Morning everyone, Christine here, reporting from Rob Holden who had a very changeable time at Collard yesterday. The weather forecast had suggested some more sun but alas it was not to last, and the swiftly changing weather dictated Large Blue activity for the day. The morning started with some bright sunshine and it was already very warm by 9am. Some early visitors had successful sightings, with most activity in the Eastern glade. By 9.45ish the cloud had returned and the overcast conditions and some rain between around 10-12pm led to little butterfly activity.
An earlyish morning transect managed to record 3 Large Blues, but with the rapidly changing weather throughout the day, it was difficult to complete a transect walk in good conditions. From around 1pm, some brighter spells visited the hill, and more Large Blues were flying. There were 4-5 individuals around the Eastern glade, 3-4 in the Quarry and another few in between areas. The afternoon transect picked up 2 Large Blues towards 3pm. It remained warm in the cloudy conditions, but the day was certainly characterised by some frustration at the weather!
It remains unclear how long the flight season will continue. With the large population at Collard it is possible the emergence has been staggered over a longer time period, starting early at the end of May. The weather throughout the season will also have influenced the Large Blues, with recent conditions prolonging the life of individual butterflies. There is certainly potential for the flight period to continue a bit longer, but to optimise your chance of seeing Large Blues this year do visit sooner rather than later! Thanks today to Colin Baker, for his lovely pictures taken at Collard earlier this season.