Maximus

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Thanks Pauline, Neil, Wurzel and Dave for your kind comments.


Our remaining Orange-tips, all females, have now emerged, apart from one where the pupa didn't appear to form properly. Another had been parasitized and I was able to watch the larva of the parasitic fly emerge from the Orange-tip pupal case.


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Parasitized pupa and emerged larva



Fortunately that was the only one parasitized, the others were successfully released.


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The top female was very small



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We also have two Purple Hairstreak eggs found on windblown Oak, which have hatched over the last couple of days - 14th/15th April. I was luckily able to spot the first larva on an Oak bud, just after it hatched at around 10am, and managed to get a quick pic.


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unhatched eggs



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Hatched egg and larva on tip of bud

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:08 pm

That is a cracking topside shot of the female OT Mike :D :mrgreen: If only they all posed like that :roll:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

trevor
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Re: Maximus

Postby trevor » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:21 pm

Good to see the Winter hibernators are out. Welcome to the new season Mike !.
Well done rescuing those Orange Tip pupae last year. At my local site they don't strim, they flail.
If OT larvae wander off to pupate they may survive. On the bright side they appear in good numbers most years.

Have a great season,
Trevor.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:22 pm

Thanks Wurzel, but you do have a real advantage when you've reared them :wink: :D


I get your drift, Trevor, and I will move out of my garden very shortly :wink: :lol: Outside of the hibernators and Orange-tips I've only seen Small White, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood so far, with no photos to show!
It is a shame that so many Orange-tips are lost to strimming/cutting each year, but they certainly do appear to be plentiful this year.

I hope that your great season continues,

Mike.

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:53 am

That fresh, female Orange Tip is to die for, Mike. Let's hope all your emergees go on to have a productive life.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:51 am

Yes David, she was a real beauty and I'm sure they will lead productive lives, as the last we saw of her was with a male in hot pursuit :D


Just returned from a four day break with family in Kent, where we managed to take time out on Friday 21st to look for Duke’s in Denge Woods. The weather was fairly cool with a mix of hazy sunshine when we got there, and after a few wrong turns we found the spot we’d visited a couple of years ago where we’d been unsuccessful in finding any. However, this time we were lucky, as I spotted one immediately fluttering low in the grass, keeping out of the cool breeze. But as soon as the sky brightened a little and it warmed up we started seeing more Dukes, mostly basking in elevated positions. In the hour that we spent looking we found six in total, both males and females. It was nice to reacquaint ourselves with these beautiful little butterflies after last seeing them at Noar Hill almost a year ago.


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trevor
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Re: Maximus

Postby trevor » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:27 pm

Well done with that open wing underside shot, most unusual. Arguably more beautiful than the upper side

Best wishes,
Trevor..

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:06 pm

Agree with Trevor on that. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Neil Hulme would have been proud of that.

Excellent image that gives us a different perspective.

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Re: Maximus

Postby millerd » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:11 pm

Yes, lovely shots, Mike. The underside one is a real cracker. :)

Dave

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Goldie M
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Re: Maximus

Postby Goldie M » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:11 am

Love he underside of the Duke in your second shot Mike, Goldie :D

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:35 pm

Some stunning shots there Mike, especially the double stained glass - real cracker that one :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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bugboy
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Re: Maximus

Postby bugboy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:32 pm

I can only add to the others comments, they've really whetted my appetite for getting my annual fix of Dukes. :mrgreen:
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks Trevor, David, Dave, Goldie and Wurzel, I'm glad you like that shot, it's all really down to lady luck :D


While we were in Kent it would have been remiss of us not to have paid a visit to that Mecca of the Small Copper, Dungeness, so we settled on Sunday 23rd as it appeared that it would be the best day weatherwise.
The breeze however was cool as we walked across the shingle towards the moat at around 1pm, and halfway across we saw a Small Copper on the ground struggling to get airborne. It appeared to have a deformed wing so I coaxed it onto my finger and found it a sheltered spot in the moat. I had just relocated it when a chap appeared who I recognised. It was UKB’s Hoggers, who was just leaving. (Nice to meet you again and have a brief chat Hoggers).
It soon became apparent that there were plenty of Small Coppers on the wing, mostly nectaring on Blackthorn blossom and on the abundant clusters of Hoary Cress...


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A pale Copper



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A Grizzled Skipper suddenly zoomed in to nectar on the Cress, our first of 2017...


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We were also lucky to find two mating pairs of Small Coppers during our visit...


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Spot the Coppers!



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First pair



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Second pair



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Second pair just after separation



As we were leaving a beautifully marked Small Tortoiseshell with lots of white on its forewings, suddenly flew in and landed on some nettles right in front of us...


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I only managed to take the two shots above before it took flight and did a disappearing act, but I was more than happy with that, (this must have been the one that eluded Hoggers)?


And just a final shot of the lovely Small Coppers..


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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:09 pm

Just picked up your comment bugboy as I was posting at the same time. I'm glad that your appetite is whetted, as I know that on your recent form you will have a real ball with the Dukes :D :wink:
Mike

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Wurzel
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Re: Maximus

Postby Wurzel » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:19 am

Wow abs and 'forms' galore - that pale Small Copper is lush and probably a named aberrant ''leu' something or 'pallid...' something (being from Dorset I struggle with English let along Latin :roll: :lol: ). :D :mrgreen:
I reckon your Small Tort could be either a pathological effect or some form of temperature shock :? Really interesting findings :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Hoggers
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Re: Maximus

Postby Hoggers » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:03 pm

Hello again Maximus, you picked the perfect day to visit as the Coppers were all fresh and in good numbers. Yes, that's the Small Tortoiseshell that eluded me! At least you managed to get some decent photos! And I admire that pale Copper too! I'll keep my eye open for it.

Interesting that we both found mating pairs : I reckon it must have been a day when the females were emerging,

Hoggers

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David M
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Re: Maximus

Postby David M » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:36 pm

I love that last shot of the four Coppers nectaring together. This is a species normally intolerant of its own kind, so to see a group in such proximity is notable.

Well done.

kevling
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Re: Maximus

Postby kevling » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:27 pm

Maximus,

Nice shots of the Small Coopers. I too like the last group shot. The Dukes look very striking too. I hadn't heard of Denge Woods being a spot for them. Do they appear in good numbers there?

Regards Kev

Allan.W.
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Re: Maximus

Postby Allan.W. » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:18 pm

Great shots from Dungeness Maximus ! enjoyed looking for the pair on the shingle,found them eventually ! the pale individual was very striking,and unusual ,but not surprising at Dungeness, I was lucky enough to find 2 last year,but neither as striking as that one ... Nice one.
I ,ve been surprised by the number of Coppers feeding from the Blackthorn,don,t think I,ve seen this in previous years. As for groups of Coppers
Sharing the same plants , I don,t find it that unusual to see so many together, both males and females. When the males are in courtship mode they generally won,t except other males in their vicinity,but when their on feeding mode it seems to me that anything goes ! A couple of years back the Bird warden took a shot of a pot plant (senetti sp; ) in the observatory garden sporting 40 !! Small Coppers,when I tried ,I managed 14.
Regards Allan.W.

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Maximus
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Re: Maximus

Postby Maximus » Wed May 03, 2017 8:05 pm

Hi Wurzel, as there’s such a large population of Small Coppers at Dungeness, you never know what you’re going to find :shock: :D


Yes, Hoggers, there must have been some females emerging on that day. Also most of the Coppers we saw looked pretty fresh too.


Thanks, David, they were very well behaved at that time, even accepting a Grizzled Skipper into their midst!


Thanks Kev, I’m not absolutely sure of the Duke numbers at Denge having only visited twice. I did however read somewhere that BC have been/are involved in providing ‘corridors’ to connect the isolated colonies that exist within Denge woods.


Thanks Allan, when I was chatting with Hoggers he mentioned that he occasionally bumped into you there.
There were quite a number of Coppers (and other species) nectaring on the Blackthorn during our visit, I guess they’ll use any food source available to them at the time?
Forty Coppers on a potted plant is amazing, fourteen is also brilliant :D Senetti, I believe, is a very bright, daisy-like plant and contains many individual blooms, so would be of great attraction to the Coppers.




Tuesday 2nd May, Noar Hill

Due to other commitments we missed out on the morning’s good weather, so had to settle for an afternoon visit to Noar to look for our local Dukes. By the time we arrived it was cool, overcast and some dark clouds were appearing as we walked up the lane to the reserve.
Our first butterfly sighting was an Orange-tip settled on a leaf, but at least he had his wings open!


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Once in the reserve we headed for one of the deepest pits hoping to find some Dukes sheltering there. Sure enough we found four or five sitting among the Cowslips on a sheltered bank. Occasionally one would take flight and battle with what we first thought was another Duke, but in fact turned out to be a Dingy Skipper, our first of 2017. Also in the same pit we found our first Small Heath of the year, doing its best to hide in the grass..


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Later on, as we reached one of the top pits, it warmed briefly and several Dukes and two Duchesses made an appearance..



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We saw a total of twelve Dukes, but there were probably more hidden in the grass. What we really needed, as did the Dukes, was better weather!


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