Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Second patch lifer in two days

The Safari was out early on Patch 2 to a flat calm sea with no sign of nothing much at all. During the morning we popped out in to the garden from time to time to see if we could see any of the solitary bees we've spotted recently. The Dandelions are looking particularly lush but we failed to find any bees on several of our nips out.
Please leave the Dandelions alone, there's no need to wreak carnage and ecocide upon them, they're far to valuable for the bees, butterflies, hoverflies and a myriad other pollinating insects for that. Don't get the sprayer out, leave the mower in the shed and save your back and don't dig them out. If you really don't want them to spread too much cut them just before the seeds develop but remember the the seeds are an extremely important food source for several species of birds later in the summer
On a Facebook page we've joined someone had asked why so much attention is lavished on 'Naffodils' when other yellow native plants are detroyed with almost gay abandon - we reckon it's because the Naffodills have cost money and as they have a 'price' they are perceived to have ''value' too; whereas the Dandelions are 'free' therefore have no value to humans...and they are the prime target of the 'get rid of that weed cos it's making your useless lawn look untidy with our super-duper product marketing men, consequently although 'valueless' it is one of the very few wildflowers almost everyone can identify but sadly for all the wrong reasons.
Do you not think a roadside verge ablaze with wall to wall golden yellow is far superior to a grass verge with lumps of browning cuttings bestrewn all over it from the cutter blades - leave them alone!
Eventually we did come across a bee or two but not the solitary bees we were hoping for.
We find bumblebees awfully hard to photograph, think it's the fact that they don't have contrasting eyes and always have their heads down in the flower so getting the all important highlight in the eye in focus almost always defeats us. And they never stop moving...a better, faster camera might help too.
As well as a couple of Drone Flies this hoverfly was also around the first of it's ilk we've seen here this season.

And here's the Drone Fly
We were out at lunchtime on Patch 2 and quickly found a distant Grey Seal and a couple of Red Throated Divers. The weather conditions have made the sea absolutely mint for spotting Harbour Porpoises but they all seem to be hanging around south of the river for some reason, or at least they're refusing to show themselves to us.
While looking at a third, much closer, Red Throated Diver three wagtails passed through the field of view quite low over the water and seemed to show a fair bit of yellow. We swung the scope round to follow them as they drew level with us and as they were just about straight out we heard the distinctive 'tsweeep' call. Three Yellow Wagtails (144, P2 #51), another Patch 2 lifer and the second in 24 hours! A Whimbrel went past too.
A meeting with a new visitor to work had us showing her around the grounds and explaining what goes on where and it was while showing her the rubbishy far too much soil on view 'formal' garden that we spotted the solitary bees. They were in the last bit of sunshine mooching around the patch of Hedge Garlic we planted a few years ago that has survived the 'gardener' that looks after that area for the cafe.
After our meeting we got the camera out and sat and waited, it took a while to get these couple of really grotty shots.
We're reliably informed they are males of two different species of Andrena but which two???
The local Blackbird hopped off the roof landing quite close to us for a listen for worms.
Where to next? Think we'll take the macro lens to work tomorrow and see if we can get some better pics of those little bees now we know where they're hanging out. Too much to ask for three Patch 2 lifers in three days?
In the meantime let us who who's abuzzing in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Well done with those yellow wags Davyman, lovely little birds :-)