Recent pictures

 

2016 for me has got off to a slow start, it seemed that every time I went out to look for wildlife, the weather was against me, cold and damp or windy. Now at the end of March and into April things are on the up,  I am seeing spring flowers Bees and Butterflies the first bird migrants are arriving.  ( click on pictures to enlarge )

Southern cuckoo bumblebee  Bombus vestalis (1024x599)

Southern Cuckoo Bumblebee  Bombus vestalis

A cuckoo bumblebee, like the bird it is named after, lays its eggs in another bumblebee’s nest and leaves the workers of that nest to rear the young. Of course the eggs she lays are either females or males (there are no queens). The cuckoo females emerge from hibernation in late spring or early summer, much later than ordinary bumblebee queens. So by the time the cuckoo females have emerged the bumblebee queens will have already established their nests. Cuckoo bumblebees usually have the same pattern of hair colour as the bumblebees’ nests they lay in. www.bumblebee.org/cuckoo.htm

More bee species are on the wing now the milder weather is here

Buff tailed Bumblebee

Buff tailed Bumblebee

Common Carder on Creeping Comfrey

Common Carder on Creeping Comfrey

Honey bee on Lesser Celandine

Honey bee on Lesser Celandine

Red tailed Bumblebee

Red tailed Bumblebee

Red tailed Bumblebee

Red tailed Bumblebee

Bumblebees sometimes have tiny mites clinging to them, these for the most part, are just hitching a ride from flower to nest, as they feed on detritus in Bumblebee nests and not on the Bumblebees.

Other flying insects that look like small Bumblebees are Bee flies, whose larvae are parasites of eggs and larvae of solitary bees.

Dotted Beefly female

Dotted Bee-fly female

Dotted Beefly

Dotted Bee-fly

There are 2 species of Bee-fly in our area the Dotted Bee-fly and the Dark edged Bee-fly.

Dark edged Bee

Dark edged Bee fly

Chiffchaff warblers are singing now and along with Blackcaps are some of the first  migrants to arrive in the spring (some Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps do now, overwinter here in the UK).

Singing Chiffchaff

Singing Chiffchaff

Blackcap

Blackcap

The first Reptile/Amphibian species have been seen on the former Airfield.

Common Toads and Common Lizards.

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard showing flattened body to maximize heat absorption

Common Lizard showing flattened body to maximize heat absorption

Common Lizard close up

Common Lizard close up

Common Toad (A)(1024x768) Common Toad (B) (1024x768) Common Toad (C)(1024x586) Common Toad (D) (1024x668)

4 individual Common Toads

Some Butterflies on the wing now are Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

Peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

More wild flowers and wildlife around at the moment

Seven spot Ladybird

Seven spot Ladybird

The first Harlequin Ladybird of the season.

 Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

 Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Close up Harlequin Ladybird

Close up Harlequin Ladybird

Ramsoms our commonest and only native broad-leaved Garlic

Ramsoms

Ramsoms

Ramsoms

Ramsoms

The first of our 6 Orchid species is now in bloom

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Tree Bumblebee

Tree Bumblebee

The number of Bumblebee species around at the moment is 4, and 1 Cuckoo Bumblebee.

Some solitary bee species that can be seen are Red Mason bees and Hairy-footed bees

Female Hairy-footed flower bee

Female Hairy-footed flower bee

Male Hairy-footed flower bee

Male Hairy-footed flower bee

Red Mason bee

Red Mason bee

Red Mason bee

Red Mason bee

Bluebell

Bluebell

Dotted Beefly on Green Alkanet

Dotted Beefly on Green Alkanet

Honeybee on Green Alkanet

Honeybee on Green Alkanet

Three more species of Butterfly on the wing are Red Admiral, Speckled wood, Orange Tip, and Green-veined White.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Speckled wood

Speckled wood

Orange Tip

Orange Tip

Orange Tip

Orange Tip

Green-veined White

Green-veined White

More lizards can be seen now basking on exposed logs/timber and stone/concrete, and also I have seen the first Grass Snake of the season.

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

 Young Common Lizard

Young Common Lizard

Grass snake

Grass snake

Grass snake

Grass snake

Grass snake

Grass snake

The second of our Orchids is coming into flower now with its tiny green flowers.

The Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

24 Spot Ladybird at 2mm must be one of the smallest Ladybirds

24 spot Ladybird

24 spot Ladybird

24 spot Ladybird

24 spot Ladybird

Honey bee on Green Alkanet

Honey bee on Green Alkanet

Young Rabbit.

Rabbit

Rabbit

 

24 spot Ladybirds mating

24 spot Ladybirds mating

Apple blossom

Apple blossom

Green-veined White

Green-veined White

Holly Blue

Holly Blue

Large White

Large White

Red-headed Cardinal beetle

Red-headed Cardinal beetle

Red-headed Cardinal beetle

Red-headed Cardinal beetle

Scorpion fly

Scorpion fly

Scorpion fly

Scorpion fly

Only the male has this Scorpion-like tail which is in fact its reproductive organs and is completely harmless.

Stinging nettle close up

Stinging nettle close up

Stinging hairs on Stinging Nettle.

Elephant Hawk Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth

Long horn Beetle

Long horn Beetle

Emperor Dragonfly eating a fly

Emperor Dragonfly eating a fly

Emperor Dragonfly eating a fly

Emperor Dragonfly eating a fly

Common Darter female

Common Darter female

Cinnabar moth

Cinnabar moth

Black-tailed Skimmer male

Black-tailed Skimmer male

Black-tailed Skimmer female

Black-tailed Skimmer female

Tufted Vetch

Tufted Vetch

Small White

Small White

Small Skipper

Small Skipper

Ringlet

Ringlet

Ringle

Ringlet

Red Tailed Bumblebee male close up

Red Tailed Bumblebee male close up

I missed the main Orchids this year apart from 4 Pyramidal Orchids on the Airfield.

Frances Jordan managed to photograph the Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid from Frances Jordan

Southern Marsh Orchid from Frances Jordan

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Narrow bordered 5 spot Burnet

Narrow bordered 5 spot Burnet

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Marbled White

Marbled White

Marbled White

Marbled White

Marbled White

Marbled White

Large Skipper

Large Skipper

Hedge woundwort

Hedge woundwort

 

Wheatear

Wheatear

Wheatear

Wheatear

 Wasp Spider

Wasp Spider

 Wasp Spider

Wasp Spider

 Wasp Spider

Wasp Spider

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Musk Mallow

Musk Mallow

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Possible melanistic male buff tail

Possible melanistic male buff tail

Possible melanistic male buff tail

Possible melanistic male buff tail

Red-tailed Queen

Red-tailed Queen

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Roesels Bush Cricket

Roesels Bush Cricket

Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper

Male White tailed

Male White tailed

Male White tailed

Male White tailed

Male Red Tailed

Male Red Tailed

Green-veined White

Green-veined White

Great Green bush-cricket

Great Green bush-cricket

Great Green bush-cricket

Great Green bush-cricket

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Field Grasshopper

Field Grasshopper

Field Grasshopper

Field Grasshopper

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Mallow

Common Mallow

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)

Hornet Hoverfly

Hornet Hoverfly

Common Carder on Toad flax

Common Carder on Toad flax

Common Blue male

Common Blue male

Comma butterfly

Comma butterfly

Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow

Brown Argus

Brown Argus

Brown Argus

Brown Argus

Baby Common Toad

Baby Common Toad

Some close up pictures of Butterflies of Lympne (click on image to enlarge)

Small Heath close up

Small Heath close up

Small Copper close up

Small Copper close up

Painted Lady close up

Painted Lady close up

Marbled White close up

Marbled White close up

Common Blue close up

Common Blue close up

Clouded yellow close up

Clouded yellow close up

Close up Red Admiral

Close up Red Admiral

Here are some pictures taken by Frances Jordan.

Great picture of a Violet Ground Beetle attacking a Slug.

Violet-ground-beetle

Violet-ground-beetle

Privet-hawk-moth

Privet-hawk-moth

Privet-hawk-moth

Privet-hawk-moth

Garden-tiger

Garden-tiger

Garden-tiger

Garden-tiger

Elephant-hawk-moth-caterpillar

Elephant-hawk-moth-caterpillar

Wasp nest of the German Wasp Vespula germanica

Wasp nest of the German Wasp Vespula germanica

The nest picture from Frances was of the German Wasp (pictures below)

German-wasp

German wasp

German-wasp

German wasp

German-wasp

German wasp

Some close up pictures of the compound eye of the Migrant Hawker

Migrant hawker

Migrant hawker

Migrant hawker

Migrant hawker

Autumn has arrived just before the first frost I captured these images, Ragwort is hanging on providing a late nectar and pollen source for insects as are other yellow flowering plants like Toad flax and Bristly Ox Tongue.

Ragwort

Ragwort

A pair of Stone Chats (male on left) have been seen over the last few weeks on the former Lympne Airfield.

Pair-of-stone-chats

Pair-of-stone-chats

While looking for late Butterflies and other insects on the Ivy flowers saw hunting European Hornets capture and dismember Honey bees.

Hornet dismembering Honey bee

Hornet dismembering Honey bee

Hornet dismembering Honey bee

Hornet dismembering Honey bee

Most of the Lizards are now hibernating so I got lucky and spotted this late individual getting a last minute warm up in the sun.

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Common-toadflax

Common-toadflax

The last of the migrating Warblers have passed through with some like this Chiffchaff may overwinter here.

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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