Monday 24 August 2020

And then...

Having written those words, I walked down to the high street to shop, and, as I was strolling along by the side of the former town hall, down flew a nondescript brown butterfly, which settled on a bush and folded its wings – and, as I drew nearer, I realised that there was nothing nondescript about this one: my friends, it was a Brown Hairstreak! 'Finding an adult Brown Hairstreak is one of the most difficult tasks for a butterfly enthusiast,' writes Ken Wilmott in Butterflies of Surrey Revisited – and he's not wrong. This one was only the third I've seen in my adult life – and in the unlikeliest of locations, far from any blackthorn bushes. It was a bright and vigorous female, and of course she flew off before I could photograph her – but she left me grinning like an idiot for the next hour and more.

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