Tuesday, 24 September 2019

My 2019 Butterfly season

Butterflies of 2019

My report of another year of trying to get all UK butterflies all photographed. 
My 3rd year of doing it and last of getting them all or so I thought.

2019 started in February with a tatty over wintered specimen, while wandering around my patch Newton St Loe.

1. Red Admiral-Vanessa atalanta (21/02/2019 )


The Next Butterfly of the year was amazing, whether a captive release or genuine, who knows but I saw 2 a tatty one and this stunning specimen, from Tout Quarry, Weymouth.


2. Large Tortoiseshell - Nymphalis polychloros (27/02/2019)


While searching Tout Quarry European Peacock where basking in the sunshine making the 3rd of the year.

3. European Peacock - Aglais ioock (27/02/2019)



Almost a month has passed and the Brimstone was my next, gone for a different shot, not fully in focus but, i like it! Taken on the Somerset Levels.


4. Brimstone - Gonepteryx rhamni (24/03/2019)



Like buses a quick succession of Lepidoptera over the next few days.

Taken Newton St Loe.

5. Comma - Polygonia c-album (24/03/2019)



Although I saw in March my first it took me until July to get a decent picture, from July on around my patch they seem to have done really well making it into double figure on many walks.

6. Small White - Pieris rapae (25/03/2019)



Another on patch and a new area for this species, putting on a great show, a really stunning early spring butterfly.



7. Orange-tip - Anthocharis cardamines (26/03/2019)



Thick n Fast Another from Patch

8. Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae (26/03/2019)



9. Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeria (26/03/2019)


So the first 10 Butterflies and its still March, a good start to the year.
Plus apart from the Weymouth trip i've only covered just over 140 miles.

10. Holly Blue - Celastrina argiolus (26/03/2019)




A birding trip to Cheddar and a fleeting glimpse of my next species, picture from Smardale a bit later in the year.


11. Green-veined White - Pieris napi (07/04/2019)





Down to Cheddar area for a few, Fry's Hill.

12. Green Hairstreak - Callophrys rubi (21/04/2019)




13. Dingy Skipper - Erynnis tages (21/04/2019)



14. Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus malvae (21/03/2019)





Next trip was to Wiltshire and Battlesbury, Cotley hills one of my favorite hunting grounds, This very fresh Wall landed at my feet a few shots and gone!


15. Wall Brown - Lasiommata megera (30/04/2019)




16. Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas (30/04/2019)



Still in Wiltshire and a very successful trip.

17. Small Heath - Coenonympha pamphilus (30/04/2019)


Still in Wiltshire and a very successful trip.

18. Brown Argus - Aricia agestis (30/04/2019)



So the end of April and a break as some spring birding had been planned in New York, Blog here 
New York Spring Migration Date: 2nd-7th May 
Part 1      Part2       Part3 

As soon as we returned it was back to Wiltshire and Battlesbury hill. A very small area for the Dukes, hope they do well here, did see some mating activity

19. Duke of Burgundy - Hamearis lucina (12/05/2019)


Same site and next...
A few sites for these this year, not the same numbers as 2018, much lower numbers seen.


20. Marsh Fritillary - Euphydryas aurinia (12/05/2019)


A few miles on to Cotley Hill for.....bit of a closeup up, everyone shows the top side, so a little different.

21. Adonis Blue - Polyommatus bellargus (12/05/2019)


Same day and feeling confident drove on down to Bentley wood my closest spot for ...


22. Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Boloria euphrosyne (15/05/2019)


Just because it was a great day here's another from Bentley Woods.



Awful shot always seem to have difficultly finding a sitter!

23.Large White - Pieris brassicae (13/05/2019)





A trip to Forest of Dean and a stop off at Strawberry Banks, Gloucestershire and my first ....

24.Common Blue - Polyommatus icarus (13/05/2019)




Really pleased to get this species closer to home, normally go to Haugh Woods so a saving of 50 miles is always good.

25.Wood White - Leptidea sinapis (13/05/2019)





26. Small Blue - Cupido minimus (20/05/2019)


One of my favorite trip of the year was to Isle of Wright, this year Ferry and bike ride to Compton Bay with Allan Chard.

27.Glanville Fritillary - Melitaea cinxia (21/05/2019)


A little stunner.


A lot closer to home for my next and back to Fry's Hill, Cheddar. This picture taken from Glasdrum Scotland on a failed trip for the Chequered Skipper, Rain for 3 days put pay to the CS this year.


28.Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Boloria selene


Top side SPBF from Priddy Mineries, Somerset


Tried a new spot for this species this year, Halse Combe, Somerset. A very successful day apart from a few ticks! Saw 20/30 + once the sun appeared.

29.Heath Fritillary - Melitaea athalia


The last butterfly for May was on my home patch...

30.Large Skipper - Ochlodes sylvanus (30/05/2019)


Next was back to that Scotland Trip and the failed Chequered Skipper, so with rain forecast for 3 days, and me walking the Glasdrum hillside  some 5/6 times in the rain with zero Chequered Skipper's I decided to cut my loses and and drop into the Lake District on way back. Inspired decision!

Irton Fell, weather not ideal sunshine but winds at 30 mph meaning Mountain Ringlets taking cover in the thick grasses. But good numbers seen.

31.Mountain Ringlet - Erebia epiphron (03/06/2019)


View from the top of Whinn Rigg.



The following day on way home dropped into Meathop Moss on a overcast day with again wind and drizzle, but a brief spell of sunshine and number 32 reveled itself.

32. Large Heath - Coenonympha tullia (04/06/2019)


Across the road at Latterbrow was told by Cumbria Wildlife trust I was to early for Northern Brown, I seem to remember this the year before...but a bit of searching and 33. was sat in front of me!


33.Northern Brown Argus - Aricia artaxerxes(04/06/2019)


This time of year I have no choice to other than to travel for some species but try to do as few miles as possible. After Scotland and the Lake District it was Norfolk and Northampton.
Glapthorn for the Black Hairstreak turnned up a ....

34.Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtina (09/06/2019)


35.Black Hairstreak - Satyrium pruni (09/06/2019)


From Glapthorn we drove to Strumpshaw, Norfolk as the weather was on the change, from overcast sunshine to heavy rain the following day. Headed towards the Doctors Garden always a good spot and 36. was on show.

36. Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui (09/06/2019)


Saw a few Swallowtail but this the best picture of a tattered specimen, they always draw a crowd! 
37.Swallowtail - Papilio machaon (09/06/2019)



We spent the night in a campsite that bordered Kelling Heath at 3 pm I heard a Nightjar Churring that evening we where amazed to see 5 different birds flying around our heads!!


It was suppose to rain at 10 am next morning, but had a tip off the previous night and saw a Silver Studded Blue on the heath at 10 pm we walked back in morning before the rain and in the same spot was this beauty.

38. Silver-studded Blue - Plebejus argus (10/06/2019)


Back closer to home and Green Down Somerset.

 39. Marbled White - Melanargia galathea (12/06/2019)


Thought i'd include this interesting shot of a Marbled White with pollen stamen on its proboscis, macro world always revealed something different.


40.Large Blue - Phengaris arion (12/06/2019)


41.Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantus (12/06/2019)


Another local spot just 8 miles from home, Lords Wood.

42.White Admiral - Limenitis camilla (30/06/2019)


This taken on the 18/07/2019 but from my patch, a first and she landed at my feet, a year highlight.

43.Silver-washed Fritillary - Argynnis paphia ssp. paphia f. valesina


44.Small Skipper - Thymelicus sylvestris (30/06/2019)


Now in to July and doing well a trip to Weymouth for some birding and check out the Lulworth local haunts.

45. Lulworth Skipper - Thymelicus acteon (01/07/2019)


46.Dark Green Fritillary - Argynnis aglaja (02/07/2019)


Took two attempts at Old Castle Down, Bridgend to get a decent shot of the High Brown but standing on the same bush for nearly two hours paid off.

47.High Brown Fritillary - Argynnis adippe (02/07/32019)


After the destruction of my very local Hairstreak site was very pleased to see both White and Purple Hairstreak surviving, although numbers not great I hope 2020 will be better for them. It seems this year I didn't see many White Letters, I hope that was just me.

48.White-letter Hairstreak - Satyrium w-album (04/07/2019)


49.Purple Hairstreak - Favonius quercus (04/07/2019)


50. Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus (04/07/2019)


A coastal trip to Sandpoint for my next species and good numbers here.

51.Grayling - Hipparchia semele (07/07/2019)


52.Essex Skipper - Thymelicus lineola (07/07/2019)


A phone call from Mr. Musgrove alerted me to a very close Purple Emperor in 25 mins from home so a quick Sunday morning dash to Black Dog wood, on the Somerset/ Wiltshire boarded proved to be successful. even if the picture isn't great the fewer miles definitely helped..... Sorry picture really is bad !!

53.Purple Emperor - Apatura iris (14/07/2019)



Back down to Cheddar way and Draycott Sleights my go to spot for these.

54.Chalk Hill Blue - Polyommatus coridon (14/07/2019)



Alner's Gorse a few trips until a good viewing of 2 of these stunners, need to find a closer spot for these next year.

55.Brown Hairstreak - Thecla betulae (28/07/2019)


Last Long trip of the year and a opening in the weather window, me and Allan Chard dashed up and within minutes of getting out van had good views of a few, weather improved the next day and Drove across to Smardale and one of the best outings of the year with Scotch Argus everywhere!

56.Scotch Argus - Erebia aethiops (04/08/2019)


On the drive down to home the next day dropped into Aston Rowant, weather was rain and wind but arriving in the car park the sun shone and Silver Spotted Skipper emerged from the grass giving my best ever views.

57.Silver-spotted Skipper - Hesperia comma (04/08/2019)


Always one of the trickiest just because you never know where there gonna turn up, 2017/18 I've had great views but this year a trio to Portland bill, saw them but picture wise not the best.

58.Clouded Yellow - Colias croceus (20/08/2019)


Thinking that my 2019 butterfly season was gonna end on 58, a few sightings of summer migrants were coming in on Twitter and Brighton it seemed had a few Long Tailed Blue's  it was a long drive and it was Bank Holiday Monday but the draw was to much and by 10 am I was standing looking at 2/3 Long Tailed Blue's. A brilliant end to my 2019 season. It seems that Devon, Dorset and even Somerset also had sightings, they are now starting to emerge as home grown , who knows if they'll over winter, finger crossed.

59.Long-tailed Blue - Lampides boeticus (26/08/2019)


So with a estimated 2678 miles covered. 
(a drop of nearly 2000 miles from previous years!)
A fairly good year, but this was gonna be my last year to get all UK species but failing on the Chequered Skipper means... 2020 I'm gonna do it all again, I suppose there our worse things to do!

Highlights
59 butterflies seen and photographed, Scotch Argus was a close second.
LowLight
Chequered Skipper


Closest travelled: Painted Lady (Across road from home)
Furthest travelled: Chequered skipper. AARRGGG!

Photography 7dmk2 with 100-400L series lens + 100mm Macro

If anyone needs any advice or info on sites I'd be pleased to help.

via: nslbirding@hotmail.co.uk


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