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« Great Dixter Moths | Main | From the Clifftop »

Morning, bee

Out on a breeding bird survey this morning I came across this little beauty on the flowers of green alkanet. This is common mourning bee (Melecta albifrons) a nest parasite of hairy-footed flower bee (see here). This one was recorded just off the reserve by the Narrow Pits, but I had one yesterday at Castle Water that I didn't manage to photograph so it was nice to get a second chance. These records double the total on our database, with the only previous records 2008 in Peasmarsh and 2011 in Rye Harbour Village (it's a bit like the old joke about buses). The same plant also had both spring bumblebee and tree bumblebee feeding on it, my first records of the year for these species, common carder bee, red admiral and an oak eggar caterpillar. I usually ignore green alkanet as uninteresting, so perhaps I should pay it more attention in the future!

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