Sunday, 30 March 2014

Cemetery Bugs

There is a large cemetery nearby and today me youngest daughter came with me and decided to have a bug safari. It was the first visit in the year that I have taken many more invertebrate than bird photos.
A pine Ladybird on orange lichen, Xanthoria parietina 
A group of the blind millipede Blaniulus guttulatus, with Porcellio scaber and a while slug under a piece of wood
A colourful cluster of Harlequin ladybirds appeared to have emerged from a crack in a damaged tree and some were flying off
Peacock sunbathing
A carpet of Lesser Celandines
Flowering Willow
Harlequins and Amaurobius (with nests?) under broken headstone.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Flies and bees

The morning started chilly, but when the sun appeared in the middle of the day I peeked out of the conservatory and saw a male Anthophora plumipes, the first of the year, stopping on a stone by the rosemary to sunbathe. It patrolled the garden and briefly settled to feed on the lungwort. I watched another male in a front garden in my street later in the day.
Male A. plumipes feeding on Pulmonaria officinalis.
A bit of hovering...
...and a bit of basking.
  On a south-facing Clematis montana in bloom I found a couple of honeybees and a hoverfly, Syrphus ribesii (top shot).
And in my local wildlife garden, a queen Buff-tailed bumblebee searched for a nest site.
It is the start of the bee season and I shall take my macro camera with me from now on in my outings.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

March already

March always takes me by surprise. I realised today that the end of winter is within sight, and it hasn't really felt like a proper winter, as it has been very mild, with a scattering of frosts, although very windy and overcast. With the sun out today, a dronefly Eristalis tenax stirred up and alternatively visited the Laurustinus on the shade and sunbathed in the wall opposite. A pack of young wolf spiders enjoyed the sun too. I wandered around and realised the garden is ready for my favouring early spring invertebrate, Anthophora plumipes, the hairy footed flower bee. Males should be appearing by the end of this week, weather permitting. I photographed their favourite flowers at bee-eye view. I hope they don't make me wait too long.
Pardosa sp wolf spider sunbathing
White dead-nettle
Narcissus tete-a-tete