- Last flying individuals (Pete) – Sarah Meredith
Tuesday saw my last day on the hill, Collard Hill has gained a place in my heart, the amazing views different each day, the flora and fauna also changing each day and of course the visitors make Collard Hill a very special place. Add the special story of the Large Blue and you get a very magical place.
The Large Blue’s were still flying on Tuesday in even more reduced numbers, I saw 2 individuals over the day, Pete was flying around the quarry and Flo was flying around the main track, we decided to name the last 2 individuals (Yes we have gone mad!!). Both looking worn, but still great to see, this flight season is turning into the longest flight season since the re-introduction in 2000.
Today saw me number crunching and entering all the collected data, I am very pleased to say that the Large Blue is up 50% on last year, we estimate there to have been 1240 individuals over the season. Visitor numbers are also up this year once again but the site has coped very well with pressure. With the Large Blue flying across the whole site now people have been dispersing well across the whole site. So the success story of Collard Hill continues.
As promised below is a picture of a caterpillar on Wild Thyme, an amazing sight and a real privilege to find and see. Some caterpillars have already finished their time on the Wild Thyme and have dropped down ready to be taken underground by the ants.
Large Blue caterpillar - Sarah Meredith
As you can see the caterpillar is very well camouflaged against the Wild Thyme flower and is very cute like the butterfly. They are also very difficult to take a picture of, they don’t stay still (like the adults), they hide behind the florets and they are tiny!! But I wanted to try to show you all the delight that I got to see.
Well I suppose it is time for me to say goodbye. 😦 all very sad really, but not only a goodbye but a big thank you to all who have visited Collard Hill over the past month and for all the positive comments I have had about the blog and we have had about the site. The Large Blue adventure has finished for another year but I still have a little part to play in the future adventure. Watch this space, I might be able to tell you about that adventure over the coming week!!
I also want to say a huge thank you to Rob Holden for letting me experience the Large Blue adventure and the wonders of Collard Hill. The adventure for the adult butterflies may be over, but now it is time for the eggs and caterpillars to have their adventure and to ensure the next generation flourishes.
A stunning female Large Blue - Sarah Meredith
GOODBYE AND THANK YOU!!