Two good days of weather and most of the visitors at Grafton are managing to see and photograph Brown Hairstreak. At the work party today we stopped work for half an hour for lunch, in that time we took dozens for photographs of females egg laying.
So good news for Sunday if the weather stays good.
One volunteer and his dog
More records this weekend Richards S found 7 on the blackthorn by the pond and a female laying. (Richards photographs above)
Dave W and Steve M spent some hours yesterday by the Blackthorn adjacent to the old pond. They had good number of sightings of Brown Hairstreak between 1:00 and 2:30 in the afternoon. Photographs by Dave W
On Wednesday Peter R photographed a White-legged Damselfly on the pond. This species has not been recorded at Grafton since 2010
At the work party today good numbers of Brown Hairstreak were found. 5-6 sightings around the old pond. Females observed laying.
Lots of visitor yesterday – still struggling to find Brown Hairstreak – however Richard S managed to find 4 and sent some photographs.
On Friday a group of experts came to see if Grafton still had Bechstein’s Bats. This is done by using a “Harp Trap” and a audio lure to attract the bats. 6 Bechstein’s were trapped and 20 others. Bechstein’s is our rarest bat making Grafton a very important site for this species.
Setting up Harp Trap
I did the Butterfly Transect yesterday – warm and sunny day. It took 4 hours as I also spent some time looking for Brown Hairstreak.
228 Butterflies recorded and 16 species this is an above average count for week 20. BUT I have still not found a Brown Hairstreak despite the 100’s of hours I have spent looking. I did have received odd records from visitors last week.
I have checked my records for sightings of Brown Hairstreak – the next three weeks is by far the best time for finding adults.
This is the only time of the year that we can manage blackthorn, just before Brown Hairstreak egg laying takes off in earnest. They like to lay on young tender shoots so we have to cut the blackthorn every 4 years.
So if anyone would like to help we will be meeting again at 10:00 next Wednesday.