Thursday 30th June – End of season sun

Hi everyone, Christine here after another sunny day at Collard. It started off rather slowly, neither I nor Ken, the volunteer on site with me today, seeing a single Large Blue until around 10.30am. Now that numbers flying are falling, it’s definitely taking a little bit longer to get our first sightings of the day. We did however, see some very nice, crisp individuals in addition to those looking a bit battered, so we think there will continue to be Blues flying over the next couple of days.

Sunning itself on clover - Christine Tansey June 2011

After the slow start butterfly activity picked up, and I recorded 6 on the morning transect, four fluttering around the bottom of the Eastern glade and two on what was to become the best spot of the day; the main gravel track. The afternoon transect picked up two Large Blues, again on the track and in the Eastern glade. I also saw two Silver Y moths in the morning, but couldn’t get a picture as they flitted around. Instead here is a photo taken at Ham Wall on Tuesday, so do keep your eyes open for this immigrant moth. Flying Six-spot Burnet moths are also on the increase, watch out for the characteristic glimpse of red as they buzz past.

A Silver Y at Ham Wall NNR - Christine Tansey June 2011

The weather continued to be fine all afternoon, but a cool breeze again meant visitors got most sightings lower down Collard’s slopes or in sheltered pockets. The bank above the main track and further towards the meadow at its foot were excellent for sightings, but again, nothing was reported from the Quarry. Visitors did get sightings of an Elephant Hawkmoth and Hummingbird Hawkmoth today, while I believe I scared off a fox first thing, appearing over the horizon in my bright orange shirt!

Throughout the day I had 15-20 Large Blue sightings, and I think most visitors managed to see what they came for. The season is definitely tailing off however so please keep checking back here for updates on numbers. If you venture out to Collard do enjoy these last sunny days of the flight period. Thanks today to Richard Roebuck and Geoff Bathe for some more great pictures of what can be found at Collard.

A rather battered Large Blue - Richard Roebuck June 2011

Six-spot Burnet Moth Caterpillar - Geoff Bathe June 2011

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