Collard Hill update

Hi everyone,

Our recent run of perfect weather continued today with abundant sun and a beautiful warm breeze. I must share the view of the Somerset levels from my office -aka the shade under the oak tree…

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It’s a hard life.

It’s a hive of activity around the bramble bushes, as the solitary bees increasingly join the Bumblebees in the pollinator scene.

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And the butterfly species composition really is starting to change in favour of the Gatekeepers, with their flashes of orange around the hedges, and the second brood of Whites, with their graceful ‘flapping’ flight to and from the tree tops. Peacocks are also coming in to their own now the July offspring have emerged!

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The eye- catching design on the Peacock’s wings are designed to warn away predators

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Plant newcomer: this creeping plant, Restharrow, has recently flowered in large number. It is typical of limestone grasslands.

Large Blues really seem to be coming to the end of their flight season as we reach the second day without a sighting. I’ve got a case of the Blue blues with such a drop in number, but it’s important to remember that they’re not gone! Indeed, a new generation (the 17th for Collard!) will be munching away at the Thyme right now in the form of caterpillars, ready to hit their fourth instar and be adopted by our hidden heroes, the red ants!

In the meantime, I shall continue my monitoring and carrying out my morning and afternoon transects as usual. Updates on this blog may become less frequent but I’ll be continuing to photograph all the ever-changing and diverse natural life we have at Collard to share with you all!

See you soon,

Gabrielle, Volunteer ranger

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