Neil Hulme

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Allan.W.
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Allan.W. » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:15 pm

Hello again Neil,
Apologies for posting a couple of images on your site ,but please delete them when you,ve had a look ,also in the same spot a few Autumn Ladies Tresses and many Autumn Gentian . By the way your (and Michael Blencowe s) book is superb , a great read !!
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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:57 pm

Hi Allan,
You're quite right - that's certainly 'Pride of Sussex'. It's late for it to be coming into flower (as one of your images shows), but Nature doesn't seem to follow the rules any more. I'm seeing quite a lot of Common Dog-violet in flower at the moment.
Many thanks for your comments about the book. I was pleased to see another good review by Peter Marren in British Wildlife magazine (August issue). The next book is already being planned.
BWs, Neil

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:00 am

Extra Broods

I arrived at Mill Hill rather late on Tuesday (19 September) afternoon, just as the cloud cover was thickening and David Cook and Trevor Rapley were departing. This made the location of any third brood Wall rather challenging, but I eventually located six, saving the best, a scale-perfect female, until last.

It's great to see so many people out enjoying these late Wall as the butterfly season winds down, demonstrating how much we value this once common and widespread species. Long-gone from Surrey, it's sadly on the very point of extinction in Hampshire.

Amongst the faded and tatty remnants of the late summer butterfly fauna were a few little gems, including third brood Common Blue, Small Copper and Brown Argus, all being in fresh condition. I suspect that some of the Peacock are second brood.

BC Wall female, Mill Hill 19.9.17 (2).jpg
BC Common Blue, Mill Hill 19.9.17 (1).jpg
BC Common Blue, Mill Hill 19.9.17 (2).jpg
BC Wall female, Mill Hill 19.9.17 (1).jpg

trevor
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby trevor » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:27 am

HI Neil,
Good to see you, albeit briefly yesterday. I am in awe of your female Wall Brown, especially one
in perfect condition like that. Males seem to be two a penny at the moment, but the females remain elusive.
I recently discovered a colony of Walls in a village church yard near Devizes, Wiltshire.
They seemed to be doing very well, plenty of stone and bare earth, but no third brood apparent.

Cracking good day at Mill Hill,
Trevor.

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:41 pm

I think I understand the hypothesis that larva resulting from third brood Walls might not have time to develop sufficiently to be able to survive the winter (hibernate) and that having three broods in a year might not be good for the Wall's long term success. This hypothesis might help explain why Walls are doing relatively well in cooler northern districts where third broods do not occur.

So your thoughts please Neil on the likely success or otherwise resulting from 2017's third brood in Sussex.

Jack

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David M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby David M » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:56 pm

That's a pristine female Wall without a doubt, Neil. In fact, it's so fresh it reminds me of one of Richard Lewington's illustrations!

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:01 am

Thanks, Trevor and David. She was certainly 'pretty as a picture', but when these third brood females start to fade we know that the season is all-but-done :( .

Jack: In a nutshell, the theory is that the stronger the third brood, the weaker the spring emergence. As third broods go, it's not bad, but I've seen better. Plenty more on this in 'The Butterflies of Sussex' https://www.naturebureau.co.uk/bookshop ... sex-detail

BWs, Neil

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:08 am

Last Flashes Of Brilliance

A thorough search of the ramparts and meadows around Cissbury Ring on Sunday (24 September) produced 31 Small Copper, a few of which were still in mint condition. Common Blue, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Wall, Clouded Yellow, Small White, Comma, Peacock, Painted Lady and Red Admiral (heading south) were also seen. The National Trust's programme of mechanical scrub-cutting and grazing with ponies will hopefully revitalise some areas, particularly for the shorter turf species.

BC Small Copper (male), Cissbury Ring 24.9.17.jpg
BC Small Copper (female), Cissbury Ring 23.9.17.jpg

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David M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby David M » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:43 pm

Beautiful Coppers, Neil. They almost seem to reflect that autumnal light that one encounters at this time of year.

Thirteen species is good going for late September too. Shame there are no Long Tailed Blues this year to make that fourteen!! :D

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:49 pm

Thanks, David.
We've only had two definite Long-tailed Blue (and two 'possibles') in Sussex this year, which is slightly disappointing. Just a few years ago these would have made headline news, but recent events have raised our expectations. Had the weather not fallen apart in late July I suspect we would have done better. Here's hoping for next year!
BWs, Neil

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:53 pm

Last Orders

Today (26 September) was probably my last opportunity to get out looking for butterflies this year, as practical conservation work begins in earnest. For me the 2017 season ended on a high, with plenty of Wall on show at Mill Hill. I suspect the third brood is now approaching peak here, with a total of 17 seen (10m, 7f). The day started well, with a bundle of 5 males along the path leading northeast from the upper car park.

Other enthusiasts had the same idea and I spent an enjoyable afternoon with David Cook and Dave Miller, hunting down the better specimens, including some recently hatched males. At least half-a-dozen Clouded Yellow, some in good condition, were also present, along with many third brood Common Blue. As I watched the sun start to sink, I thought about the many highlights of the year. If the August weather had been better, I'm sure there would have been a few more.

BC Wall male (2) Mill Hill, 26.9.17.jpg
BC Wall male (3) Mill Hill, 26.9.17.jpg
BC Wall male (1) Mill Hill, 26.9.17.jpg
BC Lancing College from Mill Hill 26.9.17.jpg

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:04 pm

If this turns out to be your last time (or not) I think it's safe to look back and say it's been a fantastically enjoyable and memorable year! Not least the time we spent as a group together at Abbots Wood - absolutely terrific! And what an exceptional year it's been for Purple and Brown Hairstreaks! The long awaited Butterflies of Sussex was released, an absolutely fabulous piece of work by Michael and your good self. And who could forget the Queen of Spain's! It's only fitting your dedication is to be rewarded by the 'other' Queen.

Yep I think it's safe to say it's been a great year, one that will live long in the memory.

Best wishes to you and the family.

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Wurzel
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Wurzel » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:34 pm

I'm sure your camera will be near and ready at hand Neil :wink: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Goldie M » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:01 pm

I agree with Wurzel, Neil, your sure to see and take a few more shots. :D Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby bugboy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:57 pm

Yes indeed it has been a great season (I'm quite sure I can still get a few more weeks out of it yet!). Thanks for the heads up about the Large Tortoiseshell and QoS and all that work you and your team has done for the Fritillary project, roll on next spring :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby David M » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:33 pm

Well done with the Wall Browns again, Neil. Nice to see them getting a bit of additional exposure at the moment.

I'm sure if anything interesting DOES crop up, it'll be you who are most likely to make us aware.

Best of luck.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:41 am

Thanks, James. Yes, quite a year so far, but there's plenty more exciting stuff lined up for the winter. It's too early to report on yet, but I'm working on a Fritillaries for the Future project which will dwarf everything else I've ever been involved with.

Wurzel, Goldie, bugboy and David: Camera at the ready, just in case, but I'm more likely to be wielding a chainsaw or brush-cutter from now on, although not necessarily at the same time!

BWs, Neil

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Jack Harrison » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:10 pm

Jack: In a nutshell, the theory is that the stronger the third brood, the weaker the spring emergence. As third broods go, it's not bad, but I've seen better. Plenty more on this in 'The Butterflies of Sussex' https://www.naturebureau.co.uk/bookshop ... sex-detail
I aas on my hols last week so I couldn't look that up. And now many of my books are packed away in boxes pending arrival of team to lay a wooden floor in the lounge/diner. This "improvement" isn't for cosmetic reasons but one of us is a messy eater and has been spilling food on the carpet (wood floor is easier to sweep up). The Data Protection Act and guidance about self-incrimination prevents me from disclosing the guilty party!

Jack

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:58 pm

Neil Hulme wrote:It's too early to report on yet, but I'm working on a Fritillaries for the Future project which will dwarf everything else I've ever been involved with.

That sounds very exciting indeed! I look forward to learning all about it when you’re ready to reveal the grand plan.

ATB

James

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:49 am

Coppicing For Fritillaries

On Thursday (5 October), Paul Day and I met South Downs National Park rangers Becka and Chloe, and local volunteers Barry, Boaz, Derek and Tony, to start cutting this year's Hazel coppice coupes at Church Copse, Clapham. This will be a fortnightly fixture, every other Thursday throughout the winter (start 10.00 am), creating ideal habitat for Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Common Dormouse and other wildlife. All are welcome to join us in this important work.

Paul and I focused on an area which was coppiced only a few years ago, but this earlier-than-normal cut is designed to bring part of the wood into a cycle which will suit PBF. After driving to the site through lashing rain, we were blessed with warm autumnal sunshine throughout the day. A couple of Speckled Wood and a particularly fine Comma paid us regular visits. Let's hope that the A27 Arundel Bypass Options 3 and 5A http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/co ... el-bypass/ don't sever the PBF network we're trying to create. Many thanks to all who came along.

FFTF Chuch Copse coppicing (1) 5.10.17.jpg
FFTF Chuch Copse coppicing (2) 5.10.17.jpg
BC Comma, Church Copse, Clapham 5.10.17.jpg


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