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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Spotted Flycatcher and Purple Hairstreak, great weekend on the patch

Saturday I started what was intended to be a circular walk of the patch. It started well when I spotted a nice Hoverfly, but rapidly went pear-shaped when I realised there was no memory card in the camera. Fortunately the Hoverfly, A Great Pied, was still hovering about when I returned after my false start.

Great Pied Hoverfly

A section of woodland that rarely yields much, was alive with birds for a change. Initially I had spotted a Great Spotted Woodpecker, but the clearing containing a collection of dead trees also hosted Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Nuthatch and Treecreeper. However the reason I lingered and made no further progress that morning on the walk was discovering a family group of Spotted Flycatchers.

Spotted Flycatcher

Last year, I had a similar find, about 300 yards from that spot, and  almost on the same date.
It was only my second sighting of the species this year anywhere. It was a show stopper and I had no time to complete the circuit. On heading home a Heron gave a rare opportunity for a patch record shot, which I gladly accepted.

I recorded Purple Hairstreak on the far south side of my patch last year, but this year so far had not had a sniff ( anywhere). However as I neared the end of Sundays tour, I stopped at an Oak I had not thought to check out before. Within a few minutes I saw a small butterfly move. They are little butterflies and never easy to find as they spend so much time lurking within the leaves of oaks. When I finally located it, I was absolutely thrilled to see it was a Purple Hairstreak, a new and  second site for them on the patch. Getting a record shot was a challenge,  but it was all about the find. A great weekend on the patch.

Purple Hairstreak

Interestingly this sighting was within 3 days also of when I saw it on the patch in 2012


  1. Its great when you find those purple Hairsteaks, fantastic little butterflies

  2. It is Warren, feels like a real 'discovery'.

  3. Nice one on the Spot Flys and Purple Hairstreaks mate

  4. Thanks mate. With so few Spot fly about, I felt really lucky to find some on the patch again this year. The Purple Hairtresk was a real brucie bonus, just shows what you can uncover if you spend a bit of time grilling the right areas sometimes