Hi everyone, Christine here, with a report from our volunteer at Collard today. The sun came out this morning and for the first time in a few days the hill was busy with Blues and people. It was another breezy day, so although the butterflies were out and flying, the upper slopes were quieter with activity focused on the calmer and warmer lower areas of Collard. By around 8.30 two Large Blues had already been sighted near the main track, which continued to see Blues flying throughout the day.
The morning transect saw about a dozen butterflies recorded, the afternoon route eight or so. The Quarry area of the site was particularly good for Large Blue sightings today, especially during the morning. The lower slope of the Eastern Glade also remained a good area, with more sightings during the afternoon. The bright sun today did mean that although there was lots of Large Blue activity, it was trickier for visitors to get open-wing shots like the one below. I hope some of you managed it!
Dave Simcox, one of our experts on the Large Blue and Sarah Meredith, the Large Blue Ranger from last year were also at Collard today, and noticed how much more Wild Thyme is in flower on the slopes. The last week of rain and sun seems to have had the effect we’ve been hoping for, and has helped push the Thyme forward, providing more egg laying and nectaring opportunities for the butterflies. The next few days may be a little unsettled, but the Blues should be flying in any sunny spells, Painted Ladies continue to be seen at Collard, and the hill is starting to bloom, so do come and visit soon.