Purple Hairstreak and others at Shipley Glen

On Friday I went up to Shipley Glen twice. The main reason was to look for more Purple Hairstreak butterflies but of course any visit to Shipley Glen is worth it.

Click on an image to see a higher quality version.

I’ll start with the photos of Purple Hairstreak butterflies with one of them shown in the header image. They occupy the tops of Oak trees so the rocks around Bracken Hall Green, that are on the edge of the slope down to Loadpit Beck, are a good place to see them. You can look at the tops of the Oak trees and so, with a bit of luck, see the butterflies. Even though you might see them fly around the tree and think you saw where they landed they are still difficult to spot. Patience is the key – and binoculars. The first three photos above are simply of Purple Hairstreak on Oak leaves. The next two show that Oak trees are valuable for the variety of wildlife they support. The first of the two shows quite a large Weevil of some kind near the acorns on the right. The second shows an insect on the leaf top right.

Oak trees not only support things crawling about their leaves and branches but these two photos show that in various ways they support the lifecycles of other things.

During the morning visit to Shipley Glen I could here the screech of Buzzard on several occasions and managed to get a few shots as they flew around. I am not sure if it was an adult pair and juvenile but the shading of the underwing of one of them was slightly different. I also managed to get a couple of photos of a Speckled Wood butterfly. I normally expect to see these down in Shipley Glen where they fly up off the paths as you walk along. I could also hear Grasshopper further over in the grass so I was a little surprised when this one jumped out of the grass around a rock and obligingly stayed on the rock for me to take its photo. At the start of the afternoon visit a Red Kite flew over and though I enjoyed watching and listening there was nothing else that I took photos of.

I have been keeping my eye on the Sage in our garden in the hope of seeing Mint moths. They have shown themselves a couple of times this year and late afternoon I saw something small fly into the Sage. It has the same shape as a Mint moth but certainly not the colour so I don’t know what it is. When I say it has the same shape as a Mint moth I guess I am only saying it is sort of triangular with a bit sicking out the front so might be somewhere near the same family. Edit: Thanks to allthingsmothy for an ID of a Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla)

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