A day of four seasons and still wildlife flourishes

Amazing day’s weather in Exeter yesterday – it seemed like all four seasons had been wrapped into one day. Heavy rain, hail, 18 degree sunshine and wind. During the sunny bits it seemed like spring had arrived – I saw my first bee flies of the year along with hoverflies, a peacock butterflies and the solitary bee – the Hairy-footed Flower Bee.


This is the Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) – the most common of the bee flies in the UK
(it is a fly not a bee)


It has a very interesting life cycle which I have written about before – see here – it only flies when temperatures are above 17 degrees.This is the Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) – a hover fly which is mimicking a honey bee. Hoverflies cannot sting but work on the assumption that you think they can!


Another shot – feeding on a Lesser Celandine – note the single pair of wings and the large compound eyes which distinguish flies from bees


This is the first Solitary Bee of the year to emerge – Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) – this is a male – they emerge several weeks before the females – note the hairy feet!


Lovely yellow hairs on his face

If you have got a garden it is possible/probable that all of these species will be living in it – on a sunny day have a look  to see who you are sharing your garden with.

 

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