Category Archives: Bees

#30DaysWild – Day 22 – Doorstep bug hunt!

I decided to mark the beginning of National Insect Week with a bug hunt on my doorstep. It’s amazing how much life you can find with just one step outside!

I saw the ant nests busying along the step, several species of wasp (including a ruby-tailed wasp) sunning themselves on the warm house bricks, caterpillars and beetles resting in amongst the garden greenery. I even saw a leaf-cutter bee fly into a nest right at the edge of the door frame, it was the first time I’d seen it, I hope it won’t be the last.

I spotted more than just insects, I watched mites wandering around the white of the door itself, spiders poised in out-of-sight corners waiting for prey, and a solitary snail hidden away in the shade of leaves.

I was only outside for half an hour, but I could have stayed and watched all day.

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 14 – Burbage Common

I haven’t been to Burbage Common for quite a while, so today it was really nice to visit an old familiar wild site.

I walked through the peaceful gorgeous woodland, surrounded by lush vegetation and birdsong. I spotted a miniscule spider spinning a new web on a small sapling. I was of course delighted to see the obligatory squirrels that come with such a beautiful woodland.

As I wandered a little further I came to a gateway that open onto a meadow, full of buttercups and ox eye daisies. Butterflies that danced above the wildflowers and grasses. The beetles and bees were more busy, flying directly from flower to flower, but taking the time to drink from the colourful blooms.

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#30DaysWild – Day 11 – A great day for bugs!

The weather was so miserable this morning, so I was very glad when the sun came out in the afternoon. Even though the wind still blew, the sun shined through and it was a lovely day to be out. I also noticed that the bugs had embraced the warmth and were out in force. The flowers were covered in bees, beetles and flies, a few butterflies and damselflies braved the breeze. I saw amazingly camouflaged spider on a lichen covered stone wall, closer to the ground the wall had become mossy, perfect for a tiny snail.

Invertebrate are incredible, whether they are mollusc, arachnids or insects. They deserve a closer look!

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Australian encounters: Bees

On my holiday to Australia in February, I had the good fortune to be able to photograph many different species of wildlife. The colourful and often noisy birds, cute mammals, fascinating lizards and the many species of gorgeous insects I encountered will, I hope, all be blogged about in the near future.

Today it is the turn of the busy bees! I only managed to photograph a few individuals, and I wish I had seen a few more. I do marvel at how different these beautiful species look.

Bee (1)Bee (5)Bee (3)Bee (6)Bee (4)Bee (2)

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The Bats, birds and bees of Wingham

During my recent trip to Australia, I had been told about a nature reserve in a small place called Wingham. Only a few miles down the road. I thought it was worth checking out.

I was given instructions on how to get there and for a view point to stop at. It looked across the Manning River Valley, rolling hills and lush green farm land. It was worth the stop!

Wingham (1)

Onwards to Wingham Brush Nature Reserve! I pulled up into the dry mud car park, a little greeting sign and a small wooden gate marked the place. There was something that reminded me of the little nature reserves I visit at home in the UK.

I was more than a little excited about visiting this place, I had been told that there were some rather special inhabitants here … flying foxes!

I walked up the boardwalk and along into the reserve. Bush turkeys strolled around without a care that I was there, I even watched one digging into its huge mound of a nest, clearly preparing to lay! I saw a small colourful moth, listened to the eerie calls of Australian ravens and admired the giant stinging trees the entrance sign warned me about. Where were these flying foxes? I kept one eye on the boardwalk and the other on the tree canopy. I kept walking, trying to take it all in slowly, absorb the sights, sounds and smells around me. But I was a little impatient to find these flying foxes.

I started to be able to hear them, their high pitched squabbles. I was getting near! I caught a glimpse of upside-down bodies in the distant canopy, I hurried along the path and all of a sudden I was in the middle of a roost!

High in the canopy the bats hung restfully, a few were waking up and stretching out their huge wings, occasionally making their squabbling calls at each other. In some areas the resting bats hung, using their wings to fan themselves. In other areas, they were far more lively, clambering over each other and taking short flights.

I could not escape the fact that as I walked quietly along the boardwalks looking up, the bats hung in the roost looking straight down at me. There were many more curious eyes looking down at the two looking up!

I eventually had to leave, I had to drag myself away! It was hard, I could have stayed there the rest of the day and the next. But if nothing else, my neck ached from looking up! The boardwalk opened out onto the river bank, and a short walk up the river bank I was back at the dry mud car park I arrived at. I decided to have a look around the town of Wingham. There was only one shop open when I arrived, not that that mattered to me as my attention was grabbed by the flock of galahs. The galahs were foraging in the grass of the town square. I also stopped to admire a beautiful flowering bush at the edge of the square, on closer inspection I noticed tiny bees visiting the unique flowers.

It was a day packed with fascinating and beautiful wildlife, I returned back to my accommodation tired. I slept deeply that night, dreaming of the mischievous squabbles and curious faces of those fabulous flying foxes!

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Jean’s garden

I went to visit with family recently. Their garden is beautiful! Jean has clearly worked very hard to make it look so gorgeous, and it is great for wildlife. The bees and butterflies love her garden.

I was also a few days after I had gotten a new camera, so it was a great way to test my new equipment.

Here are some of the photos I took of the bright colours, flowers and wildlife I found. I hope you enjoy Jean’s garden as much as I do!

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#30DaysWild – highlights from 2019

Here are my highlights from #30DaysWild 2019. Moving house, while working full time and joining in with 30 Days Wild wasn’t easy, but it was very worth it!

One of the best things I have done all month is putting up the bird feeder in my new home. It didn’t take long for the birds to find it! I now have regular visits from Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robins, Blackbirds, Sparrows. I also have Collared Doves and Wood Pigeons hovering up the dropped crumbs. Winding down from a day at work, I now find myself sitting with my cuppa and watching my new feathered friends!

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#30DaysWild – Day 28 – Finding wildlife in a cemetery

Cemeteries are interesting places to walk – carefully and ornately carved gravestones, the names of loved ones who have passed, and of course the wildlife that have chosen to live there.

I occasionally visit an inner city cemetery, just to see what life I might find. Today my stroll took me through an old but large cemetery, some of it very well kept, other places had been left untended and become a home to birds and insects.

I watched butterflies, bees and hoverflies on wildflowers and bramble. I heard woodpeckers, bullfinch, wrens and blackbirds singing. I admired the colours of the many wildflowers that decorated the graves alongside the planted roses and placed bouquets.

Cemeteries are a special habitat, so diverse with wildlife, a little piece of urban wild.

 

#30DaysWild – Day 27 – Exploring my friend’s beautiful garden!

I went to visit my friend today. Before we sat down for our cuppa and a catch up, I went on an exploration of her beautiful garden. She has left the bottom part of her garden to grow wild, but even the planted and managed part of her garden is full of wildlife. All the gorgeous colourful flowers are ideal for bees and butterflies. A great home for our precious pollinators.

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#30DaysWild – Day 23 – Macro photos on a mobile phone

My mobile isn’t exactly the smartest of phones, and the camera is far from DSLR quality in terms of photos. However, I was given a little gadget at Christmas that has been rather fun to play with, and that’s a clip-on mobile macro lens. The amount of detail that shows through is amazing.

So today I decided to get a little closer to nature and took my phone and clip-on lens out into the wild. These are some of the photos I managed to take.

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