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You may remember that at the end of May I made the surprise discovery of a Purple hairstreak butterfly larva in my local woodlands. Despite much searching I never found another but, as these butterflies are now on the wing, I’ve been keeping an eye out for any adults when I walk the woodland rides in that area.

210719 purple hairstreak (1)

And last week I found one … or, I should really say, it found me. I was focused on checking for butterflies flying high in the canopy of the Oak trees when a small grey-looking butterfly flitted close around my head and then disappeared into the branches next to the path. A few seconds later it reappeared and spent a few minutes, feeding on the honeydew on the leaves, before floating back up to the canopy again. A fanciful thought but it was almost like it was saying ‘Here I am. Look at me’, so I did.

210719 purple hairstreak (2)

Though these butterflies give a predominantly grey impression when you see them, they are named for the deep purple markings on their upper wings. You can catch just a glimpse of that vibrant colour in the photo above.