Longer-term readers will know that the first bee-fly of the year is always a source of great joy for me, so having commented on Sunday morning that I was yet to see one, it was great to put that right later the same day.
I’ve written entire posts in the past about how hard they can be to photograph, but this dark-edged bee-fly (Bombylius major) posed obligingly for ages, right where I was trying to move some plants. A convenient excuse to stop gardening and get the camera.
It wasn’t just bee-flies. Plenty of honey bees, bumblebees, and wasps were looking for early sources of pollen, or just places to rest or nest.
It was also a weekend for first-of-the-year’s in the butterflies with brimstone, peacock, white and comma all making an appearance.
With the garden birds we seem to have settled down to our usual breeding species now and the winter migrants have moved on. That means bullfinches, greenfinches and goldfinches, robins and blackbirds, dunnocks, and blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits.
Our fences have been of great interest to many of them this year as they’ve searched for nest material. Spider webs are always good binding material and I watched one goldfinch so determined to collect a part of one web that it nearly fell backwards off the trellis with the effort.
The string we use for tying some plants back is also of interest, and one blue tit spent ten minutes ripping strands off.
We continue to see hedgehogs regularly too, or at least one hedgehog, it’s hard to be certain if there are different individuals.
Hopefully the improved weather will mean more blogposts, and I certainly have a few opportunities in the coming weeks.