Thursday 1st July

Large Skipper nectaring on Field Scabious - Sarah Meredith

Evening all,

So where has June gone, last thing I knew it was the beginning of June and I was starting my Large Blue butterfly adventure. Now 4 weeks on the adventure is slowly coming to a close. It was difficult today to judge the numbers of Large Blue’s on the wing, there was a force 10 gale blowing across the site, or that is what it must have felt like for the butterflies. I saw Meadow Browns reach heights they never knew about today and other butterflies just giving up and letting the wind take them where ever it wanted!!  Others were clinging tightly to grass blades and bushes not daring to move. So as you can imagine the Large Blue’s were hiding, even in the sheltered areas of the site the wind had managed to penetrate, by the end of the day even I was getting annoyed by the wind, it just made everything hard work. Finding the butterfly, recording numbers on clipboards with paper blowing every where, walking along the top of the site anyway you get the picture. IT WAS WINDY!!!

Some Large Blue’s were seen today, with females still egg laying and even some fresh looking individuals. Most people who came onto site went away seeing one. The cloud meant that once found open wing shots were being obtained.

The skies above Collard Hill were also busy with bird activity, a huge amount of Swifts could be seen all day, the buzzard was soaring on the thermals, as was the Kestrel which could be seen at eye level absolutely stationary in the air. A number of gulls were passing through and a Red Kite was spotted early in the morning.

Kestrel Hovering over the eastern slope - Sarah Meredith

Six-spot Burnet moths are now out in force and a number of mating pairs were encountered across the site, and just as I was packing up for the day I spotted a male Ghost moth, I love these moths, their faces remind me of teddy bears, they look all fluffy and cute.

Male Ghost moth (cute) - Sarah Meredith

Mating pair of Six-spot Burnet - Sarah Meredith

I feel that if the wind had calmed down today then we would have seen more Large Blue’s then we did, numbers are decreasing but not as rapidly as it looked like that had today. If tomorrow is calmer and sunnier then hopefully the true picture will be seen.

I am having to move accommodation tomorrow until Monday and unsure whether internet connection will be possible. I hope to be able to update the blog over the weekend but if not sorry.

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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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