I am sorry to say that it seems as though the recent bout of rain has had little effect on the numbers of Large Blues out on Collard. Today’s fairly dreary start gave way to a brilliant day, sunny spells with frequent punctuation by clouds. General butterfly activity across the site was pretty good, with Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns in abundance followed by Small Tortoiseshells who were performing their amazing mating rituals.
Today we had only three sitings of Large Blues across the whole site, (with a hefty number of eyes searching). I only personally saw one today and I can’t believe this tatty old thing was still flying!
The six-spot Burnet moths have really come out today. I’ve been waiting to see an increase in their numbers for some time now, as pretty much anywhere you look you can see their chrysalises on grass stalks. It’s a pretty wonderful sight to see them in such great abundance.
My personal highlight of the day has to be finding this Great Green Bush-Cricket. I have to admit I had no idea these things even existed and man oh man are they something to behold. This one was literally nearly 2 inches long. These guys seem way too big to be found in the British Isles. (Sorry the picture isn’t too great I was actually pretty terrified of this thing and I’m not even ashamed to admit it)
I also really really enjoyed seeing a flock of around 15 Goldfinches making their way noisily across the scrub today. Such a charming and colourful little bird. Aside from this, I’m still working on trying to photographically catalog all of Collard Hill’s wildflowers, which is a nice little side project (and may be a future blog post if I can ever complete it!)
So, definitely not great news on the Large Blue front, but Collard is still very much holding its own as a fantastic place to be.
Thanks for reading & stay tuned!
Jono, The Large Blue Ranger.
P.S. This past week I’ve been working closely with a young volunteer by the name of William, who many of you may have met on your travels to Collard. It was an absolute pleasure and I’d like to direct you to his astounding UK Butterflies personal diary for some excellent words about and photographs from Collard Hill.