I have recently led a 3 day tour for Naturetrek looking for butterflies in the Sussex countryside. The timing was absolutely perfect with the recent arrival of several Long-tailed Blue into Sussex with one of my butterfly friends finding some on his local patch in West Sussex the previous week.
I always like to do a recce or two before these trips, and as I was staying over at Lisa's, which was near to the site, this made it much easier to check the site before the tour. As it happened I had also been booked by Naturetrek to do a private one on one tour the following week for a lady from Yorkshire to hopefully see the Long-tailed Blue, this meant more visits to make sure the butterflies were still there for her visit. In all I visited the site 6 times over the course of the next 12 days and saw the Long-tailed Blue each time with my highest count of 7 individuals on the last of them with the lady from Yorkshire.
On the first day of the main tour we arrived on site at around 10am and waited around the main hot spot waiting and hoping for a sighting of these rare migrant butterflies. After around 40 minutes Lindsay rang me to say he had found an egg laying Brown Hairstreak near to where we were, so I quickly called the group together and went off to see this beautiful butterfly. The Brown Hairstreak was another of our targeted butterflies, so it was great to get to see this extremely elusive species so early in the tour. As it happened this was one of the best encounters that I have ever had of this species, but when I am leading I rarely take photos as the group has to come first, so it was a little frustrating seeing a perfectly posed specimen sitting so beautifully. But for the group, what a great start.