15th August 2015On day one of the Hairstreak Weekend at the West Williamston WTSWW Reserve in Pembrokeshire 27 Brown Hairstreaks were observed - a record for the site in one day - we see Matthew's 76 as a challenge for the 2016 event.
Our 27 were also mainly males spread across two sets of ashes and an isolated ash but 5 were low level females of which 3 were observed egg laying. After they had disappeared 15 bright white shiners were discovered including one triplet and one doublet.
One set of ashes were under surveillance from 07:30am and the first male flight was observed at 08:05am. For the next two hours things were pretty hectic with three dog fights observed when a pair of males spiralled high above the ashes. Things began to quieten down after 10am and the last male flight was observed at 10:40am. The first female descended just before midday but it was just over an hour before egg laying was observed. All went quite when clouds rolled over the sun about 2pm.
16th August 2015
Day 2 was a shadow of Day 1 - only 10 Brown Hairstreaks seen - all up in ashes and relatively lethargic and definitely no more egg laying. The weather on the two days was similar. Typical betulae behaviour - one day all guns blazing, the next spent in harbour refuelling.
17th August 2015Another visitor reported a total lack of action at West Williamston but meanwhile they were putting on a show at the Teifi Marshes WTSWW reserve in north Pembrokeshire with four sightings. Three low level nectarers on hemp agrimony were seen by Maggie Sproule & Sarah Bebb. From Maggie's photos two were definitely males and the third almost certainly so (only underside seen). The fourth was heading for the hemp agrimony when the two incumbents decided to see it off.
Below is a non-nectaring female at West Williamston photographed by Jerry English on 15th August and a nectaring male at Teifi Marshes phtographed by Maggie Sproule on 17th August.
As far as I can ascertain Teifi Marshes is the only site in Wales where nectaring Brown Hairstreak are seen - can anybody please explain this to me?