Hello to all those planning a visit to Collard Hill this Sunday (tomorrow),
First, some practical things; we had scorching weather today, reaching 25 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. This was ideal in the morning and my first transect of the day counted 9 Large Blues (when I say that I mean a ‘butterfly count’ that I carry out in the morning and afternoon to get a scientific idea of the Large Blue population size). A record for this year!
However, for rangers and visitors spending all day in an exposed site, I’d recommend arriving before 11 o clock tomorrow when the temperature is under 24 degrees (highs of 27 in the afternoon). As well as this, arriving early may be better for butterfly watching as the wind is forecast to pick up after 3pm. Make sure you’re bringing plenty of water… and a sunhat!
Secondly, our Large Blues need steep, south- facing slopes to thrive, so please be aware that there are sections in the site that may be difficult for some to access. There are signs which point to the more gentle slopes and I’ll be about to assist as well.
I’ve previously mentioned the area at the bottom of the grass steps as being particularly good for Large Blue spotting, but today they were seen across the site- not only in sheltered areas. Altogether I’d say I saw around 24 today, so the numbers just keep on picking up as the days go on. We are estimating that numbers will peak in the next few days to a week, and then start to tail off around mid- July.
There has been so much to see today so I’ll share some photos I’ve taken below.
Don’t miss out on the gorgeous orchid meadow near Ivythorn car park.
Self- heal, or Prunella vulgaris, gets its name for its historical use in medicine around the world. Not only that, but bees and butterflies love it too.
I look forward to meeting you all!
– Gabrielle, Volunteer ranger