Neil Hulme

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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:27 pm

I'd recognise that face anywhere!

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:33 pm

Paul: Many thanks (BTW it's BEM :wink:).
James: A face that's launched a thousand ships (and I wasn't clenching :shock:).
BWs, Neil

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bugboy
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby bugboy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:36 pm

Neil Hulme wrote:Paul: Many thanks (BTW it's BEM :wink:).
James: A face that's launched a thousand ships (and I wasn't clenching :shock:).
BWs, Neil


I'll have a chat with Queenie, see what I can do about addressing my mistake, I don't like being wrong!
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby David M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:20 pm

That's tabloid journalism, Bugboy!! :twisted:

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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:19 am

In the light (!) of recent explosions of electronic cigarettes, I sincerely hope that you are nowhere near a Queen of Spain or Long-tailed Blue or other rarity if your "thingy" explodes: we wouldn't want them damaged or destroyed :evil:

Jack

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:54 am

Queen Of Spain Update

Here are a few images taken during visits to the Piddinghoe Queen of Spain site on Tuesday and Thursday (29 & 31 August). Two individuals (those most regularly seen to date - number three only having been seen once) were still present on Tuesday, but only one yesterday.

BC QoS (1), Piddinghoe 29.8.17.jpg
BC QoS (2), Piddinghoe 29.8.17.jpg
BC QoS (4), Piddinghoe 29.8.17.jpg
BC QoS (5), Piddinghoe 29.8.17.jpg
BC The Queen's entourage.jpg

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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby millerd » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:34 pm

Just a quick thank you, Neil, to you for alerting us all to the presence of these lovely butterflies - and can you also pass on my thanks to the chap who found them and to the farmer for allowing us assorted waifs and strays to traipse across his land. As you can guess, I made the pilgrimage today (1st) and was very successful, seeing at least two QoS (I need to check the photos carefully in case there are more than two individuals). Absolutely brilliant! :D

Thanks again,

Dave

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:25 pm

Hi Dave,

Glad that you (and others) have been able to enjoy them. The farmer has been so helpful that I'll make sure he is thanked in an appropriate manner. Dave Harris is a star for spotting the first one, with this sighting being the foundation for all subsequent discoveries.

Seeing this species on British soil is a real privilege. Despite having seen Queen of Spain before, it took me about 30 minutes before I got a reasonable shot, due to camera shake!

I'll be very interested to see your shots, in order to match them up with the individuals seen to date (upper-sides best for this).

BWs, Neil

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:42 pm

Wart-biters

Despite seeing a lot of good butterflies today, including Adonis Blue, Clouded Yellow, Brown Hairstreak, Silver-spotted Skipper and Queen of Spain Fritillary, I was most pleased to find my first Wart-biter Bush-cricket. I spent a couple of hours helping South Downs National Park Authority and Natural England friends with a Wart-biter project, and after a crash course in location techniques found a nice female of this very rare (restricted to just five sites in the UK) and spectacular species.

Wart-biter (1), Castle hill NNR 1.9.17.jpg
Wart-biter (2), Castle hill NNR 1.9.17.jpg

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bugboy
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby bugboy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:33 am

I've not seen one of those for many a year. Used to be involved in a captive breeding program for them. Magnificent looking insects :)
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 02, 2017 9:29 pm

Great images of the QoS and the cricket, Neil, and good to see the level of enthusiasm generated by the presence of this infrequent butterfly visitor to our shores.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks, David. I estimate that approximately 200 people have come from far and wide to enjoy the Piddinghoe Queens.
BWs, Neil

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:24 pm

Farewell To The Queen

On Saturday (2 September) I made what will probably be my last visit to see the Queen of Spain Fritillaries at Piddinghoe. I've spent a great deal of time observing their behaviour and should now move on to other sites, particularly as the 2017 season is entering its final chapter. However, if the good weather returns there may be more migrants to come.

There were still two Queens present, and at 3.40pm I watched as one headed off to roost in the hedgerow, passing through the same gap as the first I saw on 27 August.

BC Queen of Spain, Piddinghoe 2.9.17.jpg

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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:04 pm

[quote="Neil Hulme"]Queen Of Spain Update

Re. the Queens' entourage photo - I do hope that Her Majesties received some Lady attendants as well :o

Mike

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:08 pm

Hi Mike

No females were actually seen, but I wouldn't expect them to hang around a male lekking area, once mated. The valley they are in has been farmed organically for several decades, so the set-asides and conservation headlands higher on the flanks probably host Field and Wild Pansy. If present, I suspect this where any females are to be found.

If we get an Indian summer I'll be checking the area in mid October.

BWs, Neil

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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:47 pm

That final QoS image is a beaut Neil :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Fingers crossed for some more...

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby David M » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 am

Neil Hulme wrote: ...The valley they are in has been farmed organically for several decades, so the set-asides and conservation headlands higher on the flanks probably host Field and Wild Pansy. If present, I suspect this where any females are to be found.


That's excellent, Neil. It's hard to imagine there being no females at all so with any luck they will be attracted to this area as you say.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:48 pm

Third Brood Wall

This morning I met my brother, niece and nephew, who are visiting from Antwerp, at Mill Hill. We were hoping to see a third brood Wall and soon bumped into David Cook, on the same mission. Wall has been flying for some time at High and Over, but the third brood is only just starting at Shoreham. Having almost failed, I got a call from David, who had just found a freshly emerged male on the middle level. This was the only example we saw, despite a thorough search, but you only need one when they're this good.

Other species included Clouded Yellow (4), Adonis Blue (c.10 including a couple of surprisingly fresh males), Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, and some very nice Red Admiral, Peacock and Comma in the upper level glades. While David was photographing a Peacock he was outflanked by another.

BC Wall, Mill Hill 15.9.17.jpg
BC David Cook and friend, Mill Hill 15.9.17.jpg

Allan.W.
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Allan.W. » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:25 pm

Hello Neil ,
Like yourself I was also at Mill Hill this morning ,hoping to find Round Headed Rampion ,a plant I,ve always wanted to see ,and was really pleased
to find about fifteen , also saw several Meadow Browns ,6 Small Heath, a couple of Small Whites, and a single female Wall in the top car park . A lovely reserve ,and what an incredible view , sorry I missed you ! Didn,t have any joy with any of the Blues (or Clouded yellows ) though !
Regards Allan.W.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Neil Hulme

Postby Neil Hulme » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:58 pm

Hi Allan,
Yes, a shame I missed you, and a shame I missed the female Wall in the car park!
I would check that it was Round-headed Rampion you saw; it's a little late in the year for this species and it's not a plant I've noticed there before. Devil's-bit Scabious looks similar at stages in its development. If not, it's a great excuse to come back again.
BWs, Neil

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