Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Buzz of Bees

Headline: moss carder-bee, black-tailed skimmer

A moderate moth catch last night, but only one new species for the year, a scorched wing, one of the moths that ties hard to look like anything but a moth.
As I finished checking the moth trap I noticed a moderately large grass snake on a log by the Centre pond, I know the picture I got is not good, but it was "digi-binned", that is taken by holding the camera up to my binoculars.

The volunteers were in this morning and we had a big clear out of the stores and gave the Centre building a wash down.

In the afternoon I carried out a bumble-bee survey, walking the same route as last month and recording all the bees I saw. I did not see many bees but there were a lot of species. Most common were the early bumblebee and all the individuals were workers, other species were common carder-bee, white-tailed bumblebee, woodland bumblebee, forest cuckoo-bee, red-tailed cuckoo-bee and a queen moss carder-bee. The last species is in severe decline so finding it was a real bonus, I had noticed what I though was this species a few days ago, as today nectaring at red campion.

I also saw a scarce chaser dragonfly and this time got a fair picture of it.
A short way on I found a broad-bodied chaser, this species is really quite uncommon at Blashford, certainly less frequent than the scarce chaser.

I also saw my first black-tailed skimmers of the year, at Ellingham Pound, where there were also egg-laying four-spotted chaser and several downy emerald.

Bird news today was thin, a breeding plumage dunlin on Ibsley Water was the only migrant. The oystercatcher is still sitting at the nest site, but may actually have small chicks. The pair of lapwing by the Tern hide still have both their chicks and it looks as though a pair of little ringed plover are thinking of nesting near the hide.

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