Hoggers

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Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat May 27, 2017 10:10 am

Hi Trevor, Dungeness is well worth a visit: should be lots of second brood Small Coppers later in June.

I went there today and saw 2 Small Coppers and a thunderstorm!

It was about 20C when I arrived this morning, blue sky and full sunshine. Valerian in abundance but no Viper's Bugloss as yet. It still looks very dry down there despite recent rainfall but the Sorrel is plentiful and healthy.

I saw several Painted Lady and notably 8 fresh Small Tortoiseshell.

But just the 2 Coppers
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One treated me to a "Stalk Dance"
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Both faded and tired.

This year's first brood at Dungeness started on 6th April and has now run its course. Compared with 2016, the Copper season this year has been about 12 days early. I haven't noticed the usual overlapping (or continual brooding) that we usually see: this year there's a definite cut off between the first and second brood.

I noticed it was getting cooler and looking up this is what I saw
IMG_4920.JPG

My cue to leave!
Soon we had thunder, lightning and heavy rain : well, it is a Bank Holiday!

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Sun May 28, 2017 8:41 am

Dungeness is certainly on my list Hogger's for July, love the mating pair of Blues Goldie :D

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Mon May 29, 2017 2:31 pm

July will be perfect for Coppers, Goldie!

I returned to Dungeness this morning where it was very warm and sunny indeed. It's wonderful to see all the Valerian in full bloom (although I'm slightly concerned at the absence of Viper's Bugloss - hopefully it will be coming along soon)

There were Painted Lady,Red Admiral, fresh Small Tortoiseshell, Brown Argus and Common Blue but the only Small Copper I saw were the same two males I found on Saturday, firstly this one
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very alert and active indeed
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And this chap enjoying the first of the Blackberry flowers to open
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I just hope both hang on long enough to find themselves a freshly emerged female of the second brood
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While walking around the observatory moat I looked down and found this
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I guessed it must be a moth wing but had no idea from which species.

Later on near the Old Lighthouse I saw this beautiful creature resting on someone's car
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Its hindwings reminded me of what I'd found in the moat. At home I looked it up : Cream spot Tiger.

Very handsome indeed.

trevor
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Re: Hoggers

Postby trevor » Mon May 29, 2017 3:30 pm

Stunning Cream spot Tiger, Hoggers. What a find!. Never seen one in the UK.

All the best,
Trevor.

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Wurzel
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Wurzel » Mon May 29, 2017 9:21 pm

Lovely shot of the Tiger Hoggers :D How soon til the next brood of Coppers will be coming through as those from your most recent posts certainly seem more than a little tired :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Tue May 30, 2017 2:44 pm

Hi Trevor and Wurzel, thanks for your messages : the Tiger was a new one for me! Very attractive indeed.

As for the second brood of Dungeness Coppers, not long to wait at all : last year it began on or around 19th June; this season has been running 12 days early, so if that runs true ( big "if" I know, but lets see what happens!! ) we will be seeing fresh Coppers around 7th June.

That's my prediction!

Hoggers.

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:09 pm

Leaving work in Canterbury yesterday I saw a Magpie pounce on something then repeatedly pick it up and dash it down hard onto the pavement as if trying to crack a nut. I walked closer and could see that the "nut" was in fact a very large beetle. The Magpie flew off as I approached leaving the beetle stunned and seemingly lifeless. It was the biggest beetle I've ever seen. I picked up this monster of a beetle and was pleased to see that it wasn't dead, just concussed, so I moved it out of harm's way and before leaving took a photo with my mobile phone
IMG_0808.JPG


I looked it up as best I can and have identified it as a female Stag Beetle. If I'm right then I'm delighted because I've never seen one before!

This morning was comfortably warm and bright at Dungeness. On my walk I found this chap
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He's the last of the 2017 first brood, still perky, chasing Brown Argus and Common Blues, but all on his own and no other Coppers to play with
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I was pleased to see some Viper's Bugloss in flower, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, Brown Argus, Large White and Common Blues
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I also saw my first Large Skipper
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My visit ended on a high note : on the walk back to the car I saw a sudden coppery flash and there before me was the first Small Copper of the 2017 second brood
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In 2016 the second brood began on 19th June; as this year the Dungeness Coppers have run 12 days early I predicted 7th June as the likely second brood start date, so this chap has surprised me, which only goes to show that Small Coppers keep their secrets and will not be told what to do!

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David M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:23 pm

Hoggers wrote:..on the walk back to the car I saw a sudden coppery flash and there before me was the first Small Copper of the 2017 second brood

In 2016 the second brood began on 19th June; as this year the Dungeness Coppers have run 12 days early I predicted 7th June as the likely second brood start date, so this chap has surprised me, which only goes to show that Small Coppers keep their secrets and will not be told what to do!


That's quite an advance on 2016, Hoggers. Beautiful individual though. Dark shaded with big forewing spots, a bit like the ones I see in southern France.

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Wurzel
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Wurzel » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:54 pm

You weren't wrong about the second brood nearly being upon us Hoggers :D Cracking shot :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:11 am

There's nothing finer than a fresh Dungeness Small Copper
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I saw three today, two males
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And a female
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Just the one surviving member of the first brood
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But beautiful newcomers joining him
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I was impressed by this gorgeous Burnet
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I wonder if it had just emerged from the yellow cocoon in the photo?

And I saw my first Small Skipper too
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Marvellous to see newly minted Coppers again!
IMG_5066.JPG

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:31 pm

Hi! Hogger's, great shots again, I'm still looking for the Large Skippers to come out , they seem to come out first here before the Small, hope fully this next week weather permitting, weathers to be bad up here I think. Goldie :D

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:39 pm

Hi Goldie, we've had some very stormy weather down here too over the last week but today was warm and sunny.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Dungeness this morning was that the Small Skippers have emerged en masse: last Saturday I saw just one, but now they are pretty much everywhere.

I came across a mating pair
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They were constantly harassed by another male
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As for Coppers, I counted 11
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I didn't find a single individual from the first brood, all were fresh second brood butterflies including this magnificently marked male
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I bumped into David Walker the reserve warden who pointed out to me a rare plant called Yellow Vetch. I asked him about Greenfinches : For many years I had them in my garden and they were a common sight when I walk my dogs; but I've noticed that I do not see (or hear) them anymore and I wondered why. David said that there's been a huge drop in their numbers due to a disease that's been killing them off. Such a common bird I always took them for granted, but not anymore!

On a more positive note, 11 fresh Small Coppers at this time of year is a very good sign
IMG_5143.JPG


Hopefully they'll have another bumper season

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Wurzel
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Wurzel » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:18 pm

Great shots of the Fuzz as always Hoggers :D Great to see the Small Skippers as well, won't be long til they're round this way :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:39 pm

Another great sequence of Coppers, Hoggers. I find it hard to reconcile myself with seeing Small Skippers before I've even seen Large Skippers!!! There's quite a difference in emergence times round the country this year.

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:32 pm

Lovely shots Hogger's, the Large Skipper's been seen at Brockholes ( Preston ) so I'll be off to there weather permitting soon. Goldie :D

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:54 am

The weather down here in Kent has been glorious. I took my usual walk at Dungeness this morning and amongst the hundreds of Small Skippers I counted 16 Small Coppers
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Two males were particularly well marked
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I came across a fine male showing off his new blue badges
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Another male treated me to a "stalk dance"
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I love watching them when they do this.

So although thinly spread at the moment the second brood is gathering momentum
IMG_5190.JPG
IMG_5198.JPG
IMG_5211.JPG

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:43 pm

Blazing sunshine made for Molten Coppers today at Dungeness
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They were whizzing about so fast trying to follow them made me giddy
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(That and the heat and sorting them out from the hundreds of Small Skippers!)

But I was delighted to note how much easier they were to find than just three days ago
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27 today
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Last year I had to wait until 25th June to record them in such numbers. While this year the first brood ran almost 2 weeks earlier than last year a readjustment seems to be taking place with the second brood which is now only about one week in advance of 2016
IMG_5268.JPG

Exciting times!

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:09 pm

According to my car dashboard it was 23C when I arrived at Dungeness this morning: it felt more like 32C to me! Boy, it was HOT! Even the Coppers looked about ready to melt
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My Copper-O-Meter overheated at 43
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A superb count for the time of year
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But I wonder how many Coppers these cold blooded critters account for?
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I thought this chap looked splendid with his wide bordered wings
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He makes for an interesting comparison with this one
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And I liked the minimal markings on this male
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Hundreds of Small Skippers
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The heat reached a point where the Coppers had speeded up and I had slowed to a stop
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So I decided to head for home
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And leave the Coppers to it
IMG_5385.JPG

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:20 pm

Lovely Coppers Hogger's hope to see some in July, Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Hoggers

Postby bugboy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:43 am

Good to see the Dungerness Coppers are still going from strength to strength, you really do get an incredible array of markings down there!
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