Misty start and then sunny, if a bit cool, day today. After finally getting Comfrey (Symphitum officinale) in the garden centre this Easter, I think I have completed my Anthophora plumipes garden. To prove the point, a female fed successively on Tree Germander (Teucrium fruticans), Primroses (Primula vulgaris), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Lithodora diffusa. The Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) are almost spent now but the rest of plants are starting to flower in earnest. The Primroses (from wild seed) were only plug plants a couple of weeks ago and are now flowering. The patch of Cowslip (Primula veris) under the fig is blooming non-stop and it seems to be a favourite. Maybe the cooler days we are having are a bonus for the female Anthophora, as the males prefer to fly in warmer weather. As soon as the sun appeared this morning a female was feeding out, not bothered by males. I managed to get a few shots of her when feeding on the Tree Germander. I guess that the species in this area is more limited by food plants than by nesting sites. Given the abundance of Victorian buildings, with lime based mortar nesting sites should be plenty.
A. plumipes female hovering on Tree Germander
I let the shovel aside and take the camera to get some shots of the early critters mostly enjoying the sun in the garden, including a wolf spider and a male red mason bee (Osmia rufa). I still have to get comfortable with the macro setting in the G10. I do miss the supermacro mode in the G6, it was much faster to get the camera ready for close-ups.
An illustrated compendium of A. plumipes garden plants follows.
Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign'
Patch of cowslip
One of the first flowers of the Lithodora diffusa
Native flower internet providers (seeds and plugs)
Really wild flowers