Tuesday 7th June – Patchy rain and Patience

Hello all, Christine here after another day away from the hill. Reports from our dedicated volunteers in the field today tell a tale of very patchy weather having a big influence on the butterflies. Rain showers hit the hill on and off throughout the day, and a rather cool wind was blowing quite strongly over the site, only the more sheltered areas at the bottom of the Eastern Glade and Quarry escaping it. Visitors from near and as far away as Sussex and the West Midlands stuck it out however, and their patience was rewarded by some good photographs, including open wing shots of some lethargic Large Blues.

A Large Blue basking with open wings - Stewart Canham 2006

Two individuals were recorded on each of our transects today, which were conducted in less than ideal conditions. Altogether around nine Large Blues were seen across site, the sightings concentrated in the sheltered areas of the bottom of the Eastern Glade, the main gravel track and the Quarry area. A few more Marbled Whites and Large Skippers were flying, but the weather conditions affected all butterflies today, and Collard was quiet by late afternoon.

Common Centaury - Christine Tansey June 2011

The weather forecast for Wednesday 8th is for some more persistent rain throughout the day, and consequently the butterflies are unlikely to be active. We expect weather conditions to improve by Thursday and hopefully more Large Blues will be flying at Collard. The rain this week should benefit the Myrmica sabuleti ants and Wild Thyme, not to mention the other parched flora of the hill. Common Centaury and Yellow Wort are coming into flower, and Collard’s slopes should soon be flushed with fresh colour, ready for your visit.

Yellow-wort - Christine Tansey June 2011

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