CFB

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CFB
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CFB

Postby CFB » Sun May 18, 2014 12:10 pm

Yesterday along the Piste de Darbousson I encountered my first Spotted Fritillary of the
year, a female. There was also a male not far away, but he didn't seem to want to be photographed.

IMG_2665.JPG

Pearly Heaths were being particularly helpful. Even if they flew away now and then, they tended to return to the same Cistus bush.

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I only saw one somewhat camouflaged Spanish Festoon. This was at my primary Festoon site, where I have never seen any Aristolochia plants, its larval host-plant. But at my secondary site, there are plenty of Aristolochia but fewer Festoons.

IMG_2699.JPG

There were several Speckled Woods, a few Wall Browns, a couple of Glanville Fritillaries, a Scarce Swallowtail and a few Provence Chalkhill Blues.

Today in the Parc de la Brague, I found a fresh-looking presumably male Spotted Fritillary.

IMG_2706.JPG

Once again there were some friendly Pearly Heaths. This one seems to have a forewing slightly bent over.

IMG_2719.JPG

Also seen: my first Knapweed Fritillary of the year, a Scarce Swallowtail, Speckled Woods, Wall Browns, Glanville Fritillaries and a few Provence Chalkhill Blues.
--
Colin

Chris Jackson
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Re: CFB

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun May 18, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Colin,
Its refreshing to see your Pearly Heath photos, mainly because PHs don't seem to make it as far west as Marseilles, the closest we get to here is Dusky Heath which has just come out now.
I agree that your 'male' Spotted Fritillary is a male, they have been out in Marseilles for a good month now. I see a lot more males than females for some reason.
I love the colouring of Spanish Festoons - you're lucky to have a regular spot, I think I'm too close to the coast.
Cheers, Chris
Last edited by Chris Jackson on Sun May 18, 2014 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Sun May 18, 2014 3:57 pm

Hello Chris,

The Dusky Heath is apparently plentiful in the Alpes-Maritimes as well, but further north and at higher altitudes than my patch :( .
--
Colin

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David M
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Re: CFB

Postby David M » Sun May 18, 2014 6:39 pm

Nice shots of male and female Spotted Fritillary.

This is one species that takes sexual dimorphism to its extreme.

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Tue May 20, 2014 1:18 pm

Yesterday it was cloudy, cool and very windy at times, with some rain. I didn't go out :( .

Today it started off being very cloudy, but by 10 a.m. the sun and the butterflies started coming out, and I was able to make up for yesterday by seeing five first-sightings of the year :) . These were all near the Pont des Dones on the way to Roquefort-les-Pins. This is where last year I managed to photograph a Black-veined White in the process of ovipositing. Today was very similar, with a Black-veined White clinging to the underside of a Hawthorn leaf, presumably ovipositing, though I didn't see any ova:

IMG_2760.JPG

There were several other Black-veined Whites in the vicinity, including this male taking advantage of the numerous Aphyllanthes monspeliensis plants:

IMG_2781.JPG

The surprise of the day was however a Chequered Blue, as I don't often see any of these, and have never seen them at this location:

IMG_2784.JPG

There were several Heath Fritillaries for the first time:

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And a Bath White:

IMG_2792.JPG

Amongst species already seen this year was this beautiful Marsh Fritillary:

IMG_2796.JPG

Also seen flying around were two Canadair aircraft on a forest fire-fighting mission:

IMG_2797.JPG

--
Colin

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David M
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Re: CFB

Postby David M » Tue May 20, 2014 5:04 pm

Amazing how different your Marsh Fritillaries are to ours.

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Tue May 20, 2014 6:02 pm

Yes David, I've just looked at the photos in the Species-Specific Albums, and I see what you mean.

Here's another one from exactly a year ago, which is markedly different from the one I posted this morning.

IMG_7253.JPG

--
Colin

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Re: CFB

Postby Chris Jackson » Tue May 20, 2014 6:43 pm

Hi Colin,
I find that not many butterflies feed on Blue Grass Lily, such as your Black-veined White does.
I would love to see a Chequered Blue around my way :) .
Chris
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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Thu May 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Yesterday I went to Gagaï to see if there were any Chequered Blues flying, and to see the Lilium pomponium. I didn't see any Chequered Blues, and the lilies were well past their best. So here are two photos from last year instead!

IMG_7034.JPG

This lily was photographed exactly a year ago:

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This morning I walked along the Piste de Curnier where I saw my first Painted Lady of the year, and I saw another one later on. No photo unfortunately. But there were a couple of Knapweed Fritillaries:

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and several Small Heaths:

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Then I saw my first Five-spot Burnet of the year:

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While I was still a few kilometres from my car, the sky started to rapidly darken, and the thunder that I had been hearing in the distance was getting ominously louder and nearer. So I put myself into overdrive and headed back. I almost made it in time, but it started to rain when I was 10 minutes from the car. But I avoided the heaviest rain and arrived home only slightly damp.
--
Colin

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Fri May 23, 2014 5:54 pm

Not much at all this morning. It was sunny but with big clouds obscuring the sun for long periods. There was a Swallowtail which flew past at great speed, several Western Dappled Whites,

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and my first photo of the year of a Painted Lady:

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And just for a change, here's a photo of a badger:

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For nearly a year there was evidence that a badger was coming into our garden somehow or other, and causing damage. We found someone who had a badger trap, which we baited with cake, honey and apple. On the first night a large rat was caught by the trap. The second night the badger was caught. The owner of the trap came and collected it, and took it a long way away and released the badger. I would point out that the trap causes no damage at all to the badger who, once inside, treads on something which causes the door to shut behind it.
--
Colin

Chris Jackson
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Re: CFB

Postby Chris Jackson » Sat May 24, 2014 7:11 am

Hi Colin
Your Five-spot Burnet and that Painted Lady seem to tie in with my sightings over the last couple of days.
Yesterday I even saw 2 Clouded Yellows on the Island of Frioul, just off Marseilles, whereas I havn't seen any on the mainland for months.
Cheers, Chris
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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Sat May 24, 2014 3:49 pm

This morning it was sunny and warm with very little wind, so I hoped to see some new butterflies. I wasn't disappointed as along the Piste du Moulin de l'Ange I saw one Ilex Hairstreak and many Blue-spot Hairstreaks, both for the first time this year. I think the plant they are on is Lotus dorycnium.

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Other species included Southern White Admiral, Painted Lady, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Wood White, Heath Fritillary, Spotted Fritillary, Holly Blue, Adonis Blue, Provence Chalkhill Blue and Pearly Heath.

Also it's the time of the year for my favourite orchid Cephalanthera rubra to be in flower:

IMG_2939.JPG

--
Colin
Last edited by CFB on Sun May 25, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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David M
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Re: CFB

Postby David M » Sat May 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Nice images of the Hairstreaks, Colin. You are making me envious on a very wet afternoon in south Wales. :(

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Sat May 24, 2014 4:56 pm

David M wrote:a very wet afternoon in south Wales. :(

So that's why they shut the roof of the Millennium Stadium for Toulon v. Saracens which we are watching on the TV. It's the half-time at present and Toulon are winning. :D :D :D
--
Colin

Chris Jackson
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Re: CFB

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun May 25, 2014 7:33 am

Hi Colin and David,
I find that the Ilex (or False Ilex (I have a job differentiating them)) and the Blue-spot Hairstreak both appear at exactly the same time, and I always spot them together. Peculiar !
Cheers, Chris
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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Mon May 26, 2014 4:28 pm

cjackson wrote:I have a job differentiating them

Hello Chris,

Some time ago I compiled the following, probably from information here on the UKB site:

Satyrium esculi (False Ilex Hairstreak) compared to S. ilicis (Ilex Hairstreak):
- the size of the orange/red spots is uniform as they approach the leading edge of the hindwing (whereas they typically get smaller on S. ilicis)
- the white line is finer and appears broken but more regular
- the orange markings are smaller, brighter and red (little hint of orange), clearly lined black internally but without any black on the outer site of the red spots
- the hindwing marginal white line is narrow or absent

Even so, I'm sure that there exist many specimens where it is difficult to differentiate between the two :( .
--
Colin

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Mon May 26, 2014 4:52 pm

All day yesterday it was overcast and I saw very few butterflies, and photographed none.

Today was fine and warm and sunny. I saw several Black-veined Whites, once again on Aphyllanthes monspeliensis:

IMG_2961.JPG

There was a solitary, still very colourful, Spanish Festoon at my secondary Festoon site, but none at my primary site. Perhaps it is the end of the season for Spanish Festoons? In fact a quick look at my Festoon photos shows that I have never photographed any after the merry month of May.

IMG_2974.JPG

Also seen were a late male Orange-tip and a latish male Cleopatra, a Southern White Admiral, several Heath Fritillaries and two Marsh Fritillaries.

And to add a bit of variety, lots of Anacamptis pyramidalis:

IMG_2989.JPG

--
Colin

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Re: CFB

Postby Chris Jackson » Tue May 27, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks for your explanations Colin regarding esculi and ilicis. I can see your's is ilicis, and I think I tend to get esculi across in Marseilles.
And wow ! your Orange Tip sighting is late - they finished over here a good 2 weeks back.
Cheers, Chris
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Roger Gibbons
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Re: CFB

Postby Roger Gibbons » Tue May 27, 2014 9:52 am

I think it is ilicis on balance but it is not 100% typical.

There are some clues based on my observations on my esculi page.

Roger

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CFB
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Re: CFB

Postby CFB » Tue May 27, 2014 4:26 pm

It was sunny and warm and dry again as I walked along the Piste de Peical this morning.

There were plenty of Filipendula vulgaris (Dropwort) plants waiting for the Twin-spot Fritillaries (Nacré de la filipendule in French), but I still haven't seen any this year. They seem to appear at the end of May or the beginning of June, so perhaps it's still a bit early.

IMG_3046.JPG

I saw a very smart Spotted Fritillary which posed for me on three different plants, this one being a Heiracium of some sort.

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There was also a solitary very small Small Copper:

IMG_3035-001.JPG

Other species seen include Pearly and Small Heaths, Ilex and Blue-spot Hairstreaks, Heath Fritillaries, Common and Provence Chalkhill Blues, and some Speckled Woods.
--
Colin


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