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Monday, 21 August 2017

Ketton Quarry - on 30th June, 2017

Another retrospective blog post - this one concerning one of the several excellent Butterfly Walks led by Sarah Proud for the benefit of the volunteers at Rutland Water.

I've been to Ketton quite a few times, and it is a place I love - I just wish it was closer to home! This day we were to be blessed with good weather, after a few wet days. The meeting time of 09h00 meant a relatively early start for me as I'm around two hours away from this location.

We soon had one of our target species in sight - the wonderful Marbled White. This one was a male.

Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) (male) - Ketton Quarry
We had many other sightings of this species - here are a few more images:-



Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) (female) - Ketton Quarry

Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) (male) - Ketton Quarry
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) (pair mating - female on top) - Ketton Quarry
There were a number of other butterfly species around, and I managed to photograph a few. Here's a selection:-

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) - Ketton Quarry

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) - Ketton quarry
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) - Ketton Quarry
We saw several day-flying Cinnabar moths. Here's one:-

Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) - Ketton Quarry
Two species of fritillary butterfly were there. The first seen was Silver-washed Fritillary, which I have never before photographed.



Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) - Ketton Quarry
 More numerous, however, were the Dark Green Fritillaries.





Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) - Ketton Quarry
Ketton Quarry is also known for its orchids. I've tried to learn a bit about orchids, but so far find that I fail miserably when it comes to identification of the Spotted/Marsh/Fragrant Orchids. Here are a few that I'll just call A, B, C or D. I suspect that they were all colour variants of Common Spotted Orchid (yes, I omitted to make a note of the leaves!), but I'd be grateful for any advice.

Orchid A - Ketton Quarry
Orchid B - Ketton Quarry

Orchid C - Ketton Quarry
Orchid D - Ketton Quarry
I do know, however, that just before we set off back to the start point we were shown Bee Orchid.

Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) - Ketton Quarry
I take this opportunity to thank Sarah for yet another splendid Butterfly Walk.

Thank you for dropping by. I'm not sure what my next post will be about.

19 comments:

  1. What a fabulous post Richard, the butterflies are almost popping out of the screen, well done. I think many of the butterflies you get there are the same as what we have here with a few variations, but I wish my photos were as good.
    Have a good week Diane.

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    1. Hi Diane. Yes, we do share a lot of butterfly species with you, even though we are far apart. Don't knock your own photographic skills, which I am in great admiration of, and exceed my own in many respects, but thank you for your kind words about my efforts!

      With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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    2. Thanks for the kind words here and the identification on my blog. I have updated the post, much appreciated. I must get a better book, mine is only small and covers ALL insects of Britain and Western Europe !!!! Cheers Diane

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  2. An amazing series of images, Richard. I am slowly getting to know ever more about butterflies and can identify more and more species on sight. This year, Miriam and I are raising Monarchs in the house. We have taken the leaves with eggs from the Common Milkweed in our back yard and now have three large caterpillars and a chrysalis. It is easy to do and fascinating. We may make this an annual project and expand to a couple of other species next year!

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    1. Hi David. I'm absolutely delighted to hear about your Monarch project. I'm sure that you, and the butterflies, will find it very rewarding. I had a spell of doing this sort of thing about thirty years ago. You probably already know this, but what you are doing is of considerable benefit to the species, albeit on a small scale. Left in 'the wild', some of those eggs would probably not have hatched into caterpillars. Of those that hatched, I would expect a significant number to be predated by birds, or parasitised by wasps, etc. Then there is the possibility of further loss of the chrysalis due to weather conditions. I can remember having a 100% success rate with a rare species that I collected 200 km from home and delivered the whole lot back as butterflies nearly 12 months later. It was not without problems in that case, however, as one of our cats tore the netting in the cage that the caterpillars were in, and they escaped into the garden - it took me some hours, but I found every one!

      My love to you and Miriam - - - Richard

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  3. Beautiful Butterflies, for me, I love the Marbled White, the first is outstanding, thanks Richard.

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    1. Yes, Bob, I too think that the Marbled White is an absolutely delightful butterfly. Thnk you for your kind words.

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

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  4. Hello Richard!:) Excellent series and photos of all the butterflies. The black and white Marbled White is beautiful, and the distinctive colour and design of the underwings is just as beautiful. Your sharp macro images of the fritillaries are amazing. I have only just noticed that they have spotted eyes. Every one of your captures is delightful.:)
    Best Regards.

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    1. Hi Sonjia. I do love taking macro images, because it enables me to see things that I would never otherwise have seen - like those wonderful eyes that the fritillaries have. Up until now I have used the macro capabilities of my Sigma 50-500 lens, but on Friday I took delivery of a 150mm macro lens - I'm just waiting for some better weather and free time to try it out properly. I've taken a few shots with it in the garden and it looks promising.

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      With my best wishes to you - - - Richard

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  5. Lovely post Richard on the flutters, the 1st and 4th Marbled White shots being particularly lovely to look at. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you, Marc, for your kind words and encouragement. I'm waiting for a spell of decent weather to try out my new Sigma 150 macro!

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

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  6. Funny how orchids seem to thrive in old quarries. I wonder if there is a link to to disturbed soil and denser vegetation.
    Sadly I dipped on Marble Whites. Great images of easily my favourite species of butterflies

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    1. I'm not sure about your suggestion on the orchids, Doug. The quarries that I see them in have largely been undisturbed for a long while - probably centuries in the case of some.

      Marbled Whites are always an absolute delight to see. It's a bit late in the season now, but if you wanted to meet up next summer, Ketton Quarry is probably a little nearer to you than it is to me!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

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  7. Another inspired collection of butterflies and moths.
    I look forward to seeing the images from the Sigma 150mm.

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    1. Thank you, Adrian. It might be a while before any results from the 150 macro are shown on my blog - I've still got to get grips with changes to my technique!

      With best wishes - - - Richard

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  8. Wow ... these are really amazing pictures.
    These beautiful butterflies are all right. Beautifully photographed and beautifully sharp and clear. The drawing in their wings comes true in your pictures. Also the flowers are of high quality.
    My compliments.

    Best regards, Helma

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Helma.

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

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