Thursday 12 June 2014

Black Hairstreak at Glapthorn Cow Pastures - 12th June 2014

It is now the start on the annual pilgrimages towards the woods in east Northants and it's amazing how quickly a year comes round! It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the Black Hairsteaks from last year but indeed it has and the race to see them has started again. The last few days has seen a few new emergence's with an extra special sighting for me of Marbled Whites at my local patch Grange Park, special because they wasn't know to live here until the 11th of June when I found 3 whirling up and down the bank in the evening which luckily posed for pics as the sun went down.

Marbled White, Grange Park, Northampton

Marbled White, Grange Park, Northampton
 Today though I had a rather unexpected early finish at work and as it for once coincided with some sun I headed over to Glapthorn Cow Pastures to try and see some of the recently emerged Black Hairstreaks. I arrived on site and was quietly relieved to see only a few cars along the lane (it can get packed in here at times) and I entered the reserve. It was actually very hot as soon as I entered as the thick vegetation stopped any of the gently breeze that had cooled things down outside the wood and I could already feel myself sweating before I reached the magic ride! The ride in question is of course the ride with the infamous Dewberry bushes which are seperated from the thick Blackthorn by a thin strip of recently mown grass meaning there's access all around them. This is the place for photography as the Hairstreaks descend from their busy lives flitting in and out the canopy to nectar on the flowers. Previous years attempts at getting decent pics has shown me that it isn't always very easy as sometimes they don't come down for ages - or even at all! So today I was especially pleased when I walked towards the Dewberry aa the first insect I saw was a pristine Black Hairstreak slowly twirling round on it's flower. The Hairstreaks are usually quite confiding when seen, sometimes allowing for prolonged and close up photography and the Black Hairstreaks are no exception. Even when they fly up you can find they land on an even closer flower to the one it was on and as they slowly turn around on the flower they're feeding on it can simply be a matter of waiting until the butterfly composes the shot for you. It was also nice to meet Northants butterflyer Andy Wyles here too. He was standing almost exactly by the same bush I met him at last year and it was great to accompany him along a few of the rides learning about the Black Hairstreaks habitat and the efforts being made to help them. Here is a few of the day's pics.

Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northants

Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow Pasture, Northants.
Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow Pasture, Northants

Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northants
Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northants.

Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northants

Black Hairstreak, Glapthorn Cow, Pastures, Northants
 The Black Hairstreaks also of course herald the coming of the ultimate Northants butterfly prize! The Purple Emperors will be out soon and with it the other reason for the pilgrimage to these fantastic woods. Which of course means in the next few weeks I'll be back to see them!

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the info. I'm hoping to get to Glapthorn woods on Thursday. Any tips as to where I find these fantastic bushes? Many thanks, Mark


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