Sunday was another hot day (as I write this I am sitting in the garden enjoying the sun and being lazy today) and Large Blue’s were on the wing from early on, I found individuals flying as soon as I entered site at around 8.45am and they were already whizzing around. The morning saw a huge amount of activity, with mating pairs being found, and females going about their duties of egg laying. Males were chasing females to no avail, some individuals are starting to look tatty but there are just as many looking fresh. To confuse the situation once again, there are Common Blue’s starting to emerge, I witnessed a very fresh male annoying a very old female. So if you visit over the next week or so, you will have to really get your eye in.
Marbled White’s are flying in massive numbers and in this heat are annoying photographers with their inability to perch or stay still for more than a few seconds. The first Gatekeeper was recorded today, I had to double check my butterfly book to make sure it was one!! Ringlets are also on site in small numbers around the scrub areas.
Sunday afternoon saw a very different picture to the morning, the temperature had reached 29 degrees Celsius in the shade and when we walked the afternoon transect the site was deserted of visitors and butterflies. We were joking that everyone including the butterflies had gone in to watch either the Grand Prix, World Cup Football, Tennis or Cricket!!! A sport for every person to choose from there!! Who would the Swedish butterflies be supporting?
Anyway the site stayed very quiet all afternoon with very little on the wing, at around 4pm a few Large Blue’s could be found, mainly females egg laying. The only butterfly that increased in numbers in the afternoon was the Small Heath which could be seen all over. I have a feeling that Glastonbury festival may have affected our visitor numbers this weekend along with the sport fixtures.
I would like to stress that Large Blue numbers are still good at the moment and if you are thinking that you have left it too late this season then think again, if you visit over the next week then you should still get to see the Large Blue. I will let you know when numbers start to decline at a rapid rate, there are less on site than last Wednesday/Thursday but numbers are still good.
I hope to welcome you to Collard Hill over the coming week and be able to show you the wonders of the Large Blue and also Collard Hill itself.