Readers’ wildlife photos

From reader Mark Jones we have some landscapes and butterflies, as well as one bird that readers should identify (I don’t know it and neither does Mark).

Painted Lady (underwing) (Vanessa cardui):

Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia):

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus):

Comma (Polygonia c-album):

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus):

Also, a bird. Sorry, ornithology not my strong point! Is it a Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)? Maybe the readers can let me know.

Then a couple of landscapes. The South Downs, some rolling fields, a farm and the view across Balmer Down toward Ashcombe Windmill.




  1. Posted September 17, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I think it’s the autumn plumage (which makes sex identifcation trickier)

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink


    ^^^^pronounced in a soothing way – not like on a roller coaster.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Great photos…

  4. mrclaw69
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, that’s a northern wheatear.

    Was in the South Downs for a 15 mile birthday walk the other week (I’m London-based so it’s not too hard to get down there). Most of the AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) in South England are rather lovely and good for a walk. LOTS of good country pubs down there too.* One of the things England most excels at, I think, and one I’ll miss most when I leave, is the pubs.

    *A lot of them are old converted farmhouses or pilgrimage waypoints/inns on old Roman routes.

  5. mrclaw69
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Not to derail things, but on the subject of pubs above, here’s a nice article on the history of the English pub:

    Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (mentioned in the article) used to be a regular haunt for me when I lived in Nottingham. The front end of the pub is reasonably new; the main part of the pub is actually in a cave behind the ‘front’. See:

  6. rickflick
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I clicked on the common blue butterfly and then clicked again. You can see her glancing back over her shoulder at the camera.

    • Adrian
      Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      To be pedantic it is a him. The females are brown not blue in the English form.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        By all means let’s be fastidious in our sex. I wonder if females actually select (sexual selection) for the blue males as is the case in birds? Or could that be another form of natural selection?

        Consulting Larry Page and Sergey Brin, an article in Royal Society Publishing reports:

        “…dorsal characters corresponded to our predictions of mate signalling while ventral characters appear to play an important role in predator avoidance…”

        I also found this interesting quote:

        We may give the under surface to Mr. Wallace, but we must yield the upper surface to Mr. Darwin.

  7. Adrian
    Posted September 17, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The name Wheatear is an euphemism for the bird having a white ars.. err, rump, a prominent feature when in flight.

    • Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The name does indeed refer to the bird’s white arse but I don’t think it is a euphemism. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the name is traceable to the 1590s and probably existed long before that. I very much doubt that the name was coined as a means of avoiding offence to anyone’s sensibilities.

  8. Posted September 17, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the comments, folks, and for the birdie confirmation!

  9. Posted September 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    All of those were damn good for my day!

  10. Posted September 17, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful work, Mark.

  11. Diane G
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Lovely shots, all! Thanks for the landscapes–beautiful country, there!

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