philm63

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philm63
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Location: Bingley, West Yorkshire

philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:53 pm

Hi to all
I'm new to the forum and pretty new to butterflies in general, developed from a something to do period during the summer bird watching lull. About a year later also got into dragonflies.
I am a pretty static observer tending to watch my 'local patch' which being on the edge of the Pennines in West Yorkshire is only moderate for birds never mind butterflies and dragonflies.
I live in the Bingley area, which is in the Aire valley between Bradford and Keighley and not far from Ilkley Moor, the primary habitat locally is rough grass pasture leading to moorland on the higher ground with some moderate conifer plantations, with more intense farmland and decidous woodland down in the river valley or along the canal.
I intend to back fill my diary so will be digging into my records and starting from the earliest records in the year, building up to the current time, whenever I catch up. Please excuse the occasional references to dragonflies / damselflies, I enjoy them all equally.

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Pete Eeles
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Re: philm63

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:03 pm

Welcome Phil,

Look forward to your reports and I'm sure you'll come across folks from your area on these forums!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Neil Freeman
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Re: philm63

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:16 pm

Hi Phil and welcome to the forum.

My son has also just joined and will be starting posting soon as gothic_dreams.

Looking forward to your postings, don't worry about the dragonflies / damselfies, I enjoy them also and have been known to post photos of them :wink:

cheers,

Neil F.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:27 pm

2012

January - April

Very little except a hibernating Small Tortoiseshell in my car port that flew in mid-April and a Small White in late March

1 April

Small Tortoiseshell 2 Heights Lane
[Heights Lane is a road that runs along the skyline over the fields beyond where I live; both sides of the road are pasture but the east and north sides are rough and merge into the edges of the moors a bit further on]
Attachments
1883. 1 April 2012 Small Tortoiseshell Heights Lane.JPG
Last edited by philm63 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:43 pm

22 May

Visited Strid Woods at Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale for my once a year May trip. This is primarily looking for a few specific birds such as Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Common Sandpiper. Managed to get all three, it was quiet butterfly wise unlike some past years but did see Large and Small Whites in low numbers and a male Orange Tip I managed to get a few shots of.
Attachments
1926. 22 May 2012 Orange Tip Strid Woods.JPG

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:06 am

23 May

Went up to Whetstone Gate, here a metalled road runs out into Ilkley Moor to a radio relay station. The borders of the moor hold a number of patches of mixed Bilberry and Heather and I came up looking for Green Hairstreak. I went to look at a patch about 800 yds from the car park, a patch I had found in 2011, and was not disappointed. The little colony looked to have around 20 Green Hairstreak,
Local naturalists suggest these colonies exist all around the edge of the moors here, and last year I found a second colony at Shipley Glen, also on a Bilberry / heather patch but much nearer the valley.
Very close to my home is Prince of Wales' Park in Bingley, this park is actualy a wooded area on a hillside not the usual open type; with a central clearer area with a large area of Bilberry. This is also supposed to hold Green Hairstreak but I have yet to find one here, the park also holds Purple Hairstreak on its many oaks, never managed to find any last year, so hopefully this year will be more fruitful
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1938. 23 May 2012 Green Hairstreak Whetstone Gate.JPG
Green Hairstreak Whetstone Gate

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Re: philm63

Postby CJB » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:57 am

Hi Phil,
Welcome to the UKB site. I too am a new member and have been following the posts for a while.
I drive a desk in London which means that my excursions are limited, but am trying to record all the UK species on my mobile telephone and have so far reached 39, with a handful of firsts when I went to Cerne Abbas earlier this year. I too have been a birder for about 30 years and have always looked at butterflies without paying too much attention until a friend of mine developed my interest, which is now bordering on an obsession!
I look forward to following your progress as you tick off the species.
Flutter on!
CJB

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:09 pm

CJB wrote:Hi Phil,
Welcome to the UKB site. I too am a new member and have been following the posts for a while.
I drive a desk in London which means that my excursions are limited, but am trying to record all the UK species on my mobile telephone and have so far reached 39, with a handful of firsts when I went to Cerne Abbas earlier this year. I too have been a birder for about 30 years and have always looked at butterflies without paying too much attention until a friend of mine developed my interest, which is now bordering on an obsession!
I look forward to following your progress as you tick off the species.
Flutter on!
CJB


Thanks for that CJB, you'll no doubt rack up a list I'd be envious of. I do not travel much and it's grim up north (birds, butterflies and dragonflies)

Phil

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:19 pm

25 May

A trip down to the Wharfe valley at Knotford Nook, not too far from Otley. This is a pair of old gravel pits that are now angling lakes, set right beside the River Wharfe. It is a spot I visit a few times a year in all seasons and is good for all general wildlife. The Red Kites spreading out from Harewood often are pretty regular here and is first class for Dragonflies in summer, even if the species list is limited.
A circuit of the river bank and up towards Otley gave me:
Orange Tip 4, Small White a few, Large White a few, Speckled Wood 5 and Peacock 3
Common Blue Damselfly c1000

Will be back later in the summer here as it is one of the few spots locally to hold Gatekeeper and some of the larger Dragonflies

Arrived home to be pleasantly suprised by a female Holly Blue in the front garden. Managed to get one decent shot. I have seen Holly Blue a few times but have not yet found any Common Blue locally. If anyone knows of a site close to Bradford please do let me know.

From today - Common Blue Damsely, Female Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and female Holly Blue
Attachments
DSCF2429.JPG
Male Common Blue Damselfly
DSCF2458.JPG
Holly Blue female
DSCF2447.JPG
Speckled Wood
DSCF2430.JPG
Orange Tip female
Last edited by philm63 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:05 pm

26 May

From Ireland Bridge in Bingley you can follow the river in both directions. Upstream goes through Ravenroyd and arrives in the area of Marley. Downstream leads through Myrtle Park.
Ravenroyd and the area around is a very pleasant walk, at the Marley end is a small bog with an Orange Tip colony, last year there were 40+ here with a few Green-veined White, the hanging woods are predominantly conifer but do hold Speckled Wood, and the fields at the Bingley end near St Ives Estate hold Small Copper.
Myrtle Park is another pleasant riverside walk, with a strip wood leading to the park proper which has the open area right down to the banks of the River Aire. there are two footbridges, the first leads to an open area and then into a hillside wood, the second passes an allotment area and then continues down the valley.
The open area over the first bridge was where I had a Banded Demoiselle last year, which started me onto Dragonflies.
I walked down through Ravenroyd to Marley, back through the woods and crossed the road to then go into Myrtle Park. The Orange Tip area was very quiet compared to last year, but I think I am a few weeks later in visiting than 2011
Seen:
Large White 3, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Holly Blue 1, Orange Tip 11, Small White 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 4 and Speckled Wood 7
Blue-tailed Damselfly 2, Common Blue Damselfly 20, Broad-bodied Chaser 1 female (all these were in the the open area of Myrtle Park, the Chaser was a total suprise)

From todays photos - Peacock underside, male Common Blue Damselfly and the female Broad-bodied Chaser
Attachments
DSCF2479.JPG
Male Common Blue Damselfly
DSCF2493.JPG
Female Broad-bodied Chaser
DSCF2465.JPG
Peacock undersides
Last edited by philm63 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:02 pm

4 June

Started the day in Myrtle Park, then headed down the valley to Cottingley. Picked up the river again and followed it to Dowley Gap, then returned to Myrtle Park by a slightly different route. Dowley Gap, apart from the sewage works, is a lovely spot where the canal passes over the river on a viaduct. Hirst Wood on the canal side is one of the premier woodland sites in the Bradford area, but much frequented by the public, Bull Coppy Wood on the river is much smaller.
Seen:
Small White 2, Orange Tip 3, Peacock 1 (very worn), Small Tortoiseshell 3, Large White 1, Small Copper 1
The Small Copper in Myrtle Park was fresh-looking and my first for the year.
Common Blue Damselfly 12, Banded Demoiselle 22, Azure Damselfly 1, Large Red Damselfly 1, Blue-tailed Damselfly 1
Most of the Banded Demoiselle and the Large Red were at Dowley Gap, the rest at the usual spot in Myrtle Park

Pictures from today - male Banded Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly, Small Copper
Attachments
DSCF2554.JPG
Male Banded Demoiselle
DSCF2553.JPG
Large Red Damselfly
DSCF2559.JPG
Small Copper
Last edited by philm63 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:13 pm

17 June

Two weeks of bleak weather ended temporarily with a brightish day, but the other half decided the garden needed doing. I was not too pleased until another female Holly Blue decided to visit the garden, this time the back; and conveniently landed on a not too distant bush next door, so managed to get a few shots. It amazes me, as last year 2 of my 3 sightings of Holly Blue were actually in the garden, this year it is, so far, 2 of 4, I would have expected to see more locally, still if they want to visit the garden that is fine by me.

One of the Holly Blue shots from today
Attachments
DSCF2606.JPG
Holly Blue female

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Gothic_dreams
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Re: philm63

Postby Gothic_dreams » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:16 pm

Hey phil, like you i am also new to the forum, you have some lovely photos, i look forward to seeing more of your shots :-)

Chris

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Gothic_dreams wrote:Hey phil, like you i am also new to the forum, you have some lovely photos, i look forward to seeing more of your shots :-)

Chris


Chris

Thank you, I was very impressed with those on your diary, the subject matter makes me envious, maybe one day!! I actually was considering not including any of my images as a lot of them are not up to the standard I see around, they are more really record shots, although occasionally it all comes together. I will be posting some of my pre 2012 shots when I catch up with the dates, and I have a series of shots of a Peacock I am extremely proud of from a few years ago. Today was another good day and I got some good shots of a year first, but I will leave that till I catch up also.
I actually only run on a 4-year old Fuji Bridge camera, I got hold of a 12.1 m pixel Nikon Coolpix Bridge as a long-service award at work about 18 months ago and it is awful, I doubt if I have had a dozen decent shots of it. Will probably be excellent for potraits and landscape, but most of my shots are taken at zoom and in macro and it doesn't seem to be able to deliver. The Fuji has a SLR type viewfinder as well as the LCD screen which helps finding the target, but even then and after so long, I still bin loads because the autofocus hasn't decided what was the main point of focus. I sometimes miss the old manual focus film cameras, then again there is no cost in binning the rubbish from a digital

http://www.butterfliesoffrance.com/

The weblink above, if you have not visited the site before, is a revelation for the photos, the species yet to see and also is done informatively making it interesting to browse.

Phil

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Re: philm63

Postby Gothic_dreams » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:04 pm

Thank you phil, i am also very new to taking photos, those on my diary are only my first and second ever attempt at it. Im lucky enough that my dad gave me his old Panasonic Lumix FZ38 when he upgraded, which is a pretty decent camera for a beginner like myself :) Im glad you decided to put some shots up, its always nice to see what other people see about :) Also the link you sent made a very interesting read, thanks for that :)

Chris

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:34 pm

23 June

A bit better weather so hoped for an improvement on the last trip which produced not a single butterfly.

Did my local patch around the top outskirts of Bingley, Walsh Lane - Heights Lane and Prince of Wales' Park.
The latter provided the only butterfly of the day a Speckled Wood.
Last edited by philm63 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:31 pm

24 June

Surely cannot have another day like the last few. So decided to do my local patch again.
By the time I got to the old barn on Heights Lane it was appearing that it could be as bad, here I can take a slight extra loop down the bridleway and footpath to Eldwick reservoir, so decided to take the plunge. The final footpath has a central walkway of nice Yorkshire flags which seem popular with some butterflies for basking, also there are walls on both sides so it is a bit of a windbreak. The path had turned up some nice butterflies last year. It did not dissapoint as I saw my first Wall Brown of the year, a male with some wing damage but still looking reasonably fresh. All the cares fall away! Carried on up to the Reservoir gate then turned back to retrace my path. Spotted a second Wall Brown male about 50 m from the spot I had the first. I am sure it was a different individual.
In Prince of Wales' Park found a badly damaged Red Admiral on the ground at the start of a path, I have had them in this very spot on a number of occasions, never any other species. Is it coincidence or possibly something in the earth like minerals? Funnily enough this very same area gave me my first and only Southern Hawker last year.

Photos from today - Wall Brown, Red Admiral
Attachments
DSCF2658.JPG
Red Admiral with hindwing damage
DSCF2655.JPG
Wall Brown male

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:26 pm

25 June

The car in for repairs so took the day off, and the weather was looking reasonable. Walked from the garage and down Riverside Walk to Myrtle Park in Bingley, the river is in full spate still after all the rain. On the way passed a male Banded Demoiselle, so the omens were good. Got to the clearing across the river and found around 20 Common Blue Damselfly and 7 Banded Demoiselle, kept doing a circuit as the sun appeared and disappeared behind clouds. A nice Speckled Wood also put in an appearance.
To get home on foot involves climbing a long steep hill, so I normally take a diversion over footpaths and side roads that evens the journey out. This would take me past Bingley Bog North, so decided to pop in and see if anything was about. Bingley Bog North is a rough grassy area very close to Bingley Town Centre where a beck from the hills runs into the valley, and usually has an area of standing water with reeds. Bordered by the canal and the town by-pass, it runs between Three-rise and Five-rise locks on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. This is an area I really enjoy, most of the people using the very close canal towpath completely ignore this area, and the council have done some very good changes to make the area more amenable, especially the pathway. I worked my way over to the far corner closest to the by-pass (thankfully screened off) and along the extra bit of path here. This area of grass produced my first Meadow Browns of the year, the butterflies were flying very low in and out of the grass, and when alighting were very low and difficult to photo due to intervening vegetation. Had about 3 including what I took to be a mating pair. Whilst attempting a photo I noticed a skipper move, this proved to be my first Large Skipper of the year. Moving up and down the edge of the area counted 4 Large Skippers of which 3 were males and the fourth not seen well enough to make a call. These were much more photogenic and got some good shots.
This area always struck me as ideal for dragonflies/damselflies but I found none last year, so consider my surprise as I approached one of the skippers to spot a female Blue-tailed Damselfly resting on a bush, which added to an already enjoyable day
This site will hold Small Skipper later and the usual Ringlets which are common locally, it also produced one of the few Commas I had last year, so hopefully more to come here later.
To cap of a good day on the way home, my route passed a well vegetated path near one of the becks and during a period of sunshine; and this produced the first damselflies for this particular spot as well. Saw three in total which I got shots of, at home identified them as Emerald Damselfly which was a lifetime first for me.
Also a few Small and Large Whites roaming about today.

Photos from today below
Attachments
DSCF2731a.JPG
Emerald Damselfly
DSCF2724.JPG
Large Skipper male
DSCF2719.JPG
Large Skipper male
DSCF2716.JPG
Blue-tailed Damselfly female
DSCF2715.JPG
Large Skipper male
DSCF2713.JPG
Large Skipper male
DSCF2705.JPG
Large Skipper male
DSCF2700.JPG
Meadow Brown
DSCF2697.JPG
Speckled Wood
DSCF2695.JPG
Speckled Wood
DSCF2693.JPG
Banded Demoiselle male
DSCF2686.JPG
Any ideas??
DSCF2682.JPG
Banded Demoiselle female
DSCF2680.JPG
Common Blue Damselfly 2 males

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:34 pm

Looking back

Being new to the forum I thought it would be nice to occasionally look back at some of the images that have a special place for me

Peacock August 2009

I was still predominantly a birder back in 2009, but looked at anything I came across of interest. It was a lovely August day when I passed the allotments on the edge of Myrtle Park in Bingley ansd spotted this Peacock, initially on a plant then it moved onto a post, I took a series of shots even though it was not particulartly close. When I retrieved the shots later I was then hooked on seeing my local butterflies. The colours appeared so vibrant and a decent image unlike most of my bird shots. i have seen and photographed Peacocks on a number of occasions since, but they have not come close to my joy of these shots.

The images have all been compressed to about a third of their usual size to allow upload
Attachments
Peacock comp.jpg
Peacock 2 comp.jpg
Peacock 3 comp.jpg

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MikeOxon
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Re: philm63

Postby MikeOxon » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:40 pm

philm63 wrote:I was then hooked on seeing my local butterflies.


I can understand that after seeing these images. Your photos have caught the velvet look of Peacocks very well. I think some butterflies look better in photos than in reality, when they are sometimes too small to appreciate properly - I think Marsh Fritillary is an example in this category.

Mike


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