Bugboys mission

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:52 am

That's an interesting angle you've captured, Bugboy, where the male Orange Tip is gliding over the female.

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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:02 am

Hi! Buggy, my favourite photo is definitely Orange Tip number 4 :D Goldie :D

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:12 am

Goldie M wrote:Hi! Buggy, my favourite photo is definitely Orange Tip number 4 :D Goldie :D


Yep, mine too. Love the way the male appears to be swooping in on the female :D

Cheers,

Neil

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:21 pm

Thank you everyone, as always in those situations it's largely down to luck :)

16th April, local patch

I awoke this morning pleasantly surprised to see the sun was out so I made time for a few hours exploring my favourite corner of Walthamstow Marshes, hoping it was bright but cool enough for some Holly Blues. As it turned out they were conspicuous by their absence. Unlike other people, they certainly haven’t reached plague like numbers for me! I had a couple of Peacock flybys and a few Speckled Woods but today was mostly about the Whites. Fair numbers of Green-veined were active plus a couple of Small
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Looks like this male had a little meconium accident upon emergence, it was mirrored on both wings.

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but I spent most the morning Orange-tip hunting once again since, apart from the wind, it was perfect weather with plenty of clouds to keep them under control. I apologise for forcing you all to look at yet more Orange-tips... :roll:

I followed a female as she flitted around in between clouds, looking particularly attractive when she perched on what I think is Wild Cabbage
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When she finally went on her merry way curiosity got the better of me and I checked the flower heads for eggs. Sure enough a couple of OT eggs were present. There is still a distinct lack of favoured food plants here so it looks like the females are broadening their horizons, I just hope the larave are able to go full term in this choice.
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I noticed peterc posted a picture of a male OT with a pupil in the discoidal spot today, I didn't notice I had a similar one until I got home and went through my pictures properly. Not sure if it's within normal variation :?:
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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:57 pm

I don't mind Bugboy - I could look at OTs all day everyday :D Especially as in Wales today we had rain, wind and cold pretty much all day :( Hopefully tomorrow will be better...

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:08 pm

Wurzel wrote:I don't mind Bugboy - I could look at OTs all day everyday :D Especially as in Wales today we had rain, wind and cold pretty much all day :( Hopefully tomorrow will be better...

Have a goodun

Wurzel


We could do with some of that rain down here Wurzel, not had any for well over a month now. It's a worry for some of those later emergents, I can imagine some rather hungry caterpillars right now :?

17th April

I had a half day today but it was rather cloudy so no butterflies were found. Instead I searched for some more Orange-tip eggs on the yellow flowered crucifer on my local patch, finding several more. As far as I can tell it's the only wild Crucifer available to them currently, so I guess its a case of needs must. I've done a bit of research and I now think it's Rape Brassica napus, rather than Wild Cabbage brassica oleracea.
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This caterpillar's got a long walk for its first meal!

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Rape (Brassica napus)?
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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:13 pm

That’s an impressive array of Orange Tip images, Bugboy. Even better when you consider that this species will probably only ‘peak’ in a week or so.

Keep ‘em coming!

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:37 pm

David M wrote:That’s an impressive array of Orange Tip images, Bugboy. Even better when you consider that this species will probably only ‘peak’ in a week or so.

Keep ‘em coming!


If you insist David :D

18th April Surrey shenanigans

Today was a two-site day. The plan was to start bright and early at Denbies to catch Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak waking up and then spend the afternoon roaming around Bookham to see if the Coppers are out there yet.

I was very early and the nip in the air was keeping everything bar a few Speckled Woods hiding away along the North Downs Way,
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but by the time I was getting close to Denbies the sun was warm enough to start waking a few more species up. 5 minutes from Denbies my eye was drawn to a speck of orange in a clump of Bluebells. I don't think there's a more spring like image than an Orange-tip perched delicately on Bluebells!
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Still drowsy he fluttered from flower to flower between clouds and gave me some of my favourite Orange-tip photographs to date as he warmed up for the days hunt for virgin females.
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I spent a good half an hour admiring him before moving on to see if I could find any target species but even if I didn't the day was already a success :D .

Over on Denbies I bumped into a couple who looked vaguely familiar. They were both after the same thing as me and it didn't take long for them to find a perfect little Hairstreak. It was only just warm enough for it to be active and although it flitted around occasionally it always returned to the same spot enabling us to fill our boots with more wonderful springtime images.
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Then another familiar face appeared, Susie taking the hound for a walk wandered by. The Hairstreak now had three eager admires pointing their cameras at it, I doubt it was expecting this kind of attention when it woke up this morning!
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I'd already found one Grizzly and set off to see how many more were active but I suspect it was still a little chilly for much activity. I only found a couple more active, but the last one was not only a lovely pale individual but very cooperative when the sun went into hiding. He also received a lot of attention.
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Definitely a morning of quality over quantity.

It was only when the couple left that I realised where I'd seen them before, about twelve months ago looking for Green Hairstreak and Grizzled Skippers on Denbies :lol: . I guess I'll bump into them again next year :) .

It was lunchtime now and Susie kindly drove me back to Box Hill station just in time to catch a train, perfect timing. I wonder what awaited for me at Bookham... tbc
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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:35 pm

You're making me envious, Bugboy. Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak are next on my list, and I can only hope the Welsh weather allows me the opportunity this weekend to see them.

millerd
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:52 pm

Glad to see the Green Hairstreaks are appearing at Denbies. Nice photos too, Buggy. :) I feel a weekend visit coming on!

Dave

trevor
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby trevor » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:50 am

I concur, that is one lovely Green Hairstreak, and well captured.
Sometimes a difficult Butterfly to photograph, in full sunshine and wrong angle, forget it!.
Their wings seem to fluoresce under these circumstances, and you end up with a ghostly blob.

Will probably bump into you soon !.
Trevor.

Phil Kirk
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Phil Kirk » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:37 am

Hi Bugboy. It was good to meet you again - I had forgotten that we met last year (5th May 2016). You had just had a terrible train journey as Clapham Junction was closed due to a fire. Thanks for showing us the Grizzled Skipper!

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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:08 pm

Love the orange Tip on the Bluebell Bugboy, Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:08 pm

David M wrote:You're making me envious, Bugboy. Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak are next on my list, and I can only hope the Welsh weather allows me the opportunity this weekend to see them.

I'm willing to swap a bit of welsh rain for some south east sun this weekend (I'm at work) :roll:

millerd wrote:Glad to see the Green Hairstreaks are appearing at Denbies. Nice photos too, Buggy. :) I feel a weekend visit coming on!

Dave

Thanks Dave, look no further than the usual spot :wink:

trevor wrote:I concur, that is one lovely Green Hairstreak, and well captured.
Sometimes a difficult Butterfly to photograph, in full sunshine and wrong angle, forget it!.
Their wings seem to fluoresce under these circumstances, and you end up with a ghostly blob.

Will probably bump into you soon !.
Trevor.

Thanks Trevor, I'm quite sure we'll see each other in the coming weeks, the Pearls will be drawing me down to your neck of the woods in a week or two :)

Phil Kirk wrote:Hi Bugboy. It was good to meet you again - I had forgotten that we met last year (5th May 2016). You had just had a terrible train journey as Clapham Junction was closed due to a fire. Thanks for showing us the Grizzled Skipper!

Haha, nice to meet you again to Phil, that day could only get better!

Goldie M wrote:Love the orange Tip on the Bluebell Bugboy, Goldie :D

Thanks Goldie, it's up there near the top of my favourite images :)


18th April Surrey shenanigans part 2

Bookham started off quite cloudy and with nothing flying I set about looking for eggs. The brown Hairstreak I’m hoping to try and follow has hatched. It’s on a small Blackthorn sucker next to a path which isn’t in contact with any other blackthorn so it can’t go far!
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I quickly found the Orange-tips are having a phenomenal year here so far, virtually every Cuckooflower had more than one egg and three or four was not uncommon. My younger self would have taken many these ‘spare’ eggs for rearing… I need to get myself a better flat!
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I also found Bitter-cress was being used, hardly surprising given it’s the same genus as Cuckooflower although the flower heads and seed pods are much smaller so I’m not sure if there’s enough for the caterpillars.
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Last year I found a Winter-cress was also being used. The same plant today didn’t have any eggs but there was a female taking a nap. A sunny spell quickly woke her and then as if by magic a male appeared to bother her. Although she was clearly displaying the international Pierid signal for go away he was a persistent little bugger.
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When she was finally left alone I followed her as she flitted from flower to flower, dicing with death when she fed from some Greater Stitchwort already occupied by a spider.
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More Orange-tips appeared as I wandered around, interspersed with the occasional Green-veined White.
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I stopped off to check the Purple Hairstreak egg which looked as though it had hatched last time (Pauline questioned as to whether it was actually in mid hatch last time, but then I was just giving it a cursory glance and didn’t look too hard). It definitely looks empty today but I couldn’t find any caterpillar, I’m sure its tucked away safely somewhere in those leaves though.
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Shortly after I came across a Holly blue showing a lot of interest in a Holly, particularly the buds. Sure enough when she landed I could just make out the tell-tale motions of egg laying. Unfortunately, she stayed high up and only came low enough for a record shot once. Incredibly I think this is the first time I’ve seen a Holly Blue in association with Holly, plenty of other plants but never holly.
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Surprisingly Speckled Woods were few and far between in the wooded areas but the Orange-tips kept appearing and on a single Garlic Mustard plant I found eighteen eggs!
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The Vanessids were rather thin on the ground today, the first of these to show up was a Red Admiral just after 3. Judging by her condition I suspect she overwintered here as a caterpillar and recently emerged.
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The return walk back to the station threw up a few more species, a Peacock resting during a cloudy spell and a Small tortoiseshell who was far too flighty to sit still for a photograph.
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Back at the Winter-cress another female Orange-tip was being harassed by another male, this spot seems like the place to be if you want to feel rejection if you're a male Orange-tip!
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"I'll just sit here until you change your mind"

Another species showed itself in the form of a Comma
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And then there were more Orange-tips and more pictures vying for my favourite all time pictures.
Just a bit of glitter and that’s my Christmas cards sorted for the year!
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When the sun reappeared it turned out to be another ab. pupilata
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It would seem the Small Coppers are all still snoozing in the turf, hopefully on my next visit I shall be enjoying those little orange jewels, can’t be long now.
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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David M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby David M » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:48 pm

You've overdosed on Orange Tips there, Bugboy. Surely you must be nearing your annual quota now! :)

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:32 pm

David M wrote:You've overdosed on Orange Tips there, Bugboy. Surely you must be nearing your annual quota now! :)


Surely not, it's not even May yet, a good few more weeks left in them :D
Some addictions are good for the soul!

Pauline
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Pauline » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:23 am

Lovely images recently Buggy. I particularly like the rejection sequence and some of the earlier OT's look like they're glowing. That PH egg has definitely now hatched as you can see. Difficult to tell from earlier shot but I am still of the mind that it was work in progress at that point.

peterc
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby peterc » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:44 am

That is a cracking Red Admiral photo you have there, Paul. How did you get the bands as red as that :) ? Beautiful.

ATB

Peter

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:23 pm

Pauline wrote:Lovely images recently Buggy. I particularly like the rejection sequence and some of the earlier OT's look like they're glowing. That PH egg has definitely now hatched as you can see. Difficult to tell from earlier shot but I am still of the mind that it was work in progress at that point.

I'll take your word for the previous picture Pauline, you have far more experience with these than I :)

peterc wrote:That is a cracking Red Admiral photo you have there, Paul. How did you get the bands as red as that :) ? Beautiful.

ATB

Peter

Thanks Peter :). A couple of reasons for the intensity: firstly she was very fresh, no more than a few days old (she still had that gorgeous velvety look about her) and secondly that picture was taken in overcast conditions so didn't have the sun bleached look. The photo below shows the same animal taken 5 minutes previously in sunny conditions and you can see the red is slightly less intense (no less beautiful though :) )
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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:35 pm

You're filling your boots with the OT's Bugboy :D :mrgreen: It seems to have been a particularly good season for them - the combination of sun and cool temps has made them much more approachable :D You're flying ahead with the species count - things round my way have slowed down again :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel


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