So, no luck at Otmoor, so off to Whitecross Green Wood 10 minutes around the Otmoor basin. This is where I’d last seen this species, on August 8th 2011.
After a couple of walks back and forth, admiring the various odonata species buzzing around, I managed to glimpse a flutter at the top of a blackthorn bush in my target search area, and thankfully I got a few shots.
Not the most photogenic specimen, but my first ever sighting of a male (no orange visible on the upper side). This is only 20 yards away from the previous sighting, showing how sedentary this species is, reliant on the same master-tree year after year.
I had two cameras with me for this outing today – the tripod-mounted D800E macro setup, and my D3S handheld. After my previous Black Hairstreak outings I’d been minded to put the 1.7TC on my 300f/4 instead of the 1.4. This was a good decision, because I managed to get shots that were a little closer, happy with the trade-off in terms of poorer autofocus.
This guy was 15 feet up at the top of the Blackthorn bush, so I’m very pleased with the view I got. I may have more time to go back a little later on to see if I can find some roving females, which are if anything slightly brighter orange. Hopefully one may dignify me with its presence a little lower!
ISO 2000 1/640 f/8 handheld
This is my final hairstreak species of the year, as the last to emerge. I missed seeing Green Hairstreak in Britain this time around, and still have yet to see a White-Letter Hairstreak, so there’s always next year…