Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fade to grey

During the brief periods of sunshine yesterday I made some attempt to photograph some of the bees visiting the flowering patches around the house. Visiting the primroses and white deadnettles were these guys, Hairy-footed Flower bees Anthophora plumipes.

These bees emerge from hibernation in early spring, from late February to March. The males emerge first and then the females a couple of weeks later. They feed on the nectar using their long tongues, which can be seen in the picture of the flying female where her tongue is extended.

The males look very different. They start out much more buff in colour but fade to grey as they age. And check the hairy legs out in the bottom pic!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hovering above zero

I've seen very hoverflies this year so far. I guess because the spring has been so cold. We have had several frosts over the last week which is playing havoc with blossom and especially my emerging asparagus.

Wednesday was warm and sunny and a walk along the river Cam to Grantchester revealed a few hovers - mainly Eristalis and Syrphus.

This one I found in the garden last weekend and is a new one for me. The shape, yellow scutellum and the fact the abdomen is longer than the wings make this Sphaerophoria scripta.

Here's to hoping the temperatures pick up soon!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Been a bit quiet

 It's been a quietish couple of weeks on the natural history front.
I have been getting out and looking at stuff, especially at lunchtimes at work but nothing particularly interesting to report on. I'm also let down by not having a great camera so images are hard to come by.
In the garden today tidying up and I decided to beat various shrubs and trees. I have a few pollen beetles to look at, but this beautiful fly came off an ivy covered tree stump
Euleia heraclei I believe. I'm sure I've seen it before, just never bothered to try and put a name to it.