Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

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Vince Massimo
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Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Vince Massimo » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:11 pm

Here is the opportunity to post your favourite photo(s) of a particular species taken in 2012 (or the last time you saw one!).

This is part of a series of topics which will grow over 20 weeks throughout the winter until all 59 UK species have been covered. The intention is to showcase three species per week (in alphabetical order), so please wait until a topic has been opened by me for a particular species before posting photos. Our overseas friends are very welcome to fill in the obvious gaps relating to rare UK migrants.

Details of locations, dates, times and circumstances would be welcome and please feel free to contribute observations of behaviour, stories of personal encounters, anecdotes or other interesting points.

Vince

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:13 pm

Purple Hairstreak
It seemed to be a poor year for Purps – whether it was the wet, cold or wind (probably all three) I don’t know but they seemed much harder to find this year and when you did they were seldom down at a level suitable for getting photos. I only managed to get one shot this year which was of a pair of wing tips half way up a tree!
Purple Hair 1.JPG

So instead, as a cheat, here is a female from Bentley Wood in 2010. What with not having a PD or posting regularly at the time as well as getting a closed wing shot and open winged male last year, I’ve never had the chance to showcase this as one of my faves...until now :wink:
Purple Hair 2.JPG

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby CFB » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:22 pm

This is my favourite Purple Hairstreak photo, taken in the garden at the beginning of August. I had just finished watering the garden, and he/she seems to be lapping up a drop of water still on a leaf.

IMG_4542.JPG

--
Colin

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby David M » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:06 pm

Wurzel wrote: I’ve never had the chance to showcase this as one of my faves...until now


You kept that one quiet, Wurzel. Lovely image.

I struggled with Purple Hairstreaks in 2012, seeing far fewer than I did in 2011 when they seemed to be particularly common.

This underside shot was probably the best I managed, taken at Alner's Gorse in late July:

Image

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:23 pm

As David M and Wurzel have commented, I did not see as many Purple Hairstreaks in 2012 as in 2011 and most of those that I did see were high up or fleeting glimpses.

The one exception was at Oversley Wood when we had a single sighting that flew across in front of us and settled just above head height.

The photo below was taken with arms at full stretch taking full advantage of the articulated screen on my FZ150.

Oversley 21.07.2012 002.jpg070.jpg
Purple Hairstreak - Oversley Wood 21.07.2012


Cheers,

Neil

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby David M » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:28 pm

Nice shot that, Neil. Just a teasing glimpse of purple.

Does anyone have any images of male Purple Hairstreaks with wings open though? I don't think I've ever seen one on this site.

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Neil Hulme » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:57 pm

Hi David,
Not something you see very often! I have to go back to 28th June 2009 since I last photographed one. Vince was with me at the time, so he'll have a similar shot.
Neil

Purple Hairstreak, Botany Bay, 28 June 2009 (2).jpg

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby David M » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:18 pm

One can always rely on the Kipper!

Good shot, Neil. This is one of my ambitions and I hope with perserverence I might realise it soon.

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Wurzel » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:49 pm

I'll see the 2009 male purple and raise you with a 2011one :wink: .This was taken last year at Bentley Wood and I think I included it in the "favourites"?
098-001.JPG

116-001.JPG

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Vince Massimo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:18 am

I was warming my hands on the computer screen when I saw Neil's photo :)

My best effort was not quite as well exposed.................

P6280199-02G.jpg
Purple Hairstreak male - Botany Bay, Sussex 28-June-2009

I did not get on with that particular camera and stopped using it the following week. Since then I have not had a better opportunity to photograph a Purple Hairstreak.

Vince

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Goldie M » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:16 pm

I've yet to get a shot of a Purple Hair Streak, when I was in East Blean Woods though a Ranger said they were more likely to come down from the trees in the evening about tea time, he showed me the trees in the car park , all I'd seen there was Heath Fritilarties, I don't know if he was having me on or not :D he seemed quite serious :D I aways tend to go in the mornings
does anyone know if this is true :?: Goldie :D

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Nick Broomer » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:31 pm

Hi Goldie,

the ranger you spoke to is quite right. The Purple Hairstreak is best observed late afternoon, early evening, on a warm sunny, summers day. Flying around the canopy of oak and, large Ash Trees. Sometimes males will chase another male, spiraling down towards the ground from a great height, before going off in different directions. Its quite a spectacle and, well worth a visit to your local site at this time of day and, if you get lucky, one might just land on a small Oak Tree or a Thistle, low enough to enable you to get that elusive photo.

All the best, Nick.

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby David M » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:28 pm

Very much a hit and miss species is this. Maybe that's part of their appeal.

Getting one sufficiently low down is a success in itself. Having one actually open its wings for the camera is an even greater reward.

Like Brown Hairstreaks, it's usually the female that is encountered in such a way (very much a departure from the norm in the butterfly world).

I actually think this is probably the most under-recorded species of all in the UK. They're absolutely everywhere in the right places, but of course when butterflying, one tends to look down or at eye level rather than up, meaning that this species goes relatively unnoticed.

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Roger Gibbons » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:06 am

Undoubtedly the most frustrating butterfly! In Var on the south coast of France we have a few small Downy Oak trees in our small garden where the Purple Hairstreaks can be clearly seen in the upper reaches in September, but in all the years we have been watching them, we have never seen one come lower than about 5m above the ground.

Last year I saw several on the damp earth of a dried river bed in the morning and I have seen them on the ground elsewhere in France. I have also seen a female Brown Hairstreak on the ground in Var. On one occasion in June 2011 I found one PH nectaring on a Rhus coraria tree in company with some Spanish Purple Hairstreaks (which are often seen on this tree) and a few False Ilex Hairstreaks (Guy may remember the location – where we saw False Ilex in thousands about ten years ago).

In another location in central Var, I saw five species of hairstreak on a sapling cherry tree about 1m high, which looked as if they were taking the secretions from this tree.

Curiously, of the Satyrium species which occur in Var, southern France (Ilex, False Ilex, Blue Spot, Sloe, White-letter), White-letter is by far the rarest although I have found it in a number of locations where it had not previously been recorded. Black Hairstreak does not seem to occur in Var although there have been a few isolated records from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence further north. Blue Spot and False Ilex can often be found in hundreds. Mid-June signals the start of the Satyrium explosion in Var.

A very strange and fascinating group of species, with often quite bizarre behaviour.

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby badgerbob » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:50 pm

I've always have had a problem with purple hairstreaks. It certainly is true they are much more active in the evening and in a sunny corner there is a good chance of finding some coming down. Mornings are also good if you get the days they are emerging, down to timing there but in the right spot can be good. I once found one that had just emerged and as it was about to rain very hard I placed it on a finger to protect it from the rain. I then took shelter myself from a cloudburst hoping for the weather to improve, unfortunately I had'nt noticed that the hairstreak had warmed up enough to clear off so I missed my chance!!
In Abbotts Wood there are several areas where young oaks are growing. Hairstreaks often fly across these areas from the mature oaks on either side but often only get part of the way across landing on the young oaks that are only 10ft or so high. Still out of reach most of the time but occasionally just in reach as these shots show. It still needs an awful lot of patience waiting for them though!!!!
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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby millerd » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Nothing to show from 2012's adventures... This year I plan to visit the treetop walkway at Kew Gardens on a suitable evening (should we get any) and see if I can look down on the Purple Hairstreaks that inhabit the oaks right next to it.

Dave

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby ChrisC » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:31 pm

i've only seen purple hairstreak 5 times, none in the last 2 years. top shot is a mobile phone shot at a local garden centre approx 1 ft from the floor on a potted shrub that everyone else was completely oblivious too , and the 2nd i very nearly stepped on.
purp.jpg

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Re: Purple Hairstreak - Favourite Photo of 2012

Postby Goldie M » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:51 pm

Thanks Nick for answering my question and eveybodies in put , next time I'm in Kent(this Summer) I'll go in the evening and see if I can see any, even If I can't get a picure it sounds like it will be great just watching them Goldie :D


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