P.J.Underwood.

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P.J.Underwood
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P.J.Underwood

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:48 pm

I did wonder whether I could ever mix a family holiday with grandchildren in the vendee,with looking for some new butterflies.But I seemed to have managed something.We were staying near Fontenay-Le-Compte,at Mouzeiul,and the Marais were magnificent,for birds,butterflies and plants.This is an under-researched area.In my short stay with the whole family,I found (I hope!) Queen of Spain and Weavers fritillary,many clouded yellows and a small one called a geranium bronze.This latter is interesting as it is spreading rapidly up from Africa and appear often alongside the imported geraniums and perlagoniums.Watch out for it here!
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Clouded yellow 3 (3).JPG
Clouded Yellow
Weaver's fritillary 1 (3).JPG
Weavers fritillary
Queen of Spain fritillary (3).JPG
Queen of Spain fritillary
Geranium bronze 1 (3).JPG
Geranium bronze

Susie
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Re: P.J.Underwood

Postby Susie » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:30 pm

Nice photos. Geranium bronzes are cracking little critters. I'd forgo the health of my pelagoniums to have them over here. They were seen here for a little while on some imported plants but didn't survive I believe.

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Re: P.J.Underwood

Postby millerd » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Yes, Geranium Bronze are continually brooded, with no natural period of hibernation (diapause may be the correct term?) in any stage of their life cycle. Consequently the only place one might survive in the UK is in a conservatory with overwintering geraniums that was kept frost free. I think this is what did happen when they were sighted over here. The caterpillars might slow down because of the relative cold, but might just keep going. A lot of factors would have to be right and it would never lead to them truly establishing here in the way they seem to have done further south in the Med.

Dave

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P.J.Underwood
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P.J.Underwood

Postby P.J.Underwood » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:16 pm

My first outing of the season to Botany Bay.Green and Greater Spot Woodpeckers and Chiffchaffs greated me.Many orange and orange and brown daytime moths flying.Then I saw my first FEMALE Brimstone (I hope!).When flying it was white like a large white,and when settled a pale lemon.The males have been around about two weeks now,since my first post.
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Botany Bay,26th March 2012 008 (3).JPG

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P.J.Underwood
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P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:55 pm

Botany Bay.
My first Wood White of the year.Perhaps a little early?
P.J.U.
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Wood White.JPG

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dilettante
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby dilettante » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Does seem early - last year's earliest report (on ukb) was 18th April, and that was an early year for most species.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby David M » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:34 pm

My guess is that we are actually a little in advance of where we were at this time last year due to the glorious late March weather. That said, the forecast is very ordinary for the next fortnight whereas this time last year we were basking in a mini heatwave which lasted up to the end of April, so the current momentum is likely to be lost very shortly.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:21 pm

Botany Bay today,after yesterday's heavy showers,was only returning the odd orange-tip and brimstone.No sign of any wood-whites.However,the first nightingales were heard and over the next few days I would expect their numbers to swell.
P.J.U.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:25 pm

Botany Bay today-between 10 and 12 degrees centigrade,but felt much warmer in the sheltered suntraps.I saw my first Speckled Wood ,but the highlight was my second sighting of a Wood White.I have learnt to use spot metering,and this seems a great improvement on white butterflies.
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Botany Bay 16th April 2012 024 (3).JPG

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dilettante
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby dilettante » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:30 pm

I have learnt to use spot metering,and this seems a great improvement on white butterflies


Ah, that's much better! I didn't like to say anything last time, but... :D

Lovely photo.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:35 pm

Thanks,the problem is that over the winter when doing birds one forgets the little tricks.
P.J.U.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:02 pm

I agree that spot metering is almost essential for white butterflies - but they are still difficult even then! You have really caught the subtle shading of that Wood White!

Mike

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Mud Puddling

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:54 pm

Seeing this name come up on the forums has reminded me of an occasion in Croatia this summer,when a camper drained its waste tank on the ground,and this was the result.Notice the Nettle tree butterfly which was particularly common.Otherwise an unusual group.This has inspired me to revisit my photo's of Croatian butterflies,where I shall need some help.
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Croatia 4 115 (2).JPG

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Croatia revisited

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:16 pm

And here is another-showing the friendliness of Amanda's blue,when a large number attached themselves to us.The chin will be at the Annual get-together tomorrow!
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Abj (2).jpg

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby Padfield » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:07 pm

That's a fascinating - and tantalising - group on the camper effluent, PJ. I think I can make out two different Carcharodus species, though it's hard to be certain at this resolution. I look forward to some more of your sightings.

I've never had Mandy's blue get so familiar with me, but then again, I don't have quite such an impressive chin!

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NickMorgan
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby NickMorgan » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:07 pm

Intriguing. I have always wanted to see numbers of butterflies puddling like that. To get so many to arrive on a damp patch, does that mean that there were hundreds of butterflies flying in the area, or were they attracted from afar to the moisture?

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P.J.Underwood
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:20 pm

Nick,
Generally Croatia was wonderful.In the hills above our hotel there were masses of butterflies and flowers -and even a Brown bear lying in the road.Elsewhere they seemed to gather around any damp areas in large numbers.At the place of the mud puddling photo's, butterflies all around but they kept coming to this damp spot.I took about 20 photo's over a 5 minute period.We saw areas where there might have been 20-30 of these at the same time.
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M.P.14.jpg
Nettle tree butterfly

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P.J.Underwood
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby P.J.Underwood » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:39 pm

Guy et al,
I have looked through my photo's of the mud puddling group,taken over a 5 minute period,and here are the skippers I found.If you could help with identification I would be grateful.I am sorry they are not all in sharp focus but it is tricky with a large number.
P.J.U.
Attachments
M.P.17 (2).jpg
17
M.P.16.jpg
16
M.P.15.jpg
15
M.P.13 (2).jpg
13
M.P.12.jpg
12
M.P.10.jpg
10
M.P.9.JPG
9
M.P.6.jpg
6
M.P.5.jpg
5
M.P.4.jpg
4
M.P.2.jpg
2

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David M
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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby David M » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:09 pm

Thanks for posting these images, P.J.

They are truly intoxicating.

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Re: P.J.Underwood.

Postby Padfield » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:21 pm

I'll throw these suggestions into the ring (I've added your numbers on the right, PJ, as I didn't notice them until I was part way through):

1. Pyrgus alveus on left, Carcharodus flocciferus on right. (17)

2. Carcharodus flocciferus. (16)

3. Not very sure - perhaps Thymelicus acteon? (15)

4. Both the ones in focus, I think, are Carcharodus flocciferus. (13)

5. Carcharodus levatherae. (12)

6. C. lavatherae again. (10)

7. T. acteon again? (9)

8. Pyrgus alveus or armoricanus (6)

9. C. lavatherae (5)

10. C. flocciferus (4)

11. Mostly lavatherae with some flocciferus. (2)

I'm sure others will have some further thoughts!

Guy

(I did the skippers because that's what you asked for, but it's worth adding that at least some, if not most, of those whites are mannii)
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