insectsandflight.com

all pictures © robin williams

May 2024 - wildlife: from the Somerset Levels

May 22nd 2024. Each day brings more species visiting the pots on the terrace and the wild spurge Euphorbia spp.which grows so freely here. This morning saw a variety of species appear, some of which had not been expected.

soldier-fly, Odontomyia tigrina

soldier-fly, Odontomyia tigrina

soldier-fly, Odontomyia tigrina

soldier-fly, Chloromyia formosa m

soldier-fly, Chloromyia formosa m

hoverfly, Syritta pipiens f

 

hoverfly, Chrysotoxum cautum f

hoverfly, Chrysotoxum cautum f

hoverfly, Chrysotoxum cautum f

Flesh-fly, Sarcophaga carnaria f

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

May 19th 2024. It was really hot today. I spent ages on the terrace, giving up every so often, then having another go when I appreciated the number of different insects present. Have a look at just a few of those feeding on the many pots put out earlier. The three main sources of pollen or nectar remain wild spurge, a pale geraneum and everlasting wallflower. However, I noticed a bee visiting another one of the recently planted pots, a verbena with bright red flowers which had been specially recommended for bees. I am sure they will all perform well by the end of the year. But, the first few pictures below were taken on a Firethorn Pyracantha growing on the front wall. Each year, for a brief period, when really hot, it attracts masses of bees.

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w 

 bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w 

 bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w  

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

 

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris  w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

 bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

bumblebee, Bombus terrestris w

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

 mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus f

hoverfly, Syritta pipiens

soldier-fly, Odontomia tigrina

soldier-fly, Odontomyia tigrina  

 May 12th 2024. At last! The terrace has gone from one species of hoverfly to several, all within Platycheirus.

hoverfly, Platycheirus manicatus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus manicatus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus m

hoverfly, Platycheirus albimanus f

hoverfly, Platycheirus peltatus m

hoverfly, Platycheirus peltatus m

hoverfly, Platycheirus peltatus m

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

 

 

 

May 10th 2024. I spent part of the morning at Catcott Lows photographing a Marsh harrier as well as some other birds. It is a while since the harrier has come so close to the hide, which was near-empty at the time. I have felt for some while that these perceptive birds have deliberately avoided coming close, as they used to previously.

 

 

May 9th 2024. A remarkable set of fine, hot, still days is with us and expected to last for some while. A set of pictures from this morning confirms the effect on my live, searching camera on the terrace.

mason bee, Osmia bicornis f

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

bumblebee, Bombus pratorum w

 

hoverfly, Platycherus tarsalis f

hoverfly, Platycherus tarsalis f

hoverfly, Platycherus scutatus f

hoverfly, Platycherus scutatus f

horsefly, hybomitra bimaculata

horsefly, hybomitra bimaculata

May 7th 2024. At last, the weather really seems to be on the change, beautiful sunshine and little breeze all the day. The terrace remains empty of insects, in spite of all the flowers in pots, which I dosed with sequestered iron and seaweed in the eventing. My wanderings took me trhtough the garden and I had some nice pictures.

 

 sawfly, Arge rustica

sawfly, Arge rustica 

sawfly, Arge rustica

 

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q 

bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum q

hoverfly, Melanostoma scalare f

May 4th 2024. John Mason held the first meeting of the insect group a few days ago, although it was a drizzly day and our predominently photographers decided it was not for them. I did go to Shapwick Moor and met John but misread the weather completly and left him going for for a wet walk, which turned out much better than expected. Today is my penenance for this, by deciding to do at least some of the walk on my own. 

 

mining bee, Lasioglossum xanthopus f

mining bee, Lasioglossum xanthopus f

 

mining bee, Lasioglossum xanthopus f

mining bee, Lasioglossum xanthopus f

The next picture, of a beetle, counts itself as a rare occasion. Just this one, as crossing a path, used to be one of the commonest sights. Nowadays it illustrates just how sights of any beetles are rare indeed. 

ground beetle, Pterostichus cupreus

flea-beetle, Phyllotreta striolata, mating pair

 

Nettle tap moth, Anthophila fabriciana

sawfly, Tenthredo temula