Saturday, 20 June 2015

30 Days Wild - Day 20 - Where are all my Hoverflies?

Day 20 was about trying to track down some insect life, specifically hoverflies.

Saturday, 20 June

This morning, I had an online conversation, in the Facebook group UK Hoverflies about how few hoverflies we have been seeing recently. Until today, I had been assuming it was just me seeing so few of these insects. So I decided to keep my eyes peeled for insect life throughout the day.

Ichneumon Wasp
First thing, when I went to get the newspaper, I saw a gangly black and yellow creature in the wild flower patch I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post. I just managed to snap a rather iffy photo with my phone - I though it was a field digger wasp.  However, a verifier on iRecord kindly pointed out that it was an  Ichneumon wasp - possibly Ambylytes.

On the way back from the town, I went through the Hempstead Fields nature reserve. 

Hemlock water dropwort - alive with honey bees.
The reserve was full of hemlock water dropwort, which was alive with honey bees. For a while, I followed a small tortoiseshell butterfly. It looked very fresh and bright but, encumbered by shopping, I couldn't get a photo. Butterfly 1 : Wendy 0.

Back at home, I had some clearing up to do in the garden and looked out for insects. There was one early and a few white-tailed bumblebees. There were also 3 honeybees on the borage. I had another look round and found a distinctive black and yellow sawfly on a rose bush.

Sawfly - probably Allantus cingulatus
Finally, I found some hoverflies. There were four of the wonderfully named marmalade hoverflies stationed round the garden and a Syrphus ribesii.

Syrphus ribesii
Otherwise the insects I saw were too tiny or too fast to photograph. The last creature I found was a hawthorn shield bug, which fell into my hand while I was tidying our hop and refused to let go when I was trying to put it back where I found it.

Hawthorn shield bug.
Oh, and earlier on, I bought this bee house when I was shopping . The green token went in the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service section. These were the people who took in an injured wood pigeon from our garden.
So, not a huge number of insects but a fair amount of fun and interest.

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