Firstly, the flag is up for flight season 2016!
The weather was ever changing today. This morning there was 100% cloud cover, it was gloomy and damp with hardly any movement of wildlife to be seen. Then around 11am I saw my first butterfly of the day, I believe it was a Small Heath. The weather from then on picked up and at 1pm I recorded 50% cloud cover and around 30ºC on the Eastern Glades. This is mainly where I saw Small Heaths and Common Blues today (shown in the images below). Despite the weather, a Buzzard (I believe) was flying around noisily all day – I am yet to get a decent photograph of it!
These tiny butterflies look similar to Meadow Browns, due to the eye on the underside of the forewing (top wing) and they both have similar colours. However, with a little more attention to detail there are grey and cream colours on the hindwing (bottom wing) which the Meadow Brown do not have.
To tell apart the Common Blue and Large Blue can be quite difficult. However, the Common Blue has orange on both its upper and lower underwings, whereas the Large Blue has no orange colouring. When the butterfly opens it wings it becomes more clear to determine which is which; as the Large Blue has a bigger black border than the Common Blue and has distinctive black spots on the upperwings, which the Common Blue does not.
Come along to Collard Hill, stretch your legs, take in a breath of fresh air, and get ready to see an amazing view! Even when there are not many butterflies about there is always something interesting to look at on this site, so please do feel welcome to come along whenever you can and hopefully a NT team member will be able to greet you when you do.