Friday 18th June

Female perching on bramble - Sarah Meredith

Evening all,

This morning again saw blue skies and shining sun, but there were a few more clouds around. The forecast was for a little rain this afternoon but I was hoping that wasn’t the case. Large Blue’s were flying well from as soon as I arrived on site and in numbers. It was already warm by 9.30am and all individuals were flying rapidly around the site. A female was found perching on a bramble, giving good underwing shots for people and showing the beauty that the underwing has. I find the markings and colour subtle yet stunning.

The 11am transect picked up good numbers and I had a lovely moment with a female who was nectaring on Thyme completely unaware of my presence. It was lovely just to watch her nectaring and moving around.

Female nectaring - Sarah Meredith

 The transect recorded 16 individuals around the site and numbers of Marbled White are increasing by the day. It is lovely to see these lovely marked butterflies fluttering around.

As the day progressed the cloud built up and dispersed and then built up again and this time stayed in place, the wind increased and the temperature dropped. The Large Blue’s were still flying but in lower numbers and the sense of excitement grew with the photographers as the potential to get open wing shots grew. The wind dropped after a little while and the air became humid.

I decided to have a walk along the top of the eastern glade to see if anything was on the wing, I came across a few Large Blue’s flying and then witnessed one individual basking with open wings. YES, what a sight. It still WOWs me, there was only one person on the eastern slope, who came over quickly. But the Large Blue flew off without him getting a photo, but landed close by on Thyme and preceded to open HER wings and stayed like this for 10 mins or so.

Female open nectaring - Sarah Meredith

It isn’t a brilliant photo but it shows the moment. It was as if people knew, suddenly an influx of people occurred,  I left them to taking photos and enjoying the view.  By 4pm the cloud had settled over the hill and the temperature had dropped again, Marbled Whites, Small Heath and Common Blue had gone off the wing and Large Blue’s were not being seen either.

Large Blue’s continue to fly in good numbers, which haven’t peaked yet, I would estimate that 40+ individuals are present. I forgot to mention yesterday that while watching and waiting for Large’s Blue on the main track a stoat was seen scuttling across.

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About largebluewarden

I am the Large Blue warden for Collard Hill, and will be on site Wednesday through to Sunday with other volunteers. I graduated in December 2009 from Reading University, with an MSc in Wildlife Management and Conservation. Before coming to Glastonbury to work with the Large Blue, I was carrying out research into the Glanville Fritillary on the Isle of Wight. While my thesis for my Msc was looking at ‘The habitat requirements of the Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus in the uplands’. Butterflies and photography are my passion and I am looking forward to a great flight season on Collard Hill and hope to meet many of you who are reading this blog.

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