What a really great day!
I have had my fingers crossed all week for decent weather today; it was our annual open day at Collard Hill.
Turning up first thing, three Blues had already made their appearance with eager photographers taking piccys in the morning sun. Myself and Ian firstly had to pass the few ponies on the hill. For some reason, one of the ponies had taken a liking to Ian (Head Ranger) and decided that he was going to use Ian as a scratching post. Now, I understand cats use people sometimes as scratching posts but PONIES! Ian soon found himself between a gate and the pony – it really was quite funny!
We had the pleasure today of being joined by Matthew Oates who has been heavily involved with the project. To begin with, we both had a wander down the eastern Glade and he took a pair of nail scissors – yep, nail scissors. I did wonder at the time why but very soon found out.
Turns out, a Marbled White had just emerged; and Matthew used the scissors to cut away the grass from where it had emerged to find the pupa it had just come from. Disappointingly, we didn’t find it but in the mean time, we had a mating pair of Large Blues who mated for a record time of 56 minutes! They usually only mate for around 40 minutes (ish).
I think I saw about 15 Blues in total during the day which was great and I saw my First Marbled White – they are so pretty. I even had the chance to have a look at the Large Blues Eggs, they really are tiny, and to begin with, I thought it was just a tiny rain drop.
Early Afternoon, I went around with Matthew to remove the tall grass from around the Thyme as this gets in the way of the Large Blue female who will be laying her eggs their during the season. There are now posters around the site explaining this small but very important job. Take a look at one next time your over at Collard.
Hayley – Ranger for the Mendip and Polden Hills