Friday 10th June – Roosting and Thunder

Evening everyone, Christine here after a day cut short by thunder and lightning at Collard! The morning started promisingly, with lighter cloud and blue sky visible. It was a cool start however, and the first butterfly of the day was not very active, in fact, it was caught up in a spider’s web, and may never have made it to the air.  From around 10am, visitors started seeing Large Blues, often roosting on long grass and several freshly emerged individuals were seen at the bottom of the Eastern Glade and along the scrub line above the main gravel path. Several Large Blues remained in the same place for over an hour, providing good opportunities for pictures.

Caught in a web - Christine Tansey June 2011

Fresh female - Christine Tansey June 2011

Four individuals were flying on the morning transect, and a flash of blue amongst the grass turned out to be another dead Large Blue, this time crumpled up like messy sheets. It looked like something had gone wrong during its emergence and never managed to inflate its wings. The rest of the morning saw plenty of Large Blue activity, with visitors typically seeing 3-5 individuals. The slope above the main gravel path was a brilliant spot today, with the only mating pair of the day seen up there.

Several Painted Ladies were reported on sight today, and many visitors got the chance to visit our Wasp orchids. We’ve marked the area where they are with some large branches, but there are several more spikes scattered over the surrounding area, and if you’re planning a visit do watch your feet when looking for them! I also came across a very hairy black and orange caterpillar which I think belongs to the Yellow-tail moth, they’re known to irritate the skin to if you come across one avoid those hairs.

Yellow-tail moth caterpillar - Christine Tansey June 2011

Our afternoon transect got rained off in a rather a dramatic fashion, as we watched the sky turn deep purple and a heavy band of rain appeared. When the thunder and lightning started we took the decision to retreat, and left Collard at 3, leaving the rain to replenish the slopes. More rain and sunny spells are expected over the weekend, so hopefully when you visit the Thyme will be blooming! Some more beautiful shots to share today, this time from Neil Hulme, the open wing shot achieved at the end of two very sunny days last week, thanks Neil.

Open wings - Neil Hulme June 2011

Large Blues mating - Neil Hulme June 2011

Large Blue perching - Neil Hulme June 2011

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2 thoughts on “Friday 10th June – Roosting and Thunder

  1. Many thanks to the rangers for making our visit on Friday morning enjoyable and productive. I have a photo or two which you may be interested in, but obviously am missing something as I cannot find details of how to send them to you!

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