Tuesday, August 01, 2006

White-letter Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreaks, Bedford Purlieus, Cambs, 30.7.06
I took my family butterfly-watching at Bedford P on Sunday. As we turned into the main track a Red Kite apepared. I stopped to look at it and six more rose up. It is brilliant being able to show a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old such brilliant birds on our doorstep without using bins. Later, we also saw three Buzzards circling up with the Black-headed Gulls. Along the track there were literally thousands of Migrant Hawkers and the whole area was buzzing with insects (at least when it was warm). We bumped into Tony Parker who put us onto a path lined with White-letter Hairstreaks, mainly nectaring on a sort of mint or on brambles. All were highly approachable and so readily photographable. These two were my best shots.

The most exciting sight though was when one of the hairstreaks flew off its flower and briefly landed on the platform of a spider's web. Instantly, the spider pounced and dragged it down into its 'tunnel'. In this shot you can see the dark wings of the victim poking out of the tunnel entrance – plus the wings of several previous hairstreak meals...
Canon Powershot A95

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