I was looking forward to getting back on the hill today yesterday evening and the butterflies didn’t disappoint today. It was a slow start to the morning with Large Blue’s only being spotted from 10am onwards, but by 11am the site was alive with Large Blue’s. My 11am transect walk around the site recorded 16 individuals. How happy was I!!!
Yesterday I commented on the blog that I was wanted to see a mating pair and egg laying females. I wasn’t sure if I would get both today but YES I did, the excitement that runs through me when I see laying females is huge. It is a real sign to me that the season is well under way and that conditions are good for the females.
I was able to show the egg (neatly tucked into the Wild Thyme flower head) to passing visitors, being able to show this hidden secret is amazing and if you visit Collard Hill over the next few weeks you should be able to see this secret as well.
The butterflies were not being as photogenic today as they have been on previous days but the site was very warm by Midday. Many could be seen on the wing but they were not settling for long and definitely did not want to open their wings!! From around 1.30pm many went for their siesta but there were still a few darting around the site.
The first 6 spot Burnet moth was seen looking very sleek and Marbled White’s are emerging with a few seen over the day. I definitely think that the second emergence is occurring with the Common Blue’s as there are some really fresh looking individuals on the wing. The Burnet moth caterpillars are rapidly entering their chrysalis stage using grass blades, fence wire and one was contemplating using a Bee Orchid but changed his mind!!
As you can see there is much to observe and witness at Collard Hill, the Large Blue numbers are continuing to increase and should continue on that path till after the weekend. It is difficult to say exactly how many Large Blue are on the site at the moment but I would estimate that today 30+ individuals were seen.
I hope you come and visit us at Collard Hill and see what a lovely site we have.