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Norfolk Butterflies and Moths

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Old Sunday 10th May 2009, 08:40   #26
HarassedDad
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Butterfly Conservation Field Trip to Stoke Ferry yesterday morning produced 10 species despite the windy conditions. Nine Grizzled Skipper were the highlights, but we also saw Small Copper, Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Peacock and Large, Small and Green-veined Whites. Several Cinnabar moths were seen, as well as Banded Demoiselle and Large Red damselfly. In the afternoon we went on to Cranwich Heath, where despite the wind we saw Small Heath, Orangetip, Small Copper, Peacock, Speckled Wood and all three whites. Also seen were Yellow Belle, Speckled Yellow, Brown Silverline, Common Carpet and Common Heath moths.

In other news, Dingy Skipper now reported flying.
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Old Sunday 10th May 2009, 17:43   #27
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Stiffkey Fen

Wall seen at bottom of steps by seawall at Stiffkey Fen
Three more on permissive path along main road (A149): between Fen footpath and the end of the trees and scrub. (None by field edge further east)

Probably won't send this record in separately, Harrassed Dad.
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Old Sunday 10th May 2009, 17:49   #28
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Lot's of Green veined whites at Titchwell today and several Speckled Woods. Some Orange Tips including females egg laying on Cardamine pratensis.
The Norfolk recorder will receive my records in November as usual.
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Old Sunday 10th May 2009, 18:45   #29
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Strumpshaw today:
lots of Brimstones, Peacocks, Speckled Woods, Green-veined Whites, Orange-tips and a report of a Swallowtail by Fen Hide (Seems early!)
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Old Monday 11th May 2009, 07:47   #30
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That is early - 20th May was the earliest last year
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Old Monday 11th May 2009, 07:51   #31
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Well that is my day out sorted for Tuesday, where was the Swallowtail?
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Old Wednesday 13th May 2009, 18:09   #32
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Had this nice Wall yesterday (12/5) while clinging (the butterfly not me!) to the walls of Cantley church in heavy wind, probably not a scarce species but still don't generally see that many of them!!

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Old Thursday 14th May 2009, 05:21   #33
HarassedDad
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Matt - Not only are Wall fairly scarce these days, but you also have provided the only butterfly record of any species from TG3804 this century! (actually the only record from the whole tetrad TG30X) - many thanks.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2009, 09:50   #34
matt green
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarassedDad View Post
Matt - Not only are Wall fairly scarce these days, but you also have provided the only butterfly record of any species from TG3804 this century! (actually the only record from the whole tetrad TG30X) - many thanks.
Thanks! And most interesting!

Had I known how little recorded this area is I would have been a little more precise recording what little I did see. Only other sightings were a few probable large whites/Green Veined seen in the hedgrows between Brundall and Cantley, a small blue butterfly (unsure wether it was Common or Holly Blue) at Limpenhoe churchyard and a Small Tortoisehell on the concrete path outside Cantley beet factory!!

Matt
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Old Thursday 14th May 2009, 20:14   #35
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Painted Lady today along the hedgerow leading down to Weybourne Coastguard Cottages
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Old Thursday 14th May 2009, 22:06   #36
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The "Swallowtail" was as a Peacock Butterfly at Strumpshaw.
the other day.
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Old Friday 15th May 2009, 19:15   #37
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Painted Lady today along the hedgerow leading down to Weybourne Coastguard Cottages

Beaten by a day! A Painted Lady at Whitlingham Thorpe Marsh this evening.
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Old Friday 15th May 2009, 22:27   #38
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Painted Ladies

Good numbers along the cliff tops between Cromer and Trimingham today too.

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Old Friday 15th May 2009, 23:40   #39
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Reports of Painted Lady coming in from all over the north and east coasts. This follows on from reports of "tens of thousands" seen passing through a valley in Spain last week. Bodes well for the summer.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2009, 17:02   #40
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Blakeney Point

At least 20+ Painted Ladies between Halfway House and the Tearoom in just a few hours this afternoon (which was a good thing as there weren't many avian migrants about!).

I noticed that the Painted Ladies were very pale in colouration.

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Old Saturday 16th May 2009, 19:06   #41
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Just to let folk know that the first Swallowtails of the season were seen yesterday - beating last year's first date by 5 days! Three were seen by Horning Church by a very experienced observer.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2009, 19:42   #42
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There were loads of tiny blue butterflies today at Strumpshaw beside the road leading to Buckenham Marshes. They were approximately 20mm across with their wings open and the underwings were beautifully marked with rings. They look like Common Blues from a quick scan of web images. Is this likely to be correct? I can post some photos in a couple of days when I have processed the files.

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Old Sunday 17th May 2009, 19:14   #43
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Did they have orange spots on the undersides? There are four species of blue in Norfolk, but Chalkhill Blue is only known from Warham Camp, and Silver-studded is at just 6 heathland sites. (and both aren't out for another month or so) So anywhere else you only have to worry about Common Blue and Holly Blue. Holly has a plain blue underside with black speckles, while the common has orange rings on the outer edges. This is assuming you've seen a blue upperside - since Brown Argus has a very similar underside to Common Blue. (And of course female common blues can be very brown ie similar to Brown Argus. )

Incidently, found Wall Brown all over TG5005 today - a new square for them and a healthy population (8 seen despite showers). Also 2 Hairy Dragonflies there.
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Old Sunday 17th May 2009, 19:55   #44
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Thanks for the info HarrassedDad. It sounds as if they were almost certainly Common Blues as the undersides of the wings did have coloured spots on them and were definitely not blue. It's handy to know that there are only two Blues to choose from. I will post some photos tomorrow, as they were settling on some beautiful white star like flowers, which I would like identifying too if possible.

Many thanks.

Ron
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Old Monday 18th May 2009, 08:53   #45
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Here are some photos of the probable Common Blues at Strumpshaw on Saturday. The one on the right seems a bit browner than the other one with extra markings on the wings. Could this be a female? I think I have now identified the flowers as Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum.) Apparently the flowers close up on dull days, giving it the nickname Sleepy Dick!

In addition to these there were lots of Orange Tips, three or four Brimstones and a couple of Speckled Woods.

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Old Monday 18th May 2009, 15:32   #46
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Small Copper

Buckenham this am: Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Large, Small & Green-veined White, Peacock, Small Tort, Painted Lady, and Small Copper!
Here's a picture!
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2009, 06:28   #47
HarassedDad
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Yep, they're common blues - first two are males, third is a female

Incidently, while I'm here: there's a butterfly walk on saturday on mousehold heath, Norwich - hopefully for green hairstreak. Meet at Zaks carpark at 10am

Last edited by HarassedDad : Tuesday 19th May 2009 at 22:09.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 16:42   #48
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Well, the Mousehold meeting went extremely well. From a small area immediately around the Vinegar pond last year, the Green Hairstreaks have expanded across almost all of Mousehold. At least 10 seen, from near Gilman Road to near to Zaks - and we met someone who had seen 30 the previous day including some across the road at the Pitch and Putt. So the new management plan has suceeded very well. Also seen: a single Silver Y, several Brown Silver Lines and numerous other insects. Driving back afterwards a young Roe Deer was seen crossing the road by the Prison.

Meanwhile, in Italy and Spain yesterday somewhere close to a million Painted Ladies were counted moving North. If the weather holds, we may be in for the most spectacular butterfly migration event for a decade.To quote a guy from Trieste "we are talking about many, many millions of Painted Ladies moving north on a front at least 100km wide (and probably much more). I've lived in Italy for nigh-on 20 years and I've never seen anything like it in that time."
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 16:59   #49
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Thumbs up

we certainly did. Hundreds passing through Norfolk and Suffolk this morning. Then mid afternoon they stopped. I have never ever experienced such a site before it was amazing.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 20:33   #50
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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 , maybe many more. 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 Spanish and Italian painted ladies Harassed dad talked about cant be here yet so it looks as though we could be at the start of a major migration if the weather is favourable
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