Exceptionally, Brown Hairstreaks have been discovered at the site so armed with directions I made my way to the spot by about 09.00. The Blackthorn habitat here is extensive and looks absolutely ideal for this unobtrusive but enigmatic species. By 10.10 I'd had my first sighting, a nice eye level fly through. Between then and 11.00 I had 7 or 8 sightings of 3 or 4 individuals in 3 different locations all within a 300 yard straetch. There has inevitably been conjecture about the origins of these butterflies but talking to locals there it seems they also occur at Piper's Vale which is about 2 miles away. A superb Wasp Spider was at my feet while waiting for the hairstreaks and I had Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Bullfinch and Common Whitethroat.
Wasp Spider, Benstead Meadows
While I was down that way it would have been amiss of me not to call in at Groton Wood to see the Violet Helleborines and I located 11 plants in their usual spot in shaded woodland. Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Green-veined White and Holly Blue were also there.
Violet Helleborines, Groton Wood
Holly Blue, Groton Wood