millerd

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millerd
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millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:23 pm

After all this time I thought I'd start a personal diary instead of posting everything in the sightings forums. So what happens? The weather turns and the butterflies disappear.

Or nearly...

Working according to the old adage that if you go out, you may see something, but if you stay indoors you definitely won't, I set off round my patch near Heathrow at around 1715 today, with the sun disappearing behind an ominous dark pile of cumulonimbus that the pilots out of the airport were giving a wide berth to. I headed for the area within the J14 M25 roundabout, where there is garlic mustard in abundance. It was just coming into flower, and providing ideal camouflage for roosting Orange Tips. I found just two, but as is so often the case, they shared the same flower head.

In view of the lowering light levels, I found taking pictures difficult, but tried flash - something I have never done before with any success. Here are the results, both with and without flash, and with slightly different angles and degrees of cropping. Very different results!

Here's to sunnier days without such complications. :)

Dave
Attachments
OT flash resized.JPG
OT flash2 resized.JPG
OT2 resized.JPG
OT1 resized.JPG

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Neil Freeman
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Re: millerd

Postby Neil Freeman » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi Dave,

Interesting photos.

I have been looking at those different results and like both for different reasons. If I was asked to choose between them I don't think I could.

Cheers,

Neil F.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:36 pm

So now we know who to blame for the weather then Dave :wink:

I really like the first two shots as there are no distractions and I also like the way the flower head just "appears", floating almost 8), it almost looks like they're duelling...Cracking shots.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Lee Hurrell
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Re: millerd

Postby Lee Hurrell » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:15 pm

What a lovely way to start your diary!

Nice one, Dave.

Best wishes,

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

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Padfield
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Re: millerd

Postby Padfield » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:10 pm

I find the flash pictures make it look as though the butterflies are having a nocturnal tryst, which distorts the reality, however artistic it may be. For that reason the Swiss vote goes for the natural-lighting shots. And very good they are too - I can almost smell the garlic mustard...

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

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:36 pm

You could indeed, Guy! I knelt on a bit while taking these, and delightfully pungent it was too.

Thanks all for the kind comments. :)

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby Susie » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:50 pm

I'm looking forward to reading your diary Dave as the year progresses. You're off to aflying start and I, too, like all the photos you posted but the top two are my favourites.

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Up in the Rugby/Coalville/Coventry area on Saturday but cold and occasional light hail probably lay behind the lack of butterflies. My brood of boys got to see a number of steam trains, so all was not lost.

Today, a spell of brightness enticed me out locally, but all I saw was a Speckled Wood and a solitary Orange Tip egg on a Cuckoo Flower by the River Colne.

Dave
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OT egg2 resized.JPG

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:38 pm

Another brief foray late in the day after work. Alas, nothing flying, but I did find another roosting Orange Tip sitting on a wild rose bush.

Dave
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OT3 resized.JPG
OT6 resized.JPG

Nick Broomer
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Re: millerd

Postby Nick Broomer » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:37 pm

Hi Dave,

Your first O.T. photo on your last post is beautiful.

All the best,

Nick.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:19 pm

Cracking photos again and I haven't seen them hold their wings in that fashion before, it gives them an almost hunchback appearence.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:27 pm

A free weekend, and a possibility of less rain than the last few days (weeks?). I drove down to the Botany Bay entrance to Chiddingfold Woods with the hope of seeing some Wood Whites, but extensive searching over a couple of hours (and even some of the promised sunshine) revealed none at all. In fact, all I managed to discover were two Orange Tips and a single Grizzled Skipper. The latter was the first one I'd seen this year and continued its reputation with me of always turning up when I'm looking for something else...

I dropped into Denbies on a somewhat circuitous route back, and saw absolutely nothing at all, despite some more of that sunshine. I'm inclined to think that the Green Hairstreaks have disappeared with last year's scrub clearance - but I hope someone will prove me wrong.

Dave
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OT1 resized.JPG
OT3 resized.JPG
OT2 resized.JPG
GS1 resized.JPG

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:11 pm

Some cracking photos and a Grizzled Skipper :mrgreen: I still haven't found one despite looking :(

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Today promised a sunny morning at least. I set off down to Noar Hill nice and early, and arrived about 0930. Almost immediately, I encountered a Dingy Skipper flying happily in a temperature of no more than about 9 degrees.

It was not for another hour or so that I found my first Duke of Burgundy - a female (I think), newly emerged, which sat patiently for some time on a cowslip. Eventually, with no particular warning, she spread her wings and launched off into the wind and disappeared. Over the next hour or so, I saw another four individuals, and managed to approach two quite closely. One was already the subject of close attention from fellow UKB member Tuts (a pleasure to meet you!).

I saw five Dingy Skippers altogether, and a couple of Orange Tips, but nothing else. Others on the hill had seen a Small Heath, but I failed to spot it.

A selection of photos - and for the first time this year, I've managed a post without an Orange Tip in it!

Dave
Attachments
DB2 resized.JPG
DB4 resized.JPG
DB6 resized.JPG
DB7 resized.JPG
DB10 resized.JPG
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DB11 resized.JPG
DS1 resized.JPG
DS4 resized.JPG

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Mark Tutton
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Re: millerd

Postby Mark Tutton » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:23 pm

It was nice to bump into you too dave. I haven't had time to process my photos yet but yours are great! Managed to see four dukes and added green hairstreak and holly blue at another site on the way home before the hailstorms set in - again!
Hope to bump into you again soon :) mark
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours lights and shades, these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:41 pm

Looking forward to seeing your photos, Mark!

On the drive home, I saw several Orange Tips in the Surrey countryside, and also two Brimstones (I hadn't seen any of these since March).

I managed to get home just in time to scoot round my local patch before the rain set in. In fact, as I stepped from the car, I spotted a white butterfly on a dandelion on the grass verge - none other than a female Orange Tip. The 30-minute walk produced more butterflies and more species than Noar Hill , but nothing unusual. I saw half a dozen more more Orange Tips, a Small White, a Speckled Wood, a Holly Blue, and no less than five Peacocks. As the rain arrived, I also saw one of those small dark shiny moths with extraordinarily long antennae, but the photos are awful because it was so dark.

It appears that the temperature today must have crept above a certain threshold, enough to reactivate the Peacocks and Brimstones.

OK, I give in. Here are some Orange Tip photos.

Dave
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Peacock resized.JPG
OT3 resized.JPG
OT2 resized.JPG

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:18 pm

There appears to be a temporary lull in the deluge for about 36 hours from around lunchtime tomorrow in these here parts - according to the Met. Office website. Now how do I persuade someone that I'm not needed at work on Friday...

I saw a heron today in the middle of the Two Rivers shopping centre in Staines this afternoon. My small son thought it was plastic until it turned its head towards him!

Dave

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:45 pm

The rain stopped at about 1500 today, and the temperature rose noticeably too. I'd like to say the sun shone, but that would be a bit of a fib. Nevertheless I headed to the spot in the middle of J14 of the M25 where the Orange Tips roost. They didn't let me down: there were two, sharing a flower head, a male and a female. Every time the sun briefly peeped out, the male became restless, and at one point made an attempt to accost the female - she ignored him completely. Eventually, the cloud came over again and they settled down more firmly than ever. With the two so close together you can see (as noted by others earlier in the year) that the male's eyes are distinctly larger than those of the female.

There were also dozens of the moths with the unfeasibly long antennae - one made it into a photo. Is it only the males that have the long ones? Some individuals did and some didn't.

Dave
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OT5 resized.JPG
OT6 resized.JPG

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:33 pm

A lovely day today, apart from a strongish wind and the fact I was stuck on the inside of the office looking out. I managed a bit of a walk locally after work, and spotted a couple of Orange Tips, a male Small White, and both male and female Green-veined Whites. The last of these was small and rather dusky.

Dave
Attachments
SW1 resized.JPG
Male Small White
SW2 resized.JPG
Male Small White (underside)
GVW3 resized.JPG
Female GVW

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:35 pm

Some cracking White action there and that last one is very dusky :D

Like you I was cursing those that had today off while I was stuck at work so I did a cross county dash to Martin Down!

Have a goodun

Wurzel


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