Tuesday, 12 June 2018

12th June, 2018 Ditchling Common

I couldn't believe my eyes whilst reading the Sussex Butterfly Conservation web-site this morning, the headline news was Black Hairstreak discovered in Sussex. I expected it to be on a remote common on the borders of West Sussex and Hampshire. I was therefore delighted to read that it was on Ditchling Common which is just over a mile from my front door.

In around the 1970's, several were introduced to Ditchling Common roughly at the same time as the Marsh Fritillary, which in the early 1980's I stumbled across a Marsh Fritillary on the Common which I photographed not realising they had been introduced here, but now sadly long gone. The Black Hairstreak seemed to have disappeared from Ditchling Common and went unrecorded until late last year when just odd ones were seen. With this year being a good Black Hairstreak year in the normal breeding areas in the Midlands, good numbers are now being seen on Ditchling Common and it has appeared to now have formed a naturalised population here.

Needless to say, Doreen and myself quickly visited the Common this afternoon, and we were able to see around 10 of these beauties in around an hour.

Getting personal to a Meadow Brown

The nearest it got to opening its wings whilst settled.

Some of the 10 Black Hairstreaks seen on Ditchling
Common this afternoon.