Lots going on at Collard Hill today and lots to announce. First, we have yet another butterfly species now in the mix and that is one of our first Gatekeepers of the year. It was just spotted resting on the grass of all places, and to add to the surprise, there was a Red Admiral hanging out just a metre away.
There were other moments of joy; though my transects only came up with 3 Large Blue sightings between them with the cloudy conditions, sunny and bright spells brought out some open- winged and attention seeking Large Blues (the best kind!).
We even managed to spot a closed winged LB sheltering from the drizzle in the grass. Like a few others today, it looked like it was coming to the end of its short time as an adult with a less vibrant wing colour and less well- defined white border.
On the other end of the life cycle, I was fascinated to hear some very observant visitors report seeing an ant carrying a grub; what could only have been a Large Blue caterpillar! I’ve never been lucky enough to see this extraordinary behaviour myself and I’m fascinated by how the Large Blue caterpillar can mimic the behaviour and chemistry of an ant grub enough to deceive the ant into thinking it’s one of its own. And not only this, but survive in the nest after making a meal of the young ant grubs!
If you’re planning a visit, I’d say it’s worth coming in the next week before the Large Blue flight period starts to tail off, because the last couple of years saw their reign ending early- mid July! With that said, it is National Meadows Day Saturday 1st July so that will be a perfect day to head up for a day of fun at Collard Hill (link below to find out more).
Lastly, I’d like to thank John Samways again for the gift that was his lovely book called ‘God’s fingertips’. Here is an extract where he quotes Jeffrey Glassberg:
“Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.”
See you soon!
National Meadows Day info: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/6179b711-7ba2-4254-a8fe-98a6e353ec99/pages/details