April 2017

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David M
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April 2017

Postby David M » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:38 pm

I have a good feeling about this.

On your marks.....

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David M
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Re: April 2017

Postby David M » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:21 pm

No takers today? That surprises me given the forecast.

It was only warm and sunny after 3pm in Swansea but surely someone must have seen something out of the ordinary, in the south-east at least!

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Wurzel
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Re: April 2017

Postby Wurzel » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:03 pm

A quick trip to Five Rivers produced a Red Admiral, my first OT of 2017 - a female unusually followed by a Specklie and then a male OT :D
Grand total for the day:

Red Admiral 1
Small tort 11
Comma 3
Orange-tip 2
Speckled Wood 2
Proper report on PD...eventually. :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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sonomoha
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Re: April 2017

Postby sonomoha » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:15 am

A little walk in Nightingale valley (bs4) to see many commas and few peacocks.
There may have been other species around but hay fever would not let me stay longer around some plants :)
Sighting illustrated in journal entry here.
cheers
usually welcomes live nature photo walks (-:
all photos posted © sonomoha, unless stated otherwise.

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Jack Harrison
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Re: April 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:29 pm

First sighting of the year in these parts. Duffus Castle near Lossiemouth, two Tortoiseshells.
The ruined castle is on a mound that looks as if it would qualify as a 'Munro'. I didn't attempt the mountaineering.
Butterflies seen by my wife Stella. Grr.

Jack

Mark Senior
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Re: April 2017

Postby Mark Senior » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:11 pm

First Grizzled Skippers of the year at Mill Hill Shoreham West Sussex yesterday . Despite several people searching in the same spot , no one has been able to re find the Large Tortoiseshell seen and photographed by Neil Hulme earlier last week in West Sussex .

EricY
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Re: April 2017

Postby EricY » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:22 pm

Large White female in my Norfolk garden today & also my first Green-veined white + a couple of Peacocks. Eric

Allan.W.
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Re: April 2017

Postby Allan.W. » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:39 pm

Out early this morning,to see how some scarce local plants were progressing,ie; Toothwort,which are parasitic on Hazel
amongst others, also hoping for possible roosting Orange -Tip,no luck there ,but I did find my first Green -vein of the year. Later at Dungeness 'I found ten Small Tortoiseshells,nearing their ends now,some looking very bedraggled,really good to see a rise in numbers,after their recent ups and downs,i was hoping to witness egg laying but again no luck !,I reckon we,re about a week or so from the first Small Coppers,but I believe a few
have been seen in other parts of the country. Later a flying late afternoon visit to a local sight produced 4 Peacock, I did also see a male Orange-tip
and a couple of Small Whites. Regards Allan.W.




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David M
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Re: April 2017

Postby David M » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:06 pm

A disappointingly mundane day here in Swansea on the butterfly front. I had hoped Large and Green Veined Whites might be about, but in 2 hours of searching all I found were Brimstones, Speckled Woods, Commas and Holly Blues.

That said, 15 Brimstones is fair going in springtime, and I managed to photograph my first female of the year:

1FemaleBrimstone(1).jpg

Philzoid
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Re: April 2017

Postby Philzoid » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:13 pm

A couple of weeks ago I paid a visit to Riverside Park Nature reserve, Guildford and noticed a profusion of cuckoo flower … ideal for Orange-tips and perhaps a little bit more ‘peaceful’ than my usual haunt for this species:- the Basingstoke canal towpath in Woking which has become severely ‘inundated’ lately.
The day didn’t get off to a good start when I realised I’d left the one of my camera’s batteries on the charger at home :shock: . Switching lenses between my two DSLR’s would be the order of the day.
The Cuckoo flower plants were in full bloom as I headed along to the boardwalk area. However, the first butterfly I was to see was a very obliging Red Admiral.
IMG_6470 Red Admiral, Riverside Park nature reserve, Guildford.jpg

Next butterfly seen was my first for the season Peacock. Although they turned out to be in plentiful numbers, unlike the Red admiral they were very alert and very difficult to get the lens on them. Later on, I managed one or two passable shots.
The next butterfly was what I’d come to see, an Orange-tip, a male patrolling in the way that they do, checking out all the cuckoo flower, tantalisingly close to landing but never doing so.
IMG_6508 Orange-tip, Riverside Park NR, Guildford.jpg
I wasn’t going to give up of course and followed him backwards and forwards along the boardwalk … and in the end he surprised me and put down some 6 foot away from the boards. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to photo an Orange-tip in near midday sun. Generally, if you want to get pictures the best time is in the late afternoon when they are settling down to roost.
IMG_6514 Orange-tip, Riverside Park NR, Guildford.jpg

Afterwards I made my way back to the car, planning on going to Chiddingfold. As I approached the exit gate I saw two butterflies do battle and one return to a clump of nettles next to the gate. The butterfly was a Small Tortoiseshell, which although considered common is quite a rare sight in Woking, (just up the road from Guildford and my part of Surrey). The butterfly was readily spooked but it had a strong affinity for the nettles, always returning to guard its territory. A chap I’d met earlier when shown the butterfly said: - “I thought that was a Red Admiral”? It seems a common mistake but I was able to show him the Red Admiral on my camera taken earlier.
IMG_6611 Small Tortoiseshell, Riverside Park NR, Guildford.jpg

At Botany Bay Chiddingfold I made my way along the track and was immediately met with a male Brimstone which conveniently stopped to refuel on a dandelion. All I’d seen this year were a couple of fly-bys, so it was good to be able to get in fairly close to get a shot off.
IMG_6619 Brimstone, Botany Bay, Chiddingfold.jpg
I counted around 15 in total over the two hours I was there, all but two were males.
Although primrose flowers were more plentiful the Brimstones erred to the Dandelions (perhaps because they yield more or better quality nectar :?: ).
As I moved along the ride I kept putting up Peacocks which would re-settle a further 10 or so yards further on. Focussing on one individual I crept up slowly and then a Holly Blue hove into view :o . Which one to go for :? ……. The Holly Blue, I bet Wurzel hasn’t seen one of them yet :wink: .
The Holly blue jinked around a few inches above the ground occasionally alighting to take salts. By the time I’d finished with it, the Peacock was gone … but there would be plenty more (all more difficult to get near to than I ever remember a Peacock being.) The Holly Blue took my seasons tally to seven.
IMG_6634 Holly Blue, Botany Bay, Chiddingfold.jpg

The ride bends to the right for around 50 yards then straightens again before heading down to a little bridge then upwards to the “triangle”. The ‘50 yarder section’ yielded another Holly Blue (I’d seen them in this area in previous years, one of them even landing on my camera 8) )
IMG_6666 Holly Blue, Botany Bay, Chiddingfold t01.jpg

Beyond the little bridge the track leading to the triangle is usually the first spot you see Wood Whites when you go in mid-May – June (1st brood) or late July (2nd brood). As my normal first call on Chiddingfold is in May I had to keep reminding myself to switch off thinking about the Wood Whites .. that is still to come. There were plenty of Brimstones (15); Peacocks (20+) plus a single Orange-tip and Comma put in an appearance as well as Green Tiger beetles along the track (none of which I could get close enough to for a decent shot). My only disappointment was not seeing a Speckled Wood.
IMG_6692 Peacock, Botany Bay, Chiddingfold.jpg

Sunshine, sounds of spring, solitude and seven species … can’t get much better, can it :D

Phil

Greenie
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Re: April 2017

Postby Greenie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:47 pm

First transect of the year at High Elms LNR near Bromley , in perfect conditions , dissappointed with just 10 specimens , 3 Peacock , 2 Red Admiral 3 Brimstone and 2 Comma .
I saw the 2 Comma at a distance , with the female ' ballet dancing ' over a nettle patch . By the time I reached her , she was on the move , but a search of the nettle leaves found her egg .
This afternoon , a visit to Hutchinson's Bank produced my first OT of the year , a very mobile male , my first Small White and first Speckled Wood
Why couldn't they have been on my morning transect ?
Strangest sighting at HB were 4 Common Buzzard , orbiting the moon !
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Jack Harrison
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Re: April 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:48 pm

Pity the orbiting Buzzards weren't seen on 1st April: you could have claimed that the Moon-generated tide was pulling them up :P

Jack

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David M
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Re: April 2017

Postby David M » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:39 pm

Jack Harrison wrote:Pity the orbiting Buzzards weren't seen on 1st April: you could have claimed that the Moon-generated tide was pulling them up


LOL! You can't let this April Fool thing go, can you, Jack? :)

Mark Senior
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Re: April 2017

Postby Mark Senior » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:01 pm

A 2nd Large Tortoiseshell ( apparently a different individual ) seen in the same location as the previous example in West Sussex on the 2nd April .

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David M
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Re: April 2017

Postby David M » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:16 pm

Had one of those serendipitous moments at work during my lunch break - I noticed a flash of blue near the evergreens down the walkway and lo and behold this male Holly Blue came down no more than a foot off the ground:

Holly Blue workplace 4.4.17.jpg


I think this is the first time I've ever posted an image on here taken with my mobile phone, so apologies for the quality.

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bugboy
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Re: April 2017

Postby bugboy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:36 pm

David M wrote:Had one of those serendipitous moments at work during my lunch break - I noticed a flash of blue near the evergreens down the walkway and lo and behold this male Holly Blue came down no more than a foot off the ground:

Holly Blue workplace 4.4.17.jpg

I think this is the first time I've ever posted an image on here taken with my mobile phone, so apologies for the quality.


no apologies needed, nothing wrong with that shot David :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Tony Moore
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Re: April 2017

Postby Tony Moore » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:53 am

Things are looking promising in Stafford - after the disaster that was last year :( . First Holly Blue and Orange Tip + a male GVW, six Peacocks and many Small Torts. I was interested to watch the courting behaviour of several male Torts. As I'm sure we've all seen, they approach the female from behind, gradually becoming bolder if she doesn't scoot off. I saw two pairs where the male walked onto the female until his wings were covering the hind wings and half of the fore wings of the lady before she tired and flew off. What I'd not seen before was the way the male continually tapped the female's abdomen with his head, with quite a sharp, sudden 'pecking' motion, appearing to hit her with his rolled proboscis. There's always something new :D .

Tony M.

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Wurzel
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Re: April 2017

Postby Wurzel » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:04 pm

Sunday 2nd April - Kingston Lacey (Dorset)

4 Brimstones
2 Small Torts
1 Peacock
1 Comma
2 Specklies
1 Orange-tip
1 Large White

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Mark Tutton
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Re: April 2017

Postby Mark Tutton » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:32 pm

Paid a brief visit to Butser hill this afternoon and there were very few butterflies in the strong breeze - however I did see my first three Grizzled Skippers.
Kind Regards
Mark
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Grizzled Skipper
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours lights and shades, these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.

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David M
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Re: April 2017

Postby David M » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:48 pm

Mark Tutton wrote:...however I did see my first three Grizzled Skippers.


Great sighting, Mark. Things really DO look to be steaming ahead right now....and with an abnormally warm weekend to come!


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