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Janvier 2010

November 2009

November 2nd

To forget a bit the autumn  ... summer butterflies (1).

Tabac d'espagne
Silver-washed Fritillary [Argynnis paphia -Nymphalidae Argynnis-] (Tabac d'Espagne)

It is found throughout Europe. Likes brambles, forest, its host plant is the violet.


Tabac d'espagne

Male and female are bright orange with black spots.

The black lines on top of wings are present only in males. As here.
Only one generation per year. Larvae hatch in late autumn, will make a shelter and hibernate until March.


Le myrtilMeadow Brown. [Maniola jurtina - Nymphalidae Satyrinae] (Myrtil)
Underside is orange for this great fan of mallow and violet.
Forest edges, meadows.


Le myrtil

The upside of wings of the male is dark and brown.

Le myrtil

The female usually has a large white band in the hind wings, with an undulating contour.
The black dots are highly variable and may be more or less present.

Empis et myrtil

Smaller ocellus for the male and wavy outline barely visible.


November 3rd

Summer butterflies (2).

La panthereSpeckled Yellow [Pseudopanthera macularia-Geometridae Ennominae-]

A small diurnal moth. Observed from April to June. Only one generation per year.
Dressed all in yellow and dotted with panther spots of shape and size depending on the regions, and shades lighter or darker.


La panthere


La grisetteMallow Skipper. [Carcharodus alceae-Hesperiidae Pyrginae-] (Grisette)

Small transparent spots on the forewing.
Brown, grey and yellow with a complicated set of dark spots. Diurnal.
He loves lavatera and mallow. Its host plant is the mallow.

(3cm) (April-august)

La grisette


November 4th


[Sylvia atricapilla-Passeriformes Sylviidae-]
(Fauvette à tête noire)

The Blackcap has a... tawny-brown head in females. The black head is restricted to males.

Gray yellow underside.

In autumn they feed on berries and fruits.
A virtuoso singer, but in autumn it is rather quiet.

(Patis 291009)

.Met in late October, in the undergrowth, the female blackcap is almost invisible. Very vivid, it permanently switches from branch to branch, jumping from here to there, always remaining under cover. Hard to photograph through the branches.

Young (below) is very similar to females. The cap is brown. If you could fail to see this youngster perched almost at the ground level in a thicket, you could not miss its incessant nagging call.


Vincennes 130807


The male and its black cap well down right to its eyes like a little hat well down.

It is here spring dressed and for once a little less undercover.

Delicate pale grey neck and abdomen, brownish grey back, slate grey beak and grey legs.

Some individuals migrate in winter, especially those of northern and north-east (known as partially migratory) but some still spend the winter there.

(Sceaux 240408 )

November 5th

Summer butterflies (3).

Pyrale dorée Mint moth. [Pyrausta aurata-Crambidae Pyraustinae-] (Pyrale dorée, pyrale de la menthe)

Pretty little moth.
In purple and gold, it flights day and night in two annual generations.


Pyrale dorée

At first I had mistaken it for a Pyrausta purpuralis, (pryrale pourpre).

But the yellow markings of the forewings of the Pyrausta purpuralis are usually three and form a broad band that can be almost continuous. In the mint moth, we see on the wing mostly a round yellow spot near the edge of the wing and a much smaller spot between it and the edge of the wing.


Callophrys rubiGreen Hairstreak. [Rubi-Callophrys Lycaenidae Theclinae-]
(Argus vert, Thécla de la ronce)

It gave me hard times this very small green. And I have not succeeded to catch its wings properly.

Each time when I was finally ready to take the picture after a long pursuit, it took perverse pleasure to turn instantly on the side, as if it has heard the camera trigger! It was enough high placed and cannot be taken from above and it did not stand in the same place long enough.

Yet it is exceptionally beautiful with very special reflections, delicately green and changing. It is very difficult to spot as it blends easily into the vegetation.

His eyes are rimmed with white. The upper side is brown but it rarely hold its wings open. Perhaps it will be for next time...


 (25mm) (210409)

November 6th


Punaise verte

Not very much loved, yet they deserve attention.

This bug has taken a shower at the same time as the orchid (a Masdevallia) where it thought it had found a warm indoors shelter for the winter.

I can assure you that she hates the water and fled to the tip of leaves to avoid the flood, wearing here coquettishly a little hat (which it gladly would do without, I think).

Punaise verte

A quick tissue touch later, here it is, more visible. 

It is a green bug. Yes, yes. During the winter the all green bug becomes brown and very brown.

The squatter of my orchid is in between, a little green but darkening.

Three white spots on the scutellum (the triangular part of his back) with two small black dots at the corners of the latter tell the specialists. 

So I think here it is Nezara viridula, the southern green stink bug. [Heteroptera, Pentatomides] (Punaisse verte).

Punaise verte

Still me! With my aspect a bit "Alien", in this view.

No I don't have red eyes!
My eyes are the two ping-pong balls on each side.

Punaise verte

Indeed: if you look at me in the eyes?

I know I'm part of the group "stink bugs", my defence is my foul odour but do not generalize! Some bugs are ... fragrant and with apple smell.
And if it does not bother me I do not use my weapon.

Despite its kindness at posing, I still invited it to overwinter outside the home.


La Boarmie

And since I'm with the inhabitants of the house which, as the weather become cooler, invited themselves to shelter. Here is a small butterfly.

Willow Beauty. [Peribatodes rhomboidaria-Geometridae Ennominae-] (Boarmie commune,  Boarmie rhomboïdale)

Widely this little geometridae can take multiple forms, even black. It's a moth, a moth that has come to end his life between two library books.


9 novembre

Summer butterflies (4).

Sylvain et sylvaine.

La Sylvaine 

Large Skipper.
[Ochlodes Venatus (= Ochlodes faunus, Augiades sylvanus)-Hesperiidae Hesperiinae-] (Sylvaine.)

Alighted in the characteristic way of Hesperia, wings not folded against one another, slightly inclined.

The black mark on the wing is the male androconial streak formed by odoriferous scales (attractive pheromone).

Ochlodes venatus


La sylvaine

They are "big heads" with a very fast fly.

Antenna clubbed with a curious terminal hook.

It favours open areas like meadows. Common butterfly, largely widespread;  the large skipper is found almost everywhere.


Petit sylvain
White admiral.

[Limenitis camilla (= Ladoga camilla)-Nymphalidae Limenitinae-]
(Petit sylvain.)

Likes moist and shaded areas.

It is often found in the woods and bushes growing along a watercourse.



Underneath red orange and white with two rows of black spots.

Petit sylvain

Dark upside showing two rows of black spots. White median strip.


November 11th

This morning, autumn fog and a little coolness (6° C).


After several days here they are again!
It is pleasant to see them attend again the balcony, even if these are the signs of a near winter.


Two great tits and two blue.

Curious, I've seen them several times and they are always together.

Twice the curious went inspect the box entrance, a great tit first, followed immediately by a blue tit.

Summer butterflies (5).


Hegde Brown or Gatekeeper.
[Pyronia tithonus-Nymphalidae, Satyrinae]
Well yes, in French there are also flying amaryllis...

Not the flower, but this bramble amateur.
Front wings bright orange. But the underside can be easily confused with other butterflies. With the Meadow Brown, among others. I too, too quickly mislabelled them with closed wings.
Until I saw two white spots in its ocellus. It is smaller than the Meadow Brown, but you must see them together to see the difference.

Le myrtil

Here at right the previously presented Meadow Brown for comparison.


Top tawny orange and brown-edged black ocellus with two white dots for Hegde Brown.
The dark mark on the wing of the male (androconial streak).
The female is less colourful and, of course, has no such mark.

It often stays with closed wings.


Pretty little butterfly that can be encountered in the hedges, wood edges, fallow land, on bushes.


It flights the heart of summer in July and August.


(0708 et 07-0809 )

12 novembre


CoprinShaggy ink cap, Wig counsel,  lawyer's wig, or shaggy mane. [Coprinus comatus]
(Coprin chevelu).
It is edible, delicate and tasty but very fragile. It should be consumed young and without delay.

The cap top is brown and compact.


Its maturation is very fast in a short time it darkens and becomes deliquescent.


The brim of the cap coils and shows the gills.


It ends in a single drop of black ink on the ground. Spot that is quickly erased by the rains which carry away the spores altogether.

 It is common and can be found from April through December.


Summer butterflies (6).

Le TristanThe Ringlet.
[Aphantopus hyperantus-Nymphalidae, Satyrinae] (Tristan)

Seven to nine ocellus surrounded by yellow, clearly visible. Five on the hindwing.

Le Tristan


Le Tristan

Most of the time it keeps its wings closed.

Only photo with half-open wings at the take-off.
The ocelli are more visible in the female.
It is found in forest edges and semi shaded areas.
It flies in June July.


Triple raie
Purple(?) Treble-bar.
[Aplocera sp. Geometridae-Larentiinae-] (Petite rayure (?) or
Triple raie or Rayure commune (?))

Very difficult to differentiate between:
(?) A. praefformata.
Purple Treble-bar (?) A. plagiata Treble-bar or St. John's Wort Inchworm.

The differences are subtle. Rise of the tip of the online medium for Purple Treble-bar. And always for Purple Treble-bar, the middle lane is straighter and more acute angles.

The Treble-bar is much more common.

Both fly from May to June


November 19th

A little grey, a little wet but mild as a spring in recent days. (8-12° C)

MoineauPerfectly ripe and blond, they are very tasty these seeds of the birch from the balcony.

Each year, they are truly a hit!

They all compete of agility to detach the tiny seeds that are difficult to catch and scatter to the winds when barely touched.


Included, this catkin, I gobble it whole!


November 23th


.There, all down in the garden that morning, a ball of feathers puzzles me.

It is not very visible because it's grey and gloomy. 

The bird is mainly grey with a brown tone on the back and white breast is finely streaked with dark grey stripes.

Short visit of an Eurasian Sparrowhawk [Accipiter nisus]. (Epervier d'Europe) 

It is a small raptor with long tails and broad rounded wings.
It is alone, or rather "she" is alone. This must be a female: there are no red tones in the feathers of the head and chest and his nape is dotted with white.
No luck, it chose a very poor background to make the best of itself!

It is perched quietly on its big yellow legs, feathers a bit ruffled.



A magpie alights near its bush, and no, not by chance, it landed straight down the bush and turned toward the raptor.

Do not get wrong here, about which will look at which!

EpervierThe hawk turned the heads when she alighted.

Then, as the magpie insisted, stared at it and stood there, it turned toward the magpie.

Dame pie approached frankly slowly, watched by a hawk which fixes her

What's it looking for?


We can compare here their respective sizes, and note that this is not a large raptor. He is 60-80 cm-wingspan for a length of 35-40 cm, and the magpie is 52-60cm in length and 44-45cm wingspan. The female is larger than the male.


The next moment, the magpie takes off and... plunges directly on the hawk!

Ending prematurely my photo session. The hawk fled.

The attack was so quick that I just had this picture of the fan of its tail when the hawk dived under cover in a conifer. Curiously at ground level and not flying away. But it hunts this way, flying along the bushes. He knows how to move between branches to catch the sparrows which are its primarily food.

Pie 1, hawk 0!

As a good guardian, the pie did not hesitate to drive away the undesirable which did not insist. The magpie followed it and I lost sight of the two protagonists hidden by the branches. I waited a long time but none reappeared. The scene happened silently.


A last one.

Long tail with grey bars.

White nape and outstanding white eyebrow.

Truly poor pictures; the conditions were difficult. The birds where far (40m) and the lighting low. The magpie just gave me 40 seconds for my first Eurasian sparrowhawk.
A nest was discovered not too far away then I hope to see it again. But the hawk, next time, find a better perch!

(Paris-Ph. 151109)

A few days earlier I had seen a crow chase a bird of prey over the same garden. I could not identify which it was. The little bird of prey flied straight ahead, chased by crows which harassed him, trying to get over him and happened to prick from time to time. Perhaps this was also the hawk. The best eternal enemy, crows and magpies, seems to find here a common ground!

November 24th


"A long-legged Heron, with long neck and beak,
Set out for a stroll by the bank of a creek.
So clear was the water that if you looked sharp
You could see the pike caper around with the carp..." ("The Heron Who Was Hard To Please", Jean de la Fontaine).


Two long beaks and two long necks.

Great Egret [Ardea alba, Ardeidae-Pelecaniformes](Grande aigrette) all in white and grey heron [Ardea cinerea] (héron cendré).

The Great Egret is the largest heron, a little larger than the grey heron.

His long feathers that fall from its shoulders and that nearly caused its disappearance are present only during the breeding season.

Piscivorous, it was persecuted for his fondness for fish. It also catches frogs, insects and even small rodents. Because of its beautiful feathers and his regime, it has almost disappeared.

It is now protected in France and its population has increased.

It is a winterer and also migratory in South-Eastern Europe but rare in Western Europe. Few nesting pairs in France.

(95-100cm,   1kg)


At this time of year she has a big yellow beak. But during the breeding season, its beak becomes black.

The fingers of its feet are black.

It is seen quite often with the placid heron as here.

It frequents the banks of lakes, ponds and wet meadows.


It is all immaculate white and it can be distinguished from afar. It is very shy and has a sharp eye.

A very nice surprise to see it. Not wishing to frighten it, afraid to be spotted, I did not move too near, I took these pictures from afar (with a 300 mm), hence the very poor quality.

I would so love to be able to approach closer. After a few slow steps in the meadow, she flew off with big flapping of wings and got lost in the trees. The Gray Heron stayed alone, undisturbed.

It's already great to have seen,  "Get what you can, and trust for the rest; The whole is oft lost by seeking the best.  Above all things beware of disdain; Where, at most, you have little to gain..." ("The Heron Who Was Hard To Please", Jean de la Fontaine)..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Seine-et-Marne 091109)

.Always a spring mildness. Gray and rainy these past few days. The pair of great tits and the blue tit (now one) which accompanies them, continue to attend the balcony. For some time the feeders are full even if the weather not really cold.

.The blue tit is somewhat shy and likes to nibble on the hips of the climbing rose.

The great tits have no such shyness and approach closely, the balcony is theirs.
We know their arrival, each bird sings when it comes.

November 27th


Gray, mildness (10° C), rain and sun in the program.

Sprout of mushroom in the birch. I can not tell you what species; I do not know enough mushrooms even though I love them ... anyway, not enough to make a dish. The floor is strewn with birch seeds.

The crocuses grow visibly. The clematis bud.

And the hibiscus still blooms.


Red admiral. [Vanessa atalanta] (Vulcain)

In early November several fresh Red admirals, still got another orgy of nectar from the last dahlias. They are gathering forces before going further south.


They were so beautiful on the flowers that I could not resist to show you them.

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