SimonC69

This forum contains a topic per member, each representing a personal diary.
User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:45 pm

First post here will be a bit of an introduction.
Based in north Hertfordshire, I've been interested in Butterflies since an early age - though I'm a birder at heart - and as such the birds have taken most of my time and my butterfly "list" (told you I was a birder!) is still under 30. I've been photographing Butterflies on & off for a few years now, and when I got round to cataloguing them recently, I was surprised to discover that I'd only seen one more species than I'd managed to photograph (Clouded Yellow being the missing one)
Which got me thinking, I might challenge myself to photograph 50 species before my 50th birthday. I've got three summers, and 23 species to get there.
So, I'm hoping this will serve as a record of, and hopefully a bit of personal inspiration to my challenge.
I'll post those photos I have so far here over the next few days and I'm sure I will be asking quite a few questions regarding sites etc over the coming months.
I'll start with the latest "tick" gained yesterday at Whiteleaf Cross, Bucks - Chalkhill Blue


I hope :D
P8020023.JPG

P8020024.JPG

P8020027.JPG

User avatar
dilettante
Posts: 494
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 11:03 am
Location: Cambridge area

Re: SimonC69

Postby dilettante » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:58 pm

If you're in North Herts, you should go to Therfield / Royston Heath, although you've already ticked off Chalkhill Blue. See my diary entry from yesterday http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=5167&p=102160#p102160
Good luck with your mission!

trevor
Posts: 1523
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: SimonC69

Postby trevor » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:59 pm

HI Simon,

Although a relative newcomer to UK Butterflies myself, may i be the first to welcome you. I am sure
i won't be the last. These diaries are a good way to learn what's about and where.
If you come from North Herts. you can't be far from where half of me comes from, the Biggleswade area.
Hope you will be a regular contributor.

Best wishes,
TREVOR.

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:06 pm

dilettante wrote:If you're in North Herts, you should go to Therfield / Royston Heath, although you've already ticked off Chalkhill Blue. See my diary entry from yesterday http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=5167&p=102160#p102160
Good luck with your mission!

Thanks. I've not been but I have been told by several people it should be one of my destinations next summer. In fact, looking at your list, the two Frits would be "lifers" for me so definitely worth going when the time is right.

trevor wrote:...If you come from North Herts. you can't be far from where half of me comes from, the Biggleswade area...


Born in WGC, raised in Stevenage (it's not that bad!) and recently moved to Walkern. I hope to become a regular here too.

User avatar
MikeOxon
Posts: 2354
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:06 pm
Location: Oxfordshire
Contact:

Re: SimonC69

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:09 pm

I think quite a number of birders switch to butterflies during the summer, when bird interest is usually at a low ebb. On the whole, I think butterflies are much easier, since there are only about 58 regular breeding species in UK and seeing them is mainly a case of being in the right place at the right time - both these factors being well-documented. I had the advantage, at the time I was amassing my 'list', in having a very enthusiastic young son, who planned the schedules for me!

Of course, as with birds, there's always the possibility of spotting rare migrants. It also gets a lot more challenging if you aim to record all the life stages - several caterpillars are amazingly elusive.

I look forward to watching your progress through the pages of this diary.

Mike

peterc
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 5:45 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby peterc » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:12 pm

Hi Simon,

Welcome to the forum - lots of helpful people here and some of the adventures fellow butterfliers experience encourages you. For example I really only started looking for eggs and larvae after seeing some cracking photos of these immature stages. Next on the list for me is finding a White Admiral larva.

I live in Stevenage so you are not too far away. I take it that you've seen a Purple Emperor then locally? :)

ATB

Peter

User avatar
Pete Eeles
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Posts: 6165
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:10 pm
Location: Thatcham, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: SimonC69

Postby Pete Eeles » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:17 pm

Hi Simon - and welcome aboard!

Cheers,

- Pete

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:28 pm

MikeOxon wrote:I think quite a number of birders switch to butterflies during the summer, when bird interest is usually at a low ebb.

Yep, I think that is well documented, and I'm another statistic :)

MikeOxon wrote:...It also gets a lot more challenging if you aim to record all the life stages - several caterpillars are amazingly elusive.


I was trying not to think about that, I'm the sort of person that could easily get fanatical about things like that, if I'm not careful

peterc wrote:....I live in Stevenage so you are not too far away. I take it that you've seen a Purple Emperor then locally? :)....


Haha! Yes, in my garden. How did you know? :) You may be able to furnish me with some local knowledge in time for next year actually Peter, namely White-letter Hairstreaks on six hills common and SW Frits at Norton Green? The latter would be most helpful as I only know NG as a birding site, and that's the landfill site, not the watery grove end. Of course any info on other local gems would be gratefully received.

peterc
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 5:45 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby peterc » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:18 am

Simon,

Well done on the Purple one. I visit Norton Green regularly, perhaps 2 or 3 times a week in the summer. Silver-washed Fritillary should still be on the wing for a while yet - first female seen last Wednesday. It is often found in the open area west of Watery Grove close to where the power lines are.

ATB

Peter

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:27 am

Thanks Peter,
that's encouraging as I've got Friday off work so I might take a trek over there if the weather is ok.

User avatar
Neil Freeman
Posts: 2553
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:25 pm
Location: Solihull, West Midlands

Re: SimonC69

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:32 pm

Hi Simon and welcome.

Looking forward to seeing more as you continue your quest to see 50 species before you are 50.

Cheers,

Neil.

User avatar
bugboy
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm
Location: London

Re: SimonC69

Postby bugboy » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:49 pm

Good luck Simon, I'm on a similar quest, trying to see and photograph all 59 in 5 years :shock:. It's been a fun first year so far though :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

millerd
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Heathrow

Re: SimonC69

Postby millerd » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:55 pm

Good luck with your quest for 50 species, Simon! With help and guidance from all the good folk on this site, you should manage it with time to spare. All 59 is another matter, mind... :)

Dave

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:30 am

Thanks all.
I'm sure that with help from you lot I'll at least get close.
And if I don't quite make it I can always switch to 59 by 59 eh? :)

CJB
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:58 am

Re: SimonC69

Postby CJB » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:52 am

Hi Simon,

Best of luck with your quest!

I have set myself the task of photographing all the species on my iPhone, for some bizarre reason. :?

The most elusive for me so far are the hairstreaks and I am yet to snaffle a White-letter or a Black and have a very distant shot of a purple, but a decent close-up of a green. I managed to notch up a silver-studded blue and dark green fritillary this year which brings my tally to 48 in the UK, including a monarch which may or may not have been released!?

It is when it becomes a matter of geography that your task becomes more Herculean! The chequered and lulworth skippers, leap to mind!

Best of luck with it all and I will follow your progress with interest.

Flutter on!

CJB

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5786
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: SimonC69

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:48 pm

Welcome and good luck with your challenge Simon :D If you need a hand for Lulworth Skipper or Marsh Frits then just send me a PM..

Have a goodun

Wurzel

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:26 am

CJB wrote:.....I have set myself the task of photographing all the species on my iPhone, for some bizarre reason. :? ....


Yeah, that's the sort of thing I'd be likely to hobble myself with (and have done with various photography projects in the past). But as I'm quite keen on finishing this one I gave myself at least a fighting chance. :)


Wurzel wrote:..Welcome and good luck with your challenge Simon :D If you need a hand for Lulworth Skipper or Marsh Frits then just send me a PM..


Thanks, I'm ok on Lulworth Skipper, got them last year (the idea for this project has been bubbling under for a few years - it was a PE in my garden this year that gave me the final kick) but Marsh Frit info would be most useful I reckon.

Cheers
Simon

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:56 am

Right, I suppose I ought to start making this resemble some sort of diary (albeit a retrospective one for the moment) and post up a few of the species I already have under my belt.
I'll start with the the last two to make it onto the list (before the Chalkhill Blues that is)

I'd started the year the same as I always seem to: Vaguely thinking about maybe trying to photograph some new butterflies, but not really getting properly motivated (I need a macro lens - definitely - anyone got the winning lotto numbers handy?)
Then, on 16th of July, we found this sitting on the bonnet of my Wife's car (being eyed up by my cat!)

I rescued it from the cat, grabbed my camera (not remembering it was still set to ISO 1600 from an experiment the day before) and got this first photo, operating the camera with my left hand (ever tried that with an old dSLR without live view?)

_DSC1373.JPG


Then got it to walk onto my left hand where it didn't quite open it's wings far enough....

_DSC1375.JPG


Then, with a slight flash of purple, it was off..

_DSC1376.JPG


Not the best photos I know, (1600 ISO really isn't all that much use!) but that encounter has set in motion what I hope will be a brilliant quest (one that I've been meaning to do for years, but never really got around to)

Next post: A long awaited encounter that nearly got the ball rolling a year earlier...........

User avatar
SimonC69
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby SimonC69 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:54 pm

This post was going to be a retrospective one, with a photo of species #25 but I had the day off today and managed a quick visit to get two "lifers", close to home (thanks to info supplied by peterc)
I really wish I had:
a: more time to spend chasing a better shot

b: A better lens for my camera!!!

But, as I had/have neither of those here are some ropey record shots of species numbers 28:

P8070052.JPG
Purple Hairstreak


_DSC1827.JPG
Crappy record shot


and 29:

_DSC1828.JPG
another crappy record shot


These are in the file marked: better shot desired but they still count!

I did manage to get a couple of shots I'm sort of happy with though, of 'flies that are already in the bag (but always nice to see):

small_copper.JPG


Painted Lady.JPG

peterc
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 5:45 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: SimonC69

Postby peterc » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:57 pm

Sounds like you had a good day at Norton Green today. Well done on that photo of the open-winged Purple Hairstreak in particular.

Fancy looking for a Brown Hairstreak at the site? :lol:. I will be there tomorrow before 9 am (if the weather is favourable) looking for it on one of the ash trees.

ATB

Peter


Return to “Personal Diaries”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest