millerd

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millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:52 pm

Yes, Buggy - I think these are all locally bred Painted Ladies, offspring of an earlier influx that wasn't particularly obvious. Strangely, I can almost guarantee seeing them in Yorkshire at this time of year, but not at home. :) Hmmm - more Brown Hairstreaks... Excellent idea! :)

Saturday 5th August continued: On the way back from the Wolds, the sun appeared for a while so we briefly stopped off at Calley Heath next to the A1079 near Wilberfoss. This is a reliable site for Small Coppers and they didn't disappoint, with a handful seen.
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It was only after going through the photos later that I realised this one may well have been laying, and that there appears to be an egg in the photo too, as well as a lot of feeding damage to the leaves.
SC3 050817.JPG
Also seen were Peacocks (which I have previously seen flying in and out of the many rabbit holes here) and a Brimstone.
Brimstone1 050817.JPG

Dave

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:36 pm

As mentioned earlier, most of the butterfly activity during the break in Yorkshire was in my sister's garden. All of it was common species, but it provided lots of opportunity to get close to some of them when out in open countryside it's far trickier. Commonest by far was the Peacock, with a maximum count of over 20 several times. As the sun frequently came and went, the Peacocks alternated between nectaring and basking.
Sometimes they sat on the semi-wild greenery in little groups.
Peacocks 050817.JPG
Some very nice poses were struck.
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Peacock13 070817.JPG
Peacock14 040817.JPG
Peacock12 060817.JPG

Dave

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:23 pm

I get the distinct impression that you were yearning for Peacocks, Dave? :)

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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:23 pm

That's a lot of Peacocks! Just think in 8 months time they'll be mortal enemies, well the males anyway!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:46 pm

A great collection of Peacocks Dave :D Interesting to see so many in one place and that one on the tile I'm convinced is a set up :D :mrgreen: surely it's a model? :lol:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:19 pm

I do have a fondness for Peacocks, David, and if you pick the right week in the summer, they appear in numbers in this garden. As I think you've said before, imagine if they were rare... :) Yes, Buggy, its like watching male and female Brimstones nectaring at this time of year - they could be different species, the notice they take of each other. :) There were some good poses, Wurzel and the tile one does look somewhat contrived: I can assure you no superglue was used in the setting up of any these shots! :) My favourites are are the last two.

There were more delights from the garden, but for now I'll leave it with the Peacocks.

Back home, and my first real opportunity to visit my local patch was on Thursday 10th August. Over the last week, the most noticeable change was the reduction in Gatekeeper numbers, and how worn the Common Blues now look. There were fewer Commas, too, but astonishingly, there was yet another new hutchinsoni individual.
Comma1 100817.JPG
Alongside it on a neighbouring dandelion was an even newer Small Tortoiseshell.
ST2 100817.JPG
I saw several Holly Blues, all bar one being females: one of them was very cooperative.
HB1 100817.JPG
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Small Heaths seemed to be growing in numbers again, and unusually one of them stayed still just long enough.
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A solitary Small Copper was in amongst the Brown Argus and Common Blues, chasing the former in particular.
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Brown Argus perhaps just outnumbered the Common Blues, and they included one with curiously washed-out spots.
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The Blues were generally worn, but one male wasn't too battered by the weather, and one female was brand new and beautifully marked.
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On the way back home, I spotted another female well camouflaged down in the leaf litter.
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As I watched, she sought out tiny clover plants and laid an egg.
CB laying 100817.JPG
CB egg1 100817.JPG

Finally, another moth to identify. This beautifully marked individual landed well out in the open.
moth 100817.JPG

Dave

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:54 am

Hi! Dave, look's like we've both seen the Peacocks arrival :D lovely shots by the way :D Some Butterflies just seem to be coming out here at present so may be we'll get more shots before they disappear . Goldie :D

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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:39 am

Thank you, Goldie - there should be a few more weeks left to see butterflies I hope. Down here at any rate there may be some third broods of one or two species. :)

Friday August 11th: After all the poor weather, today looked really promising. I set off for Bookham once again to see if any more Brown Hairstreaks were tempted out by the sunshine. Since my last visit, Gatekeeper numbers had dropped off to much lower levels, which made the searching easier with far fewer flashes of orange to follow. Arriving at the spot where Bugboy and I had seen them before, I noticed something moving inside a bit of the blackthorn - a female Brown Hairstreak.
BrH1 110817.JPG
She emerged, revealing herself to be very fresh indeed.
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As she made no attempt to re-enter the bushes or fly far, I think she was perhaps newly emerged rather than seeking spots to lay eggs. Eventually she flew over the hedge and I moved on, but within a few minutes, I spotted something pale on one of the hogweed flower heads. This proved to be a very worn male Brown Hairstreak. In the course of the next half hour, I actually encountered this butterfly twice - it clearly moved off and then returned to nectaring nearby.
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It even opened up a bit, revealing a very drab upperside.
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The contrast between a worn male and a fresh female is extraordinary - no wonder in years past they were thought to be two separate species. I also found another female - showing a bit more wear than the first, with slight scratch marks on the wings, but otherwise an intact individual.
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Disappointingly, neither of the females opened up much, so there was only the briefest glimpse of the chocolate and orange uppersides.
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Also seen: Small Coppers, Common Blues, Brown Argus, Peacocks, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, a male Silver-washed Fritillary, a female Brimstone and a Comma.
MB1 110817.JPG
Brimstone1 110817.JPG

After a very successful morning, I moved on down to Denbies for the afternoon.

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby bugboy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:47 am

Good to see they're still around. Not been able to get out recently but I'm off for a week from Tuesday, hopefully I get a bit of sun, the forecast looks a bit iffy at the moment :?
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: millerd

Postby Pauline » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:49 am

Lovely BH shots there Dave and a great selection of Peacocks earlier. This morning I failed to find any BH and the shot I took of a gorgeous Peacock just doesn't match up to yours!

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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:06 pm

Strange to see H.Commas that fresh this 'late' in the season Dave, I always thought they'd be over by now and we'd be ready for the darker looking autumnal Comma - mind you that could be a misconception brought by the unseasonable weather :? Great to see the Brostreaks are still going, I always get a bit nervous thinking I might miss out and then after I've caught up with them they seem to hang on and linger for a good while after :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:45 pm

That male Brown Hairstreak looks exceptionally drab, Dave, but the females.....well, that first one you found would compensate for practically anything!

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:28 pm

Great shots of the BHS's Dave :mrgreen: I've yet to see them :( :( Goldie :D

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:35 pm

I reckon the females will be around for a while yet, Buggy, and Tuesday is looking reasonable weatherwise at the moment. :)

Thank you for the appreciation for the Peacocks, Pauline. It was great having so many to choose from, and the constant changes between sun and cloud meant they often stopped to bask for a bit. Ideal, really! :)

Goodness knows why I am still seeing fresh hutchinsoni Commas, Wurzel. Maybe the downturn in the weather has delayed a few emergences, but it really is nearly two months from the solstice now. Maybe the theory needs revisiting! :)

Yes, David, a worn male Brown Hairstreak would win no prizes in a beauty contest. You can see it was once a subtle sandy colour underneath, but on top it has to be the least interesting butterfly around. :( The females win all the prizes, and that particular one came top of the pile. :)

Thank you Goldie! Is there anywhere near you that you can go to? Didn't I read that some had been seen last year or eggs found in the Arnside area? There's still some time yet I'd say. :)

Friday 11th August: part two - Down at Denbies.
There were a few items on the "hopeful" list for this afternoon: Clouded Yellows, Silver-spotted Skippers, a second brood Dingy and some more Adonis Blues. I drew a blank with the Dingy, and likewise the Cloudies (though someone else saw one earlier on), but did okay with the others on the wish list. As ever with Denbies, a fresh breeze was blowing, and the sun had now become hazy. There were lots of Chalkhills flying, many still pretty fresh and including as nearly as many females as males.
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The females varied quite a bit, and included a striking one with quite a bit of blue on it.
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There were also several mating pairs, as you might expect.
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As for the Adonis the numbers were rather disappointing, with perhaps only seven or eight males seen, and no females. Most were fresh.
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with hindwing marginal black spots
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with no black spotting
One turned out to be an ab., with reduced hindwing spotting and some congenital damage on the upperside.
AB ab1 110817.JPG
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I managed to see a couple of Silver-spotted Skippers right in the middle of the slopes as usual.
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There were good numbers of Common Blues and Brown Argus, plus a couple of Small Coppers.
SC1 110817.JPG
Finally, on the steps where Green Hairstreaks show off in May, I disturbed a male Silver-washed Fritillary - something I haven't seen here for several years. Not more than a record photo unfortunately as it was extremely restless.
SWF1 110817.JPG

The other notable sighting was on the stroke of three o'clock when 35028 Clan Line sped through on a steam-hauled railtour: a common sight in the summer months especially.
train 110817.JPG

Dave

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Re: millerd

Postby trevor » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:39 pm

A definite mrgreen for the Brown Hairstreak and Adonis shots :mrgreen: .
It looks as though Clan Line is hauling the Orient express Pullman cars,
on a Victoria to Victoria, circular lunchtime tour, via Guildford and Redhill.

Now ! they go well together, Butterflies and steam !
All in a day's work,
Trevor.

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Wurzel
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Re: millerd

Postby Wurzel » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:55 am

Interesting looking female Chalkhill - with the blue 'triangles' on the hind wings not seen one like that before :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: millerd

Postby David M » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:52 pm

That's a great female Chalkhill, Dave. I don't think I've seen one with so much blue on the upperwings before. Well done with the Adonis ab. too. That's a very striking specimen.

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:25 pm

Thank you, Trevor. I was very pleased with the Hairstreaks: probably the freshest I've ever taken photos of, and the first male in any condition. Spot on with the railtour as well - I agree that steam and butterflies mix very well and it occurs to me that a weekend on the Isle of Purbeck would provide plenty of both. :)

It was an interesting Adonis, David. :) I am always reluctant, however, to count these as true aberrations as clearly the butterfly was damaged in some way as well.

I've seen one or two quite blue female Chalkhills over the years, Wurzel, but not one quite like that. I do find the females really hard to photograph though, and indeed quite difficult to spot, so there may be many that go unnoticed. :)

Sunday 13th August: Aston Rowant. To say the slopes today were awash with butterflies would be overdoing it a bit, but the sun shone, the breeze was gentle and there was a good variety flying. There was, however, no hoped-for Clouded Yellow, nor as yet any Adonis, but the numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers made up for that. Probably the commonest species on the wing was the Meadow Brown, with many fresh examples of both sexes and several mating pairs seen. Next in line was the Brown Argus, found everywhere in all sizes from the tiniest (on a par with the smallest of Small Blues) to those rivalling a Common Blue. New ones are clearly still emerging.
BA1 120817.JPG
Unlike Denbies, where many Chalkhills were quite fresh, here the males were mostly tired and rather worn, though the perhaps more numerous females still had a bit of life in them.
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There were several pairings of these seen too.
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The Common Blues were also mostly on the worn side, with a few exceptions, and a mating pair of these was seen as well.
CB1 120817.JPG
An odd angle to the light produced this curious effect
CB2 120817.JPG
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At the bottom of the slope where there are brambles and shelter, there were remarkable numbers of Brimstones. These strayed from time to time up onto the main hillside, providing the occasional false alarms for these eyes which were watching for something rather more yellow.
Brimstone1 120817.JPG
Seen in smaller numbers were Small Whites, Small Heaths and Peacocks and also a couple of Small Tortoiseshells.
SW1 120817.JPG
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A Painted Lady also put in an appearance.
PL1 120817.JPG
However, the stars of the visit were the Silver-spotted Skippers, which I think deserve their own post.

Dave
Last edited by millerd on Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Goldie M
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Re: millerd

Postby Goldie M » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:40 am

Hi! Dave, Yes we've got BHS's at Gait Barrow now but circumstances have stopped me going up there at present, they had a trip there I believe to find them but weather was awful so none were seen but some one has seen a mating pair recently. I hope to go up there as soon has the weather gets better hope fully next weekend or the following week, I've no Idea where to look though, I just hope there's a few people when I get there looking for them then we can join the search. :D
A nice selection of Butterflies Dave, I saw a Painted Lady in the garden but she was in poor condition not like yours I wondered how she managed to fly. :D Goldie :D

millerd
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Re: millerd

Postby millerd » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:42 pm

I hope you do get to see the Brown Hairstreaks, Goldie - they really are a lovely butterfly. :) Yes, there do seem to be a few Painted Ladies about. If you can find one that has hatched locally, it'll be in much better condition.

Dave


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