Tuesday 20 March

24/07/2017: This is what is believed to be the last Sussex White-letter Hairstreak sighting of 2017.

We thought we'd try an early evening visit to Hollingbury Woods on the off-chance we might be lucky to get a sighting for the year, having missed all other chances earlier in the season.

As we arrived at a promising clearing where we'd seen the White-letter Hairstreaks previously (with the guidance of Jamie Burston), we spotted a grey something struggling to get free from a cobweb in the brambles. Throwing away the Springwatch style (let nature take its course - all species are equal) approach, I dived into the brambles and nettles in my shorts and rescued this aging female White-letter Hairstreak from the advancing spider, so she could live to fight another day and perhaps lay a few more eggs for 2018.

Her wings were in tatters (as were my legs), but after a short rest on my hand for a photo, she flew off into the trees. (Colin & Andrea Gibbs)
Thank you Colin and Andrea, that's a lovely tale. But you missed the bit about why you decided to wait almost than eight months to share it with everyone. (Ed jnr)