Tag Archives: Alners gorse

View of a light brown and orange butterfly with black and white markings resting on a green leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mike Kirby

View of a brown and orange butterfly resting on a green leaf

Gatekeeper ab. Photo: Mike Kirby

Mike and his partner, Sarah spent a great day at Alner’s Gorse on 28/07/2020 and have sent us these photos telling us:

We saw 6 Brown Hairstreaks, 3 of which gave prolonged views. We also saw the unusual pale one, reported by Mark Pike, who we bumped into and chatted to. We also saw a Gatekeeper ab with an unusually pale wing (see photo) and even on returning to the car park we found a Red Admiral on the sign post, which was of the (not uncommon) ab Bialbata, with a white spot in the red band on the forewings. With 129 Gatekeepers, and species including Essex Skipper and Small Copper, the reserve was performing at its best!

Pale Beige and orange butterfly with white markings resting on a green leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

Pale beige and orange butterfly with white markings resting on a green leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

These are the two additional photos mentioned in the recent separate posting following Mark’s visit to Alner’s Gorse on 28/07/2020 and he commented about these as follows:

This male Brown Hairstreak was exceptionally pale in colour and I have never seen one quite like it before, not sure if it is an aberration but certainly looks like it. I have included a photo of a normal male for comparison (NB this is shown in the separate posting mentioned).

Brown and orange butterfly with white markings nectaring on a white flower

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

View of a chocolate brown and orange butterfly with a black and yellow insect on a green leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark was back at Alner’s Gorse yesterday, 28/07/2020 and has sent us these photos with the following comments:

Alners just keeps on popping up some amazing surprises! I was treated to my best day ever for Brown Hairstreaks today, 28/07/2020 – 10 in all (2 females/8 males) but these two stood out from the crowd!  This basking female was totally oblivious that she was keeping company with a Yellow Legged Clearwing moth! An amazing moment!

Editor’s Note:  Mark also sent two more photos of a paler Brown Hairstreak he saw which as they complement these photos I will be adding to the Gallery in a separate posting at the same this one is added.

Brown and orange butterfly with white markings resting on a green leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Paul Swann

I sometimes think that Alner’s Gorse should have it’s own dedicated photo gallery given the number of photos taken there sent to us and this is another great example of one of our rarer species that can be found there.  Paul sent us this photo of a Brown Hairstreak he took at Alner’s in the afternoon of 22/07/2020 which helpfully shows both sides of the butterfly.

Greyish butterfly with white and orange markings resting on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Donald Simcock

Another photo from Donald this time taken at Alner’s Gorse and sent to us with the following comments:

At Alners Gorse last Sunday, 19/07/2020 it was damp and drizzly, the Purple Hairstreaks were glued to the leaves in the upper branches but by late afternoon and with a little brightness they were lower down feeding. I couldn’t quite capture the purple sheen as seen on web sites. This is the first time I have seen one of these.

Brown butterfly with some white and orange markings nectaring on a white bramble flower next to another brown and orange butterfly.

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

Dark chocolate brown butterfly with some orange markings nectaring on a white flower

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona went to Alner’s Gorse yesterday, 21/07/2020 and was very pleased she did – these are the two photos she sent in telling us:

This butterfly is not only my first Brown Hairstreak sighting of 2020, but also my first ever male! I saw him earlier today, 21/07/2020 at Alners Gorse, nectaring alternately on Brambles and Daisies. He was so engrossed that he did not react at all when this Meadow Brown landed right beside him; the Meadow Brown soon flew away!

Greyish brown butterfly with white and orange markings resting on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Sacha Crowley

A blackish brown butterfly with some white markings and a purple and blue sheen resting on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Sacha Crowley

Two more photos from Alner’s Gorse, this time taken by Sacha and sent to us with the following comments:

The weather was a combination of either cloudy or bright sunshine on Friday, 10/07/20 at Alner’s Gorse, it was mainly warm and the butterflies were very active.  There were a good number of Purple Hairstreaks around the reserve, with this one on alder buckthorn staying close for some time.

Chocolate brown butterfly with cream coloured markings resting on a green leaf

Speckled Wood ab. Photo: Mark Pike

Another photo from Mark taken at Alner’s Gorse on 10/07/2020 which he sent to us with the following comments:

This Speckled Wood is I think ab. kulczynskii which has no light colouring around the eye spots on the bottom of the hind wings.

A blackish purple and blue butterfly resting on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

A blackish blue butterfly resting on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

More images from Alner’s Gorse sent to us by Shona who told us:

It was fairly overcast at Alner’s Gorse yesterday 07/07/2020, so the Purple Hairstreaks were opening their wings. It was also quite breezy, so they closed them again when they were blown around too much! The first photo is of a female, the second is of a male, both on Alder Buckthorn.