Wednesday 6th July – Butterflies vs Wind

Evening all, Christine here after a return to blustery conditions on Collard Hill. The morning started with some optimistic glimpses of sunshine that were to disappear frequently as high winds blew cloud and showers our way. I had a wander down to the bottom of the Eastern glade and to my surprise saw a beautifully crisp Large Blue displaying its upper wings to us at around 10.15am. I also saw my first Speckled Woods on site, twirling and whirling around one another. It was a morning of bright butterflies as several Red Admirals and a Small Tortoiseshell also visited the hill, but activity dropped off as the sun disappeared.

Small Tortoiseshell basking - Christine Tansey July 2011

A very few brave visitors scoured Collard, but didn’t seem to have much success after that early sighting. The morning transect didn’t pick up any Large Blues, but the first fresh Common Blues made an appearance in the Lynchets area. The wind continued to pick up and by the afternoon transect only the hardiest Meadow Browns seemed to be flying. So you can imagine my surprise when I had another Large Blue sighting, at the end of the Lynchets by the Eastern glade. I suspect it was the same rather fresh individual from the morning, and two more hopeful visitors managed to get a good sighting as it settled down.

The rest of the day passed in very windy conditions and more waves of rain. It looks like the changeable weather will continue and any straggling Large Blues will continue to be difficult to see. We hope to get some estimates of numbers flying this year shortly, as the annual egg count will be undertaken in the coming days. Let’s hope that in June’s sunny spells our Large Blues managed to get the job done and were successful in laying plenty of eggs!

Large Blue taking an afternoon nap - Christine Tansey July 2011


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