Brown Hairstreak from my office window!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 16 August 2010 18:29

It's so great working in Sussex, I can't even get five metres out of reception sometimes before getting a great photo opportunity. Today this was due to a male Brown Hairstreak feeding on Hemp Agrimony right outside our office. I have seen one specimen each year for the past three years at Woods Mill but this was by far the most confiding and Gemma managed to announce it over the tannoy so a good number of people got a good view of it (thanks Gemma!). This is actually the first time I have had a good view of a male, as I was taking the shot I thought the pale patches on the top of the forewing were damage but they are part of the male's markings. I first labelled this male as a female in error, it's the females that I have seen before at Woods Mill that are difficult to get close to. Thanks for pointing this out Peter M. According to the 1991 edition of  'Butterflies of Britain and Ireland', to see a male so low down nectaring is a  rare occurrence and coincides with a lack of honeydew in the master trees, has any one else had good views of males this year? The confiding behaviour is also mentioned as being typical when feeding low down. 

If all goes to plan, I'll be filming with the BBC again tomorrow. Here is my last collaboration with Roger Finn from summer 2009. Watch this space!

5 Response to "Brown Hairstreak from my office window!"

Paul M Says:

Hi Grame,
your Hairstreak is actually a male. It's the females that have the big splash of orange on the forewings.
All the best,

Graeme Lyons Says:

Hi Paul
Thanks for spotting that typo!

Clare Evans Says:

Great photos - we were watching Brown Hairstreaks on Sunday. An egg-laying female and a male feeding, although I missed that. They were totally unperturbed by the people around them watching their every move.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks for the comments, sounds like they, like most other butterflies, are doing well this year!

Nick Jarvis Says:

Wow!!! Iv'e never ever seen one, let alone one with its wings open. Jealous? Moi? you bet!!!!!

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