Tag Archives: Brown Hairstreak

White butterfly with a fly on it's under-wing

Large White with Fly. Photo: Mark Pike

 

Orange Butterfly with tails and white diagonal lines on forewings

Brown Hairstreak > Photo: Mark Pike

Mark sent us this photo of a Large White from Alner’s Gorse on 1/08/19, wondering how it didn’t notice the fly on its wing. No answer to that  unless anyone else has any idea?

The Brown Hairstreak was a surprise too, as it was very low down on Ragwort rather than high in trees as is their usual practice.

Brown and Orange Hairstreak  with tails on hind-wings

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

pale blue butterfly with tiny black spots on both fore and hind underwings

Holly Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

When Mark visited Alners Gorse on 23/07/19 not only did he find an early Brown Hairstreak but he somehow managed to get it to pose on his finger!  Mark, the Butterfly Whisperer! Normally these butterflies are seen up fairly high up in trees and only occasionally on lower vegetation.

The Holly Blue was too shy but posed nicely on a leaf for him to take a photo. This would be one of the recently emerged 2nd generation, and can be seen on the wing into early September.

Brown and Orange Butterfly showing white lines across bottom of underwings

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mike Kirby

greenish butterfly with heavy markings and spots

Silver-washed Fritillary, Valesina. Photo: Mike Kirby

Mike has submitted our first Brown Hairstreak of the year for the gallery. He visited Alners Gorse on 20/07/19 and says he  and his wife had a red letter day there, as not only did he find this butterfly but after many years of searching, he also found a  Silver-washed Fritillary, Valesina, f. form.

Whilst eating their lunch before their walk, they also completed a Big Butterfly Count, which is running until 12th August.

view of a Brown Hairstreak resting with wings half closed

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Hardacre

Mark paid his first visit to Alners Gorse on 17/08/18 after moving to Dorset and was delighted to find this Brown Hairstreak.

This species is not always easy to find much less photograph so he must have been very happy that day.

This is the largest hairstreak found in the British Isles. It is a local species that lives in self-contained colonies that breed in the same area year after year. This species can also prove elusive, since it spends much of its time resting and basking high up in tall shrubs and trees.

view of Brown Hairstreak nectaring on small yellow flowers

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Caroline Stringer

view of Brown Hairstreak nectaring on flowers in bud

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Caroline Stringer

Caroline visited BC ‘s Alner’s Gorse reserve on 4/08/18 and took these lovely photographs of a Brown Hairstreak.

The female is particularly beautiful, with forewings that contain large orange patches, and was once considered to be a separate species known as the “Golden Hairstreak”.

Females spend most of their time in Ash trees after mating and then stay there until their eggs mature and they are ready to lay .They then disperse and alternate between basking in the warm sunshine, feeding from nectar sources, and egg-laying.

view of a Brown Hairstreak resting on a leaf shoing under hind-wing and a little under fore-wing

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Brian Arnold

Brian visited Alners Gorse on 31/07/18 and we can feel his excitement at the number of butterflies he recorded  when we read what he says:

I went to Alners Gorse yesterday with 2 of my friends (Derek and David) who I have been butterfly hunting with since we were about 12 years old.
We counted 21 species – more than we expected – They were Small Skipper 3, Clouded Yellow 6, Large White 6, Small White 25+, Green-veined White 15+, Brimstone 6, Wall 1 (that was a surprise – near to what is known as the Purple hairstreak bush), Speckled Wood 10, Meadow Brown 25+, Gatekeeper 50+, Ringlet 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 20+, Red Admiral 7, Small Tortoiseshell (just one, and the only one I have seen anywhere this year), Comma 3, Small Copper 3, Purple Hairstreak 3, Brown Hairstreak 3, Holly Blue 1, Brown Argus 12, Common Blue 50+.

The Brown Hairstreak shown here is one of four species of Hairstreaks found at Alners Gorse.

viw of a Brown Hairstreak with wings closed showing the markings og under hindwing and a little of fore-wing, nectaring on a bramble flower

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

Pale brown and orange butterfly on the end of a leaf

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark Pike saw his first Brown Hairstreaks of the year at Alners Gorse on 23/07/18.

This is the largest hairstreak found in the British Isles. It is a local species that lives in self-contained colonies that breed in the same area year after year. This species can also prove elusive, since it spends much of its time resting and basking high up in tall shrubs and trees.

Photo one is of a female Brown Hairstreak and photo two is of a male.

view of a Brown Hairstreak with closed wings resting on a purple flower

Brown Hairstreak: Photo. Rose Ouston

Rose spotted this Brown Hairstreak at Alners Gorse on 4/08/17.

This individual looks to have escaped predation by a bird or maybe even a large dragonfly as there is a sizeable chunk missing from its hind wings.

The flight period for this species is late July- early September and as with other Hairstreaks it spends prolonged periods resting on leaves high in trees and large bushes.

The caterpillar foodplant is Blackthorn and at Alners Gorse in early December each year searches of these desiduous bushes are made for the pinhead size white eggs. These are counted and the records then give a rough idea of  the number of adult butterflies that may emerge the following July.

Brown Hairstreak with open wings, showing bright orange markings

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Gerry Traves

Gerry and Lyn are members of the Ringwood Natural History Society: the group were shown round  our Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve by our Reserves Manager, Nigel Spring, on 27/07/2017. They write that they enjoyed the morning very much, and sent us the full list of butterfly and other species they recorded on the visit, which you can see here.