Thursday 16 May 2019

Finding Green Hairstreak Butterflies in the Pentlands

The beautiful weather continued today, perfect for finding butterflies. Crafty Green Boyfriend and I had both signed up for a day surveying the green hairstreak butterfly in the Bonaly area of the Pentland Hills Regional Park.

It's a beautiful area to walk round with some lovely gentle walks as well as the higher hills

We joined a small group of people surveying a relatively small area to find green hairstreaks, which are not found in many areas around Edinburgh. This area of Bonaly is one of the local strongholds for the species and we were told we hoped to find 20 here.

The first half of our survey area, where in fact more hairstreaks were expected to be found, only held four which was disappointing.

But then we moved into the second area, where lots of blaeberry (the green hairstreak's favourite food)

 grew in a valley bounded by rocky hills.

We spread out across the valley

and were delighted to see between everyone in the group at least 23 individuals (allowing for double counting) and in fact there were probably more than that as Crafty Green Boyfriend and I saw three or four more when we continued walking a short way to the reservoir after the survey was over.

Here are some of the photos I took of these delightful little (and they really are very little!) butterflies

We were particularly pleased to see these two doing their bit to ensure a new generation of green hairstreaks

We were also delighted to see several small copper butterflies

So it was a very successful survey and a lovely way to spend an afternoon. You can find out about and book places on forthcoming events in the Pentland Hills Park here.

After the survey we walked back into Bonaly to catch the bus and stopped off here

to see the alpacas

for Nature Notes.


Caroline Gill said...

WHAT a fantastic way to spend an afternoon! Green Hairstreaks and Alpacas! We have a local nature reserve near us where I have seen ONE Green Hairstreak a few years ago and ONE White-letter Hairstreak last year.

RG said...

I think that butterfly is quite rare here too. Good to see so many there ..

Jeff said...

To chase butterflies has to be the highlife!

betty-NZ said...

These are some wonderful photos! I'm so glad you shared them with us :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a wonderful day for a walk. The scenery is beautiful. I love the butterflies and the alpacas. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend.

Lowcarb team member said...

What a fabulous walk and your photographs were a joy to see.
Great post.

All the best Jan

Jenn Jilks said...

Amazing habitat. The butterflies are so lovely!