Posts Tagged ‘Brown hairstreak


Egg laying Brown Hairstreak

A trip to Suffolk paid dividends at the weekend. Brown Hairstreak Butterflies were on the agenda but we did see so much more.

The Brown Hairstreaks are tree top dwelling insects and very rarely come down to ground level. The window for seeing them is pretty narrow; hence the reason they are so difficult to see. Around the third week in August, an hour either side of noon on sunny days the females fly down to Blackthrorn bushes. Between one and two metres from the ground they find a junction of a branch between old and new wood and lay a single white egg. She will repeat the egg laying process several times before returning to the canopy.

This back-lit photo shows just how beautiful these butterflies are. Next years tour for these beauties is set for Sunday 16th August – book early to avoid disappointment



Streaking Again

I found myself in Gilbert White’s patch a few weeks ago. The 18th Century naturalist was a pioneer in natural history. I thought I’d retrace his steps and have another go at Brown Hairstreak before the season ended. Walking on the dew laden heath I was trying to find an optimum spot for a phone signal when a hairstreak shot by me at break-neck speed. I chased it but it disappeared into impenetrable blackthorn. A spotted flycatcher sallied down and caught something but I’m not completely sure it was ‘my’ butterfly. It took me a further two hours to find another. Eventually I managed to get close enough for a half decent shot but it evaporated before I could get the underwing. Difficult subject this species. Ah well! Maybe next year.


Nothing but a streak

You might be forgiven for thinking a Brown Hairstreak is an unsightly slight soiling of underwear. However you’d be wrong. It’s a butterfly. Correction. It’s an elusive butterfly. Living almost the entirety of its life in tall Ash trees feeding on the sweet sap excreted by aphids they are hard to find; and I mean really hard to find. A good deal of patience is required to see them, let alone photograph them. I managed this shot of one in flight the other week. It’s better to wait until a little later in the season until females come down lower to lay eggs; but I guess I’m just impatient.

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Mar 2023


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