Wednesday 17.7.13

Sorry the blog hasn’t been updated recently, I had too much sun at the weekend and have been away for the past three days.

Large Blues still seem to be flying, there were two sightings today and i believe a few were seen yesterday as well. It’s very difficult to predict what numbers will be like from now on, the season should be coming to a close but, as has been emphasised a few times, this is a very unusual season and I feel like anything could happen. I should think there is a chance of seeing them at the weekend but there is also a chance that they may have finished, it’s very hard to say.

Either way water is a must, you can’t bring enough in this weather!

-Steve, Large Blue ranger 2013

Thursday 11.7.13

A rather odd day in terms of Large Blue numbers. Only around 5 flying, one spotted around 2 o clock which was probably freshly emerged. The morning brought a cold start which seemed to keep the Blues down, i wonder if that discouraged them a little. Other than that theres not much else to say really. The sun is still about…

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

Wednesday 10.7.13

At least 8 Large Blues flying today. A few looked rather fresh so they’re still emerging. The heat really built up early afternoon and as the Large Blues don’t like intense heat the number of sightings dropped. I expect they’d all gone into hiding in the shade of the bushes.

In other news the Bee and Wasp Orchids have now gone over but there are still plenty of Pyramidal Orchids around in the meadow.

Keep sending in photos! We’ve had some really great ones today! (collard.hill@gmail.com)

 

Large Blues mating- Rob Stokes

Large Blues mating- Rob Stokes

 

Marbled White on thistle- Brian Sweeting

Marbled White on thistle- Brian Sweeting

 

Marbled White- Marc Arbuckle

Marbled White- Marc Arbuckle

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

Sunday 7.7.13 – Into the frying pan!

Good numbers of Large Blues have been flying over the weekend! Yesterday they were very active once the cloud burned off and at least 6 were flying. It was rather difficult for most visitors to get a photograph as most sightings were fleeting glimpses as they shot passed which seems to be standard behaviour in the hot weather.  Today was similar but I reckon numbers were finally pushing 10! This may still seem low but i think its very encouraging for the week ahead and hopefully the weather will bring a few more out.

I will leave you with a brilliant shot of two mating Large Blues that was taken last weekend and a couple of nice shots of a common blue that is still roaming the site.

Large Blues mating- by Allan Chard

Large Blues mating- by Allan Chard

Common Blue- by Alex Rogers

Common Blue- by Alex Rogers

Common Blue- Alex Rogers

Common Blue- Alex Rogers

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

 

 

Friday 5.7.13

Good flying conditions for the large blues with the warm weather and sunshine. Good numbers were flying, it’s rather difficult to put an exact number on them today as they were so active they weren’t settling much and were seen zooming off from multiple areas on the site. Its the first day that i’ve picked up two on a transect anyway!

There is now also a good egg distribution across the site which is really encouraging.

A Deer also popped up in the meadow this afternoon.P1020840

It really was very warm today and i believe its meant to be warmer tomorrow so again, make sure you’re sun prepared with lots of water and suncream if visiting.

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

Thursday 4.7.13

A cloudy start to the day but once the sun started to shine warmly through the clouds around mid day 5 large blues made an appearance, two of whom i spotted having a bit of a scrap just above the quarry!

Taken by Brian Sweeting

Taken by Brian Sweeting

So numbers have been pretty steady at around 4 a day for good few days now and with the forecast, which has made me very happy, looking good for the next week or so i wonder if they might increase further as they come out to play in the sun.

Marbled whites are in fantastic numbers now, i counted about 30 on one transect today, and they’re still emerging by the looks of things.

Taken by Paul Bowden

Taken by Paul Bowden

Ringlet, Taken by Brian Sweeting

Ringlet, Taken by Brian Sweeting

Keep sending photos in! collard.hill@gmail.com

By the looks of things suncream and plenty of water would be good to bring over the next few days if visiting.

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

Small Eggar moth

I have been meaning to let you know this snippet of exciting news for a few days now. When we were visited by the West Dorset Ranger team a couple of weeks back, one of the volunteers got rather excited over what we thought to be a tent moth web. He had reason to beieve that it was in actual fact a Small Eggar moth. With confirmation from Matthew Oates, it is in actual fact the small eggar moth (Eriogaster lanestris) larval web which is scarce and rapidly declining. This is new to Collard.  The moth flies in late winter. The adults, which fly in February and March, are seldom seen, but the larvae, when present, live gregariously in silken webs on the foodplant, hawthorn (Crataegus) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). Photos of the webs are below.

Taken by Matthew Oates

Taken by Matthew Oates

Taken by Matthew Oates

Taken by Matthew Oates

Taken from the UK moth website

Taken from the UK moth website

Wednesday 3.7.13

The BBC made a visit to Collard Hill today. One bunch filming with Dave Simcox for an upcoming programme similar to Countryfile and another from radio 4 interviewing head ranger Ian Clemmett about the site and the conservation project. I unfortunately don’t know the details of when each will go out but I’m sure Hayley and I will keep you updated.

BBC filming 2013

They were lucky enough to be able to film a couple of Large Blues which were out and looking good. At least one was freshly emerged.

Large blue-Sarah Meredith

Large blue-Sarah Meredith

The afternoon was lovely and sunny, if a bit windy and several large blues were seen on the Eastern Glade. I also spotted a couple in the gorse so I reckon today has been a good day for them with 5 ,maybe even 6, large blues flying!

When i spotted the Blues in the gorse I was sitting just above a patch of Thistles which was brimming with Small Tortoiseshells which was really good to see.

P1020835 P1020836

Not a great forecast for tomorrow but its looking pretty good for the weekend. I will leave you with one more Large Blue pic and a reminder to keep sending in photos to collard.hill@gmail.com

Large Blue- Jean Morley

Large Blue- Jean Morley

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013

Sunday 30.6.13

Just under 100 visitors today. 4 large blues including a female seen below the Hawthorn in the middle of the slope.

Unfortunately one of the Wasp Orchids and several of the Pyramidal Orchids in the meadow at the bottom of the slope have been trampled on. There are still 4 wasp orchids standing but please watch your step in this area.

-Steve, Large Blue Ranger 2013