Kev Ling

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kevling
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Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

I have decided to set up a diary, not only to act as a personal account of my sightings, but also to share some of my favourite moments. Hopefully this will stimulate discussion with you all and improve my knowledge of butterflies. Keen to learn much more, I would welcome all comments (especially those that correct any lepidoptery faux pas' on my account).
To get myself started, I though I might post a few highlights of my Butterflying year so far.
The first selection is the early stages of my favourite butterfly of all, the Orange Tip. Having only seen the adults before, I was delighted to encounter both the ovum and larva stage.

Kind Regards
Kev
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kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:13 pm

A 'lifer' for me this year was the Glanville Fritillary. Beautiful butterfly.
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Photo 3.JPG
Photo 2.JPG
Photo 1.JPG

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby Pete Eeles » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:18 pm

kevling wrote:I have decided to set up a diary, not only to act as a personal account of my sightings, but also to share some of my favourite moments. Hopefully this will stimulate discussion with you all and improve my knowledge of butterflies.


Welcome to the club, Kev! I think the personal diaries are possibly the most valuable element of the website! Not only do they consolidate information into a logical sequence, but they're a fantastic resource to look back at during the long winter months! Look forward to seeing more!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Kev Ling

Postby millerd » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:29 pm

Welcome indeed, Kev!

Do I recognise that individual butterfly as being a Surrey Glanville? Good pics of the Orange Tip caterpillars: I love the way they bend at an angle to pretend to be part of the plant :)

Looking forward to how your year has unfolded since...

Cheers,

Dave

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:30 pm

Having only ever seen a couple of tantalising glimpses of White Letter Hairstreak high up in the Elms, I was keen to see them at closer quarters this summer. A trip to a reliable site at Benfleet Downs in June paid off and gave me one of my highlights of the summer to date.
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kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:35 pm

Dave,

Yes, it is one of the Surrey Glanvilles. The night before I was all set for a trip to Bedfordshire to see Duke of Burgundys (which would have also been a 'lifer' for me). But then I heard about this introduction and just had to see them. No sea sickness required also :lol:
I still intend to see them on IOW if I can though. As for the Dukes, there's always 2015!!

Kev

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Re: Kev Ling

Postby millerd » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:48 pm

Thought I recognised it, Kev - it's the same one I saw on a similar day out to avoid the long trek to Ventnor! It was a lovely example too.

Dave

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Working in Ipswich town centre, I often take a walk through a local nature reserve at lunchtimes. Having swotted up on larval foodplant ID over the winter, I set out to catch some early stage action. Following success with Orange Tip and Small Tortioseshell caterpillars, I soon spotted some 1st instar peacocks. When I returned a couple of days later, to my abhorrance the council had cut back the nettles close to the boardwalk, with subsequent casualties no doubt. But with wife and daughter to hand, we found some caterpillars lying on top of a heap about to be disposed. Keen to observe the life cycle of this species, we took them home and transferred them to some potted nettles in our garden. We learned a lot about their behaviour during the next few weeks and the photographs below are a record of one of those little fellows from almost start to finish.
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Peacock 15.JPG
Peacock 16.JPG

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MikeOxon
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:10 pm

A great start to your diary, Kev., and I see you are into early stages as well. It's a splendid Peacock sequence :D

Mike

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Re: Kev Ling

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:30 pm

I agree with Mike - a great start to the PD - looking forward to reading more. :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:22 am

Thanks for the early compliments gentleman.

The Peacock cycle was amazing to watch. We had a number of caterpillars, which did give us the runaround at times, crawling away from the potted nettles into the glare of our resident blackbird.Having a dog might have been less work.
Our young daughter and us discovered some interesting things along the way, like how they ejected green fluid when challenged. There were a couple of larva that hung themselves ready to pupate, but never actually did (I guess this is a normal rate that you otherwise don't see). But all of those that emerged as adults did so with no damage, albeit slightly smaller than the resident Peacocks already inhabiting our buddleia. Once again, I have never noticed a variation in size before, but this must be so.

Regards
Kev

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:58 pm

The East coast of Suffolk is alive and kicking with Clouded Yellows. Along the coastline at Bawdsey, the numbers have been reaching 40+. Not such high numbers on a breezy day for me, but still some good sightings though. Now I just need a few Painted Ladys to join the party.

Kev
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Wurzel
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:32 pm

It's great to read about such high numbers of Clouded Yellows Kev - if slightly frustrating as I'm in West Wales where there are none :mrgreen: It's not been a vintage year for Painted Ladies for me either this year but hang in there one usually turn up :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:10 am

A visit was paid to Rushmere Heath in Ipswich to see Grayling, which are now showing in good numbers. The golf club shares this important habitat, so my pursuit of Grayling was coupled with the desire not to be hit by low flying missiles.
I had in previous summers tried to get that all but elusive wing open shot. This time I was succesful. I also managed to see a couple partaking in an aerial ballet with each other. The resulting photo isn't great, but for a quick point and hope, it will do fine.
Away from the open heathland and into the wooded rides, we also saw 6 Purple Hairstreak, 6 Common Blue and an assortment of whites.

Regards Kev
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Photo 1.JPG
Photo 2.JPG
Photo 3.jpg

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:32 pm

Not having a large garden, we had given some thought to our planting this year in the hope of attracting adult butterflies and if fortunate enough some early stage action too.
We added a couple of pots of nettles in order to sustain the Peacock larva that we rescued (see earlier post). Now that they had hatched and flown, we were not expecting anything else. But a female Red Admiral took a liking to them and has laid over a dozen eggs. These were laid 2 or 3 at a time, in between bouts of nectaring elsewhere.

Eyeing up the nettles
Eyeing up.JPG

Ovipositing
ovi.JPG

Job done
Photo 4.JPG
Photo 3.JPG
Photo 2.JPG
Photo 1.JPG


There was also a slightly earlier batch of eggs laid on a separate pot of nettles, of which I just spotted three larva. No photos of these as yet, as they are all snug in their larval tents.


An extra bonus on our Nasturtiums are Small & Large White larva.
cat Photo 1.JPG

cat Photo 2.JPG

cat Photo 3.JPG


Regards Kev

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:52 pm

My experiences with early stage activity do not seem to be over yet, with some more developments at home. The Red Admiral caterpillars on my potted nettles are starting to make themsleves visible, although with the weather turning cooler, they do seem to spend most of their time in their larval tents.
Cat photo 1.JPG
Cat Photo 2.JPG


My Large White caterpillars are now on the move to pupate, as are the Small Whites which disappeared a day or two ago.
However whilst opening an upstairs window, I noticed this little fellow underneath the fascia boards of my roof.
Not sure if it is Large or Small white (but I'm favouring Small???).
White Pupa on house (1).JPG


Now off to Yorkshire on holiday, where the temperatures would seem to suit pengiuns more than Butterflies for the next few days. Still hoping for a Dark Green Frit though.

Regards Kev

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:04 pm

Just returned from a holiday to the Yorkshire Moors and Dales. A slightly autumnal feel to August on some days made the Butterflies think twice about putting in an appearance. But when the sun came out, things improved.
The biggest surprise was a close encounter with a Purple Hairstreak at the Hole of Horcum. Although a little worn, it seemed happy to see us too, flying on to my daughters hand.
PHS.JPG
Purple Hairstreak.JPG


There were good numbers of Peacock on the heather moors and we had regular sightings of Red Admiral and Small Cooper throughout the holiday too.
Red Admiral.JPG
Small Copper.JPG


Also came across this little fellow too, which I believe is an Alder Moth.
Alder Moth (2).JPG


Kind Regards
Kev

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Re: Kev Ling

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:38 pm

Love the Small Copper shot Kev and that Purp encounter :mrgreen: Purple Hairstreaks for me are one of those butterflies that you just can't plan to photograph - all of my shots are just pure lucky flukes :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Kev Ling

Postby David M » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:00 pm

Purple Hairstreak on your hand!! How much better can it get?

kevling
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Re: Kev Ling

Postby kevling » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:55 am

Wurzel/Dave: Thanks for comments. It certainly was a surprise to have a Close Encounter of the Purple Kind. Only managed a couple of brief low level sightings before. The Small Copper just happened to land in in the right position with the early evening sun casting a shadow.

Regards Kev


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