different places but by the time I’d reached the school agates the grand total was 13 Small Torts – not too shabby for about 20 minutes counting. The best by far was one beautiful female that looked so vibrant and fresh you’d be forgiven for thinking that she had just emerged from a chrysalis rather than from hibernation over winter. Still no photos of Peacocks though…oh well I’ll have to try Middle Street as soon as I’m able.
DSC_0399 - Copy.JPG

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: Wurzel

Postby bugboy » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:00 am

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 20 minutes :shock: I'd have to search for a week to see that many Torts round here! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Some addictions are good for the soul!

trevor
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: Wurzel

Postby trevor » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:18 am

Well done with all those Small Torts., I've only seen one briefly since returning home.
Still I'm off to Halnaker tomorrow, where there was a mass awakening last Spring.


Return to “Personal Diaries”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bugboy, David M, Sonam Dorji, trevor, Wurzel and 0 guests