In my plan for the Bank Holiday weekend I'd had today and tomorrow penciled in as butterfly days. Unfortunately the weather hasn't helped me out.
Despite it being a cool, cloudy day I still went searching for this year's Green Hairstreaks. I'm sure they've been out on the moor for a good few weeks now, but I haven't had a chance to go out for a proper look. I've previously found them in poor weather, and I know where they live so I was reasonably confident of finding some.
Taking the anti-clockwise route, I walked out along Moorside to Sconce and then around the edge of the moor past Glovershaw to Bingley Road. I heard my first Cuckoo of the year, coming from the direction of Birch Close Lane, and plenty of Curlew, Lapwing, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Willow Warbler.
Once across Bingley Road I started to climb the hill, combing the bilberry patches as I went, as this is the stronghold of the Green Hairstreak. During a five minute spell of sunshine one flew up and zipped off, but it took another half an hour to finally spot one perched. In dull, cool conditions they are very docile and although I don't make a habit of this I couldn't resist coaxing it onto my finger nail for a closer look. Unless tomorrow's forecast improves a lot this might be my only encounter this year, so I made the most of it.
Butterfly Journal 2019
13. 05/05/2019 Green Hairstreak, Baildon Moor