A beautiful last day for a butterfly ranger.

So today was my last day as resident ranger at Collard hill for the Large blue. Although there was a brief shower, overall it was one of the sunnier and calmer days. In fact by 4pm the sunshine was positively beaming in the fashion of a real summertime!

The good weather seemed to bring alot of families to the hill today and we wen’t Large blue egg hunting. On our third try we managed to find a clump of Wild thyme with eggs on whilst wandering up the (dry for once) mud track from the Eastern Glade. Throughout the day though myself and visitors found eggs on alot the site, all good omens for this years’ butterfly season.

Eastern glade slope, quite a vista.

First thing this morning, I found myself sitting amongst the quaking grass and really looking at the amount of scrub and trees on Collard. The structure of the habitat on the hill is so varied and I feel that now I have learnt almost all the nooks and crannies but I am sure there are still more to find. The orchids seems to be past their best now but the large Wasp and Bee that have been there all the time I have been working at Collard, are still going strong despite being a tad dishevelled.

The Large blues were really out on show today. Many of us just had to stand at the bottom of the Eastern glade slope and we could watch them flying past as well as the fresh Ringlets and Large Skippers. I have learnt an awful lot about butterflies and the ecology of a restored calcaereous grassland during this role, that is for sure.

Like so many people, I will long to see the Large blue again and be hynotised by their flight which you can’t help but stop and watch as they fly past and the same goes for other butterflies seen at Collard.

A common blue (Taken by C Faulkner on 1st July)

I am afraid that is not all from me however. There will be other rangers and people at the hill monitoring the Large blue for the rest of the flight period. This is likely to continue for a few weeks yet, particularly as there have been so many freshly emerged ones this week. I shall be keeping in touch, finding out the news and posting updates on the blog until the end of the flight season- although not as regularly.

Thanks to everyone at the National Trust, Dave Simcox, Sarah Meredith and everyone involved for helping me learn my role as a Large Blue ranger and for making the Large blue not an extinct species but a successful member of the UK ecosystem. Here is a picture of just some of the people involved, taken on the training day I wen’t on during my 1st few days at Green Down.

Everyone at this years Large Blue training day at Green down, May 2012.

Watch this space for pictures taken this season and some more chit chat about whats happening at Collard.

All the best, Lottie LB ranger

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