Another scorching day!

Hello all,

Another beautiful but boiling day up at Collard Hill. As mentioned, in this weather, it’s seeming like the Large Blues are showing up the most between 9.00 and 11.00 when it’s not too hot. I was delighted to see over 30 LBs before noon alone, including the 16 tallied in my butterfly transect. Visitors reported seeing an egg- laying female and yet another mating pair, so the population is looking like it could be very healthy for next year at the moment! Last year had a record number of LBs so let’s hope that the sightings keep going up as we get into the peak of their flight period.

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Despite their name, Large Blues aren’t actually that large! Their wingspan gets up to only about 44mm (1.7 in)

Also, I’m excited to announce that the Hummingbird hawk- moths have arrived! I was lucky enough to spot their unmistakable flight and orange tinge this morning close to the path before it buzzed away too quickly for me to grab a photo.

There is so much to see at Collard right now, because I’m also challenging myself to get a photo of a very large and very bright blue dragonfly- any dragonfly experts predict which species that could be from the above description? (My dragonfly identification is beginners to say the least). I was slightly saddened to hear a visitor share that they saw this dragonfly make a meal of a Marbled White in flight. Poor thing. But they are out now in good numbers for anyone wanting a photo of the butterfly as they are all looking quite pristine!

Again, tomorrow is set to be even hotter, reaching 28 degrees by the middle of the day, so perhaps try to get on- site around 9.00/ 10.00 if you’re planning a visit tomorrow and do take some time in the shade. (Coming from a very tactical ranger that has spent a good portion of the day butterfly-watching with binoculars under the safety of a large tree!)

Here are some more recent additions to our wildlife:

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Burnet moth

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Common Centaury. According to the myth by the ancient Roman writer Pliny the elder, this medicinal herb got its name when a Centaur, half human half horse, used it to heal from a Hydra attack!

I’ll be off site until Wednesday again but feel free to call the Large Blue hotline on 07824820193 if you have any questions or LB news!

Gabrielle- Volunteer Ranger

Common Centaury information and folklore:

https://www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/species/centaury

http://www.redshoot-campingpark.com/story-common-centuary/

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2 thoughts on “Another scorching day!

  1. Male Broad bodied Chaser or Emperor Dragonfly would be guess on Dragonfly. Though Emperor is more often over water.

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