Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Buff tailed queen and courting frogs.

The milder weather again has brought about more activity in the garden. A queen buff tailed bee made regular visits to our pulmonaria plant (Margery Fish) next to the pond.
The queen of this species has a distinctive buff coloured 'tail'

The pond is full of frogs, which react by diving when ever I get near the pond to count them. I have managed to count 15 so far before they all disapear in a frenzy (this photograph was taken from the window).

Many of the frogs are engaged in courtship. (Two males and a female below)
As usual there is a wide variety in the colour, shade and markings of the frogs - but all are common frogs.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

More frogs and first spawn

More frogs have moved in overnight and the first clump of frog spawn for the year.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Queen buff tailed bee and Frogs

Late afternoon I saw a Queen Buff Tailed Bumble Bee Bombus terrestris sunning itself on the wall of our bungalow.
The wall is yellow and under a small veranda and being west facing becomes a sun trap in the afternoon.

Frogs have now returned to the pond

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Small bee on crocus

Nice sunny day (18 degrees by the thermometer on the rockery). I noticed a small bee visting the crocus on the rockery. It looked like a honey bee but appeared much too small so suspected it might be one of the solitary bees.

However, after sending the picture for advise, I found out that honey bee workers vary in size according to how big the cell in the honey comb is that the egg was laid in. As the years go by, with the cell used over and over again to to rear bees the cell walls thicken and the cell gets smaller inside.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Spectacular starling flock

Early evening the starling flocks pass our house, after gathering on the electricity pylons they then head off towards Brighton.

Yesterday a sparrowhawk appeared and one large flock of starlings performed their amazing swirling flight to avoid it, just as they passed our garden. It was spectacular. Not sure if the sparrow hawk had any luck.