The weather although a bit cloudy has been fair and warm which has been great for pollinators. I spent a nice afternoon on Saturday walking the road from Sanagimore to Kindrochid finishing off a pollinator survey. Despite the verges having been cut earlier in July the margins beyond the cut were still prolific in flowers knapweed, the bramble bushes and meadowsweet providing the main focus to bumblebees and butterflies. Near the Islay Development apiary site the honeybees have been mainly foraging on bramble and the meadowsweet too, the latter made obvious with a build up of green pollen in the bee's pollen sacks. Observation indicated bees were focusing either one or the other, not mixing visits between flowers.
A large fly called Tachina grossa has been a frequent sight these past few weeks, black and the size of a medium sized bumblebee, soldier beetle, along with other flies it was favouring the umbelifers, in this case Hogweed.
At the Islay Development apiary site there is a patch of hedge woundwort in front of the hives, although some of the honeybees can be seen visiting the flowers the main interest is from the bumblebees (the longer tongue of the bumbles able to access better the tubular funnel of the flower), primarily Garden bumblebee and Carder bees. I counted c. 35 in total at one tally.
|Wasp visiting Figwort|
Sunday's Killinallan dune walk was not attended by anyone this week, but I walked through the dunes anyway to see what was out and about. There were plenty of butterflies: Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Grayling, Small Heath, and Dark Green Fritillary. Flowers now showing were Devil's Bit Scabious, Harebell and Autumn Gentian with many of those out a month ago setting seed and on the wane.
|Snowy Inkcap on cattle dung|
|Dark Green Fritillary|
|Male White-tailed Bumblebee, the only one amongst the 195 others|