Thursday, 24 July 2014

Brown Hairstreak

When we were looking for Purple Hairstreaks at Tillets Lane Fields I noticed several instances of tall Ash trees above Blackthorn and had a hunch that there were possibilities for Brown Hairstreaks. They have been recorded here twice, according to the Warnham website. So, today I paid a visit, more as a recce with low expectations, than a butterflying day. As I arrived the site was awash with Gatekeepers, literally hundreds of them nectaring on every variety of plant and a full supporting cast of Meadow Browns and Small Skippers. As I completed my first circuit of the perimeter a butterfly caught my eye, just darker on the inner wing and brighter than a Gatekeeper. I nearly ignored it but decided to give it a closer look - my 48th species of the year -  a beautiful male Brown Hairstreak. Panic set in but I managed some record shots, after all I have to have evidence for my butterflying buddy. I followed  it for some distance but it never settled in a position where I could get a clear shot. Finally I committed the cardinal sin, I took my eye off it to check my pictures and when I looked up it had disappeared amongst several Gatekeepers and I failed to relocate it.


Encouraged by this success I did another three circuits of the field but not another specimen to be found. Although my diligent searching turned up a partial aberration of a Gatekeeper, possibly ab. partimtransformis.  UK Butterflies haughtily states; "a pathological form which does not deserve a name". One day I will find a bilateral gynandromorph. A nice Green-veined White and a very friendly Common Green Grasshopper were obliging enough to be captured.

No wonder Small Skippers are doing so well, everywhere I go they are at it. This pair finally ended up on my leg as I sat and recorded their antics.

1 comment:

  1. Extremely jealous with that Brown Hairstreak ,Dave, quite a coup getting that on camera.