The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Green Hairstreak - Callophrys rubi

It has been a bit of a frustrating season so far. The last few days of March were mild and promising, but then most of April it was too cold for butterflies. The last ten days have been sunny and reasonably mild, bringing out a few butterflies. We are currently up to 13 species for the season.

A few days ago I heard that Green Hairstreaks, Callophrys rubi, had been found in a local wood. They were first recorded there last year, but have most likely lived there unnoticed for many years. A friend and I went to look for them and were delighted to find at least eight.

My friend returned the following day and explored further into the wood and found a colony of about 25 and today she let me know that she had managed to find Green Hairstreaks in another wood where they have never been recorded before.

They are very small and so well camouflaged that I am not surprised they haven't previously been noticed here.

Green Hairstreaks lay their eggs on Blaeberry here. We have also noticed that they only seem to occur close to conifer plantations. Maybe that is a coincidence, but apparently identical areas of Blaeberry without conifers near by don't seem to have any Green Hairstreaks living on them.

It is great to know that there are at least three areas of East Lothian where Green Hairstreaks occur. I am sure there are probably many more. Over the winter I found a site that looks perfect for them, but it is a three hour walk to get there, so I doubt I am going to have time to check it out this spring. At least I now know what sorts of habitats to check out.