Friday’s weather was amazing, I was prepared for cloud and sun like Thursday but as I arrived on site, there was just blue sky with little wispy white clouds. The air temperature was already hot at 8.45am and as I walked down over the hill I came across a mating pair. The sense of excitement ran through me, at that point nobody was around so I watched the butterflies for a while as the wind blew them around the grass blade like a flag. I managed to get a few photos and as this was the first mating pair I had managed to capture out of the grass I was very happy.
I managed to show one visitor the mating pair before they broke apart and flew away. As we were sat with the mating pair discussing the wonderful blue colours of the underwing another 3 individuals were flying around nectaring and being busy. WOW I thought the site was busy with butterflies and the time hadn’t even reached 9am.
Large Blue’s were easy to find over the next few hours, but due to the heat they were unwilling to settle and who can blame them. Marbled White’s were everywhere as well adding to the colourful mix of Collard Hill. The morning transect recorded 14 individuals and the afternoon transect recorded 17 individuals, which was very surprising given the extreme heat in certain places on the site.
The Large Blue’s in this heat are hill topping to a certain extent and can easily be picked up from the top of the site. Males can be seen whizzing into the distance and females flying slowly over Wild Thyme patches landing, laying, flying and landing again.
As we are in the peak of our numbers I am confident that you will get good sightings of the Large Blue if you visit over the next week or so, I cannot guarantee open wing shots in this heat but luck always plays a part in photography so you never know!!!
If you are coming to Collard Hill over the next few days, don’t forget water and sun cream as it has been very warm on site over the last few days. I look forward to greeting you to Collard Hill.