Monday, 21 June 2021

Shrill Carder Bee and Hoverflies at Last

20th June

I checked the terns on the 19th after Fridays one inch and a half of rain fearing they may have deserted but no they were still sitting tight. There was not much else to see there, just the regulars but plenty of insects on the way up, even in the wet.  Something about after rain showers that brings out wildlife and it was good to see lots of hovers on the wall side vegetation.

Found these two in the garden

                                                                  Sphaerophoria sp

                                                                    Platycherius scutatus

On Sunday the 20th I had a quick look around 'Bee Valley' at Seasalter, lovely to see all the vipers bugloss etc in flower and covered in bees, mainly buff/white tailed.

The best I found was a Moss carder B.muscorum. I was hoping for the holy grail, Shrill Carder B. sylvarum but no luck.

                                                          Moss Carder Bombus muscorum

 However, whilst looking at some hovers at the wall end I came across a Gold-fringed Mason bee Osmia aurulenta.

Some of the hovers seen here; Eristalinus aeneus which I have seen last week but 3 or 4 today. They have his strange eye colouring and if it has hair on the the lower half of the eye it is another species, 'sepuchralis'.

Also another first for the year was 'Helophilus pendulus', the tiger fly.

                                                                  Helophilus pendulus

Yet another first for the year and Seasalter was this beautiful  Scaeva prastri below.

Several of these syrphus ribesii, (below) were all along the seawall vegetation, lots of curled dock.

                                                                       Syrphus ribesii

Quitting my search early for Fathers' Day at my daughters after a good morning I had a text from Mark who had found a shrill carder at SS.  I left the football on TV about 6.00ish and quickly went to SS and met Mark where we looked again and found it just through the first kissing gate but the Sportsman and got a couple of poor photos in the wind. 

Still looking, we thought we found it again but it was just a common carder after a lot of photography. Not giving up we found it again, this time getting a better shot. Well done finding it in poor conditions Mark.

                                                  Shrill Carder Bee, Bombus sylvarum

Saturday, 19 June 2021


 17th June

To hot during the day (30 degs) so went to SS in the evening meeting MC and Jason and Nicole.........long chat then we twitched the broomrapes the Danny Chesterman had found opposite the Ski Club, perhaps a 100 or more spikes of the common broomrape. The yellow flava types were attracting a lot of interest.


Insect Week

 14th June onwards 

Tern wardening again at Seasalter, not a lot of action going on, the eider is still present, 5 Med gulls went by up river plus the usual reedbed stuff. Late afternoon/evening looked at damselflies etc near the LA. seeing red eyed, variable, blue-tailed and Norfolk hawker.

Red-eyed Damselfly

Possible water vole latrine

Variable Damselfly

Red eyed Damselfly

Also Mark spotted some exuvia of Emperor dragonfly, taking a chance with some over friendly cows. 

A hot day on the 16th, found the oystercatcher on a nest but right in an area used by the public on the beach. 

I also found 3 hoverflies Eristalinus aeneus and a Mother Shipton moth near the beach huts. Met Tim Osbourne, one of the chalet owners.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Red Kites

 12th June

Tern wardening again at Castle Coote, nothing much to see but another cream spot tiger flew passed again.

This afternoon we went to 'Enchanted Gardens' at Pilgrims Lane next to Wraik Hill looking at plants plus enjoyed a cup of tea and cake. As we were about to leave red kites came into view overhead, circling and many carrying on west although one or two came back. When I got home Mark tweeted he was up there and seeing them still and surprisingly I had good views from my garden. Possibly, a good dozen or more.

Thank goodness all these blog days are now done....taking too much time!

Red Kite and Insects at Seasalter

 10th June

A quiet morning for birds so looked at a few insects but I have noticed this year there is a dramatic drop in the numbers I am seeing, hardly any hoverflies and this is reported all over the country!! Maybe the cold Spring which was wet then dry then wet again.  However, I found an ichneumon fly,  Amblyteles armatorius and several soldier beetles, Cantharis rustics plus a nice brown argus.  Whilst watching these insects a red kite flew overhead.

                                                                        Brown Argus

                                                  Ichneumon Fly -Amblyteles armtorius

                                                      Soldier beetle - Cantharis rustic

Godinton House

 9th June

Yes, I have to go out with the wife sometimes but usually find something of interest and today was a visito Godinton House near Ashford.  Nice gardens, puts Sissinghurst to shame and near the pond I found some variable damselflies and a new hoverfly, Cheilosia albitrasis.

After seeing tree bumble bee yesterday at Seasalter for the first time I found another couple here.

                                                                Tree Bumble Bee

Tree Bumble bees and insects the last week

 12th June

My morning tern wardening on the 7th proved much the same as other times, the terns looking good.....the only exciting sighting was yet another cream spot tiger moth which I saw again today at C. Coote.

                                          Cream Spot Tiger Moth, side and top views

                                                                 Buff Tailed Bumblebee

                                                                          Small Heath

                                                                     Pied Shield Bugs