insectsandflight.com
all pictures © robin williams

September 2022: wildlife, from the Somerset Levels

September 26th 2022. I really think this will be the last of the garden insects on the flower-pot - and indeed almost anywhere as even the various flies have all but vanished. Surprisingly varied on the tiny Aster flowers, though leaving the rest well alone, it gave me a good spot in the sun. The impression I get generally is that the small creatures are badly affected by wet lying on the flowers, it can tangle them up generally. Fortunately, today was both warm and dry. Soon, we expect, the usual late year permanent dampness will be hanging onto everything. Though even now, the cracks in the ground have not yet vanished. What an odd year!

muscid fly

muscid fly

hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus

hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus

hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus

hoverfly, Rhingia campestris

hoverfly, Melanastoma scalare

hoverfly, Helophilus pendulus 

September 10th 2022. The pot of miniature flowers continues, though with fewer blooms. But, the population of tiny mining bees continues and brings fresh interest, as females are now being spotted.

 

mining bee, Halictus tumulorum f

 

mining bee, Lasioglossum leucopus f

mining bee, Halictus tumulorum f

 

mining bee Lasioglossum zonulum m

 

mining bee, Lasioglossum smeathmanellum m

mining bee, Lasioglossum smeathmanellum

hoverfly, Epistrophe diaphana 

 

 hoverfly, Helophillus pendulus

September 8th 2022. A most extraordinary and, unexpected, day. This afternoon Queen Elisabeth 2nd died at her estate in Balmoral, and the Prince of Wales took over as Charles 3rd. A couple of days ago, she received and talked to Liz Truss, our new Prime Minister. All appeared to be well at the time, though she was 96 years old, but still working to her last day after 70 years on the throne - amazing. She will be much missed by huge numbers of people, not just in the UK but worldwide. We all knew there was a limit, she could not go on forever, but somehow brushed it under the carpet as 'not in my lifetime'. I watched part of her coronation on a TV in a Hamburg shopping street, while serving my National Service in Germany. Like the start of her reign, it was all a very long time ago.

September 3rd 2022. While so much in the garden appears frozen in time, the insects are still in full blast on the pot on the terrace table - one of the best present we have ever been given. Here is another selection of what I came across this morning, still sunny and short of rain. We have gone back to watering these flowers more intensively and they have responded with many new blooms. Many of the most interesting insects were difficult to identify, particularly the tiny mining bees. I ended up preparing a table showing particular ID points for those that are likely to be found on and around the moors locally. My first picture shows one of two species which are more than difficult to distinguish in the male, though both are different to any other species. 

mining bee, Lasioglossum albipes m

mining bee, Lasioglossum calceatum m

mining bee, Lasioglossum calceatum m

mining bee, Lasioglossum calceatum m

 mining bee, Lasioglossum calceatum m

mining bee, Lasioglossum calceatum m

mining bee Lasioglossum punctatissimum m

mining bee, Lasioglosum villlosulum m

 

mining bee, Lasioglosum villlosulum m

mining bee, Lasioglosum minutissimum m

mining bee, Lasioglosum minutissimum m

hoverfly, Cheilosia pagana 

hoverfly, Cheilosia pagana

hoverfly, syrphus vitripennis

hoverfly, syrphus vitripennis

hoverfly, syrphus vitripenni

September 1st 2022. It seems astonishing that during the past month and more we have received virtually no rainfall and it seems it will continue for at least a few more days.