Large Blue update – 22nd June

Hi all,

Today marked the end of the 30 degree highs and hot sun and I can’t say the cloud and cooler weather wasn’t welcome! Perhaps for this reason it was also fairly quiet in terms of visitor numbers. However that meant I was able to speak at length to many natural history experts with fascinating insights into, for example, the rich diversity of grass species we have in Collard Hill’s calcareous grassland. Did you know there are 150 grass species in the UK? Here are some lovely new floral additions to our wildflower mix;

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A Dwarf thistle flower among a sea of yellow!

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Field scabious

Today it took a little more searching for our Large Blues, but when found they were much more docile, often landing for longer and tending to open their wings more. We found a rather battered looking one that we think is coming to the end of its week- long life as an adult:

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Battered Large Blue!

This morning and afternoon I also stationed myself around the slope near the pine trees (closest to the Ivythorn car park entrance) called the ‘quarry’ for some time as it has been a hotspot for the LBs in recent years. Notably, although I often see one or two in that area during a transect, it seems not to be the best spot this year. Many more were seen fluttering about in the scrub between the bench and the path marked as the ‘gentler slope’ and this is becoming a usual place for them. If you see me on site I will be able to show you exactly where I mean.

Tomorrow is set to be a mix of thick cloud until the afternoon when intermittent sun is expected. So, I look forward to intermittent butterfly spells to come with it, if the wind doesn’t blow too strong.

-Gabrielle

P.s. Not the best photo but I was too curious about what species this tiny moth is:

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Mystery Moth. EDIT: Mint Moth

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Large Blue update – 22nd June

  1. Hi Gabrielle,
    The mystery moth could be a Mint Moth? Funnily enough i was looking at some moth pics the other day and saw a pic of one and thought it was really pretty. There’s some info on Butterfly Conservation page. Says they like Thyme so i guess that might fit ๐Ÿ™‚
    Loving reading your blog…thanks so much. Not sure if i’ll be able to get there this year to see them. Still hopeful though. Any Bee Orchids this year?

    • Hi Janette, ah a mint moth thank you. Our thyme seems to be enjoyed by a wide variety of species- not just the large blues! Unforunatley we have had a single bee orchid which is in the middle of flowering again but no wasp or hybrids to be seen this year!

      • Ohhh what a shame….they are such pretty orchids. Was lovely to see them last year – hadn’t seen them before. Maybe we’ll be surprised next year ๐Ÿ™‚

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