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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 10:29   #1
StuartReeves
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Painted Lady migration

It lools like the anticipated influx of Painted Ladies got underway today. I noticed a few moving steadily through my garden early on so opted to do some counts. I managed 67 in 15 minutes watching from my front garden, then a move to a more open area south of the village produced 164 in ten minutes. All were heading steadily North-west. A picked up a couple of Red Admirals heading the same way too.

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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 10:33   #2
TwoDipsfromAmsterdam
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They have been moving through Paris for the last week. A constant stream, with the highest numbers probably last Thursday and Friday. A few still going through this morning.

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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 10:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartReeves View Post
It lools like the anticipated influx of Painted Ladies got underway today. I noticed a few moving steadily through my garden early on so opted to do some counts. I managed 67 in 15 minutes watching from my front garden, then a move to a more open area south of the village produced 164 in ten minutes. All were heading steadily North-west. A picked up a couple of Red Admirals heading the same way too.

Stuart
Hi Stuart

The Painted Ladies are on a positive mission at the moment. That is a large number you counted in a short space of time.

You should have seen the numbers of them in Menorca, Spain over the past 2 weeks. There was also numerous Painted Lady Caterpillers swarming over every crevis there was - over walls and up doorways.

I liked the Caterpillers which hung from a thread from a branch of a tree so it would hitch a ride on your head.

Interesting to hear they are doing well in the UK too.

Lots of Red Admirals too.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 11:20   #4
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c200 westwards per hour outside my cottage today. Never seen anything like it, it is compulsive counting them as they fly past
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 14:01   #5
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At Strumpshaw Fen today, over a 1000 individual painted ladies were seen in over an hour! An amazing count!
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 14:20   #6
TwoDipsfromAmsterdam
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Have just counted 650 per hour passing Longchamp racecourse headed north-west.

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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 14:42   #7
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Almost stopped now here in Beccles, the estimated total in Norfolk was 1000 plus an hour flying west. The internet news groups are alive with huge counts.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 16:15   #8
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One past Hilbre on the Wirral (Cheshire) today.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 16:21   #9
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200+ around Lizard Point, Cornwall today and 100's every day over the last week along the Lizard Peninsula.
The most spectacular numbers i've ever seen, but is this an annual phenomenon at this magnitude?
Thanks. Henry.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 16:25   #10
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I saw what I think is a Painted Lady this morning on the outskirts of Chelmsford in Essex... will attach a photo. I've not seen one before and she was very faded and ragged!
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 16:39   #11
Xenospiza
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That is a Painted Lady Fozzy.

Fantastic numbers, mirroring what happened in the Netherlands a couple of days ago (reminds me of my record counts of Red Admirals in autumn)...
Of course what I saw today came nowhere close... had eight on a short stretch of Stort towpath near Harlow this morning, and about the same number in various places in East Herts.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 17:16   #12
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Loads around Ashtead Forest, Sussex, too, heading vaguely north.
If there is an associated movement of moths, it could be an exciting night.
Ken
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 17:19   #13
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That is a Painted Lady Fozzy.
Thanks Xeno. I saw quite a lot of butterflies that may have been more Painted Ladies but not well enough views to know for sure. The tones certainly looked the same though.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 17:46   #14
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c50 per hour heading west through Beddington S.F. today.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 18:21   #15
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Saw hundreds of Painted Ladies at the PGA golf at Wentworth today all heading north. It was a sight to behold. The golf was good too.

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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 18:30   #16
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At Woodwalton Fen this afternoon we cud not believe the numbers passing thru...i personally have never seen anything quite like it! We estimated, conservatively, that over a one Kilometre stretch there must have been about 1500/2000 an hour going by...sounds crazy i know....
Observations between 1.30 to about 5.30pm.....as we left they were still going by. Friend of mine was in Essex yesterday and he informed me that there were thousands coming in......[he was at Rutland Water today and he was seeing hundreds]...amazing migration!
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 18:34   #17
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Excellent, had an very good butterfly season last year, but didn't see a single Painted Lady in Lithuania last year, hopefully they'll be up here shortly.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 19:48   #18
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I know this will sound like a daft question...and i'm sure it is...but when are these hordes of butterflies actually going to put the brakes on and stop?!...[apart from when the sun goes down]! Majority we observed today were quite faded/abraded...so presume they have been flying a long time....and we did not witness a single one perched/resting anywhere...

ps...hope you get 'em in Lithuania soon Jos....
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 20:27   #19
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I know this will sound like a daft question...and i'm sure it is...but when are these hordes of butterflies actually going to put the brakes on and stop?!...[apart from when the sun goes down]! Majority we observed today were quite faded/abraded...so presume they have been flying a long time....and we did not witness a single one perched/resting anywhere...

ps...hope you get 'em in Lithuania soon Jos....
I had 2/3 per minute heading NNW in a park in Dartford this afternoon. Other observers noted similar passage in other parts of West Kent today.

So, who would like to exprapolate a total figure for today passing through Southern Britain?
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 20:44   #20
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This is a repete of a post i put on the Norfolk Thread

" Huge numbers of painted ladies passed through North Norfolk this afternoon. At Swanton Novers the movement started about 1.00 pm ( though there had been a trickle through the morning ) By 2.00 they were pouring through two wide rides in the woods all passing from east to west. They averaged 8 per minuet for about 3 hours before the flow slackened , but they were still trickling through at 7.00 pm. I was doing a butterfly survey and got 104 with in the 5m survey box in about an hour, though probably 3-4,000 passed through. I was told even move were passing along the coast with one friend telling me he had 40 per minuet at one time near Cley. As the sun started to set some of the stone tracks were covered with then basking on the warm ground. Also had my first red admiral of the year which probably came in with the painted ladies.


The direction of all these butterflies was from east to west with the majority not stopping until early evening when they droped down to bask in the warm sun.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 20:46   #21
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Many heading NW through west London- 2 briefly settled on flowers in my garden early evening.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 22:04   #22
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I had at least 25 at Symonds Yat in the forest of dean. I'll take more notice tommorow, as i wasn't really aware of this large influx.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 22:55   #23
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There's two waves involved so far. The early arrivals (last two weeks) were very pale and washed out - the more recent one's reported are pristine, very bright and colourful. So as well as numbers, a description of appearence would help track which wave is where. I'd expect the forest of dean one's to be the first wave, with the bright un's not yet at Herefordshire. And they're flying like bats out of hell cos there are even more behind them. The millions passing through italy can't have got here yet. Anyone remember the ladybirds in 1976?
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 23:42   #24
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I know this will sound like a daft question...and i'm sure it is...but when are these hordes of butterflies actually going to put the brakes on and stop?!...[apart from when the sun goes down]! Majority we observed today were quite faded/abraded...so presume they have been flying a long time....and we did not witness a single one perched/resting anywhere...
I reckon that the first wave are 'on a mission' to find a patch of thistles and lay their eggs. The offspring of these will be much easier to get to grips with later in the summer.

For those who don't fully trust the met office, etc., for long-range weather predictions - are these better forecasters of a good summer? There were plenty around in 2006 but very few in the last couple of summers.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 23:54   #25
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There's two waves involved so far. The early arrivals (last two weeks) were very pale and washed out - the more recent one's reported are pristine, very bright and colourful. So as well as numbers, a description of appearence would help track which wave is where. I'd expect the forest of dean one's to be the first wave, with the bright un's not yet at Herefordshire. And they're flying like bats out of hell cos there are even more behind them. The millions passing through italy can't have got here yet. Anyone remember the ladybirds in 1976?
The 'ones' today were, in the main, washed out worn individuals....although many were flying at such a rate it was nigh on impossible to see how 'pristine' they may have been. I hope at a later date we might find out on how broader front these butters were flying....always a joy to be in the middle of a migration...[unless itz locusts i suppose]. Last time i was this impressed with 'a migration', other than birds, was up at Flamborough some years back..[grt.s.cuckcoo]...when the area was saturated with tiger moths...all pretty amazing!

[ps...Tittletattler....gawd knows how many painted ladies are involved in this particular movement...my maths ain't that brilliant....hundreds o thousands?! a zillion?...let's just say 'shite loads'..that about covers it
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