Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Collard Hill

Collard Hill

I am visiting Collard Hill in the hope of seeing a Large Blue. It's a bit late in the day, but still quite warm so perhaps it's possible. You park outside the nearby Youth Hostel and walk along a track marked with blue posts towards the hill itself. There are lovely grassy areas immediately by the path and within moments I spot this Bee Orchid, so at least there will be something to photograph! I seem to be taking many more flowers than butterflies at the moment!

Off to the left I notice that a desire path has been beaten to a gate on the left. I go to investigate and am delighted to see this great view across to Glastonbury Tor.

The path now goes through a wooded area to emerge in a larger flower meadow where there are simply loads of Common Spotted and Pyramidal orchids. This Pyramidal was just pristine.

At the end of the path you cross the surprisingly busy B3151 and enter the reserve through a gate. You walk uphill and walk along the top of the hill with it sloping steeply down to the right. There is a meadow to the left.

I walked along the top path to the end of the reserve. It was cooler now and very windy, so I wasn't surprised to find no butterflies on the wing. At the end of this section you can see the top of the Butleigh Monument on nearby Windmill Hill (a monument to Admiral Sir Samuel Hood). This is the view back along the slope of Collard Hill.

I followed a path along the lower part of the hillside and continued to see nothing moving, although I did startle a pair of Green Woodpeckers who had landed on the track, clearly thinking that everyone had gone home.

As I retraced my steps back to the car park through the flower meadow however I did begin to see a few Meadow Browns, including this one taking nectar from a Pyramidal orchid. A nice note to end on. I'll have to come back on a better day!

Conditions: mostly cloudy and becoming cool.

Distance: a couple of miles.

Rating: three and a half stars.

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