Mike Robinson

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Mike Robinson
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Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:19 pm

If I have gotten this right, this will be a Diary of my Butterfly watching activities.

Having spent approaching four years in search of Birds I feel I need a change.

Most of my birding activities take place locally beside the (tidal) Thames at Crossness and on the nearby Erith Marshes (formerly NW Kent now SE London).

So here I am; in search of both Birds and Butterflies. Not that I really know much about either of 'em although I'm old enough now not to let that bother me too much! As long as I can enjoy myself, that's all that really matters.

I have set myself a target of twenty-five Butterfly species for the year; reasonable I think/hope.

Especially since today I reached seventeen * with a Meadow Brown tucked away on the Erith Marshes.

I also managed to spot a Large Skipper; my second of the year. Why they are called Large Skippers is however a mystery since they seem so teeny!

* the seventeen species seen so far this year (the majority on the Erith Marshes) are as follows:

Brimstone
Comma
Common Blue
Green Hairstreak
Green-Veined White
Holly Blue
Large Skipper
Large White
Meadow Brown
Orange Tip
Painted Lady
Peacock
Red Admiral
Small Heath
Small Tortoiseshell
Small White
Speckled Wood

Mike …..
Last edited by Mike Robinson on Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Neil Freeman » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:51 pm

Hi Mike,

Good start to your diary, looking forward to see your further posts.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Wurzel » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:50 am

Good start Mike :D Looking forward to reading further posts - I reckon you should easily be able to reach your target, especially if yo can get out onto some Downland in the coming weeks :D When you see a Smessex (Small or Essex) or Grizzled Skipper you'll soon understand why they're called Large Skipper :)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Willrow » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 pm

Yes, good luck with your target Mike, and I reckon you can surpass 25 species this year comfortably :wink:

Bill :D

"When in doubt...venture out"
Why not visit my website at http://www.dragonfly-days.co.uk

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:51 pm

Gentlemen: many thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:09 pm

We decided to venture further afield today (Sunday 8 June); and made our way down the A2/M2 to the Queendown Warren Nature Reserve. Not too easy a place to find.

We saw a few Butterflies; and quite a few Dogs!

Truth to tell, we didn't see too many Butterflies but we managed to spot a Green Hairstreak, a few Small Tortoiseshells, a few Common Blues and possibly a couple of Brown Arguses viz. see one below:

brownargusqueendownsideon.jpg

I have determined this to be a Brown Argus Butterfly due to the seeming lack of a forewing spot and the black line around the edge of the wing.

On looking at some pictures after arriving home I wondered if we had managed to spot a Small Blue Butterfly; see below:

smallbluebutterflyqueensdown.jpg

The tentative identification is based on the pattern of the spots on the outside of the wing.

We were restricted by time so had to rather rush round.
Last edited by Mike Robinson on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:11 pm

As Wurzel wrote - you have to understand 'Large' in the context of the Small Skipper.

Perhaps I should warn you that, if you go looking for Large Blue, DO NOT expect something like a Blue Morpho or you will be severely disappointed :lol:

Mike

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:15 pm

Mike: Thanks; I'm coming to terms with the 'Large' Skipper now.

Kind regards ~ Mike …...

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Wurzel
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:51 pm

That looks like a Brown Argus to me Mike, you're correct to use the lack of the spot on the fore wing to help ID but they don't always show you that part :roll: I'm not too sure about the Small Blue - they tend to end up looking browny/purple when worn rather than blue as those scales quickly rub off the males. :) Anyway a few more species to get you towards your tally target :D

Have a godun

Wurzel

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:13 am

Dear Wurzel:

Thanks. I'm relaxed with the Brown Argus (this and other characters). However, I was 'hoping' rather than 'thinking' that the other Butterfly was a Small Blue Butterfly; not really the right way to look at it. I think that I shall continue to seek my first Small Blue Butterfly.

Kind regards ~ Mike …..

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:23 pm

Back down to the Erith Marshes today before it rained early-afternoon. Except that it didn't rain at all!

The usual characters were present including the first Comma Butterfly I had seen there for a few weeks:

commaerith9june2014.jpg

I noticed a very faded Peacock Butterfly; however I spotted a couple of hundred or Caterpillars so we should have some nice new Butterflies fairly soon:

peacockcaterpillarserith9june2014.jpg

I always seem to manage a few Large Skipper Butterflies:

largeskippererith9june2014.jpg

Hopefully some Small Skipper Butterflies and Essex Skipper Butterflies will make their presence known fairly soon. I imagine I shall have some awkward moments trying to identify them though!

There are quite a few very fresh looking Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies whooshing around; also a few Common Blue Butterflies:

smalltortoiseshellerith9june2014.jpg

twocommonbluebutterflieserith9june2014.jpg

Additionally, a few Small White Butterflies were busying themselves.

I know less about Moths than I do about Butterflies (which ain't very much!); but I managed to spot and identify a couple of Cinnabar Moths and a (rather handsome to my mind) Burnet Companion Moth:

cinnabarerith9june2014.jpg

burnetcompanionerith9june2014.jpg

So rather a good outing; by my standards at least. Plus I also spotted six Lapwings on the Marsh; occasional visitors during the Summer. And six Teals on the nearby Thames.

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby David M » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:03 pm

Mike Robinson wrote:The usual characters were present including the first Comma Butterfly I had seen there for a few weeks


Great stuff! Personally I've not seen a Comma since April and was beginning to worry about them.

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:30 am

Thanks for noticing this &c. …..

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Wurzel
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Wurzel » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:31 am

Great shots Mike, they put the butterflies nicely in context :D I too haven't seen a Comma since the spring - so the one you have there is the summer form hutchinsoni - it looks more golden and 'two tone' than the spring/late summer adults - very nice find, I'll start keeping my eyes open for my own now :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Thanks ….

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:38 pm

A few visits down to the local Erith Marshes and the nearby Thames during the past few days. However, with it being sunny and warm I'm turning red!

That being said, I have been lucky and managed to see a variety of Butterfly species viz.:

Brimstone
Comma:

comma12june2014.jpg

Common Blue:

commonblue13june2014.jpg

Large Skipper:

largeskipperdrinking13june2014.jpg

Large White
Green-Veined White:

greenveinedwhite13june2014.jpg

Meadow Brown:

meadowbrown12june2014.jpg

Painted Lady:

paintedladyerith10june2014.jpg

Peacock (which landed on my foot)
Red Admiral:

redadmiralcrossness11june2014.jpg

Small Skipper:

smallskipper13june2014.jpg

Small Tortoiseshell:

smalltortoiseshellerith11june2014.jpg

Small White
Speckled Wood

I'm now thinking it might be possible to see at least twenty Butterfly species here on the Marshes and the surrounding area. I know we shouldn't really think numerically (just enjoy what we have) but I think I would find that very pleasing.

It is fairly quiet in terms of birds although the Reed Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Sedge Warblers &c. have been noisy. However, I managed to snap a Common Tern whooshing and swooshing above the Outfall of the Crossness Sewage Works:

commontern12june2014.jpg

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Hoggers » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi Mike I've really enjoyed reading your diary and you've identified a moth for me - the Burnet Companion Moth.

I've seen a few on my patch, mistaking them for butterflies, and I never knew their name until I read your diary!

Cheers

Hoggers

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Mike Robinson
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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:07 pm

You are very kind. Thanks.
I think Burnet Companions are very handsome arrangements.

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Pauline » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:00 pm

Great shot of the Large Skipper, Mike and well done for spotting a Small Skipper :D . I was looking for them today but no joy :roll:

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Re: Mike Robinson

Postby Mike Robinson » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:27 am

You are very kind; thank you …..


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