Welsh populations

Pembrokeshire is out on a bit of a limb and is often largely overlooked, but it has to be remembered that this part of the UK is one of the three principal strongholds for the Brown Hairstreak.

Of course, unlike most other parts of the country, the weather is comparatively unreliable, but this can unearth observations that would otherwise not be recorded, such as the butterfly's cold tolerance levels.

The principal site in these parts is the coastal location at West Williamston, a lovely spot in itself even without the presence of one of the country's most precious insects.

The site is set within extensive salt marshes and as a result there are many unusual flora and fauna to be found here. Birdlife abounds whilst many plants found here are specialist species and will rarely be encountered elsewhere.

The site is obviously damp and salty but blackthorn thrives here and grows relatively unmolested by man's interference - no hedge-trimming here unless you have a vehicle with an outboard motor!

Last Saturday (22 September) I paid a visit in cool (albeit sunny) conditions and saw 4 adult females and 25 eggs. Even at 13 Celsius, Brown Hairstreaks were flying about, pottering amongst the shrubbery, looking for egg laying opportunities and taking time out to bask!

This image (taken at 12.30pm on Saturday 22nd September in sunny conditions with light to moderate wind and 13-14c temperatures) gives an idea of the habitat:


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