Spring bees, a spider, a butterfly and some moths.
Now is a good time to look out for mining bees and early spring spiders, butterflies and moths.
Exploring the village green, my daughter and I came across this unusual small bee that turned out to be the Grey-patched Mining Bee (image 1) with its bright, foxy-brown hair on the thorax and a polished black abdomen. These are mining bees and make vertical nests dug into the soil.
Our bee hotels, made of logs drilled with assorted holes, have been busy this spring. The usual bee is the Red Mason Bee (image 2) but we have also had the Blue Mason Bee (image 3) with its distinctive eyes. On our back lawn have been the vertical holes of the Ashy Mining Bee (image 4), each hole surrounded by piles of dug out sand. This is a close up of the bee just emerging from its hole.
A very distinctive spider has been making its orb web on the side of our shed. This is the Walnut Orb-web spider, flattened to get into cracks, black and with four small depressions on its abdomen and orange side markings (image 5).
The cold weather has put off many butterflies so far, but I was pleased to find this Holly Blue on the village green (image 6).
The moth trap has been producing some early spring species. The brilliant yellow Brimstone Moth is always good to see (image 7) and that feeds on hawthorn and blackthorn, along with three distinctive species: the Lunar Marbled Grey (image 8) that feeds on oak, the wonderful Waved Umber (image 9) that feeds on privet and lilac and the Frosted Green (image 10) feeding on oak.