Brown Hairstreaks at Alners Gorse

Brown butterfly with orange and white markings nectaring on a Creeping Thistle
Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Nigel Spring

It’s getting quite late in the season for Brown Hairstreaks, particularly as they emerged much earlier than usual this summer – the first sighting was on 12/07/2020.

Considering the recent unpleasant spell of wet and windy weather, it was a great surprise to Nigel Spring to see this immaculate female yesterday, 22/08/2020 on the access track below the car park at Alners Gorse.

It is a very difficult species to monitor as the adults are so elusive and rarely show up on transect records.  Our main method is to hunt for the tiny pearl-like eggs on the young blackthorn plants once the leaves have fallen in the autumn – we shall be fixing a date for this in early December.

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