Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cloudy day at Steyning

After completing my mission for Sue, I headed off to Steyning early, hoping that the sun would shine. It did a few times over the next few hours, but not enough to tempt out many Brown Hairstreaks. I saw one on high, and another possible near the ground, but no clear view of this one. I met two other butterfly hunters hoping for a sighting, including Leigh who has his own blog.
The Banded Hoverfly Volucella zonaria
This is one of the largest hover-flies in the UK and it is most frequent in SE England. It was virtually unknown here until about 60 years ago, but has steadily increased in numbers since. Because of its size and colouration, it can be mistaken for a hornet. The female sneaks into the nests of social wasps, usually after dark, and lays her eggs. When hatched the larvae scavenge on debris within the nest but will also feed on the hosts larvae and pupae.

Bumble bee collecting pollen from Convolvulus
Common lizard
I saw several lizards during the day, but this one stopped top have his picture taken.
The wild plums of the prunus are perfectly ripe and delicious

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