Neil Freeman

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essexbuzzard
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:02 pm

Your first Large Cabbage White on the red valerian is just the shot I strive for-and usually fail! And your blue-spotted Cooper? That just gets :mrgreen:

Funnily enough, I did consider going to Osmington myself last Wednesday, would love to have met up with you. Just about doable in a day. But the forecast wasn't reliable, so one for another day. We went to Dungerness instead.

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David M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:13 am

millerd wrote:...That second Large White seems more strongly marked than usual..


Indeed. It's very bold, and reminiscent of the ones I see in the south of France. A highly attractive specimen.

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:17 am

Hi! Neil. love your reports from Dorset, those Small Copper's shot's are great but that Grayling on the Blackberries get's my vote :D
It's so unusual, Goldie :D

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks again for all your comments Dave, Wurzel, Mark, David and Goldie, very much appreciated as always :D

essexbuzzard wrote:...Funnily enough, I did consider going to Osmington myself last Wednesday, would love to have met up with you. Just about doable in a day. But the forecast wasn't reliable, so one for another day. We went to Dungerness instead.


Yes, it would have been great to meet up Mark. As you say the forecast was all over the place and even at that end I was very much playing it by ear depending on what the weather was doing at the time.


Dorset - September 3rd to 7th part 3.

In my earlier report from Dorset I mentioned that the Tuesday (5th Sept.) was a mostly dull and wet day so we decided to drive into Swanage and then decide what to do depending on what the weather was looking like later. If the weather had been a bit better we would probably have carried on to Durlston Country Park but with the grey skies and drizzle looking to be set in for the day we decided to go and have a look at RSPB Arne which was somewhere we had not visited previously.

We pulled into the car park at Arne and I went to the visitor centre to ask about the paths and if there were any that Jane could manage with her limited mobility. I have mentioned in the past that Jane had a stroke, nearly seven years ago now, which left her left leg and arm very weak and she needs to use a walking frame to walk any distance and the effort tires her out very quickly. A very helpful lady assistant gave me a map of the reserve which showed some easy access paths further in the reserve and gave us a pass so that we could drive along a track to where there are a couple of disabled parking spaces (Jane has a blue badge) closer to these paths.

Parking up, we set off along one of the paths which passed through some nice mixed woodland with lots of moss covered rocks underneath.

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Moss covered rocks - Arne 05.09.2017


The drizzle had stopped for a bit and although there was still a grey overcast it felt fairly warm and humid and a few Speckled Woods were seen dancing about along the sides of the path. We headed towards a hide which overlooked some reed beds and Poole Harbour and where we spent a little while watching various birds which included a couple of Curlews, Little Egrets, Oystercatchers and Redshanks(I think...as always, I would welcome any corrections on the birds).

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Curlew, Oystercatcher...and Redshanks? - Arne 05.09.2017


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Curlew - Arne 05.09.2017


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Little Egret - Arne 05.09.2017


After a while we left the hide and carried on on along another path which looped around though more woodland and an area of heathland to take us back to where we had left the car. Along the way we spotted what looked like a family group of Japanese Sika Deer...back at the visitor centre later in the afternoon I was told that all the deer around the reserve are this introduced species.

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Japanese Sika Deer - Arne 05.09.2017


We then went back to the main car park and Jane said that she would stop in the car and read her kindle for a bit if I wanted to have a look down any of the other paths. I decided follow the path across Coombe Heath to see if I could spot any Ospreys, apparently three had been reported that morning. Earlier in the year a number of young Ospreys were translocated to Arne as part of a project to establish a population on the south coast and some of these were still around before leaving for their long journey to Africa. It is hoped that these birds will return to the Poole Harbour area and form the nucleus of a south coast breeding population.
Anyway, I had just set off down the path when the drizzle returned...and soon after turned to proper rain, just as I was walking along the most exposed part of the path across the heath. Reaching a viewpoint which overlooked the channel and reed beds which are apparently one of the best places to see Ospreys here, there was a chap with a large scope on a tripod who pointed out to me an Osprey huddled up in dead tree across the opposite side of the reed beds. This was far too distant for me to get a shot with my FZ200, especially through the squally rain which was now blowing in, but I did manage to get a reasonable view through my binoculars, not brilliant in the conditions but the first Osprey I had ever seen so it was good enough for me.
I then went back to Jane at the car and we decided to head back towards Lulworth Cove where it finally started to clear up late in the afternoon and turn into a nice early evening.

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Rain clouds receding to the east and the sun out over Lulworth Cove and Bindon Hill - 05.09.2017


and a few more random shots to finish off...

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Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole - 04.09.2017


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Durdle Door - 05.09.2017


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Looking back towards Osmington village - 06.09.2017


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Lulworth Cove - 04.09.2017


So then, a real mixture of weather, some good, some less so, but overall a great few days in another one of my favourite parts of the country :D

Bye for now,

Neil

essexbuzzard
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:11 pm

One of my favourite parts of our country too, Neil. And some very nice images there.

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:51 am

I love Dorset Neil, if we could afford to move it would definitely be to Dorset. Goldie :D Lovely shots , Goldie :D

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby millerd » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:05 pm

Lovely shots of my favourite part of the country as well, Neil. Looks like we could between us all found a thriving butterfly-loving community down there! :)

Dave

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Wurzel
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:45 pm

Yep to the Redshanks Neil :D Beautiful images Neil, the Citizenship documents are in the post :wink: :lol: Great news about the Osprey, I've seen a few round the harbour but they've always been 'lucky chances' s it would be nice to go knowing they're definitely about in future years :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:43 pm

Mightily evocative landscape shots there, Neil. That part of the south coast is iconic and I envy those who live there. I'm sure it still looks gorgeous on a sunny winter's day!

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:46 pm

Thanks for all the comments Mark, Goldie, Dave, Wurzel and David :D I reckon that part of the Dorset coastline between Weymouth and Swanage is one of the top locations for late season butterflies.

That was my last trip this season and since going back to work last week it has certainly turned into Autumn proper around here. I am now driving to work in the dark at 06.00 and by the time I am back home again in the afternoon most of the garden is covered in long shadows, that is when it has not been lashing down with some heavy rain.
I didn't get out anywhere last weekend, Saturday was wet and windy and whilst Sunday was a bit better I had too much stuff to catch up with around the house.
Nevertheless, I managed to see 6 species of butterfly in the garden on Sunday. Large and Small Whites passed through as did a rather forlorn looking Holly Blue. The Speckled Woods are still there and at one point there were 4 males chasing each other around. A single Comma and Red Admiral spent some time on the Ivy flowers although only the Red Admiral came low enough to get a photo.

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Speckled Wood - Coverdale 17.09.2017


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Speckled Wood - Coverdale 17.09.2017


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Red Admiral - Coverdale 17.09.2017


Since returning from Dorset I have only put the moth trap out in the garden on one occasion, last Saturday night when I had 29 moths of 9 species. Most nights have been either clear and cold or wet and windy, none of which make for good trapping conditions.
There are a number of species that don't appear until around this time of year, one of which is Lunar Underwing of which I had 8 in the trap on Saturday night. This species comes in a number of colour forms which could easily be taken for different species. This variation in some species can be a challenge for identification but is one of the aspects of moths that I find so interesting.

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Lunar Underwings - three different colour forms in the same trap on the same night.


I am hoping to be able to get out to check out one of my local spots this coming weekend so fingers crossed for the weather.

Bye for now,

Neil.

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David M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:26 pm

The weekend isn't looking too bad, Neil, so best of luck with your trip. Meanwhile, those Speckled Woods are impeccable. I love the chocolate brown ground colour when they're fresh.

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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:04 am

Hope you get a few blues and maybe a Copper to add to the 6 species from your garden. :D Unfortunately it seems the season is going to be 'early to bed' :? Interesting to see such variation within a species, a bit like the range you can find in Heath Frits :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:41 pm

Hi David, I have seen fresh Speckled Woods described as looking like chocolate and cream which I think is spot on :D

Cheers Wurzel, the range of variation in some moth species has given me a new perspective on that in butterflies and once you start looking you realise that many so-called named abs can be quite common and actually seem to fall within normal variation as well.

Friday 22nd September

My car was booked in for a service today and after dropping it off I went for a walk, heading for a recreation park that I know that is about fifteen minutes walk away. This park is typical of similar ones found everywhere with large areas of short grass and children's play areas and with trees and shrubs around the perimeter with large patches of brambles. It was a beautiful early afternoon with plenty of sun and picking the side of the park where the sun was shining on the bramble patches I started to slowly wander along to see what I could find.
Coming to one particularly sheltered little spot I spotted a Comma feeding on some over ripe blackberries and stopped to take a couple of photos. I soon noticed another one and then a Red Admiral a little further back. During the next 30 minutes or so I saw at least 5, maybe 6 Commas and 4 Red Admirals along this one stretch of maybe 20 yards or so and took a few photos.

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Comma - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Comma - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Comma - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Comma - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Comma - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Comma and Red Admiral - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Red Admiral - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Red Admiral - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


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Red Admiral - Hillfield Park 22.09.2017


I carried on my slow wandering, seeing another couple each of Commas and Red Admirals plus a couple of Speckled Woods but these were all on the move along the tree line and not stopping.
By this time it had been about an hour and a half since I had dropped my car off and I had a call on my mobile to tell me it was ready so I wandered back to collect it, spotting a distant 'white' along the way which was too far off to ID.

A cracking little walk, all the more enjoyable as I hadn't planned it, just decided to head that way on the spur of the moment to kill the time whilst the car was being serviced and had taken my camera 'just in case'.

Bye for now,

Neil.

essexbuzzard
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:57 pm

Just shows you should always take your camera wherever you go, just in case. Lots of commas round my way too, Neil. At least when the sun shines, which I hasn't much lately! But the small Torts seem to have gone.

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Wurzel
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Beautiful sequence of images Neil, especially the really evocative two species shot :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:23 pm

Splendid autumnal images, Neil. Commas and Red Admirals getting sozzled on the blackberries just epitomises the season. :)

Dave

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David M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby David M » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:51 pm

Nice to see others getting an audience with Commas, Neil. After an excellent spring, I wasn’t sure that they’d be about in good numbers in late summer but there seem to have been plenty just about everywhere within their range.

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:45 pm

Love the Comma on the Blackberries Neil, real Autumn shots :D Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby bugboy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:46 pm

Lovely images Neil, very autumnal :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Neil Freeman

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:58 am

Thanks for the comments Mark, Wurzel, Dave, David, Goldie and Bugboy :D

Red Admirals and Commas have both been around in good numbers over the last couple of weeks which has been a good job really as apart from the ever reliable speckled Woods and a few Whites, I have seen nothing else for a while now. My local patch seems to have fizzled out for the season and a walk around my spot at Castle Hills last Sunday (24th Sept.) on a reasonably sunny afternoon only produced the species mentioned above. I was hoping for late Common Blues or Small Coppers but despite a good search of the usual 'hot spots' there was no sign of either.

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Comma - Castle Hills 24.09.2017


There has also been a steady flow of Red Admirals visiting the Ivy flowers in my garden.

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Red Admiral - Coverdale 24.09.2017


I was interested to see that the blue markings in the corner of the hindwings on this individual have been taken out by what appears to be a bird strike which makes me wonder if they function like eye-spots as a defence mechanism.

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Red Admiral - Coverdale 24.09.2017


I have been continuing to put the moth trap out in the garden, on average twice a week through September. Overall numbers have been steadily reducing but with some Autumn specialities now turning up my count for this year is now up to 236 species of which 144 are macros and 92 micros.

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Dusky Thorn - Coverdale 20.09.2017


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Red-green Carpet - Coverdale 20.09.2017


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Lunar Underwing - Coverdale 20.09.2017


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Ypsolopha sequella - an attractive little micro and a new one for the garden 23.09.2017


As I write this it is raining again outside and loads of leaves are being blown off the trees...Autumn proper is here.

Bye for now,

Neil.


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