Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

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Wurzel
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Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:13 pm

Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Week 14 – Or should that be week one? :? Here we go with the first Favourites for 2018.

Please could I ask that everyone waits until a topic has been opened by me for a particular species before posting photos? Of course our overseas members are very welcome to fill in the obvious gaps relating to rare UK migrants. As like last year details of locations, dates, times and circumstances would be welcome as would any accompanying stories and anecdotes or other observations of behaviour and interesting other points.

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Goldie M » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:32 am

My shots of the SA were taken on the 5th of August at Arnside Knot, I remember the weather had been wet and dull but the forecast was for Sun in the afternoon. I knew from experience that the Scotch Argus could be found flying even in dull weather maybe not has many but you could also disturb them into flight :) ( If found )
If you wait for the Sunshine, there's no need to climb the hills as the Butterfly can be found near the car park on the slopes there, I took some shots in dull and Sun weather, one shot in particular I've included because I took it just has the BF took off and it was looking at me :) I'd never actually seen it's eyes before and I thought when I saw the shot how scary this Butterfly can look :lol: (Like a little demond :) Goldie :D
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Chris Jackson
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:17 pm

My Scotch Argus was seen in the French Alps in July, at around 1500 m altitude.
It was warm and heavy and storms were threatening, which probably kept this individual from moving about too much.
aethiops1_73 female Vallon des Encombres St Martin Les Bellevilles Les Menuires 19Jul17.JPG

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Note: My photos are not covered by copyright. Please feel free to copy for charitable use.

IAC
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby IAC » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 am

Maybe I am pretty lazy looking for this species, because now I just turn up at the same guaranteed spot every year in an often vain attempt to capture a photograph worthy of this absolute belter of a Butterfly. It's a difficult species to say the least to photograph and its unpredictability can lead to a long day chasing fleeting shadows among head high grasses for little reward...though....when I say little reward....even chasing this Butterfly around is reward enough really. :) This Butterfly was spotted dozily emerging from the damp grasses in the morning of August 1st at Eildon, Melrose, Scottish Borders,
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David M
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby David M » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:38 pm

Lovely, sharp image of a fresh aethiops, Iain. All the guides have this species down as a predominantly western-based insect, so it's good to see there are colonies further east in your neck of the woods.

I agree regarding their skittishness, however. Don't ever go photographing these butterflies on a warm, sunny day. They're only one step down from Large Heaths in terms of their unwillingness to co-operate!

IAC
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby IAC » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:46 pm

Lovely, sharp image of a fresh aethiops, Iain. All the guides have this species down as a predominantly western-based insect, so it's good to see there are colonies further east in your neck of the woods.


David, the Scotch Argus is still quite numerous in the western Borders but the picture of how numerous is slightly blurred with very little recording done for this species that has a very short flight period of 4 to 5 weeks. Most of the best spots are remote and seldom visited and thats a great shame...I just wish I could do more, but there is often so much to do at that time of year that finding time can be difficult. Of the four Vice counties in the Scottish Borders, Selkirkshire, Peeblesshire, and Roxburghshire all have Scotch Argus, but Berwickshire the easternmost VC still does not have a record. The Scotch Argus are unlikely to colonise the western fringes of Berwickshire from neighbouring counties as the habitat, though still suitable in places, is never improving and slowly but surely disappearing. We may find them one day within the VC, it certainly would be a great surprise....though...well...it would not be the first surprise in Berwickshire...it's an odd county :)

Oh...and yes....I go looking for them in any weather really, even blazing sun....and yes I know....its still fun mind you. :)

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David M
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby David M » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:33 am

Thanks for the info, Iain. As you say, lack of recording may play a role as far as tracking this species' distribution is concerned, but I am always amazed how this butterfly can be extremely common in some areas yet absent from others. It's the same in the Lake District. The two known sites for them harbour hundreds and hundreds but move a few miles away and they are conspicuous by their absence.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 pm

We went up to Arnside for a few days at the end of July and, as Goldie says in her post, the weather was mostly cloudy and wet. There was also a cool breeze blowing quite strongly up on the Knott most of the time but nevertheless a good number of Scotch Argus could be found in the more sheltered spots.

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Scotch Argus female - Arnside Knott 30.07.017


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Scotch Argus male - Arnside Knott 31.07.017


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Scotch Argus female underside - Arnside Knott 01.08.017


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Scotch Argus male underside - Arnside Knott 01.08.017


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Scotch Argus mating pair - Arnside Knott 01.08.017


Cheers,

Neil

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David M
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Re: Scotch Argus – Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby David M » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:14 pm

Wow! A mating pair! Well done, Neil. Shows the contrast between the sexes' undersides very clearly, and quite amusing in the sense that the male is literally 'hanging in there'. :)


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