Thursday, 29 July 2021

For buttefly entusiasts
Keith Edwards

For buttefly entusiasts

Lots of Purple Hairstreak butterflies around at the moment. I've seen them in the last 10 days in Balgay Park in Dundee, at Riverside Nature Park, at the Scotscraig Estate between Newport and Tayport, and even a couple from my garden!
They live at the tops of oaks trees and are quite small, which makes them a real challenge to see. Also, unusually for butterflies, they tend to be most active in the early evening - I saw one at 7.10 this evening in Fife. To find them you just need to stare at the tops of some oak trees (which don't need to be very big) and look for a small greyish-looking butterfly flitting rapidly around the branches. Quite often there will be a chase involving two or three of them. Once you've seen them a few times they are very distinctive. Binoculars are essential for seeing them properly and a telescope will help to get a good view if one stays still for long enough.
They have only quite recently been seen in Angus and Fife (though they have probably been here all along) and there are large gaps in the known distribution, so if you see any, please do report them.