Sunday 24 February 2019

A swarm of bees

Lade - warm, dry and sunny - Another superb day to be outside in the field. We spent most of the morning on the local patch where the only addition to yesterdays wildfowl was a rather smart drake Shelduck on south lake. Dartford and Cetti`s Warblers, singing Chiffchaff and Skylark enhanced the spring-like feel to the day, plus soaring Buzzards and Marsh Harriers enjoying the thermals and our first heat haze of the year over the Desert.

                                Sheldrake on south lake

  The sunshine has encouraged the Gorse bushes to flower more profusely of late and at one spot in a sun trap there was a loose swarm of some 50 odd Honey Bees plundering the nectar, which made for a superb sight and sound. I`m no expert on our 250 or so native species of bees, so if there are any takers for the exact identity of said bees I would be much appreciative.

                                It was only this one patch of gorse that attracted the bees

                                Honey Bees

                                7 Spot Ladybird

                                Birds-eye Speedwell

  The ponds were alive with insects; gnats, bumble bees and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. The south facing bank had Coltsfoot and Speedwell plants in flower, while many of the pussy willow catkins looked set to burst out. I was expecting an early Grass Snake, but then I thought, it is still February.
  Barney, on the other hand, was less than impressed with today's heat wave and took plenty of opportunities to have a drink in the lake before we headed for the beach where a Sandwich Tern was again noted amongst hundreds of gulls and the usual waders on the sands. By the time we arrived back at Plovers I was down to just a T shirt, plus trousers and boots of course!

                                " What happened to winter? "

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