Hoggers

This forum contains a topic per member, each representing a personal diary.
Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:00 pm

I went down to Dungeness today and was delighted to discover that the third brood of Small Copper has begun!
IMG_6110.JPG


My Copper-O-Meter detected 30
IMG_6201.JPG


All but two were fresh
IMG_6116.JPG
IMG_6222.JPG


A female doing the "Turkey Strut" had a confused male Brown Argus for a suitor!
IMG_6223.JPG


Among the beautiful Coppers there were a number of surprises, firstly this stunningly marked male
IMG_6184.JPG


Gorgeous

And then this remarkable individual
IMG_6126.JPG
IMG_6139.JPG
IMG_6154.JPG


To the eye he appeared to have just two spots (and if you look at the underside you can see why)
IMG_6158.JPG


But also the general appearance was rather greasy
IMG_6159.JPG


He reminded me of a couple of other Coppers that I've found in the past :
IMG_1786.JPG
IMG_9871.JPG


A rare and very interesting aberration
IMG_6142.JPG


Then I stumbled upon my second radiata of the year
IMG_6234.JPG


What a thrill! Such a beautiful variation my heart always skips a beat when I find one
IMG_6233.JPG


So all in all a marvellous day at Copperness!
IMG_6112.JPG
IMG_6189.JPG
IMG_6214.JPG

Allan.W.
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:11 pm

Hello Hoggers ,
That Radiata is a beauty !! as is the other unusually marked individual ,had a flying visit there myself yesterday ,but only managed 3-4 ,+
A couple of Hummingbird Hawks . once again ,nice finds ! Regards Allan.W.

Allan.W.
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:11 pm

Hello Hoggers ,
That Radiata is a beauty !! as is the other unusually marked individual ,had a flying visit there myself yesterday ,but only managed 3-4 ,+
A couple of Hummingbird Hawks . once again ,nice finds ! Regards Allan.W.

User avatar
Katrina
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Katrina » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:29 pm

Great work finding the radiata and a bonus ab!

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:28 pm

Your first aberrant is absolutely remarkable, Hoggers. I've never seen anything like that before. The undersides are particularly striking.

User avatar
Goldie M
Posts: 3134
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Hi! Hogger's, after the weather was so bad the second week and reports of very few Copper's about we decided being has I'd seen an ab on the first Sunday I was there to give Dungeness a miss and look for Clouded yellow instead having seen them at different places and not got a shot.
Your twelfth photo looks a lot like the one I got a shot of at Bossingham on the 16th of July it was lovely. Goldie :D

User avatar
Wurzel
Stock Contributor
Stock Contributor
Posts: 5775
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Salisbury
Contact:

Re: Hoggers

Postby Wurzel » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:36 pm

That is a cracking aberrant as all have commented :D :mrgreen: Also your radiata :mrgreen: but doesn't that also have some blue badges as well :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:30 pm

Thank you all for your kind comments, much appreciated as always.

The second brood of Small Copper at Dungeness was abysmal. Numbers were far below normal. I've spoken to a number of people about this including AllanW (who I bumped in to there this morning) and David Walker (the reserve warden) and the general consensus is that the drought this Spring hit all small flowering plants, Sorrel included, very hard indeed and that this had a devastating effect on the second brood. Indeed, numbers were so unusually low that I feared there'd be no third brood at all.

So given this background it is little short of miraculous that not only has there been a third brood but that it has come thorough so strong
IMG_6285.JPG


Today I counted 74 Small Copper
IMG_6267.JPG


The few second brood did their job (and also the rain did eventually come to revive the Sorrel)
IMG_6271.JPG


End result : a glorious,healthy third brood
IMG_6313.JPG
IMG_6244.JPG


I saw a few Blue Badgers today (always a pleasure)
IMG_6280.JPG
IMG_6319.JPG


Signs of bird strikes!
IMG_6286.JPG


This Copper has held the same territory for at least 7 days now
IMG_6287.JPG


I also came across this chap
IMG_6304.JPG


He was chased quickly away by another Copper so I managed only 3 photos
IMG_6308.JPG


He's clearly very similar to the one I found 7 days ago
IMG_6309.JPG


I've tried to compare the two butterflies and I've concluded that it is not the same individual but if I'm wrong, he's had a very difficult week!

It's an interesting variation, reduced spotting and a greasy appearance. AllanW found one like it as well today. I wonder if the variation is pathological rather than genetic?

74 for the third brood is an excellent count
IMG_6303.JPG
IMG_6261.JPG
IMG_6298.JPG


There's no keeping a good Copper down!
IMG_6282.JPG

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:48 pm

Hoggers wrote:74 for the third brood is an excellent count


74 annually would be good for most of us, Hoggers! Always a delight to see your Coppers. There's such a range of variation and it's nice to see individuals previously recorded turning up again.

Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:34 pm

Cheers David : by repeatedly visiting Dungeness over the years I've been able to watch male Small Coppers hold territories and some become familiar faces!

Today I counted 101 Small Copper
IMG_6425.JPG


The rain came and revitalised the Sorrel just in time for the second brood caterpillars
IMG_6409.JPG
IMG_6336.JPG


Result : a bounteous third brood
IMG_6406.JPG
IMG_6437.JPG


Wing fluttering is something I see mostly among the female Coppers: here's a male courting a female
IMG_6364.JPG


She wants nothing to do with him and so goes into the "Turkey Strut", wings all a-flutter
IMG_6365.JPG
IMG_6366.JPG


But I've seen males wing flutter too : these two were chasing each other about. Upon landing the first Copper (nearest in the picture) would crowd in on second
IMG_6355.JPG


The response to this crowding was that the second Copper would take flight, whereupon the chase would begin again
IMG_6395.JPG


But after settling and being crowded again, the second Copper fluttered his wings at the first, and the first then just left him alone
IMG_6356.JPG


I've been noticing a number of Coppers that have sustained bird strikes, including this one
IMG_6332.JPG


Now it might me my imagination, but this one looks like a radiata! It must have been magnificent before some bird came along and chomped off most of its hind wings!

I also came upon this stunner
IMG_6427.JPG


Which makes an interesting comparison with this one
IMG_6432.JPG


The most unusual Copper today was this
IMG_6439.JPG


I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I think it's ab remota, where the spotting is thrown out towards the wing margins. It flew away seconds after I saw it so only two bad photos I'm afraid
IMG_6440.JPG

But it's a striking aberration and the first I've ever seen.

A great day's Coppering!
IMG_6443.JPG

User avatar
Katrina
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Katrina » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:05 pm

I am loving the last photo Hoggers. Well done also for finding another ab!

Allan.W.
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:15 pm

Hello Hoggers,
Some great shots there as usual,must admit I,ve not seen a Copper like the Ab you posted ,very unusual ,nice find,and thanks for comments re; the Adonis Blues in the sightings section. I do enjoy looking through the Blues as they go to rest and they are generally very obliging in the evenings,
(as are the Common Blues in the gulleys Dengemarsh ). One small word to the wise ,I made the mistake of not spraying up with the "jungle" spray,whilst up on the downs and got bitten to pieces !! Once again nice AB. regards Allan.W.

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:55 pm

Your remota is most unusual, Hoggers. I've certainly never seen one like that before.

Nice to hit 3 figures in a day. I reckon it'd take me 3 years to do that in the UK!!

Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:41 pm

Many thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

The first day of this August Bank Holiday weekend dawned very warm and calm but overcast. I took my usual walk at Dungeness and immediately began finding Small Coppers
IMG_6449.JPG
IMG_6515.JPG


I was interested to note that the number of "Blue badgers" (either with a full set or the vaguest suggestion of blue) is very high
IMG_6461.JPG
IMG_6491.JPG


And indeed, over the past several years I've had the notion that this charming aberration turns up most often in the third brood
IMG_6523.JPG
IMG_6507.JPG
IMG_6510.JPG


There are still many fresh Coppers about
IMG_6541.JPG
IMG_6524.JPG


But I noticed signs of wear becoming more evident
IMG_6453.JPG
IMG_6473.JPG
IMG_6506.JPG


This female caught my eye
IMG_6485.JPG


She was quite alone, descending whilst quickly tapping her feet
IMG_6488.JPG


Then going into the "Turkey Strut" performance (even though I was the only male in the vicinity!)
IMG_6490.JPG


I've watched females tap their feet on plants before, particularly when looking to lay their eggs, but I've not seen a female go so far as to copy the male's "Stalk Dance" routine
IMG_6477.JPG


I bumped into the "remota" that I found last week, still in exactly the same spot
IMG_6503.JPG

So he's been in this territory for at least 7 days. It's interesting to be able to get evidence like this of Small Copper behaviour.

I also saw this chap with a pencil thin hindwing band
IMG_6536.JPG

Very smart!

And this one with yellow on the forewing
IMG_6547.JPG


This chap roosting up in the bushes had a peculiar scale defect
IMG_6497.JPG


On my walk noted how well the Sorrel is growing. This successful third brood (I counted 91 today ) after a near catastrophic second brood it is a testament to this little butterfly's ability to survive
IMG_6545.JPG


The signs are there for a good fourth brood!
IMG_6520.JPG


I also saw a Clouded Yellow
IMG_6565.JPG


As well as several fresh Brown Argus.

Allan.W.
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:49 pm

Hello Hoggers,
Some beauties there as usual,your individual with a scale defect also has a very large almost joined spots ,shame you never managed any more shots ,would have been good to see its full topside , was your "Remota " near the end of the Bird trap ? if so I think I may have spotted it
yesterday afternoon ,but it never hung around so was unable to get a shot ! was pleased with a count of 62 in about an hour and a half,with some absolute beauties on the wing . Some great pictures there Hoggers !.
Regards Allan.W.

User avatar
Maximus
Posts: 962
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:30 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby Maximus » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:23 pm

I'm glad that the Small Coppers have recovered their numbers in the third brood, Hoggers, and that the Sorrel is growing well too.
You've captured some little gems in your photos :D

essexbuzzard
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby essexbuzzard » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:04 pm

Yes, some lovely coopers there, and good to see a bit of rain has revived both the foodplant and the butterflies. Fingers crossed for a nice autumn and a new brood of coopers!

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:11 pm

I know it won't win any techinal awards, but I just love that image of the male Clouded Yellow zooming by the wire fence - I guess it encapsulates how ephemeral this species is in the UK; you rarely get more than a passing glimpse as the butterfly motors along on its way.

Hoggers
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:07 pm

Hello Allan, yes the chap with the scale issue did appear to have its dots joined but he was so flighty I just couldn't get a decent look at him! And the remota is where you say (again a very active little Copper!)

Hi Maximus and EssexB,the contrast between this year's second and third brood has been startling: during the former I'd stand forlornly by clumps of Ragwort and not see a single Copper; but now it's a case of if you see a sprig of Ragwort you are sure to find a Copper or two!

Hi David, soon after being buzzed by the Clouded Yellow I was stopped by two butterfly enthusiasts who asked if I'd seen any Clouded Yellows! I had to say that 5 minutes ago one had flown right by me and make do with pointing them in the direction it had disappeared (I hate it when you ask someone if they've seen what you're after and they say "Yes,It was right here 5 minutes ago"!!) I hope they caught up with it in the end.

I left home in brilliant sunshine this morning but by the time I reached Romney Marsh I was driving through a fog that Russell Thorndike would have been proud of! I expected Dungeness to be lost in a pea-souper and for my expedition to be a case of "Coppers in the Mist" but by the time I arrived it had just begun to lift and very soon it became hot
IMG_6639.JPG


I decided to take a different route for my walk and began counting Coppers
IMG_6586.JPG


I got to 88 when I decided to stop counting and just enjoy the butterflies
IMG_6670.JPG
IMG_6674.JPG
IMG_6678.JPG
IMG_6635.JPG


Blue Badgers are strongly represented in this third brood
IMG_6597.JPG
IMG_6699.JPG
IMG_6618.JPG


This chap was very active and actually glinted a shade of green in the sun
IMG_6681.JPG


And this one had a pale forewing
IMG_6687.JPG


I watched some aerial displays
IMG_6713.JPG
IMG_6715.JPG


Always a joy
IMG_6717.JPG
IMG_6720.JPG


A sleek bird of prey flew right past me and I just managed to get a record photo
IMG_6708.JPG

Is it a Sparrow hawk?

I saw a few Painted Lady too
IMG_6577.JPG


By about 1130 it was getting too hot for me so I headed for home
IMG_6644.JPG
IMG_6666.JPG


It is wonderful to see so many Coppers again, a real joy
IMG_6653.JPG

trevor
Posts: 1523
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: Hoggers

Postby trevor » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:16 pm

One of your best Copper images to date. ( the last one )
A real picture !. Small Copper on some Blackberries with a backdrop of blue sky.

All the best,
Trevor.


Return to “Personal Diaries”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest