Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 13 June 2024

Valerian visitor

Whilst I readily admit that recording moths isn't a major priority in my life, there is no getting away from the fact that I thoroughly enjoy any encounters with Hawk-moths. To this end my gardening efforts revolve around the propagation of flowering plants which are attractive to this particular group of insects. Quite obviously, any scented flowers will also attract many other insects but this is a spin off from my main objective. The multitude of Red Valerian plants which adorn our off road parking area and the shared drive are primarily there to attract Humming-bird Hawks, a species which has been completely absent so far in 2024!  It was quite warm, although rather cloudy with a fresh breeze, this morning, but I still made a few visits to see if a "Hummer" had been attracted to the flowers. It was around 10.00 hrs that I spotted a small bee species which I certainly couldn't id. I grabbed the EOS 70D, fitted with a Sigma 55 - 200 mm lens and did my best to obtain a few images which might assist my cause.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my lack of extension tubes doesn't allow me to obtain particularly good close up, "macro", images yet, on this occassion, I'm not too unhappy with my results. My quest for an id took me on a very interesting journey through various natural history offering on the internet. My conclusion (although I'm perfectly happy to be corrected) is that this individual is a Green-eyed Flower Bee (Anthophora bimaculata). Until today I'd never heard of this species, let alone seen one. Crazy how simple encounters can create such interest and emotion?

June 16th is rapidly approaching and, I'm glad to say, my prep work is almost complete. A local equine supplier provided me with a 5ltr bottle of molasses and the grain store a 15 kg sack of hemp seed. Groundbait from Sandwich Coarse Fishery, sweetcorn from Aldi (72p/tin) and worms from the back garden should be enough to get the caper underway. I think that a fortnight will give me plenty of time to snare a Tench from Black Dyke, size being a very secondary factor, before the serious mission gets underway out on the marsh.

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