Archive for July 25th, 2009

25th July 2009, Saturday

Bombus hortorum on Walland Marsh

Earlier in the week I reported the scarcity of the garden bumblebee Bombus hortorum on Dungeness, and apparently from elsewhere on the Marsh. Well today I found it to be the most abundant bumblebee on Larry Cooke’s farm on Walland Marsh! 18 of the 29 bees recorded on a one hour walk were this species, and I also found the scarce moss carder bee Bombus muscorum. 26 of the 29 bees spotted were of species that have longer tongues, and are more dependent on red clover and vetches for pollen/nectar. So Larry’s abundance of red clover is producing the desired outcome.

Which makes the scarcity of hortorum on Dungeness even more mysterious!

25th July 2009, Saturday

Creeping Thistle

Managing the Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense ) beds at Castle Water can be a nightmare, if left unchecked this thistle takes over huge areas of grassland very quickly so some management is required. This plant is also an important provider of nectar and pollen for insects, areas that have been left this year to flower were this morning covered in feeding insects. An astonishing 800+ Painted Lady and 67 Peacock made an impressive sight as they fluttered between the thistles, other participants of the feast included 3 Clouded Yellow, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Large White, Essex and Small Skipper, Comma, four bumblebee species and the migrant Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri. Five of the above are pictured below.

Read the rest of this entry »