Hoggers

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essexbuzzard
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Re: Hoggers

Postby essexbuzzard » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:14 pm

We did, and plenty of other stuff besides! Great to meet you, Hoggers! We had a great time. :)

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:38 pm

Hi! Hogger's, your so lucky to live in Kent, I m seeing lots of Butterflies but if I didn't get Kent in Summer I'd Have a very low Butterfly count for the Year :) Love the Small Copper shots . :mrgreen: Goldie :D

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David M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:01 pm

Coppers & Cloudies in mid-October! What a site you have on your local patch, Hoggers. Wish we had a 'West Dungeness' somewhere on mine. :(

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi EssexB, Goldie and David,I am very lucky indeed to be within easy striking distance of Copperness!

We've had some very butterfly unfriendly weather since I bumped into EssexB. I had today off work but although warm it was gloomy with drizzle at first. By midday however conditions had improved so I thought I'd have a look for some Coppers.

It was 17C and calm when I arrived but unfortunately it just would not brighten up! Coppers love the sunshine, it brings them out to play, but dull weather grounds them. Nonetheless I followed my usual walk and began finding some Small Coppers
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Now weathered and battered
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But still brilliant : this chap had a nice copper sheen to his hind-wings
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If only it had been sunnier!
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There didn't seem much chance of the sky clearing so I decided to head back to my car. I always say "One Copper is enough" and I'd counted 6 so no complaints really but I confess to having felt a little disappointed that I hadn't seen more.

I should have known better than to feel down hearted : Copperness was not going to send me home depressed. Just before I reached the car I looked down and saw this
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What a magnificent butterfly
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Cleopatra in all her finery couldn't have come close to this true Queen of the Coppers!

millerd
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Re: Hoggers

Postby millerd » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:03 pm

Wow - that last female is stunning. Different enough to look like a different species, almost. Those are the largest blue badges I've ever seen, and the understated forewing spots just make the blue even more prominent. What a lovely insect. :)

Dave

Allan.W.
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:38 pm

Nice find Hoggers ! what a little stunner ,imagine it when it was fresh !!
Regards Allan.W.

essexbuzzard
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Re: Hoggers

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:51 pm

At least you saw some, and the last is a stunner. It's November next week, I will be interested to see if you can find a Copper then!

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David M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:57 pm

That last specimen is as bold a caeroleopunctata individual as I have ever seen, Hoggers!

Wonderful insect!

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:03 pm

Hi All, many thanks for your comments : I think there's a very good chance indeed of the Coppers hanging on into November,(ie, until Wednesday next!), although the weather has turned much colder than of late and, sad as I am to say it, we are at the end of 2017 Copper Season.

We had a frost last night here in Ashford and when I arrived at Dungeness it was decidedly nippy (one of the wardens said he didn't recognise me at first in my coat and bobble-hat!)

The first butterfly I saw was a Peacock sheltering from the cold breeze in the mouth of a rabbit warren (I later saw 2 more Peacocks) and as the morning became warmer (it got up to 13C), I began finding Coppers
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Back on 14th October I found an unusual female that AllanW later identified for me as a Cupropunctata : It was on the footpath along the power station fence
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This morning I found this Copper in the observatory moat
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It looks so much like the cupropunctata I found on 14th that I'm inclined to say it is the same butterfly.

Coincidentally, this morning in the moat I also re-found my Queen of the Coppers
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Well at least I think it's her! It's sometimes difficult to tell!

When I saw her on wednesday she was by the car park at the Red and White metal gate (a considerable distance away)! This sort of thing fascinates me : clear evidence of how these tiny butterflies move around the site,gravitating towards the observatory moat.

If it is her then it was good to see her again
IMG_7572.JPG

If it's not her, I seem to be very lucky when it comes to finding Blue Badgers!

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:23 pm

Fantastic shots Hogger's , it's so great to keep seeing postings of them :D Goldie :D

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David M
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Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:32 pm

So glad you saw your precious caeruleopunctata female again, Hoggers. You spend so much time there they must seem like family?

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:59 pm

Winter Coppers

My 2017 Small Copper season began on 6th April : seven months later and they are still on the wing
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Just!
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Dungeness today enjoyed glorious weather, calm and sunny with the temperature at about 13C. I got there around 11am and walked to the Observatory moat where I began finding Coppers
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I also bumped in to Mark (EssexBuzzard) and his partner. While we stood talking a gorgeous Clouded Yellow flew in
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This male had set up his territory by a clump of flowering Ragwort
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Not only did he have a ready supply of nectar but the Ragwort attracted other butterflies : he chased off the Clouded Yellow, but was then later joined by my Queen of the Coppers
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Her Highness wanted nothing to do with him, poor chap. I went to find Mark so that he could see the Queen but by the time we returned she had decamped (I hope you managed to find her Mark.)

This female was busily searching for something
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I watched her for a few minutes but despite looking like she might lay an egg she didn't
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And I also got to watch a male do the "stalk dance"
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Despite numbers being low (I counted 9 ), there was so much going on it felt like Summer!
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trevor
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Re: Hoggers

Postby trevor » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:07 pm

A great haul of November Coppers, Hoggers.
Well done capturing that Clouded Yellow in flight.

Great stuff,
Trevor.

Allan.W.
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Allan.W. » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:56 pm

Hi Hoggers ,
Actually I think that nine is an excellent count for early November,it shows just how hardy these little beauties can be ,considering we,ve now had several frosts !( all be it ,mild ones !),I wonder if at this time of the year the coppers still roost as high and prominently as they do in earlier broods (when its warmer ) ? Well done again .......roll on the weekend ! (and weather permitting !)
Regards Allan.W.

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Maximus
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Maximus » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:09 pm

That's a beautiful caeroleopunctata you found, Hoggers :D

millerd
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Re: Hoggers

Postby millerd » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:14 pm

Great to see the Coppers still flying down at Dungeness, Hoggers. They don't give up, do they! :) Unfortunately we lost the sunshine further north today, but it looks as if it was lovely down there on the coast. :)

Dave

essexbuzzard
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Re: Hoggers

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:28 am

Unfortunately, we failed to find the Queen, Hoggers, but what a great time we had down there! Nice to meet you again, and thanks for coming to find me anyway. We stayed, and watched our last three Coppers of 2017 go to roost, at around 3.30PM. :D

Hoggers
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Hoggers » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:37 am

Hi All, many thanks for your comments.

We've had frosts inland thus far but I don't know if they've had a frost at Dungeness yet? Nevertheless, what strikes me is just how long the Small Copper flight period is there : numbers fluctuate through the season of course, but I've found them every time I've visited from 6th April until yesterday, which is surely remarkable.

Hi Mark, every time I see you a Clouded Yellow seems to appear! Sorry the Queen didn't stay around for you - I think she'd had enough of the male Copper's attentions. But it was marvellous on a November day to see how active they were : I watched males chase off other butterflies, court females and perform the "stalk dance", and I saw a female appear to look for somewhere to lay eggs. What with the weather being so pleasant it could have been Summer!

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Goldie M
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Re: Hoggers

Postby Goldie M » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:22 pm

Hi! Hogger's, there must be some thing really special at Dungeness to attract the Coppers every year and for so long in the year, I don't know of any other place in the UK where they stay for so long year after year :D Goldie :D

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David M
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Location: South Wales

Re: Hoggers

Postby David M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:34 pm

Nice to see those November Coppers, Hoggers, even of most are looking a bit on the worn side. Their longevity on that site is remarkable.


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