Monday 1 July 2013

A trip to Oxford to see Black Hairstreaks.

Kate and I embarked on a four and a half hour drive to Oxfordshire is search of a butterfly that I have always wanted to see, the Black Hairstreak. On arrival at Bernwood Forest car park we met up with our friends Adam Hartley from Oxford and Paul Browning a fellow butterfly NUT from Helston who stopped off  while on his way home from another butterfly expedition in northern England.

Black Hairstreaks are one of Britain's rarest butterflies. Reportedly they declined by 98% last year, a very worrying statistic if it is to be believed. So if we were ever going to see them in Britain, now seemed to be the perfect time. The weather was perfect and several hairstreaks had been seen earlier in the week.

At the 'quiet and tranquil' M40 compensation area of bernwood forest, the population appeared to be holding it's own with well over 20 adults observed flying around the large areas of Blackthorn.. 'their larval food plant' situated just yards from the busy M40 motorway. We were fortunate to witness and film this female ovipositing hopefully ensuring a healthy population next year.

I must give a BIG THANK YOU to Adam who very kindly gave impeccable directions to the wood and then led us 'Kate. Paul Browning and myself' to the very difficult to find M40 compensation area where we were treated to fantastic views of these magical Hairstreaks........Great company...... Great butterflies what more could you want.......Happy Days!!!

Adam runs his own very interesting blog, which you can visit here


  1. Hi John Superb video really impressed,and what a little belter the butterfly is
    well done.

  2. great stuff - guys. That is dedication!

  3. Superb work John,this is on our todo list.