Thursday, 3 July 2014

White-letter Hairstreak

I got up late on Thursday and had nothing planned. A quick check of my wish list showed that the target I was most likely to succeed on was the White-letter Hairstreak. I sent a text to Dave saying where I was going and then headed off for Preston Park in Brighton. The Hairstreaks were there but as before they were flying around the top of the tree. I waited a while but with nothing happening and I was thinking of moving on.

Fortunately I thought to check my phone and found three messages from Dave saying that he had gone out early and was also looking for White-letter Hairstreaks. Not only that but he had seen a dozen and had photographed at least three on the thistles. He was only just up the road in Hollingbury Park so it was a quick dash back to the car and across to Hollingbury.

Dave had his eye in by then and it did not take him long to spot another one for me to photograph. It was probably just as well that he was there because I did not see it come down and once down it did not move about, staying on one thistle head for about half an hour.

White-letter Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreak

I was a bit disappointed with the images I captured. The butterfly was past its best (I have patched a hole in its wing using Photoshop), there was a lot of wind movement and the lighting was harsh. However, I should have done better. Seen the butterfly, got the record shot but it stays towards the top of the wish list until I get a better picture.

Still hoping to do some birding my next stop was Woods Mill where a Turtle has been showing well over the past few weeks. But not today, butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies but no Turtle Dove. There were a couple of red dragonflies in one of the pools and I though I had got my Common Darter at last, but on checking, it was a Ruddy Darter again.

Ruddy Darter

The Beautiful Demoiselles were active

Beautiful Demoiselle - Female

Beautiful Demoiselle - Male

and there were also a number of White Admirals flying. These seemed to be far more territorial than others I have seen this year and each was protecting its own small patch. They were still very active but at least they kept returning to the same perch giving good picture opportunities. I could not get a good open wing shot but perhaps if I had waited until later in the day when they were nectaring I might have got the chance.

White Admiral

White Admiral

Birding on the next outing perhaps.

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