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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 16:33   #1
John Cantelo
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Long-tailed Blues - Kent

Unfortunately, I've not managed to get down to see these butterflies, but I'd imagine some here would be interested to do so - see http://www.kentos.org.uk/Bockhill/Augustxxxx.htm


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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 20:03   #2
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Hi John. Dont suppose you have any more details do you? I'm not too familiar with the area. Cheers.
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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 21:09   #3
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I'm afraid not other than they're "around Everlasting Sweet Pea on Kingsdown Leas" - the exact location of which I can't for the life of me recall (other than Kingsdown is along the coast from Bockhill towards Walmer. There's a good chance some of the Bockhill birders will be around to give more details. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get there to look myself for several days.
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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 21:44   #4
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Many thanks john. Will be heading there tomorrow morning with any luck.
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 14:14   #5
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I managed to get down today to Kingsdown Leas, nr Dover today and after a 20 minute walk arrived at the area and spent the next two and a half hours watching and photographing 3 Long tailed Blue, 2 males and 1 female. There was a fourth reported by another observer near the area as well. A new species for me and what a privilege to see in Kent. More shots on my Blog: www.marcheath.blogspot.com

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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 14:17   #6
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Are there any views on whether this a new "native" colony, perhaps from a female egg-laying last year? Or a release?

cheers, alan
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 14:34   #7
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Just to add a little to Marcs update today. After leaving Marc and others at the main site (opposite Ship House) we came across another female opposite the chalet called Moonraker. This is in addition to the one found opposite Sun House nearer to the Golf Club House, of which the sex I do not know. The Everlasting Sweet Pea stretches over 300 or 400 hundred metres so there could well be more than the 5 seen today. 4 Clouded Yellows seen with hundreds of Silver Y's and a Painted Lady.
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 14:48   #8
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Long Tailed Blues in Kent.

Hi John. Dont suppose you have any more details do you? I'm not too familiar with the area. Cheers.

A little bit of a walk from either Bockhill (St Margarets) or Kingsdown. The road that the Long Tailed Blues are on is private, is single track and no parking. The easiest walk is to park at the Monument (Bockhill) and walk north along the clifftop track for about a mile. Ship House is the first one you come to with all the building work going on. The other option is to park at the Undercliff Kingsdown (parking limited), walk up the steep steps onto the cliff top and walk south until you come to the last house. About 20 minutes either way.

Are there any views on whether this a new "native" colony, perhaps from a female egg-laying last year? Or a release?

Lots of other migrant butterflies and moths around at present, including this location.
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 15:02   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
Are there any views on whether this a new "native" colony, perhaps from a female egg-laying last year? Or a release?

cheers, alan
Wodering about this myself, have there been any records of 'multiples' in the past?

Phil
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 15:14   #10
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Quote:
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Wodering about this myself, have there been any records of 'multiples' in the past?

Phil
I seem to recall a small colony in London in the 1980s (?) which was established for a year or two - I never saw them.

cheers, alan
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 15:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
I seem to recall a small colony in London in the 1980s (?) which was established for a year or two - I never saw them.

cheers, alan
I do hope this population has genuinely wild origins. Never understood why people feel the need to unofficially release butterflies into new locations, without any kind of pre-planning by a conservation body.

Reminds me of a Glanville Fritillary population that came to light in Surrey in 2011. Don't get me wrong, lovely to look at, but what does it add to the practical conservation of the wild coastal population to have such an unnatural northerly population?
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 16:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
I seem to recall a small colony in London in the 1980s (?) which was established for a year or two - I never saw them.

cheers, alan
Kew?
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 16:37   #13
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I would like to think this has been a mini 'invasion' year. With others seen in Sussex as well it would seem likely that they are of wild origin. I'm sure others in the next few days will turn up some more as well. Think it just needs people to look in the right habitat with the food plant present.

Marc
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 19:12   #14
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Kew?
Haringey if I remember correctly.
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 19:37   #15
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To support Marc's comment there have been at least 3 other records in the South East over the last couple of weeks, plus three of Swallowtails. Clouded Yellows are everywhere with 103 being recorded at Cliffe RSPB in one day. Painted Ladys are in their hundreds. On the dragonfly front we have had 2 Norfolk Hawkers here in Kent plus a Black Darter was photographed at Cliffe, well away from the nearest colony. There does seem to be something going on during this warm spell.

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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 21:34   #16
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There has been an explosion of Long tailed Blues here counted over 20 regularly on an hours walk for the last 10 days
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2013, 10:05   #17
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Any news today?
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2013, 11:16   #18
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1 female Long tailed Blue has been seen this morning per Twitter news.
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2013, 13:47   #19
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I pottered down with Mrs C this morning and saw 3 different Long-tailed Blues - all rather tatty. They were easily located by the ring of people round them taking photos!
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2013, 18:45   #20
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7 seen today according to Twitter messages. No doubt this will rise in the next few days if the weather continues although we may be in for some rain soon.

Marc
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2013, 22:17   #21
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Quick update to add a some more info to that already posted.

I arrived at 0830 and the female from yesterday was being watched by about half a dozen very appreciative observers in the southernmost section of Everlasting Pea - a place she returned to time and again, still being present when I left at midday. When approaching from the south, this is the first clump on the seaward side of the road before you get to any houses - just look for the flattened grass!

Lee Gregory and I then located a worn male with 1 tail streamer, level with the chalet 'Moonraker', which showed well to about 5 observers before flying across the road towards the garden of the chalet. Some 30 minutes later another male, this one much fresher with two full tails showed on the clifftop bushes, so only about 50 yards from the other male - this was seen by about 10 people but soon moved off.

I left the site at midday but Lee managed to find another 5 LTB's early afternoon, all on Everlasting Pea - they're quite unobtrusive often sitting tight and also feeding on the underside of flowers.

The place is simply heaving with butterflies. Whilst walking to and from Bockhill I noted hundreds of Marbled Whites, Chalkhill Blues, Brown Argus, Common Blue and both common whites. Also smaller numbers of Small Copper, several Small Blue, Clouded Yellow and lovely to see Wall Browns - not seen those locally for ages!

Other insects seen included a Small Red-eyed Damselfly, literally 'bucketloads' of Silver Y's, a few Dusky Sallows on the Knapweed, Long-winged Conehead and a few interesting ichneumon/sand wasps along the way. 14 Whimbrel also flew south during the morning.

A great morning out, highly recommended and very nice to catch up with Long-tailed Blue at last. Thanks also to Marc Heath for his speedy reply to my emails yesterday, it is appreciated.

Lots of pics taken and will post them when edited (Edit: Now attached, including the view you're greeted with when walking from Bockhill).

Stu
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Last edited by stuartelsom : Thursday 15th August 2013 at 00:00. Reason: Mis-spelt Marc
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Old Thursday 15th August 2013, 09:22   #22
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Good report, wish I could afford to travel down there. There was a good display of pyramidal orchids there earlier in the year as well.
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Old Thursday 15th August 2013, 09:51   #23
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For me driving from home, just west of Cambridge, it was 140 miles each way (per Google maps) and 2 a pop for the Dartford Tunnel, so about 30.

From Dartford, probably less than half the cost. Certainly the closest Long-tailed Blue I've ever had the chance of. My last attempt was in Devon!

S
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Old Thursday 15th August 2013, 20:22   #24
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It would cost us 20 for a round trip and that 20 we haven't got. Affordability isn't measured in terms of cost but is more relevant in terms of income and whats left after roof and food are paid for.
Anyway wish we could afford a trip down there, however, weather looks windy and wet for a few days.
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Old Thursday 15th August 2013, 22:29   #25
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Had a crack today, very windy and only a couple of brief sightings - no pix unfortunately. There was a terrific array of butterflies present with the highlights being obviously LTB, also Clouded Yellow flew through and a Silver-spotted Skipper did perch for pix as did Walls. We no longer see the last in NE Hampshire so its always nice to catch up with them!

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