17 April 2011

Oversley Woood


Hoverfly on Stinging Nettle

The little black ones are hard to ID!  Note the nettle's "hairs" to get some idea of his size.

Cuckoo Bee - Nomada sp

I can't resist trying to take pictures of these Nomada even though they do their best to dodge a photo opportunity. Sometimes they oblige though. Maybe he couldn't see me through all the pollen grains on his eye.

Hornet Queen - Vespa crabro

An unexpected pleasure! The queens will have recently emerged from their winter hibernation and will be looking for somewhere to build a nest but there can't be too many about and the chances of seeing one are pretty low let alone getting a decent photo so I struck lucky. 

I find that I hear a Hornet before seeing it. They have an unmistakable deep loud drone like a Lancaster Bomber compared to the Spitfire of a fly or wasp. Even deeper than a really big Bumble Bee.  Fortunately I heard the noise just a few feet from where I was poised with camera "chasing" Nomada bees and instantly knew what it was and that it would be gone in an instant. I swung round to where the Hornet was emerging from the nettles in the undergrowth and managed to fire off a couple of shots before it disappeared .

Orange Tip - Antocharis cardamines (Female)

Not managed to get the more striking and familiar Male yet with its characteristic orange wing tips, but here is a female. They are a lot easier to distinguish from other whites when you can see their lower underwings which are  mottled with green but if you look closely you can just  make out the pattern showing through the wings.

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