Friday, 3 July 2015

A Red-letter Day.

The White-letter Hairstreak is a secretive butterfly and relies on the elm tree for its life cycle.Therefore disaster struck when in the 1970s Dutch Elm Disease decimated millions of British elms.Fortunately,the caterpillar can survive on new sucker growth and their recovery has been helped too by the dedicated work of local wildlife and butterfly conservation volunteers who have planted disease resistant elms.
So it was a great day today when I had the opportunity, for the first time, to see these lovely little butterflies.An eagle-eyed friend of mine had seen butterfly activity around such a resistant elm and as they tend to spend much of their time towards the top of the tree obtaining good views of this Hairstreak is difficult.However my luck was in today as several individuals descended to the lower branches to seemingly investigate the elm tree buds.