Large Blue Report – 19th June

Absolutely SCORCHING day up on the hill today – I don’t think I saw a single cloud in the sky until 5 o’clock. This weather made for a fairly unusual day at Collard. We had a generally active morning with everything going quiet from about 12 o’clock until gone 3 o’clock. Everything needed a good rest today.

We had a few sightings of LBs today, mainly in the upper slopes of the eastern glade (for females) and above the quarry (for males). Visitor sightings numbered at around 8-10.
The really interesting find came at around 1 o’clock. A visitor found a female laying eggs but it was behaving very strangely; extremely immobile, reluctant to fly, and accepting of people getting relatively close to it. This female stayed around the same area of the site from 1 o’clock onwards. Luckily this meant very very few visitors came to the site today who didn’t get to see a Large Blue!

Although her behavior seemed odd, (occasionally she would fall from flowers and take a long time to get comfortable) it is fairly normal for butterflies to react to exhaustion this way. Exhaustion is brought on by extremely hot weather with little cloud cover, in combination with the exertion of mating and laying eggs – extremely energy intensive activities.
It is however, very rare to find a butterfly in this condition, as when they are resting on grass stalks they are fairly well camouflaged.

This was probably the most obliging subject anyone will have at Collard for the foreseeable future (she still never opened her wings though!).

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This beautiful obliging subject nectared on this Pyramidal orchid for in excess of 20 minutes.

In other news;

Good numbers of Marbled Whites are starting to emerge and they’re still really fresh and crisp – a beautiful sight. Photographing these is hilariously difficult.

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I’ve spotted a few newly flowering vegetation species out on the site recently!

 

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Restharrow – will soon be easily spotted along the lower slopes of the site where it’s quite abundant

 

 

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Field Scabious – A wonderful flower with a really eye-catching ethereal colour to it.

The Lesser & Common Century are also really starting to come into their own – Lesser grows in much shorter denser patches, and is just a really nice little pink flower.

Thanks for reading everybody!

Jono – The Large Blue Ranger

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