A trip to enemy territory|Patch League

Yesterday, I paid a visit to the patch of one of my fellow patch leaguers, Africa of Wild at Hull (ABugBlog).
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. ?

Something which I had gone without noticing, but which was pointed out to me by Africa, was the enormous number of Tawny Mining Bee nesting holes, both at the cemetery and our next destination; Pearson Park. This is a bee I'd never really seen much of before, though I can't say I'd ever looked for it, but I am now definitely keen to find some on my own patch as they are a stunning species. However, not quite as stunning as another bee we found later in the day...

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! 


  1. I also want to discover Africa's patch. It must've been an amazing day. Yes, I'm jealous.

  2. I only had the chance to go through your blog just now and noticed this entry. Brilliant. I am impressed by the iPad macro. Well captured, I love the millipedes and the Melecta pictures.