Bugboys mission

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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:32 am

Looking forward to your shots of the QSF Bugboy :mrgreen: :D Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:55 pm

Piddinghoe (what a great name!)

Thanks for all the wishes of luck, although upon arriving at the site and hearing Neil was again in residence not much luck was required! Just sifting through a couple of hundred images but suffice to say it was worth the train fare :D

more to come...
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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:54 pm

Glad you made it down here for the QOS Paul, did you walk all the way from Newhaven station and back! It's good you made the journey today, it's going to tip it down tomorrow.

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:44 pm

Butterflysaurus rex wrote:......Glad you made it down here for the QOS Paul, did you walk all the way from Newhaven station and back!....

Haha, you are talking to the fool that walked for 2 hours along main roads with no pavement to find Large Heath, this was child's play :D !

29th August, Piddinghoe’s Queen.

The original plan for this week’s day off was a few hours at Bookham, the forecast looked good (not that that really means much this year) and of course Brown Hairstreak will still be around but after the news over the weekend that plan was quickly shelved. A quick check to make sure the site was near enough to a train station and an early night later and I was off!

Before making my way over to the site I had a wander round Newhaven Tidemills, taking the advice from Neil to check out nearby sites. Small Heath and Small White vied for the most abundant species, along with a healthy dash of Green-veined Whites and several freshly emerged Red Admirals. There was however not a sniff of any Clouded Yellow, which given that Queen of Spain immigrants are often associated with Clouded Yellow migrants, probably means there aren’t any Queens here.
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So off it was to Piddinghoe and then the field with a bonfire site. Not too bad a walk by my standards, and there was a pavement all the way!

I was still some distance away when I saw the destination, several people seemingly wandering aimlessly around a field. From a distance not looking a million miles from a scene from the Walking Dead!

Arriving I quickly discovered my target was still showing well and walking around the corner it was quite obvious where to find it, in the middle of a friendly huddle of other butterfliers. Neil was obviously in attendance, the end of his three-day residency here before the awful weather of today. Mrsp0ck and Trevor were also here as well as a couple of other familiar faces. As I’ve come to expect from our kin, it was a very friendly and well-behaved affair, no doubt helped by the exceptionally well-behaved centre of all our attention. I’m not sure how long he was around before I arrived but I had him for over an hour, during which time I think I managed to get his picture from every conceivable angle…
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Of course there were other butterflies around as well, it looks like a nice site, and I saw Brown Argus, Common & Adonis Blue, Small Copper, Small & Green-veined Whites, Clouded Yellow, Meadow Brown, Small Heath. There were undoubtedly other species present as well.
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A particularly heavily marked female GVW

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I left at 2, not because I’d had enough although the Fritillary hadn’t been seen for a few hours at this stage, but because I’d drunk all my drink and was feeling rather parched, so I walked back to Newhaven to top up on fluids. I had another wander round Tidemills finding nothing new before setting off home, exceedingly happy to have encountered another rareity. My first ever Queen of Spain and on British soil to boot, 2017 really is becoming a bit of a golden year for me, 55 species and August has yet to end!

Huge thanks to all the people who have made this encounter possible, special thanks off course going to the landowner, I don’t think I met you but you’re a star!
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trevor
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby trevor » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:20 pm

Good to see you yesterday, Paul.
More importantly your investment of time and rail fare paid off big time !.
As you say, it was a very friendly gathering, with many familiar faces present.
You have some great shots of what may have been a once in a lifetime chance
of seeing a Queen of Spain in the UK.

A brilliant day !.
Trevor.

MrSp0ck
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby MrSp0ck » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:26 pm

We checked tidemills on the way back, and saw nothing much of note, and had a quick look at the everlasting pea there, was surprised to see no Wall Browns on the old buildings.

We also visited Park Corner Heath on the way back up the A22, and didnt see much there either, the last Sm Pearls were seen on the 24th.

Not many days will top the QoS Frit.

It was good to bump into a few regular UKBers again, and we were well behaved in the scrum, i think everybody got their fill of photos. :D :mrgreen:

Pauline
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Pauline » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:29 pm

It's lovely to see your shots of QoS Paul. It brought back the memories of when they turned up at Chichester some years ago (a mating pair!). I can still remember the excitement and will be eternally grateful to Richard Roebuck who supplied me with a spare battery when mine expired. Really pleased you all had a great day :D

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Katrina
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Katrina » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Well done Paul. I admire how you get around by train! Great photos!

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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:04 pm

Cracking set of shots Bugboy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D Fingers crossed it's not a once in a lifetime event :wink: :)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:29 pm

Another marathon effort, Bugboy, and I'm so glad you were rewarded with a precious audience with a Queen of Spain Fritillary.

There must surely be more out there along the south coast. Wouldn't it be nice if a few overwintered successfully?

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Maximus
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Maximus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:49 pm

Nice one, bugboy, you made the effort and were rewarded with some great shots of the Qos :D :mrgreen:

My fingers are crossed with Wurzels that it's not a one-off :wink: :lol:

millerd
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:14 pm

Great shots of the QoS - a lovely butterfly, Buggy. :) :mrgreen: I wonder how long they will persist there? I've missed out by being in Cardiff this time! :(

Dave

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:30 pm

Thanks for all the Comments :D it was a wonderful few hours and another highlight for the year!

Katrina wrote:Well done Paul. I admire how you get around by train! Great photos!

I suspect the train companies 'admire' me even more :lol:

Wurzel wrote:Cracking set of shots Bugboy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D Fingers crossed it's not a once in a lifetime event :wink: :)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

There seems to be a prediction for a warm September so best keep your eyes peeled, quite possible we'll see some other exotica before the season is over :shock: :D

millerd wrote:Great shots of the QoS - a lovely butterfly, Buggy. :) :mrgreen: I wonder how long they will persist there? I've missed out by being in Cardiff this time! :(

Dave

Keep an eye on the Sussex sightings page Dave, these ones seemed quite settled here and this recent blip in the weather may well keep them put for a few more days and Saturday currently looks good. I'm sure Neil will let us know if they are still around
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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:42 pm

Tidemills is weirdly bereft of life at the moment, as you say not even a Clouded Yellow there. It's been like this for weeks, now yet there are Clouded Yellows not much further inland and now QOS. It's almost as if migrants are avoiding the costal sites! Perhaps they've all heard about the 'mysterious toxic plume' we had along the coast here last week!

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:14 pm

Butterflysaurus rex wrote:Perhaps they've all heard about the 'mysterious toxic plume' we had along the coast here last week!


Butterflies are far more sensitive to these things than we humans, so there may be an aspect of truth in this!

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:39 pm

2nd September, a three-nil win at Bookham!

Whilst the butterflying fraternity of South East England has been camped out in a field in Sussex the Brown Hairstreaks of Bookham have been quietly going about their business. With their early flight period this year, today's trip may well be my last Hairstreak hunt for the year so I was glad the weather forecast for once proved be pretty accurate.
There was a definite autumnal nip to the air to start with and not a great deal on the wing, singletons of Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Small copper, Small Heath, Common Blue and a few Speckled Wood for the first hour or so.
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The Sawfly larvae are still active on the Sorrel with no sign of any Copper larvae but a few fresh Coppers did turn up as the day slowly warmed up.
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Despite the growing warmth though, there was still depressingly little butterfly activity and I struggled to reach double figures by lunch. I'd been wandering around the top end of banks common looking for Hairstreaks without much luck, just a few Meadow Brown and Small Copper. One of the Coppers was a familiar chap, first seen on the 19th August (the very distinctive chunk out the wing was taken quite early in his life). He was a bit paler today but in reasonable condition considering his age. He had a couple of bouts with a young whipper snapper but always successfully defended his corner of hedgerow.
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A young whipper snapper!

Not far away a small Crab Spider was having a late brunch.
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I decided to look for White Admiral caterpillars and as I was leaving a particularly orange looking Meadow Brown caught my eye, flopping lazily around a clearing and since I was struggling with numbers today I decided to take a closer look at her. Turns out it was a Hairstreak! Even closer views of her in flight I was fooled as to her identity, her flight pattern was that lazy. A bit faded but still in reasonable condition, she was quite restless and only allowed a few record shots but at least I knew they were still around.
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There was very little on the wing on the way to the WA cats. A female Small Copper was looking to lay, found a Sorrel leaf which she seemed to like then oddly crawled onto a neighbouring seedling (not sure of the species, perhaps a Speedwell, but definitely not Sorrel) and laid her egg?
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Elsewhere a few Speckled Wood were enjoying sunny cleanings but in response to Pete's thread concerning Comma parasitism I kept an eye on the nettles along the paths. I've found an inordinate number of larvae recently but very little in the way of adults. I found two healthy looking pupae today, and only one fleeting visit from a fresh adult. Red Admirals are also unusually thin on the ground here and have been for some time now, very unusual for Bookham in my experience.
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I managed to locate my two remaining WA cats, the older one looking like he's about to moult into fourth instar, the younger a healthy looking third.
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The old egg I found is still firmly attached to the leaf.

It had warmed up considerably now but even so, apart from the Speckled Woods the only butterfly seen was a Red Admiral who was disturbed by a passing couple and vanished over the trees.

The warmth hadn't woken up many more butterflies at Banks Common, a sprinkling of Whites to add to the Brown's and Coppers. I did see another (maybe the same) Hairstreak but this time she stayed out of camera range.
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A slow meander back to the station produced a definite second Hairstreak, again looking for all the world like a meadow Brown from a distance.
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Half an hour later, close to the station I found a comma willing to pose, pretty sure it was an old Hutchinsoni, and it acted its age too, struggling to sit comfortably as though it was losing the use of its legs (I know that feeling in the mornings!)
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A couple of minutes later another pretend Meadow Brown appeared. She sat for a bit before fluttering off only for a Hornet to show a bit too much interest in her and she made a sharp exit over the hedge.
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Brown Hairstreak 0 - Bugboy 3 (agg 2-14) :D
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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:55 pm

Great work with the Brostrak Bugboy :D Great Small Heath ab as well, with the extra spot under the 'eye' :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:23 pm

Great variety of themes, Bugboy. Fair play for concentrating on the whole rather than just the 'celebrity' element.

It always pays to look out for Brown Hairstreaks. I've seen females in early October in the past so I'm sure they'll still be active for at least a couple of weeks yet.

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:40 pm

Wurzel wrote:Great work with the Brostrak Bugboy :D Great Small Heath ab as well, with the extra spot under the 'eye' :D :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

Thanks Wurzel, Those pesky Hairstreaks always demand a bit of work, all the more satisfying when you get one though :). I think it's stretching it a bit to call that Heath an ab. though, it's literally just two scales. I noticed it when I took the picture but for me a Small Heath has to do a bit better than that to be classed as an ab :lol: !

David M wrote:Great variety of themes, Bugboy. Fair play for concentrating on the whole rather than just the 'celebrity' element.

It always pays to look out for Brown Hairstreaks. I've seen females in early October in the past so I'm sure they'll still be active for at least a couple of weeks yet.

Thanks David :). Last year I got a good conditioned female at Bookham on the 28th September, although with this years early showing I'm not sure how long they will last this time round!

3rd September, Denbies

I’d saved the predicted cloudier Sunday this weekend for another trip to see the Adonis, knowing how well a cloudy day brings out their colour. A lie in meant I arrived at around 11, probably an hour too late as the earlier milky sky had begun to turn a bit grey. There was the odd brighter interval which did keep Meadow Browns and Small Heath active but Blues were harder to find. The ‘Denbies Wind’ was in full swing today so the Blues were hiding low down in the vegetation. The first few I did disturb were quickly lost in gusts but one reasonably conditioned male decided to try and bask.
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Females turned out to be easier to find today, not sure if they now outnumber the males or they were just able to stay more active in the cooler conditions, but I managed to track down three or four as well as a few aged Chalkhills, clinging on both literally and metaphorically today.
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Adonis

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Adonis

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Chalkhill

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Adonis

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Chalkhill

I’d been here for about an hour when the rain started, just occasional spitting but I found a nice male roosting on a sheltered Forget-me-not so there was still stuff to find if you looked hard enough.
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The paths always attract life when it cools down, radiating the stored heat as they do, and one last circuit gave me a Red Admiral hugging the earth who allowed close inspection and the opportunity for a more unusual angle.
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Denbies saved the best ‘til last though. Near the Red Admiral was a pristine female Adonis with a generous dash of blue scaling, very beautiful
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A day of quality over quantity
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millerd
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:01 pm

That last Adonis is a real beauty, Buggy. :) :mrgreen: As you say, sometimes easier to find on a cloudy day - in the bright sunshine on Friday they were very active and not opening up much. Good to see there are still a few Hairstreaks at Bookham too, plus new Coppers and Common Blues. I shall try and visit again this week, should the sun return... :)

Dave


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