Saturday, 2 September 2017

Bank Holiday Bees

Last Monday I finally managed to catch up with James for our regular school holiday catch up. Being a bit early for migration James had identified a couple of specialist bees for us to find in North Norfolk.

Before heading out we looked through the few moths I'd trapped over night and I asked James to look at a few insects I was curious about and might interest him. The highlight of the moths a new species for both me and James was a Scarce Bordered Straw, a migrant to Norfolk. James also identified a few leaf miners for me a new interest for him and something completely different for me.

First stop was Weybourne where we soon located the large colony of Heather Bees (Colletes succinctus) nesting in the cliff. Apparently they commute the couple of miles inland too feed on Kelling Heath. A few Wolf bees and Darter dragonflies also held our attention before James also found the cuckoo bee Red-thighed Epeolus (Epeolus cruciger). Walking West to the radar station we failed too find much else of interest but a lone female Wheatear shows that Autumn migration isn't far away.

Onward to Morston where we hoped to see Sea Aster Bees (Colletes halophilus) a specialist bee of salt marshes. We couldn't see the fields of purple on the Saltmarsh has most sea aster had died off but luckily James noted a yellow abarent form which held our target species. Walking as far as Stiffkey Fen was rewarded by a group of 37 Spoonbill and lots of waders however without scopes and looking into the sun we could identify anything unusual.
Before we joined the sausage roll queue I popped into the public loos. Luckily they were quiet as on leaving I spotted a Frosted Orange moth near the door and looking around spotted numerous moths, that then needed photographing on the ceiling. These included 3 new moths for me, Chinese Character, Pale Eggar and Rosy Rustic.

Dropping me off at home i spotted a rather spectacular Sycamore Moth caterpillar in the hedge and Angle Shades moth. James also identified the parasitic wasp Cotesia glomerata. 

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