Yet another fabulous day with the Large Blues now really coming out in good numbers. This morning, we were on the lookout in my favourite butterfly- watching spot- to the left as you go down the grass steps. I’m pleased to report that thanks to the sun, we had a fantastic 12 sightings between around 9.00 and 11.00! Many were again quite flighty but we were able to move slowly and get up to about 1m from a resting LB without causing disturbance.
Not only this, but when the clouds came in and the LBs became slightly less active, I was joined by the experts Sarah Meredith and David Simcox and they showed us a Thyme flower bearing a tiny white Large Blue egg- the size of a pinhead (you can see it just to the bottom right of the pencil tip). Our next generation! The larva will burrow into the flowers and eat all parts of it for the first four instars, which lasts up to a couple of weeks, before dropping down to the ground and hopefully being adopted by a Red Ant (Myrmica sabuleti). I also captured a Small Tortoiseshell today but look forward to sharing many more photos of the wildflowers, caterpillars and Woolly Thistle we have here in my next post.
And our mascots for the day, Charlie dog and Backpack Grasshopper :)…
The forecast is looking gorgeous for our butterflies this weekend but let’s hope it doesn’t get too hot.
– Gabrielle, Volunteer Ranger