Sunday 21 June 2009

Large Blue

This morning Bun and I went to Collard Hill in Somerset to see Large Blue butterflies. Up until yesterday I didn't realise that it was the reserve's ' Large Blue Open Day' today so we aimed to get there reasonably early to beat the rush. It was a good thing we did because when we left the car park was completely full. We got several good views of the butterflies, there were probably about eight on the wing in the small area of the hillside we covered. Most of them appeared to be quite old and faded but some new ones were emerging too. They were quite difficult to get close to, not stopping for more than a couple of seconds. A real treat to see for the first time and it's good to know that they have been seen on a couple more hillsides in the vicinity too. :-)

After leaving Collard Hill we had a good wander round at Meare Heath, Walton Heath etc. We heard the Little Bittern close by in the reeds but didn't fancy waiting several hours for another view! We also had a couple of flight views of Bittern, including a really good one right over the car park. Also a couple of Hobbies, and a superb male Marsh Harrier. We weren't lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Purple Heron that's still in the area though.

The first one I was able to photograph was this poor specimen, which was slightly impaired on the wing front.

That's more like it.

The female of this mating pair was seen to emerge just minutes before.

Mating pair of Marbled Whites.
I'd never seen the pale brown patterning on the females underwing before.

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