Category Archives: Invertebrate

My photograph of the month for April

Wow! Hasn’t everything come alive in the last month! The sun has been so warm and welcoming. All the bugs are out too. I have had a wonderful month, enjoying spring. Watching the butterflies, bees and ants has been great fun.

My photograph for April is an interaction between these two tiny and fluffy solitary bees.

Solitary bees

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The toil of Ants

I love to watch ants. Their toing-and-froing, busy foraging explorations and searching antennas!

The details of what they are doing can’t always be seen, but that is where I am grateful for macro-lens technology.

Spotting a newly formed entrance to a nest I could see these ants hard at work. Putting my camera down at their level I got to see just how hard they were working. Huge mouthfuls of sand being excavated and carried away.

Not only do I find it fascinating to watch, but I find the motion of ants going about their daily lives relaxing. I also find myself thankful that I don’t have to lift such weights, especially by just my jaw!

Ants might seems such tiny animals, but when I see them like this, I am struck with awe!

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Bountiful Bees

Today for me has been all about bees!

My bee socks and earrings. The Honeybee I plucked from the torment of my bedroom window and returned to the freedom of outdoors. The Red Mason Bees sunning themselves on the bricks of my house. It has given me a real feeling of spring!

It’s not the buzz of beautiful queen bumblebees that gets me excited. It is the tiny, unnoticed delightful solitary bees that fill me with glee!

I have already reached for my camera to photograph the bees this spring. Here are some of my highlights …

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#30DaysWild – Day 30 – Visited an old wild haunt!

Today I visited a nature reserve I hadn’t been for a few years, Avon Meadows Community Wetlands at the edge of Pershore. It was I place I use to regularly visit, so I wondered what changes I would see.

I have seen so many wild patches turned into housing estates. A small field becoming a cramped area of brick, mortar and tarmac. Nothing wild left or even welcome. So I was worried I would arrive to see this lovely wetlands gone. A forgotten memory of something green and good.

But I needn’t have worried. Not only was the place still there, but clearly there have been great efforts to enhance the area for wildlife. There was an area with no public access, a bird hide and a sculpture of a heron.

I was thrilled to see that this beautiful place had been embraced and was clearly cared about!

Day 30

 

#30DaysWild – Day 24 – Bug hunting

With it being the last day of National Insect Week, today I went on a bug hunt!

Taking a stroll around farmer’s field, I saw an amazing array of insects. A wonderfully relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Day 24

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#30DaysWild – Day 23 – Butterfly walk

On my search for beetles on Tuesday, I was stopped on 2 separate occasions by dog walkers asking me what I was looking for. I explained how I hoped to find a few beetle species for both 30 Days Wild and National Insect Week. Each time the people in question were fascinated and we talked for quite a while about the plight of insects and also local wildlife hot spots.

Today I decided to investigate one of those tips and was very pleasantly surprised!
I wanted to find some butterflies, I wasn’t sure that I would find many species as there quite a breeze. Clearly the day’s warmth was enough to entice them out.

On my walk to, around and home from the place I was recommended, I saw 9 species of butterfly! Small Tortoiseshell, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Small White, Large White, Meadow Brown, Peacock and Red Admiral. I was well chuffed!

Next time I see those dog walkers, I shall thank them for the tip!

Day 23

 

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 21 – The Great British Bee Count

As we are in the middle of 2018’s Great British Bee Count and it’s National Insect Week, I thought it was appropriate to go find some bees!

I was lucky enough to find Buff-tailed bumblebees, Red-tailed bumblebees, Ashy miner bees, Leaf-cutter bees, Honey bees and a few other species of solitary bees too! I submitted all my finds on the Great British Bee Count app.

An afternoon finding my favourite creatures and helping with a citizen science project has definitely been a lot of fun and felt very worthwhile!

Run by Friends of the Earth and supported by Buglife, it’s a great bit of citizen science to get involved with! If you would like to have a go, you can find out all about it on the website here: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count

Day 21

 

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 20 – National Insect Week, recording ladybirds

Continuing the insect theme for National Insect Week, I have decided join in with some citizen science and record some Ladybirds!

I had a great time hunting for Ladybirds, though I didn’t find many! I found a 2-spot and 14-spot ladybird. I also found what I believe to be my first ever Water Ladybird!

I used an app called iRecord Ladybirds, but if you don’t have a smart phone you can still have a go by visiting the website: UK Ladybird Survey You can find out lots more about Ladybirds there too!

Day 20

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#30DaysWild – Day 19 – National Insect Week, Beetles

Continuing an insect theme for National Insect Week, I went on a bug hunt today. I examined the long grass, inspected bramble bushes and peered into hedgerows that line the farmer’s fields where I walked.

My search was not in vain! I was lucky enough to find 2 longhorn beetles in less than a square foot. I found a few other stunning beetle species along the way.

Such a broad spectrum of colours, sizes and shapes, I never tire of admiring beetles. There’s no such thing as “just a beetle”!

Day 19

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#30DaysWild – Day 15 – Beetles and bikes

Today I went to watch the Women’s Tour of Britiain. You might be wondering what a cycle race has to do with 30 Days Wild, well I decided it was worth the 15 mile cycle through the countryside to see the race pass through my local area.

Not only was it a glorious day to have a cycle anywhere, but the journey was beautiful. There was so many species of birds flying by and singing.

On my way home I stopped for a snack and paused at a lay-by. Sitting on a log I watched bees, beetles and butterflies visiting the flowers that lined the colourful verge. My snack finished, I went to get up, but before I could I felt a sharp pain on my behind. It made me stand up VERY quickly! Looking back I saw a large black ground beetle that had not been there when I had sat down. It quickly scurried back into its wooden crevice in the log. It was then I realised that I had been bitten on the bottom by a beetle! There’s a first time for everything!

It might have been a long ride, but it was worth it. I feel inspired enough to take that ride again!

Day 15

 

 

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