Black Hairstreak

Pauline
Posts: 1964
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Liphook, Hants

Black Hairstreak

Postby Pauline » Sun May 22, 2011 8:10 am

Could anyone please tell me where and when would be best to see this species as I would love to see them. I have heard very unofficial and unverified reports that they have already been sighted. The closer to Hants the better as I would have to get there and back in a day. Thanks in anticipation.

User avatar
Michaeljf
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Michaeljf » Sun May 22, 2011 9:15 am

Pauline,
others may know sites nearer to you but I go to Bernwood Meadows / Whitecross Green Wood in Oxfordshire (Horton-cum-Studley). There are a few photos from this weekend on the May 2011 sightings thread just as a 'general feel' of the site (page 7). I can give you directions etc, as can others here, or alternatively, I'm sure there will be plenty of folk from here heading up there over the next month. If you go to the section of the site on species / distribution you can see some of the best sites initially. The Black Hairstreak is one of those butterflies where local knowledge (i.e. the bushes where they would normally fly!) comes into it's own. They can be difficult to see without this knowledge but sometimes very easy to see (depending on their behaviour for the day) with a bit of luck. I don't know about the reports of the Black Hairstreak flying yet though. Normally they wouldn't be out until about the middle of June and I didn't see any out yesterday.
Michael

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/distribu ... cies=pruni

Pauline
Posts: 1964
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Liphook, Hants

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Pauline » Mon May 23, 2011 11:57 am

Thanks for this Michael. I shall keep in touch with the forums for sightings and if anyone else knows reliable sites or is thinking of going from my area I would love to hear from them. I am happy to drive but a reliable navigator would be an asset.

User avatar
Rogerdodge
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Rogerdodge » Tue May 24, 2011 5:23 pm

Black Hairstreak just reported from 2 Bucks sites on UK-Leps.
What an extraordinary season.
Cheers

Roger

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 1783
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:30 am
Location: Cambridge

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby NickB » Tue May 24, 2011 5:42 pm

No reports yet from here in Cambridgeshire - but I would suspect that they are probably out (or just appearing) in our two main sites - Brampton Wood and Monks Wood - since first sightings have generally been in the first week of June. I may well take a trip out there in the next few days myself.
N
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

SteveC
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:31 am

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby SteveC » Thu May 26, 2011 9:42 am

Just to confirm that Black Hairstreak are now on the wing. I have seen them at Ham Home Wood for the last couple of days and a couple more at another local wood yesterday. Despite the warm weather and sun yesterday they were not very active. I found one possibly drying its wings that did not move off its perch in the 30 minutes that I watched it.

jonno
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby jonno » Sun May 29, 2011 8:32 pm

A quick request please to those UKB contributors with more experience than I...

Do black hairstreaks require a certain min temperature before thay get active?

I am planning to visit a couple of sites on Tuesday when the forecast temperature is ~16 degrees C. I know it will warm up as the week progresses, but this is the ony day I can go before next week. Provided that it is warm and sunny with not too much wind, can I expect to see BH on the wing or will they be 'hunkered down'

Any thoughts? Any recent sightings since last Wed.?

Jonno

User avatar
Padfield
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6766
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:19 pm
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Padfield » Sun May 29, 2011 8:49 pm

Black hairstreaks do not sunbathe with their wings open and are more dependent on the ambient temperature than some species. If the temperatures are hanging around 16°C they are likely not to be very active, in my experience. But that does not mean at all that you won't see them. It means you have to be in the right place!

In hot weather, males can be seen constantly flitting above the sloe, occasionally sparring, frequently flying from one bush to another. In cooler weather they are more sedentary. At locations (within a site) where they regularly settle low down and feed on honeydew they will be amenable and easy to photograph. At other locations, where they are up in the higher branches, you might not get a glimpse of them at all. This is where local knowledge helps. There are often known sites in woods where the hairstreaks settle accessibly.

Females strike low into blackthorn to lay and are easily seen when they do this. I have only seen this activity in warm weather, perhaps because they spend so much time in the shade that they cool down readily.

In short, if it's sunny but cool the hairstreaks will be doing their stuff but probably inconspicuously. The more local help you have the better your chances.

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

jonno
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby jonno » Sun May 29, 2011 10:00 pm

Guy

Thanks. I figured as much

I know roughly where to go at Whitecross - the question is, is that enough, or are the odds stacked too heavily against me... Hmmm

Jonno

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 1783
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:30 am
Location: Cambridge

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby NickB » Sun May 29, 2011 10:24 pm

...photographers have been known to take a sugar-solution spray and coat the lower leaves where they see hairstreaks to encourage the butterflies to stay a little longer..... :wink:
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

User avatar
John W
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby John W » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:35 pm

Hi, can anyone recommend a good Black Hairstreak site for a visitor from Brighton? Monks Wood is quite a distance so I am looking for something a bit closer (Bucks or Oxfordshire). SteveC mentioned Ham Home Wood - is this a good site? Any other suggestions welcome!

User avatar
David M
Posts: 7808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:17 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby David M » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:23 pm

John W wrote:Hi, can anyone recommend a good Black Hairstreak site for a visitor from Brighton? Monks Wood is quite a distance so I am looking for something a bit closer (Bucks or Oxfordshire). SteveC mentioned Ham Home Wood - is this a good site? Any other suggestions welcome!


Whitecross Green Wood near Bicester, Oxfordshire is a site flagged up recently by members on here.

Michaeljf has posted a report in the 'June Sightings' thread from last Saturday so you may want to take a look at that.

User avatar
Pawpawsaurus
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:48 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Pawpawsaurus » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:23 pm

This week I visited both Monks Wood and Brampton Wood for Black Hairstreaks.

At Monks Wood I saw half a dozen or so at one of their known hotspots, but only after the sun had come out and the temperatures had risen a bit. No more than two were ever in view at one time, so I can't tell how many individuals were active. I did the waymarked 'Butterfly Walk' (in the hope that it would pass through other hotspots which I didn't know about), but it proved fruitless.

At Brampton Wood I was fortunate enough to bump into the warden, who very kindly volunteered to show me the locations of the two best colonies in the wood. We both stood staring at the Blackthorns for some time, but we saw none. After he went off to do some surveying I took a wander around the rest of the wood, and when I returned to one of the sites later I was lucky to see one solitary BH for about ten seconds, before it disappeared again. The wood is so large, and the colonies so small, that f I'd not been told where to look I wouldn't have stood a chance of seeing anything.

Granted, the weather wasn't particularly good for my visits, but I was left wondering how anyone ever sees Black Hairstreaks without having prior inside information on exactly where to look. I'm thinking about visiting either Glapthorn Cow Pastures or Marston Thrift before this year's season is over, but I'm loath to travel far with the weather being so unpredictable.

Paul

Susie
Posts: 3601
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:34 pm

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Susie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:03 pm

Well I searched frequently in Cranleigh and never saw a sight of one. They probably aren't there, or at least not where I was looking, but I have a feeling they were and I just didn't see them. Hey ho, guess I'll be back looking next year. :lol:

User avatar
Pawpawsaurus
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:48 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Pawpawsaurus » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:08 pm

Susie wrote:Hey ho, guess I'll be back looking next year. :lol:

I've not given up on 2011 quite yet. :roll:

Today I visited Marston Thrift, in Bedfordshire, for the first time. A short distance into the wood I saw a group of half a dozen people standing on the footpath, staring silently into the bushes. I gingerly asked whether they'd seen anything. They had, but some time earlier, and it had since disappeared. (I should have asked them whether they had UKB connections, but I didn't.) We stood and watched some more, but when the drizzle started they decided to call it a day. Since the site was new to me I stayed on and explored the wood, but although the weather improved later in the afternoon I failed to spot anything.

My final hope is probably Glapthorn Cow Pastures. It's a fair bit farther for me to travel, but according to the BC Northants sightings page sixteen BHs were seen in an hour on Thursday afternoon, 'many of them still looking fresh'.

I'd imagine that by the end of the coming week, the BH season will be over for every colony in the country. :(

Paul

User avatar
MikeOxon
Posts: 2352
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:06 pm
Location: Oxfordshire
Contact:

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby MikeOxon » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:56 pm

As an 'Oxon' local, my favourite sites are Whitecross Green Wood, Asham Meads, and Otmoor. Details for finding Whitecross and Asham Meads (very near to each other) are on the BBOWT website.

From the carpark at Whitecross, head straight down the main ride to the far (South) end and look at the bushes on the right (West side) of the ride - at least, that's where they were last year.

Otmoor has an RSPB reserve with a carpark at SP570126, reached through the village of Beckley. The track (Roman Road) leading North alongside the car park is good for BH. There's a nice pic on the Otmoor blog at http://www.surfbirds.com/blog/OtmoorBirding/ All these sites can be reached by turning off A34 through the village of Islip.

Good luck!
Mike

User avatar
John W
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby John W » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi, thanks for all the tips. I visited a site today near Ham Home Wood that SteveC told me about. I arrived about 2.15, in warm sunshine. I soon met a local enthusiast (called Chris I think) who was pointing out the good bushes etc - then 1/2 an hour later it completely clouded over, started to spit with rain, and then stayed cloudy and cold till I left about 5.30! So I didn't actually see any Black Hairstreaks :( Still I guess it's good to have something to aim for next year!

Cheers
John

hewlins-wood1.jpg
Black Hairstreak country (allegedly)

User avatar
celery
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Notts.
Contact:

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby celery » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:20 pm

I was at Glapthorn Cow Pastures on Sunday (11th June) and there were dozens of black hairstreaks nectaring on the dewberries and brambles - all at eye-level with convenient photographer-friendly paths mown around the bushes. The site Warden - an extremely friendly, helpful and knowlegable chap - told me that they were already on day 15... so the clock is most definitely ticking for anyone who still wants to see the little beauties this year.

I know we shouldn't anthropomorphise but I couldn't help but think that this little tired and worn critter seems to be contemplating his destiny atop this blade of grass. Something about the drooping antennae and the thousand-yard-stare into the abyss. Almost like someone wavering on the ledge of a high-rise building about to take a leap...

Image
His days are numbered...

cheers, celery :cry: :wink:
Six day weekends, one day pauses.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16155010@N04/

User avatar
Pawpawsaurus
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:48 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Pawpawsaurus » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:15 am

celery wrote:I was at Glapthorn Cow Pastures on Sunday (11th June) and there were dozens of black hairstreaks nectaring on the dewberries and brambles - all at eye-level with convenient photographer-friendly paths mown around the bushes. The site Warden - an extremely friendly, helpful and knowlegable chap - told me that they were already on day 15... so the clock is most definitely ticking for anyone who still wants to see the little beauties this year.


I visited GCP yesterday afternoon (Monday 13th). As I'd not been there before, I thought that before starting to look for Black Hairstreaks in earnest I'd make a quick tour of the site, following the paths shown on the leaflet I'd picked up near the entrance. As luck would have it, I spotted a couple of people inspecting blackthorn along one of the rides. They said hello, and I asked "Have you found any yet?". They replied that there were still fair numbers of BH on the dewberries. My silence must have given away my unfamiliarity with the place, whereupon one of them produced a clipboard holding a map and various survey forms. "Good grief", I said, "You're not the warden, are you?". "Yes, I am" he replied. :D

He was indeed a very friendly chap. He told me a bit about the site and said that the BHs were in their 17th day, so that they wouldn't be around for much longer. He pointed me at the best place to look, and promised that I wouldn't be disappointed. I wasn't. I'm not sure there were 'dozens' but the sun was out, the temperatures were decent, the BHs were active and I certainly didn't have to search to find them. Some were tatty, but many were in very reasonable condition.

A few dog-walkers passed by, then a fellow photographer arrived and we kept each other company for quite some time. Eventually I left him to it, and set off to complete my tour of the site. I returned to the dewberries at around 6:30, when only 2 BHs remained. By 6:45 they'd both ascended into the nearby blackthorns, so I left for home.

In the past week, I've visited Marston Thrift, Brampton Wood, Monks Wood and Glapthorn Cow Pastures (in increasing order of success). Weather conditions varied considerably so maybe a site comparison is unfair, but for next year's Black Hairstreak hunt GCP might well be my starting point. If only it weren't so far away.

Paul

User avatar
Mark Tutton
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hampshire

Re: Black Hairstreak

Postby Mark Tutton » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:22 pm

Hi All
took advantage of Tuesdays forecast and made the 100 mile dash from the south coast to Whitecross Green Woods and was not dissappointed. I can only endorse the other comments and say what a lovely place it is - a credit to all concerned. Only one other person was present and it was very peaceful.
Saw 3/4 black hairstreaks [my first ever]in what is - I am told - the usual place by the pond. . One was very fresh but the others were decidedly worn and I would be surprised if they will make the weekend. Saw one more flitting between grass stems at low level along the track and was able to glimpse the upperside as it fluttered along - a real treat.
I will definately be back next year. :)
Mark T
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours lights and shades, these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest