Saturday 27 March 2010

Bug overload!

These days I find it difficult to settle on a topic for the blog. We have gone from long bug-poor weeks of indoor seclusion through the long harsh winter to a month of March when things seem to happen too quickly. So I am writing posts more alike to my nature notebook, which, by the way, was the original intention when I started. We had a lovely sunny, mild day today and I pottered about in the garden bug-watching and took a couple of local walks. Even when doing the shopping I came across bugs worth posting about. What to choose? I just can't.
Small Tortoiseshell on willow
A male Anthophora plumipes hovering
The morning started by my discovery of a bug magnet in a neighbours garden: a flowering willow. The large bush was teeming with bumblebees, all of the ones I could see were Bombus terrestris. A Small Tortoiseshell, the first one this year, feed in the catkins and several Anthophora plumipes males were hovering around ramming every now and then both the butterfly and the bumblebees. I took a few pictures but I wasn't close enough for good ones. I had to stop myself from picking up the binoculars, though, to watch the activity at close range. Nectar-feeding insects prefer to visit sources where flowers are in large masses, so that they save energy looking for the next source. Willows in early spring provide a large number of flowers where typically there are not many other species flowering, so they are sought after my many bees and bumblebees.
 A brimstone passed by flying over the gardens. This is my typical brimstone sighting, early spring, fluttering past, never stopping and I rarely see them again the rest of the year. A frustrating butterfly! The following photos illustrate other sightings.
A beautiful Harlequin sunbathing
A couple of mating 7 spot ladybirds
Baby millipedes found clinging to an old conker

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