Bugboys mission

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:17 pm

Art Frames wrote:Bugboy, delightful pictures and lovely colours on show there. And so many fresh looking insects especially the Copper.

Can I ask do you deliberately expose for a dark looking background? It works well on some images with vibrant colours. Just wondered if you take them like it or tweak later?

Maybe it is the way my computer sees them and everyone wonders why my pictures are too light?


Hi Peter, thanks for the compliments, I'll be completely honest and say the ONLY thing I deliberately do in my photography is get the target in focus, everything else is down to luck I think. I don't consider myself a 'photographer' as such, it's just an extension to my butterflying :). I'm pretty much self taught, never gone on any photography courses so there is most likely many gaping holes in my.... ummmm.... 'skills'. As for tweaking, I generally err on underexposing in the field since it's easier to 'rescue' I find.

I know what you mean about pictures looking different on various screens, when I drop in at work on here (during my lunchbreak!) they look much darker than here in my front room or on my phone, and they also look vastly different if it's daytime or night when I'm browsing. And of course I've never seen a picture on my camera look the same when I load it on my computer!

millerd wrote:Glad you got down there to see the Walls, Buggy - it's a great spot and you got some lovely shots too (the underside one in particular - you can almost feel the breeze blowing around it! :) ). I'd have joined you, but had to be back up here by half two so it would have been a bit of a fleeting visit...

Dave


Thanks Dave, it's probably best we didn't meet again, people will start talking :oops: :lol:. That picture does look quite breezy now you mention it. In fact it was totally still there, sheltered from the breeze by the hedge at the top of the slope
Some addictions are good for the soul!

Art Frames
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Art Frames » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:55 pm

bugboy wrote:I generally err on underexposing in the field since it's easier to 'rescue' I find.


There is a schoolboy joke in there about exposing in the field - but I am not going to go there...or did I just do it anyway... :lol:

I'll try to underexpose a bit. With mirrorless camera you get to see what the sensor sees through the eyepiece. So I do tend to try and get it 'right' when maybe darker is better. If it helps I'll report back.

thanks
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Butterflysaurus rex
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:35 pm

I'm really pleased you had a good day over here Paul, Wall Browns can be hard work (especially in warm weather) but the challenge makes it all the more fun - well in my opinion anyway! I'm delighted you got that side shot you wanted - I didn't think it was over exposed. :D

It was really nice of Bob to relocate the egg for us too, if the day was a cake then that was the cherry on top!

It was a pleasure showing you around, another great day in great company. :D

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby badgerbob » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:14 pm

Good to see you too Paul. That underside Wall is a right cracker. Too think you were down this way exactly one year ago today when a certain Shrike showed up!!

trevor
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby trevor » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:25 pm

Glad you made it to High and Over, and made the most of what the site has to offer.
Those female Walls earn you a temporary mrgreen, which will be withdrawn if I find one tomorrow. :mrgreen: .

Great stuff,
Trevor.

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:50 pm

Art Frames wrote:
bugboy wrote:I generally err on underexposing in the field since it's easier to 'rescue' I find.


There is a schoolboy joke in there about exposing in the field - but I am not going to go there...or did I just do it anyway... :lol:

Yes you went there, but I would expect nothing less from you :lol: :wink:

Butterflysaurus rex wrote:I'm really pleased you had a good day over here Paul, Wall Browns can be hard work (especially in warm weather) but the challenge makes it all the more fun - well in my opinion anyway! I'm delighted you got that side shot you wanted - I didn't think it was over exposed. :D

It was really nice of Bob to relocate the egg for us too, if the day was a cake then that was the cherry on top!

It was a pleasure showing you around, another great day in great company. :D

They are fun, frustrating but fun and that makes the results all the more satisfying, a bit like chasing that Peacock :lol:

badgerbob wrote:Good to see you too Paul. That underside Wall is a right cracker. Too think you were down this way exactly one year ago today when a certain Shrike showed up!!

Wow, how time flies, I wonder how Sid is? Wouldn't it be great if he/she made it a regular stop over :D

trevor wrote:Glad you made it to High and Over, and made the most of what the site has to offer.
Those female Walls earn you a temporary mrgreen, which will be withdrawn if I find one tomorrow. :mrgreen: .

Great stuff,
Trevor.

Thanks Trevor, good luck with the females tomorrow :wink:
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:33 pm

Lovely female Wall there Bugboy and the Small Copper was beautifully marked :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:52 pm

Glad you found your Wall Browns, Bugboy, but almost as satisfying must have been that lovely looking Brown Argus?

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks Wurzel, yes that Copper was almost banded the spotting was so prominent!

Thanks David, it's a wonderful site, just a shame it's a bit of a trek for me to get to, perhaps a once a year treat for me in the future :lol:

26th September, Autumnal Bookham

Good weather fell on my day off this week so it was off to my second home again. This time last year the Small Coppers, who had been next to non-existent all season, were on the verge of a third gen explosion so I was keen to find out if we are in for a repeat performance this year.

There weren’t many around, hopefully it’s still early and October will be kind and allow a good third brood again, but what I did come across was in quite spiffing condition!
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I think this pair had recently disengaged from mating and were waiting for the sun to return before going their separate ways

A single Common Blue distracted me for a few minutes
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And I managed to creep up on a handsome Comma
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There were a few other Nymphalids around, a couple of Peacocks, a Red Admiral and a (probable) Painted Lady but only one Peacock sat still long enough for me, most likely the result of a second brood.
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A few Speckled Wood were active in varying conditions plus a single Meadow Brown and a Small Heath
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On the way back to the station, I stopped off to see if there was any action going at last year’s Small Copper nursery. On my previous visits it has been inhabited by some imposters in the form of Sawfly larvae.
Turning the corner, perched on a leaf was a Small Copper, presumably basking after an egg laying session but as I drew closer it was the amount of eggs that drew my attention, on the two small plants, as well as surrounding vegetation, were well over 50 eggs :shock: . It was impossible to do an accurate count since I was mostly unable to turn over leaves to look under them for fear of crushing the ones I could see. This patch really does seem to some sort of Small Copper Nirvana.
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A bit of context with the two plants ringed. they are at the base of a Blackthorn thicket facing south
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trevor
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby trevor » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:38 am

Your second Small Copper image is gorgeous, and a nice closed wing study.
How did you get to High and Over in the end ?. Time consuming I should think, from London.

Trevor.

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Art Frames » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:54 am

Beautiful Small Coppers. I wish I lived nearer some of these sites they look marvellous. :mrgreen:
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:42 pm

Some more lovely Coppers, Buggy - and that "nursery" is quite something. There must be something special about that little spot. :)

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:17 pm

More lovely Coppers Bugboy :D I'm wondering what's so special about that little patch, it must be the perfect microhabitat/microclimate for them - but how can they tell instinctively? It's a marvel :D

Have a goodun

Wurzen

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:20 pm

Thanks Trevor, that's one of my favourite shots from this year :D. I went the route you and James suggested, it was about 3 hours from leaving my flat to arriving at the car park... not the longest day trip I've had this year though :?

Thanks Art, I have similar thoughts when I see you posting pictures of your local Wood Whites and you're somewhat closer to Fermyn Wood than me, swings and roundabouts!

Thank Dave and Wurzel, it does seem to be some sort of Mecca at this time of year, and interestingly only at this time of year. Over the past two years it's only the third brood females that seem to pepper these plants in such abundance. Definitely something about that spot and/or those particular plants.
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:17 pm

bugboy wrote:...it does seem to be some sort of Mecca at this time of year, and interestingly only at this time of year. Over the past two years it's only the third brood females that seem to pepper these plants in such abundance. Definitely something about that spot and/or those particular plants.


Fascinating. I remember you pointing out the abundance of the foodplant in the meadow where many of them fly, but I take it from your description that this is not in the same area. Maybe at this time of year more of the other vegetation has died back and more sun gets through - they look fairly exposed.

Dave

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:55 pm

That's a truly amazing tally of Small Copper eggs, Bugboy. There MUST be a reason why the females are so drawn to this spot?

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:14 pm

Yes Dave, this spot isn't in the meadow, it's in the scrubby area on the way to the station, quite exposed but sheltered at the same time.

Indeed it is David, as to why I can only make educated guesses. South facing tucked up against the base of a Blackthorn thicket means it's both sheltered from most inclement weather but receives maximum sun so I'm guessing it's has a relatively mild microclimate.

30th September part 1

Like a moth to flame I was once again drawn down to Sussex by various reports, this time to Mill Hill just north of Shoreham-by-sea. Like High and Over it’s another new place for me, but unlike H&O significantly easier to get to.

In order to save a few pennies (I’ve spent a considerable amount this year chasing butterflies) I’d booked my train tickets in advance, trusting the weeks forecast that Saturday looked half decent :roll: :lol: . By Friday this had changed to mostly cloud with a healthy dash of rain on the menu as well, "insert sigh of resignation here".

It was quite dull at 9.30 when I arrived at the site but I did start disturbing the odd Meadow Brown as I explored the hillside, a species that would become the most numerous for the day so it’s no surprise I came away with a fair array of individuals with an impressive amount of variety in markings. They were mostly females but the odd male was also present
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I've never seen one with such distinctive banding on the underside. Sadly she was more nimble than me at navigating the steep slopes here so this was the best I could get.

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A particularly orange female

As the morning wore on I was blessed with enough sunny spells to warm the air and the second species to appear was a male Wall warming himself up on a stump.
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The sunny spells slowly helped to warm the air enough to wake up a nice variety of the species, and with the wind picking up they became corralled to a sheltered corner at the bottom of the slope so by late morning I was enjoying the company of several species.
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One species though, one that was a major draw for this site, was rather obvious in its absence. I had yet to find a Clouded Yellow despite the reports of several here earlier in the week. Indeed, it wasn’t until gone noon that one finally turned up, although he wasn’t in the best of condition.
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Also seen throughout the morning but avoiding my careful stalking were several very fresh Red Admirals and an equally fresh Comma. Considering the weather and the lateness of the season, that is a pretty decent haul although I was slightly disappointed at not finding more Cloudies!

During my exploration I found an unusual looking flower, looking like a cross between a thistle and a knapweed. I’ve since discovered it’s called a Red Star-thistle and is a very rare plant found in a few spots around Sussex, although there seems to be some question as to whether it’s a truly native species, possibly introduced during Roman times?
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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:47 pm

30th September part 2

I still had a few hours before my train home and I was still after a nice fresh Cloudie, so I took a chance and decided to track down Trevor’s patch on Shoreham Harbour. Using a cunning combination of Google maps, guesswork and blind luck I ended up at a small, overgrown patch near lots of moored boats and yachts. I was guessing I had found Trevor’s spot and when the sun came out for a little bit so did the Clouded Yellows, only two but they were in much better nick than the Mill Hill one.
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Flashing me a hint of forewing like a saucy Victorian lady exposing her ankle!

The sun didn’t stay out for long though so once they had vanished again I explored a bit further, finding a fresh Red Admiral that was actually prepared to sit for me and a couple of Common Blues.
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I’m sure had I seen a bit more sun I would have seen more butterflies, but at least I’d managed a fresh Clouded Yellow at last!
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Allan.W. » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:39 pm

Hello Bugboy,
Great find ,with the Red Star thistle ! was half hoping to stumble across this plant myself when I was in Sussex a couple of weeks back
never noticed it at Mill Hill, but I did find Round Headed Rampion which I was very pleased with , I'll be back !!
Glad you caught up with a fresh Cloudy as well ......nice shots ! Regards Allan.W.

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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Butterflysaurus rex » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:06 pm

Life goes on despite the weather, it’s often surprising what you can find in unpromising conditions. Good to see you succeeded against the odds. Great Copper shots on your previous post, I particularly like the closed wing photo.


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