The sun was shining, and, apart from a bit of wind making it a little chilly it was a lovely day for birding. We started off at Springbank Cemetary, and within a few minutes heard the unmistakable call of the Chiffchaff, a first for the year for me and at long last. Other than the Chiffchaff, bird wise there we weren't too lucky with the only others being the typical residents Wren, Robin, and Dunnock. Invertebrates, on the other hand, we a plenty. The first rock we turned over immediately yielded one new member of the patch list, the Black Millipedes below (Tachypodoiulus niger), and a new harvestman for the list (Nemastoma bimaculatum), as well as some other nice specimens:
|Black Millipede Tachypodoiulus niger|
|Oxychilus spp. ?|
|Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva|
We began at the Wildlife Garden, and whilst having lunch had a Sparrowhawk fly overheard and a sole Swallow (spotted by Africa but missed by me). We then went on to the park itself, where we didn't see a great deal in the way of birds but after hearing it's loud call, were drawn to a tree close by where we were treated to amazing views of a Great-spotted Woodpecker drumming, something neither of us had seen before but awesome to watch. If only I'd had my proper camera!
After Pearson and a much needed coffee break, whilst walking close to Princes Avenue Africa spotted a bee on the pavement. Only seconds later, the bee was almost run over by a small child riding a scooter, but fortunately had it's like spared. It was a Cuckoo Bee Melecta albifrons, and the most beautiful bee I have ever seen. The picture really does not do it justice! Africa said how it must have started flying at the wrong time of day and not been able to gather up enough energy to continue on it's way, so we put it on one of it's favoured plants to regain some energy...
|Cuckoo Bee Melecta albifrons|
A wonderful species to end a great day with!