Large Blue update- 24th June

Hi all,

This morning I didn’t get on site until 11am, after the drizzle had largely passed, and I ran into a team who were just as eager to check on the Large Blues as I was. Even though it was overcast and I joked that the weather forecast should never be trusted (afternoon rain had been on the cards, yet here we were in our waterproofs before noon!) it was still wonderful to see the grass covered in dew again after such a hot spell.

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The clouds were ever- present but bright today

As luck would have it, it wasn’t long after we set off in search that one was spotted on the path in front of us. Despite the lack of sun, conditions were calm and warm at 20 degrees and my morning transect produced 6 sightings of the Large Blues around the usual Eastern Glade and on the hills next to the ‘gentler slope’ (signed). The afternoon was slightly more quiet as they took shelter in the scrub and grass, but altogether I was graced with the presence of around 12 Large Blues today. Bring on the sunny spells!

Here are some photos I took today… I’m happy to say that Ringlets are really coming out in number recently, and I’ve frequently seen them around the bramble, landing with their velvety wings wide open.

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Ringlet

 

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Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae)

I remember studying Cinnabar moths recently because they are an example of herbivores utilising the poison in their foodplants to then make themselves poisonous to their predators such as birds. The Cinnabar moth feeds on toxic Ragwort as a caterpillar, and has evolved to sequester the poisonous alkaloids into a defense mechanism at their adult stage, hence their bright red warning colour.

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Spectacularly large Woolly thistle flower

I look forward to seeing you soon

-Gabrielle

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