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I’m sure you’ve all heard of red-letter days, those days that are of special significance or particularly memorable. Well, for me, yesterday was a red-letter white-letter day – the day when I had my best ever views of the elusive White-letter hairstreak butterfly (Satyrium w-album).

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These beautiful creatures spend most of their time in the tops of Wych elm trees (now that most English elms have died from Dutch elm disease) so my first sighting of them this year was typical – they were flitting around the top of a tree in a local park, far too distant for good views, let alone photos (see above).

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Then, yesterday, I was walking in meadows adjacent to a local woodland, when I spotted this gorgeous White-letter hairstreak nectaring on a thistle right next to the path in front of me. I was able to photograph and watch it for at least 15 minutes before it flew back towards the nearby Wych elm. A white-letter day to treasure!

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