Last June Jaunt

Last June Jaunt - Hoverfly on thistle flower
Last June Jaunt

I have to be honest June is one of my least busy months on the patch front at the best of times, the birding drops right off with so many birds nesting and nothing new moving through, but this June has been so wet that my normal targets, the butterflies and odonata, have been struggling too, but yesterday I headed out anyway on my Last June Jaunt of the year.

There is still a dearth of butterflies on the wing, and the odes seem to be well behind normal emergence levels (there’s more later about all these) what does seem to be doing well this year though is the hoverflies and this walk became a great day for checking them out.

Anyway please read on.

Last June Jaunt

The old lock was alive with chacking noises, it seems the Blackcap and Common Whitethroat in the area have had a good spring as there were several youngsters of each already hanging about. The air also hung heavy with the twittering of a mix of Goldfinch and overhead swallows, but otherwise the area was quite quiet.

It wasn’t until I reached the river that the odonata sprang to life, mainly smaller damselflies, Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed making up the bulk. The odd large, Emperor Dragonfly, could be found patrolling the flowing surface of the river, hunting small insects over the dark waters, still cloudy from all the recent rain.

Meadow Brown
Meadow Brown

 

Philaenus spumarius
Philaenus spumarius
Unknown Fly
Unknown Fly

Flood Plain Forest

Over the lakes more Emperors could be seen along side some ovipositoring (is that even a word?) Black-Tailed Skimmers, while a few Small tortoiseshells and Meadow Brown butterflies could be found being buffeted in the strong breeze that was whipping over the water.

Young Mallards, coots and Lapwing could be seen dotted around the water and islands, however the lack of Common Terns (and especially their young) is a little disheartening. The floods late in My early in June seem to have totally wiped out their breeding attempts, along with the local Redshank who all seem to have vanished and even the Oystercatchers seem to have failed, sad times.

Everywhere I looked though the bushes and weeds were full of hoverflies, from tiny Marmalade’s to the large Volucella Pellucens

Xanthogramma Pedissequum
Xanthogramma Pedissequum
Xanthogramma Pedissequum
Xanthogramma Pedissequum

 

Eristalis sp
Eristalis sp

 

Eupeodes Corollae (I think)
Eupeodes Corollae (I think)

 

Episyrphus Balteatus (Marmalade Fly)
Episyrphus Balteatus (Marmalade Fly)

 

Eupeodes Corollae (I think)
Eupeodes Corollae (I think)

 

Eupeodes Corollae (I think)
Another of the Eupeodes Corollae (I think)

 

Eupeodes Corollae (I think)
Eupeodes Corollae (I think)

 

Helophilus pendulus (I think)
Helophilus pendulus (I think)

 

Volucella pellucens
Volucella pellucens

Bee Mating

As I wandered I spotted what at first glance looked like the largest bee you’d ever see, on closer inspection it was two bees that had entangled themselves. Now my bee skills are pretty non existent but I had them down as different species, well look at the photos below and you’ll see my point, however I have since been advised they are the same species, one male and one female and they are indeed mating!

Bombus lapidarius (red tailed bumblebee) mating
Bombus lapidarius (red tailed bumblebee) mating

 

Bombus lapidarius (red tailed bumblebee) mating
Bombus lapidarius (red tailed bumblebee) mating

Quite the sexual dimorphism I think you’ll agree!

Other Photos

 

Unknown bug
Unknown bug

 

Large Skipper
Large Skipper

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