Evening everyone, Christine reporting back from the volunteers on Collard Hill today. The morning started with rather overcast and cool conditions and consequently nothing much was flying. By about midday the first Large Blues of the day were reported, one individual very obligingly basking with open wings for nearly half an hour! Bright sunshine and warmth arrived by around 1pm, and many Large Blues were seen on the wing. Fourteen were recorded on the afternoon transect, with the Eastern Glade and main gravel track proving particularly good areas for sightings. It all went a little quiet mid-afternoon, fewer individuals being seen after 3.30pm, and the frantic activity that greeted the initial appearance of the sun.
The Large Blues seen today were in great condition, pristine individuals are continually emerging at this stage of the flight season, so it’s a brilliant time to visit and catch them looking their best. The weather over the next couple of days looks like a mixed bag, with sunny intervals predicted. Tuesday morning and early afternoon are likely to offer the best chance of seeing Large Blues tomorrow, as more (and very welcome) rain is forecast from mid-afternoon.
More Marbled Whites were seen today, and the first Ringlet of the year at Collard, continuing the trend of early emergence. If you are visiting the Hill in the next few days, be sure to look out for orchids as you pass through the meadows on the way from Ivythorn car-park to the entrance of Collard by the cross-roads. They are currently looking beautiful, with a myriad of Greater Butterfly, Common Spotted and Pyramidal orchid spikes appearing amongst the grasses, buttercups, Yellow Rattle, Hedge Woundwort and occasional Common Twayblade. We hope you can come and enjoy everything at Collard Hill soon!