Weather-beaten but undeterred

After a highly promising start to the season, Pembrokeshire Brownies have been battered by nine successive days of storms, wind and rain.

Saturday 29th August provided a short window for any remaining betulae to get down to business again, but in a four hour visit between 10am and 2pm, I only managed to find one solitary female doing so, although she did provide a fascinating 20 minute tutorial regarding behaviour.

Previously, I'd only ever seen females lay eggs in isolation, but this one laid two, one after the other, on the same fork of a blackthorn sucker.

The images below show this process taking place, with the two freshly laid eggs then photographed immediately after the butterfly had moved away. This individual had a deformed right hindwing which, whilst unfortunate for her (though it didn't seem to impair her flight), allowed the abdomen to be clearly seen during ovi-positing.

She was found at 1.33pm and remained in ovi-positing mode until 1.54pm when she flew out into the open field before veering back round towards the shrub line whereupon I lost sight of her.

This site really needs some fine weather over the next couple of weeks. The Hairstreaks are there (albeit in reduced numbers thanks to the storms), but they are largely imprisoned by the atrocious conditions, meaning that egg-laying is simply not on the agenda except for during rare and brief bright periods.


Brilliant photos David! Certainly the first time I've ever seen the process of a double egg being laid! And you're right......DEFINITELY need some better weather!!

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