insectsandflight.com

all pictures © robin williams

click on the links below to bring up further periods:

HOME

DIARY - link to all periods

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021: wildlife, from the Somerset Levels

April 6th 2021. Woke to the sight of the buck and doe delicately chewing the tips of the roses aon the back bed. The light was amazing. Sometimes the stood out as if lit by a searchlight, at others formed wonderful shadow shapes. At one stage, we thought they had left but eventually they were found to have spent the whole day with us, right up to late afternoon.


Roe Capreolus capreolus f


Roe Capreolus capreolus f


Roe Capreolus capreolus m


Roe Capreolus capreolus m

April 5th 2021. Two of the deer spent the whole morning in the back garden, a surprising amount of the time chewing the cud, lying down. It is some while since we last saw them. The inevitable conclusion is that they are fair-weather visitors! The morning was glorious once the early haze had cleared. We had some wonderful views of them while they were completel relaxed.

Roe Capreolus capreolus m

Roe Capreolus capreolus m

Roe Capreolus capreolus m

Roe Capreolus capreolus f - a taste of roses!

Roe Capreolus capreolus m

Roe Capreolus capreolus m

April 4th 2021. Another fine day, with part spent hunched over the top flower bed with its chaotic mix of wild and garden flowers, well on their way at last. Perhaps the most memorble part being a few bee-flies dashing from one Celandine (Ficaria verna) to another - they appeared to favour these flowes this morning, though not all.

bee-fly Bombylius major m

bee-fly Bombylius major m

hover fly Platycheirus spp., m

mining bee Lasioglossum calceatum f

mining bee Lasioglossum calceatum f - nest-hole

mining bee Lasioglossum zonulus f

bumblebee Bombus pascuorum f

bumblebee Bombus pascuorum f

April 3rd 2021. On our daily constitusional round the garden, it was brilliant and sunny but the wind was bitter. Eventually I sat by the terrace on a garden chair and felt warm again in a lightweight but well-designed, totally windproof jacket, enabling me to concentrate of the mix of flowers at hand, mainly Pulmonaria. There was not a lot going on but, eventually, both male and female Anthophora plumipes appeared; the black female quietly visiting flowers for her sustenance, but the beige-coloured male darting from flower to flower without apparently touching down. His route is always in a series of super-fast zig-zags. After yesterday's find of a pair of bee-flies (Bombylius major), I was delighted to see a couple of them appear right in front of me. Their hover is so fast that it is sometimes impossible to see whether it is stationary or still vibrating just off the surface; their use of energy must be phenomonal.

 

* After some nine years, indexes covering each period of the diary became rather large. As a result, we decided to remove all earler periods, except the very first in 2012 (a sentimental move!) and the diaries fron the 40s and 50s, leaving other references to the current three years. All older periods have been preserved on-line, just not published, and are available on request - fortunately a simple process. The resultant list, while still quite long, makes it simpler and easier to use, perhaps less confusing.

 

April 2nd 2021. Romey and I drove down to Loxley Wood on the Poldens this afternoon, anxious to see if the spring flowers were out yet. It was a glorious day, only marred by the bitterly cold wind but, fortunately, that was hardly to be felt in the shelter of the woods. This ancient woodland was bought by the Woodland Trust many years ago. Since then, they have removed many of the out-of-place conifers, opened up the main ride and many other improvements. While it is well-used, particularly by dog walkers, it has a wonderful air of peace. During our visit, we saw only one other family. The flowers were out, for which the place is rightly famous. As we came round the first corner sheets of white were seen, Wood anemones (Anemone nemorosa) in all their glory, in great numbers on the sides of the ride and scattered as far as could be seen into the woods themselves. Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus) were just starting to emerge into flower, another week or so should see them in huge numbers.

Bluebell Hyacinthus non-scriptus

Primroses (Primula vulgaris) were in large patches in their own right, as well as mixed among the anemones.

Wood anemone Anemone nemorosa

Wood anemone Anemone nemorosa

And vast numbers of Celandines (Ficaria verna) , the earliest of the lot, in perfect condition. At the top of the ride, always good for insects I photographed various Eristalis hoverflies, then a first for the year, early I feel, a Bee fly (Bombylius major) on a leaf. It was not on its own, a few minutes later Romey spotted a pair of these beautiful little flies firmy locked together.

bee-flies Bombylius major mating

The day was rounded off by my first Peacock butterfly of the year, glowing against a stump.


Peacock butterfly Inachis io

 

 


Visitors Counter

344894