My annual trip to the National Trust’s Collards Hill nature reserve to photograph the extremely rare large blue butterfly. I did not know what to expect as the trust had not been running their large blue butterfly blog this year.
The first thing I noticed was how much longer the grass was compared to previous years. Then I realised that there was no volunteers helping out. Perhaps the pandemic had forced a change to the reserve’s management plan. That is completely understandable.
The first butterfly I spotted was the very common meadow brown.
It is important not to overlook the common species.
Next I stumbled across this emperor dragonfly who was clearly not overlooking the more common butterflies.
Bumblebees enjoyed the thistles.
Then, I spotted my first large blue. Waving around on a floppy bit of grass. Really difficult to photograph!
After a couple of hours my luck changed. This mating pair had other things on their minds, so they ignored me completely.
Some the large blues must have been around for several weeks. This one had lost around half a wing.