Friday, 19 July 2013

White-letter Hairstreak

This fantastic weather has been good for what butterflies there are around and is proving to be seemingly ideal for spotting White-letter Hairstreaks. Martin Bevan had eleven at one site in the Cynon valley and inspired by that, yesterday morning I checked out some Wych Elms in Penderyn (VC42) and had three flying around the tree top. Today, I paid a quick lunch time visit to some Wych Elms, on the banks of the Cynon, in Cwmbach and saw three individuals, including an egg laying female.

Find yourself some elms and just watch the canopy for a while (you may have to watch for up to fifteen minutes or so) and hopefully you'll see a small, fast flying butterfly or two jinking around the canopy, in a brief flight. WLH are probably very under recorded, so if you get a chance, do check out any elms near you.


  1. Do they need mature trees Mark, or will small to medium sized ones do? We have quite a lot of wind pruned elm along the coast here - is that worth looking at?

  2. I always thought that medium to large, healthy elms were preferable and probably they are, but the female I saw egg laying, was doing so on quite a small tree, almost overhung by a large alder.