Report on this morning’s sightings (Thurs 21st) but rained off this afternoon.

Hi all,

Apologies if you went to Collard today and didn’t see a ranger as myself and Barry retreated from Collard due to the rain this afternoon. I have had the chance to upload some of the visitors’ photos that have been sent in though.

This mornings sunshine brought out between 6 and 9 individual Large Blues. The ones I saw were looking pretty bedraggled after last nights rain but Barry saw  one looking in more pristine condition. As well as in the usual places (behind the blue roped area we call the Eastern Glade or in the quarry area) I saw one flying on the slope above the oak tree alongside a Marbled white. If you intend to visit, tomorrows forecast looks a bit better.

Lottie-LB ranger

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2 thoughts on “Report on this morning’s sightings (Thurs 21st) but rained off this afternoon.

  1. On Tuesday 19th June, my wife and I visited Collard Hill to see the colony of large blues. The weather was warm and sunny, and there were many large blues on the wing. I saw several settled, and managed to get one acceptable photograph but did not see a single one with its wings open. Evidently slightly cooler weather is necessary which encourages them to gain warmth from having opened wings. However, this was the first time I had seen large blues anywhere in the world, so I was well pleased. We also visited the wasp orchid site, and while there a male adonis blue flew past. I saw it for perhaps a couple of seconds, and it wasn’t until it had gone that the importance of the sighting struck me. I mentioned it to another visitor who said he thought he had seen one the previous day at the same spot. Evidently Adonis blues are scarcer at Collard than Large Blues, so it was particularly nice to see.

    I would like to say just how much I appreciate and applaud what the National Trust is doing at Collard Hill. There are a considerable number of people who appreciate the opportunity of seeing beautiful and rare wildlife. The “politically correct” attitude of many that wildlife and the public cannot mix is counter productive. Human nature is such that people will not support things when they get nothing out of it for themselves. I am afraid the altruistic support for wildlife will never be as great unless sites like Collard Hill are available. Collard Hill can be considered as the butterfly equivalent of Loch Garten for the ospreys. In fact, a degree of disturbance in many habitats is positively beneficial. I am a freelance ecologist, and when I suggested that playing paint ball games in woodland overgrown with bramble, holly and regeneration might be beneficial, local politically correct members of the county wildlife trust laughed with derision.

    Many years ago, I was very grateful to Matthew Oates for showing me Duke of Burgundy Fritillaries on Noar Hill in Hampshire. This is something I have never forgotten, and I still value the photographs I made on that day. Perhaps I could be remembered to him.

    With best wishes

    Simon Davey

    • Simon,
      Thank you for such positive words concerning our work at Collard and the news of an Adonis on site. There have been sightings in previous years although I have not seen any as yet- although this may be as I have been unlucky to be working during the bad weather!
      It is a good point about thebenefits of some disturbance as the Wild thyme -which the butterfly requires- benefits from bare patches of ground created by the livestock on site, so the visiting public no doubt add to this.
      I shall remember yout o Matthew Oates when I next see him.
      If you would like to send your photograph to us (collard.hill@gmail.com) I shall post it on here.
      Lottie

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