Monday, 17 July 2017
First for me: White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly
We came back from the north a few days ago and have needed to attend to various matters (including a poetry reading) since our return. Despite the wild weather we encountered, I am looking forward to posting some photos of our holiday in due course.
Meanwhile, I am delighted to say that I believe I may have seen a new butterfly - well, new for me, at any rate. I watched it flutter into the pink Convolvulus flower above, little realising what it was. We were taking part in the Big Butterfly Count, but it was only when I uploaded my photos that I registered the distinctive hairstreak.
To the best of my knowledge I have only ever seen one other hairstreak butterfly and that was the Green Hairstreak: that butterfly was also here in Suffolk. You can read more about the White-letter Hairstreak on the Butterfly Conservation site here. Since this butterfly spends most of its tine in the tree-tops, I guess we were fortunate to see one nectaring almost at ground level. According to the Wildlife Trusts website, these butterflies have declined by 99% in the last quarter of a century: Dutch Elm Disease may be partly to blame as the eggs are deposited on these trees. I shall be reporting this sighting to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.