Hello All

Well I am new to this blog but have been interested in Brown Hairstreaks since seeing my first one at Noar Hill six years ago. Hampshire is not overly blessed with large numbers of sites and the two keys ones are at the extreme east and west boundaries of the county. However there have been intriguing reports in the Hants BC annual reports from one or two other locations. I have seen good numbers Shipton Bellinger in the west where they do seem to be spread over a fairly large area. The other site in the east is of course Noar Hill - the numbers here seem to fluctuate but are generally quite low and seemingly restricted to a small area - the reserve itself. I have searched for eggs at NH over the last three winters finding none one year and a max of 23. This is similarly reflected in sightings of adults - some years I have seen none and others I have seen five in a day. I paid a visit yesterday and encountered one very tatty female which is my latest ever for this site. During the coming winter I aim to take up the challenge of seeing if I can find the overspill from Sussex and I have already identified a few likely areas - I will let you know how I get on. Mark


Im not familiar with Noar Hill but i wouldn't be deterred by finding only a maximum of 23 eggs. On the land surrounding the main colony at Ryton Wood Meadows in Warwickshire, eggs have never been found in the same locations 2 (sometimes 3) years running. Depending on the blackthorn distribution and its suitability, i think where the females choose to egg-lay could have a lot to do with the weather conditions on the day.

Another thought: if in previous years you havent found any eggs at Noar Hill at all, perhaps the main colony is situated somewhere outside the reserve boundary? When you found the 23 eggs, were these found over a small or large area? I believe a high concentration of eggs within a small search radius indicates proximity to a master tree, and thus, the further a female travels, she will lay more sparingly.

So many theories!!

Do update us on your egg searching this winter :)

Hi Mark,
I'm pleased to hear you will be checking for Brown Hairstreak eggs just west of the Hants/W. Sussex border. I very much doubt that the butterfly will recognise the county line! Good luck - I'm sure you will succeed.
BWs, Neil

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