Monday, 9 August 2010

Cat and pups

My Eggar cats just started to become lethargic and two have already pupated in the heather.
Andy's Fox Moth cats are still munching their way through the heather.
Hopefully, I might get the chance to film some of these pupating.....the Eggars started (and finished) whilst my back was turned.
I collected a couple of cocoons from Tag Loop that looked like the 5-spot Burnets that I filmed earlier this year. As all the Tufted Vetch flowers have now died back, I was wondering if these are likely to be 6-spot Burnets. Any ideas?
I'm also trying to find good sites to film Small Coppers and Purple Hairstreaks.....if the weather allows. Both should (hopefully) be still on the wing over the next couple of weeks, so any suggestions welcome. Cheers.

7 comments:

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

One of the best places to see Purple Hairstreaks is the crematoria grounds abutting Park Wood near Elland. Enter the crem grounds via the playing field next to the crem. Walk up and across the grounds towards Park Wood and you will see a few Oaks overhanging the grounds from Park wood above the playing field. The males tend to fly around the Oak tops late evening catching the last of the suns rays in the west

Crowmwell Bottom used to be one of the best spots for seeing Small Coppers but its pot luck if you see them of not. Bramble patches facing the sun were usually the best spots.

TheBaldIbis said...

Cheers for that Paul. I'll give the crematoria ago for the 'streaks.
Bramble flowers have gone over already so I may have missed it this year for the Coppers. I know that they have two flight seasons, so I am hoping that the second may coincide with the fruits ripening on the vine??????
This August the weather has been up and down like a fiddlers elbow, most of the time being wet and windy, which has made things a bit hit and miss on the butterfly front....mostly "miss".

Nick Carter said...

Good numbers of Small Coppers on the east coast at weekend

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

I rarely go looking for Small Coppers as they seem to appear randomly just about anywhere on a walk. They appear to be continuously brooded here from spring through to late autumn here on the Llyn as I see them in every month from April right through to October if the weather stays good. They never appear in huge numbers and it’s quite rare to spot two in one spot but I reckon on seeing several individuals over a couple of hours walk along the coast. They breed on Sorrel and the eggs and larvae are supposedly easy to find. I shall have look for them on my walks this week.


The book below is absolutely superb and anyone with even the slightest interest in butterflies should beg, buy or borrow a copy. I do not sell the book myself so its a not a plug for my shop. Its published by British Wildlife Publishing and available from them or Amazon and an absolute snip at £24.95 for a large format hardback with hundreds of superb Richard Lewington illustrations.

The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by Thomas and Lewington
ISBN 9780956490209

Nick Carter said...

Paul, are you sellong this book?.....

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=2187

TheBaldIbis said...

I had several (c. 10) at Jay House Lane yesterday...."roosting" in, and feeding on Creeping Thistle and what I took to be a form of Knapweed. I could see Dock in the locale but I didn't notice any Sorrel spp. Local fields had been cropped for silage as is usually the case. Sorrels are common in most silage fields but the cropping regimes may be keeping the Copper numbers down.

TheBaldIbis said...

The Millenium Atlas of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland by Asher, Warren, Fox, Harding and Jeffcoate published by OUP is pretty good, as it gives fairly good distribution maps and conservation status.
LOL - I just opened it at random to p. 138 where there is a graph of the abundance of Small Copper related to yearly weather patterns! and ..."A detailed study in north Wales concluded that both the area occupied and the population level have declined by about 90% since the beginning of the 20th Century"