Wednesday 21 August 2019

Brownies On Display at Shipton.

The Brown Hairstreak has been somewhat of an enigma to me over the last three years.Several visits to a renowned area for the species have resulted in no sightings but yesterday's trip gave me success at last.The hedgerows around the village of Shipton Bellinger on the Hampshire-Wiltshire border are perfect habitat for the Brown Hairstreak. They require a copious amount of Blackthorn as it is their larval food plant and the male butterflies spend a lot of time at the top of Ash trees feeding on the honeydew.
The first sighting of the day was a female 'brownie' fluttering low down along the edge of  blackthorn rich hedgerow.She would occasionally stop to enjoy the warmth of the sun and then get back to laying her eggs on the young blackthorn shoots,just a few inches from the ground. It was while observing her that a male was noticed ardently feeding  on blackberry fruits.The sightings of the day were not over as later another female was recorded,also looking for suitable egg laying spots.  



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