July 2017

Discussion forum for sightings.
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Jack Harrison
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Re: July 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:52 pm

Probably just a slowly developing larva (ex hibernating adult) that will be one of the forerunners of the autumn brood.

Jack

NickHull
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Re: July 2017

Postby NickHull » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:57 am

Jack Harrison wrote:In this rather early season, I wonder if that Comma larva is the pale early summer hutchinsoni or the darker autumn form? My guess would be offspring of hutchinsoni. But will it be pale or dark adult? Does a Comma third brood ever occur?

Jack

According to my brother, hutchinsoni occur when the larvae pupate prior to 21st June, day-length being the driving factor.
Have seen plenty of hutchinsoni as the season has been so early :-)
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home"

kentishman
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Re: July 2017

Postby kentishman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:10 pm


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David M
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Re: July 2017

Postby David M » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:14 pm

kentishman wrote:Monarch seen in Hampshire apparently.


Spectacular! Hard to believe it's a natural immigrant at this time of year though, even allowing for the southerly winds from Iberia right now.

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David M
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Re: July 2017

Postby David M » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Lovely day in the Swansea area today - 22c with light winds and strong sunshine.

10 species of buttefly seen at Glanymor Park in Loughor:

Comma
Red Admiral
Peacock
Large White
Small White
Green Veined White
Meadow Brown
Hedge Brown
Ringlet
White Letter Hairstreak

1HedgeBrownmale(1).jpg

MrSp0ck
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Re: July 2017

Postby MrSp0ck » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:46 pm

David M wrote:
kentishman wrote:Monarch seen in Hampshire apparently.


Spectacular! Hard to believe it's a natural immigrant at this time of year though, even allowing for the southerly winds from Iberia right now.


There seem to have been a few reported along the South Coast from Dorset to Sussex

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David M
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Re: July 2017

Postby David M » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:58 pm

That's interesting, Mr Spock. The nearest colonies are in southern Spain and the Canary Islands so I suppose it could be a freak natural phenomenon.

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Re: July 2017

Postby MrSp0ck » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:06 am

A few £1 shops were selling Asclepias last year, so there may be gardens with its foodplant as well, Asclepias tuberosa and it would be hardy enough too. So they could breed if they find the foodplant.

On the migration, look at the latitude and direction, from Mexico to the great lakes in Canada, and the Canary Islands to the UK South Coast, they are about the same latitude, distance and direction, just a bit further around the globe.

Allan.W.
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Re: July 2017

Postby Allan.W. » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:14 pm

Been helping out on a local butterfly transect,and in one area of the transect which in most years turns up 3-4 Common Blues
per walk ,I was surprised to find fifteen on the wing,and the variation in the females never ceases to amaze me, these days I seem to see more "blue" type females than brown, the very brown individual I thought at first was a female Brown Argus,but on seeing its underside ,it points to a Common Blue,although it behaved like a Brown Arg; Regards Allan.W.
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millerd
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Re: July 2017

Postby millerd » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:43 pm

MrSp0ck wrote:A few £1 shops were selling Asclepias last year, so there may be gardens with its foodplant as well, Asclepias tuberosa and it would be hardy enough too. So they could breed if they find the foodplant.

On the migration, look at the latitude and direction, from Mexico to the great lakes in Canada, and the Canary Islands to the UK South Coast, they are about the same latitude, distance and direction, just a bit further around the globe.


The distance may be the same, meaning that the species is perfectly capable of making the trip, but the populations in Spain and the Atlantic Islands don't appear to migrate at all in the way their long lost relatives do in the Americas. I assume that migration is triggered by weather and/or day length as much as anything, and as the climate in the Canaries in particular is mild all year round they have no push to go anywhere else. Also, the changes to day length over the year are not as extreme there as they are further north in Canada, say. There may of course be a few natural wanderers assisted by favourable winds - are there reports from the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal and France that fit with this kind of pattern of sightings outside of the normal autumn migration period, which would fit with a European rather than American origin?

Dave

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:30 pm

Findhorn Dunes (Moray) 19th July Perfect waather: Sunny Temp = +20C

Small patch checked - no larger than 50 x 50 metres
Small Heath 7+. Meadow Brown 5+, Common Blue 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small Copper 1 possible (but probably Small Heath).
The Small Heath and Meadow Brown could have included repeats but I don't think so as they flew out of the patch and new ones "popped up"
Red Admiral again in my garden.

No Graylings at Findhorn today (probably too early) and yesterday, still no Scotch Argus. Ringlets going over fast.

Jack

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Andy Wilson
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Re: July 2017

Postby Andy Wilson » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:18 pm

Regarding the Monarch, some appreciation of its migratory ability comes from the fact that it is now established in New Zealand. Unlike other human-assisted immigrants to that country, it is considered to have flown thousands of miles from North America under its own steam in the late 19th Century. The climate in the North Island is warm enough for it to survive the winter and its larval foodplant is (ironically) available due to human introduction, so there is now a sustainable population there.

However, with Monarchs, you can never discount escapees from weddings or butterfly houses. Many years ago, I was surprised to see an individual of the related species, the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), in the New Forest. But it was just a mile or so from a well-known butterfly house...

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Jack Harrison
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Re: July 2017

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:31 pm

In 1972, courtesy Royal Air Force I visited Ascension Island, roughly midpoint between Africa and South America.

I saw one butterfly in flight, a "Monarch" type. I presumed Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus from Africa but more likely (according to a website dedicated to Ascension wildlife *) it was a female Hypolimnas missipus, a Plain Tiger mimic. But whichever it was, it was a long way from any mainland.

* I loved this under feral animals.
If you follow the road up from the Red Lion you will come across Bishops path on the right hand side. On this path you were likely to see the feral cows (5a) that have been feral since the state farming ceased in 1978 when Margaret Thatcher dictated that farming be privatized.

Jack

millerd
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Re: July 2017

Postby millerd » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:13 pm

A friend sent me this photo taken today of a Jersey Tiger moth seen along part of the north side of the Heathrow Airport perimeter road. I believe they are not a common sight at all, though are not unknown from the London area.
Jersey Tiger.JPG

Dave

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bugboy
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Re: July 2017

Postby bugboy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:14 pm

millerd wrote:A friend sent me this photo taken today of a Jersey Tiger moth seen along part of the north side of the Heathrow Airport perimeter road. I believe they are not a common sight at all, though are not unknown from the London area.Jersey Tiger.JPG
Dave


20 years ago that would be true but these days they are actually quite widespread across southern England with significant populations in the London area. I see them every year on my local patch now and also at work in central London :)
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NickHull
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July 2017 - Essex Skipper in VC61

Postby NickHull » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:13 pm

A note from the North: My brother, who is VC61 Recorder, has been monitoring the progress of the Essex Skipper in East Yorkshire over the last few years. It appears that they crossed the river Ouse around Goole about 3 years ago, despite having been recorded previously at Spurn Point from 2003, though only in single figures. It appeared east of Goole, in North Cave, in 2015 and my brother found it in wasteland along the north bank of the Humber, to the west of Hull, last week.

Thus primed, we went out east of Hull, to Sunk Island, on the north bank of the Humber, to see if the Essex has made it that far along the estuary. We started at the east end of Sunk Island at Outstray Farm and walked 7.5 miles back to Stone Creek. Initially, we were netting and ID'ing every Skipper we found and were getting a ratio of roughly 50/50 Essex/Small Skipper (of the 25 we netted). As we went further west, we stopped finding any Small Skipper in our samples, and the numbers rocketed, to the extent we netted roughly 1 in 10 as we went along, to confirm our IDs. We only started recording Small Skipper again as we approached the end of our walk at Stone Creek.

In total, we passed through 16 1K squares, and the Essex was present in all of them, despite not being recorded previously in any 3 years before; 3 squares had counts of over 100 and we recorded a total of 674 Essex Skippers! It has arrived in some style in VC61, almost under the radar! Recording is FUN :D
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home"

badgerbob
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Re: July 2017

Postby badgerbob » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:39 pm

I have been keen to get out to do my regular Wall Brown count on a 4 mile circuit at the back of Seaford as I have been seeing good numbers on my shorter visits to the area. Today, despite the windy conditions I decided to go ahead as the peak emergence is probably just over. I was more than pleased to get a new record of 115 seen. This was 10 more than my previous record from 2013.
I also saw my 2nd summer Dingy Skipper of the year, a Clouded Yellow and 2 egg laying Dark Green Fritillaries.

peterc
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Re: July 2017

Postby peterc » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:54 pm

I came across a most beautiful female Common Blue on my local patch earlier - this species is doing well here.

ATB

Peter
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CommonBlue 7 Watery Grove 21Jul17.jpg
Common Blue (f) Watery Grove 21Jul17

Allan.W.
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Re: July 2017

Postby Allan.W. » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:37 pm

Quick visit to Dungeness ,after work today ,and very pleased to find my first Clouded Yellow of the year,also an immaculate Painted Lady. Regards Allan.W.
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millerd
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Re: July 2017

Postby millerd » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:10 pm

Second brood male Adonis seen today at Denbies by myself and Bugboy.
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Dave


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