The Brown Hairstreak butterfly is one of 8 endangered species we are supporting through our East Devon AONB Species Recovery project #SavingSpecialSpecies – raising awareness and promoting action.
Hard to find
Adult brown hairstreaks are notoriously difficult to spot as they tend to remain high in the canopy of trees, so the best way to monitor the butterfly is to count their eggs, laid (for overwintering) in the young growth of blackthorn trees – the premise being that the more eggs there are to be found, the greater the population of adults.
Preparing to search
A ‘Brown Hairstreak Egg Hunt’ was planned for early November, but the second lockdown put plans for volunteer training/group activities on hold and raised concerns that we’d miss our opportunity to survey the eggs in time (before any predators arrived!).
Luckily, Butterfly Conservation were quick to adapt and offer the training online; giving volunteers the guidance needed to venture out independently and start exploring our East Devon hedges.
In amongst the Blackthorn
Huge thanks to our volunteers for braving the cold to take part in this important data collection work. Thanks also to Paul Butter who led an excellent training session at Umborne on Friday 4 December. With volunteers each allocated priority coordinates (creating a ‘square’) for searching, results are already coming back with some positive sightings
Some keen eyes spotted eggs in flailed hedges, where the flail had missed the odd bit of new growth – so although we have been advised we are unlikely to see eggs or not at all in flailed hedges .. it is worth looking in them.
Brown Hairstreak Butterfly Egg Hunt images