Sunday, 2 April 2017


Brilliant sunshine and 14c meant quite a few insects were about. I recorded 6 species of hoverfly mainly on willow catkins and the highlights included 5 Melangyna lasiophthalma [new for me] which Paul Tabor recorded last year but I missed and another Cheilosia albipila. Others included 7 Platycheirus albimanus, 4 Episyrphus balteatus, 2 Syrphus torvus and 1 Eristalis tenax. Two species of Bumblebee were present in Garden [1st of year] and Buff-tailed. Three species of butterfly were on the wing in Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral. Plus the ever present Green Tiger Beetle.

First Willow Warbler of the year for me was seen and 4 Chiffchaff in an otherwise quiet day for birds. A new first bloom was added with Early-dog Violet.

 Melangyna lasiophthalma - the early species of the Melangyna family has a liking for willow catkins. ID features include rectangular yellow spots on abdomen, black sides to the yellow scutellum, narrow half crescent dusting on frons [forehead area in-front of eyes], antennae base knob black and front tibia half black - all can be seen in this photo.
 Red Admiral - well worn so probably an overwinter hibernator rather than an early migrant.
 Syrphus torvus - hair on eyes can't be seen on this photo so has to be checked in hand under magnification, which this one was.
Early-dog Violet

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