Mark Colvin

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Mark Colvin
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Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:18 pm

Oaken Wood, 9 July 2011

A walk around Oaken Wood this afternoon in search of 2nd generation Wood White produced just a few males. Despite the butterfly being on the wing for several weeks numbers to date seem poor with no females being seen as of yet.

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Wood White (male), Oaken Wood (9 July 2011)

The Marbled White on the other hand appear to be doing well with good numbers on the wing. I decided to get a bit "arty" this afternoon and tried several shots from different angles including one (the third image) taken into the sun ... who dares wins and all that!

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Copulating Marbled White, Oaken Wood (9 July 2011)

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Copulating Marbled White, Oaken Wood (9 July 2011)

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Copulating Marbled White, Oaken Wood (9 July 2011)

Ringlets and Meadow Brown were seen in good numbers along with Large and Small Skippers. Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen in several areas along with a single White Admiral and two male Brimstone. At least three Red Admiral were seen along with the following (probable male) who fortunately posed nicely for the camera. All images were taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 fitted with a close up lens (thanks Sussex Kipper!).

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Red Admiral (probable male), Oaken Wood (9 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:56 am

Nice photos Mark,

Tried out my close up lens yesterday, just need to practice a bit now judging the best distance but so far I am pleased with it.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:14 pm

Hi Neil,

Thanks for your comments and good luck with the new lens. It will certainly make a difference to the way you shoot your pictures but the effort will be well rewarded.

Kind regards. Mark

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:43 pm

Competition!

Earlier today I took my 13 year old son out for a day of butterfly photography ... I couldn't help feeling at first that he would sooner have stayed in bed or been at home playing on his Xbox 360!

However, armed with my old 6 Megapixel, Canon Digital Ixus 65 he has given me something to seriously worry about!

Male Marbled White (10 July 2011) JC.JPG
Marbled White (male), Oaken Wood (10 July 2011)

Female Marbled White (10 July 2011 JC.JPG
Marbled White (female), Oaken Wood (10 July 2011)

Female Small Skipper (10 July 2011) JC.JPG
Small Skipper (female), Oaken Wood (10 July 2011)

Male Wood White (10 July 2011) JC1.JPG
Wood White (male), Botany Bay (10 July 2011)

Ringlets (10 July 2011) JC.JPG
Copulating Ringlets, Oaken Wood (10 July 2011)

Watching his enthusiasm as he was lying down in the long grass taking his photographs really lifted my spirits. God only knows what he could produce with my camera.

All in all we had a great day and I just hope he keeps it up!
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:39 pm

Mark Colvin wrote:Hi Neil,

Thanks for your comments and good luck with the new lens. It will certainly make a difference to the way you shoot your pictures but the effort will be well rewarded.

Kind regards. Mark


Hi Mark,

Do you have any tips regarding using the close up lens. I went out this afternoon and got some good shots but found myself missing loads of other opportunities because I spent too long deciding whether to zoom or not :?

By the way, those are some nice photos your son has taken, up and coming competition indeed :wink:

Cheers,

Neil.

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Mark Colvin
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:56 pm

Hi Neil,

I tend to keep my camera with the Zoom Lever set towards Wide (W). I then move in on my target and only then, if necessary, zoom in by moving the Zoom Lever towards Tele (T). You will find you can't be more than about 0.5m away from your target so a Ninja like approach is generally required.

Good luck and thanks for your comments about my son's pictures.

Kind regards. Mark

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:08 pm

Chiddingfold Forest, 10 July 2011

Following my earlier post, today was spent wandering the tracks of the Chiddingfold Forest complex in anticipation of a female Wood White and more hopefully a pair joined in a moment of passion. Parking at Burntwood and walking down the track into Oaken Wood the resident Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet along with both Small and Large Skipper were evident in good numbers. In addition, two male Gatekeeper (my first of the season) and a single Holly Blue were both sighted before entering the wood.

Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet along with Small and Large Skipper were in most areas we looked and photo opportunities were frequent. Silver-washed Fritillary were found in their regular haunts. Though unseen by myself, several Dark Green Fritillary had been seen by other observers. Two White Admiral showed late in the afternoon along with a single male Speckled Wood. Both Green-veined and Small White were also seen in small numbers. I saw seven Wood White though still no females!

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Wood White (male), Botany Bay (10 July 2011)

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Six-Spot Burnet, Botany Bay (10 July 2011)

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Speckled Wood (male), Oaken Wood (10 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:55 pm

Botany Bay, 11 July 2011

A quick hour’s walk into Botany Bay in search of Wood White late this afternoon produced around fifteen individuals including a single egg-laying female (who sadly, with her mind on more pressing matters, would not sit for a photograph in the afternoon heat). Of particular interest were the several male Wood White mud-puddling to obtain nutrients in the damp soil left by the overnight rain. I had not witnessed this activity with this particular species before and was intrigued to see it in action. I also observed a single male Silver-washed Fritillary doing the same (pictured). A single Holly Blue was noted in the clearing by the car park along with Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small and Large Skipper, a single female Small White and two male Large White.

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Silver-washed Fritillary (male), Botany Bay (11 July 2011)

Early evening I went back to Botany Bay and finally struck lucky!

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Wood White (female), Botany Bay (11 July 2011)

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Wood White (female), Botany Bay (11 July 2011)

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Wood White (female), Botany Bay (11 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Susie
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Susie » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:05 pm

That first wood white photograph is a corker!

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Mark Colvin
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:45 am

Thanks Susie.

I appreciate your comments.

Now for an egg-laying female or mating pair!

Kind regards. Mark

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:44 pm

Withdrawal symptoms …

Working all day yesterday and sitting in front of a computer doing the same today I was almost (I did say 'almost') wishing for rain in the hope that it would have made my decision to work or play much easier. It got to 6pm and I just had to get out!

The conditions weren’t great and my initial plan of going to Kithurst Hill in search of roosting Chalkhill Blues was put on the backburner as time was against me … so off to Botany Bay once more.

Unsurprisingly very little was about though I did manage to find a single male and single female Wood White, the latter of which having been disturbed from her resting place on a tufted vetch plant settled on cue on the flower head of the white clover (Trifolium repens).

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Wood White (female), Botany Bay (13 July 2011)

Lying in the hedgerow did however make me a target for other beasts ...

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Female culicine mosquito (feeding), Botany Bay (13 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Vince Massimo » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:45 am

That's a lovely photo of a female Wood White, Mark.

I have just realised that we met at Wrecclesham on 19th May. I was the "Sussex" man helping you look for your elusive first Green Hairstreak. Although we failed to find one there, I believe you "filled your boots" the following weekend in the company of Bob Eade.

Cheers,

Vince

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi Vince.

I'm glad you like the Wood White image (they seem to be my 'thing' at the moment). I got bitten alive getting that one!

I was certainly at Wrecclesham on Thursday, 19 May after seeing the message that had been posted about the Glanville Fritillaries. Your quite correct in that I was also on the trail of Green Hairstreaks though time was not on my side that particular day. I certainly "filled my boots" with Bob during my visit to Frog Firle.

I'm trying to work out from my posts how you realise who I am? I'd like to think my avatar doesn't give you any clues!

You've probably gathered from my posts that I live very close to Botany Bay and the Chiddingfold Forest complex. If you're ever down my way and fancy meeting up please feel free to pm me.

Good hunting.

Kind regards. Mark

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Vince Massimo » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:15 pm

Mark Colvin wrote:I'm trying to work out from my posts how you realise who I am? I'd like to think my avatar doesn't give you any clues!


Hi Mark,

I made the connection after reading Bob Eade's report on the Sussex Branch website.

Cheers,
Vince

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:29 pm

Bad Taste!

The heat and dehydration got the better of me this afternoon particularly as I had left my water in the car and the paracetamol at home! That said I still managed an hour’s walk into Botany Bay (again) and despite a throbbing headache managed to see reasonable numbers of Wood White including two egg-laying females though sadly no couplings.

Of particular interest, as I had never witnessed this activity with Wood White before, was their apparent liking for fresh horse dung - though this doesn’t totally surprise me. At one time there were as many as three gorging themselves on one piece of dung. Lovely ...

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Male Wood White (feeding on horse dung), Botany Bay (14 July 2011)

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:18 pm

Kithurst Hill, 17 July 2011

A day spent undertaking administration and typing reports yesterday (not that the weather was suitable for much else) and visiting relatives today left me in desperate need of fresh air by late afternoon! It was 5.45pm when I arrived home and by 6.15pm I was on Kithurst Hill.

In all fairness conditions weren’t great. It was windy and overcast and I only had about an hour at most … but I was out in the place I wanted to be.

I have been hoping to photograph the Lycaenidae for some time and this was to be my first, albeit brief, opportunity. I had made the assumption that I would be photographing Chalkhill Blues and was pleasantly suprised when the first "jewel" to present itself with a photo opportunity was a Brown Argus. I managed several very quick shots before it flew off. It was sadly not seen again. The Chalkhill Blues were already roosting and I managed several underside shots though none presented an upperside opportunity ... the lack of sun I am sure not helping. As first attempts I was quite happy with the results but look forward to the next time when time and weather will hopefully be on my side.

Brown Argus 1.jpg
Brown Argus (male), Kithurst Hill (17 July 2011)

CHB 2.jpg
Chalkhill Blue (male), Kithurst Hill (17 July 2011)

CHB 1.jpg
Chalkhill Blue (male), Kithurst Hill (17 July 2011)

CHB 6.jpg
Chalkhill Blue (male), Kithurst Hill (17 July 2011)

As I was leaving the meadow and heading back towards the car I spotted a specimen of the Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus). I have not seen one for some time and was pleased to have the opportunity to take several shots before she disappeared into the vegetation.

LSB 1.jpg
Lesser Stag Beetle (female), Kithurst Hill (17 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:19 pm

Dawney’s Hill, 18 July 2011

Further to Lee Hurrell’s recent posting about Dawney’s Hill (Pirbright Common) I popped over for an hour or so this afternoon.

The Grayling was my target as it is a butterfly I have not had much contact with. It is a strong and rapid flyer and when it decides to stop it quite literally vanishes. You really have to keep a very close eye on them and when one is seen in flight don’t take your eyes off it as it probably won’t be seen again. With care some individuals can be approached quite closely though those, which land and show their eyespots have often closed their wings by the time you have got into position to take that all important shot. By judgement of the number of Grayling on the wing this afternoon, Dawney’s Hill would appear to hold a flourishing population.

Others butterflies observed included Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, a male Large White, a male Brown Argus and several worn Silver-studded Blue.

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Grayling (male), Dawney's Hill (18 July 2011)

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Grayling (male), Dawney's Hill (18 July 2011)

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Grayling (male), Dawney's Hill (18 July 2011)

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Grayling (female), Dawney's Hill (18 July 2011)
Last edited by Mark Colvin on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:48 pm

Kithurst Hill, 19 July 2011

I was in a ‘blue mood’ today and felt the need to brighten up my personal diary.

Kithurst Hill and its fabulous flower meadow was once again the venue. The sun was out and the air was hot and scented with the sweet aroma of wild thyme and marjoram. Butterflies were everywhere.

Species seen included:

Brown Argus
Small Blue
Chalkhill Blue
Common Blue (single fresh female)
Small Copper
Peacock
Red Admiral
Meadow Brown
Ringlet
Gatekeeper
Marbled White
Small Skipper
Large White
Small White
Silver-washed Fritillary (single female)

Male BA 1.jpg
Brown Argus (male), Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

Female SB 1.jpg
Small Blue (female), Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

CHB 6.jpg
Chalkhill Blue (male), Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

CHB 2.jpg
Chalkhill Blue (female), Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

SC 1.jpg
Small Copper (male), Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

KH 1.jpg
Wild Flower Meadow, Kithurst Hill (19 July 2011)

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Lee Hurrell » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:21 pm

Lovely shots, Mark.

Is that view looking north? If so that's probably the clouds and rain that have been stuck over London this afternoon :roll:

Cheers

Lee
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Re: Mark Colvin

Postby Mark Colvin » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:29 pm

Thanks Lee.

Glad you like the shots.

Lee Hurrell wrote:Is that view looking north? If so that's probably the clouds and rain that have been stuck over London this afternoon.

Probably as thats the direction I sent them. :lol:

Kind regards. Mark


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