Evening everyone, Christine here after another incredibly windswept day on Collard Hill. I arrived on site to find the first few visitors who had ventured out getting a couple of Large Blue sightings near the bottom of the Eastern Glade. I came across one roosting individual above the main track this morning, but that was the only Large Blue seen on the upper slopes as they were blasted by wind today. The wind did not deter our resident Kestrel, and today also saw a Hobby visiting the skies above the hill.
The morning was interrupted by some very heavy showers which continued in the afternoon, and we were unable to complete a transect in the ten minute bursts of sun we saw throughout the day. Those brief sunny spells were enough to get a few Blues flying, and our persistent visitors were rewarded with some open wing shots and very close up views of sleepy butterflies. Over the course of the day there must have been at least ten sightings, impressive considering the unfavourably windy conditions.
Sarah Meredith, the Large Blue warden in 2010 was on site briefly today, and we saw four Large Blues flying in the Quarry in a fleeting moment of sun. They are there, just waiting to come out! As are the Six-spot Burnet moths, the pupae of which can be seen on grass stems across the site. Tomorrow is the Large Blue Butterfly Day at Collard, and several rangers will be on site to talk all things large and blue. The weather is forecast to bring sun tomorrow, and we expect peak numbers of Large Blues to be flying in the next few days. It should be a great day and we hope to see many of you there!