I had the afternoon free so went to see what the warm weather had brought out.
I wouldn't usually have bothered looking for Green Hairstreaks for another week or two, but I'd heard that there had been an early sighting in Cumbria a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it was worth a look. Over the past few years I've spent scores of hours on Baildon Moor checking bilberry patches during Green Hairstreak season, so I've got to know several outlier sites as well as their core territory. I started at one of the outliers and was rewarded straight way with the one pictured and one other. Heading further out onto the moor the wind picked up and it ended up feeling rather cool, and although I visited most of the other sites that I'd see them I found only one more. For the moment, Butterfly Conservation have accepted this as the first Green Hairstreak recorded in Yorkshire in 2017, although other records may emerge later.
At Sconce I was hoping for my first Orange-tip of the year, but a peacock was the only butterfly about. I admired a nice patch of Lesser Celandine next to the waterfall (extra).
Coming back along Moorside it was good to see the Swallows were back (extra) and then I dipped down to Tong Park and Spring Wood where I took in the first bluebells, found a Comma and several Small Tortoiseshells and a Small White.
Not quite the baking day I was expecting, but still a very pleasant day.
Butterfly Journal 2017
6. 09/04/17: Green Hairstreak, Baildon Moor (VC64).