Trailcam: 28 Sep to 15 Oct

A new spot. And a quiet one. This is a newly cleared area where I used to dump stuff for shredding. It’s all shredded now and I thought it would be a popular nocturnal thoroughfare. It doesn’t seem to be used much at all. The odd squirrel and magpie. The camera is tilted a little to high, so I’ll tilt that down a bit and perhaps put a bit of food down.

Signs of Life

Finally, something has shown up next to the pond. Or puddle. I’m not expecting whales or dolphins or anything amazing, but I’d expected some insects to show up. It’s a nice little pool. Surrounded by nettles.

I think this is Helophilus pendulus, a hoverfly. According to Wikipedia the scientific name means “dangling marsh-lover” – which seems a pretty accurate description.

[Later … Perhaps it’s Myatropa florea (batman hoverfly) – I can’t tell]

Trying to film bees

The tree bumblebees in the nest box are an interesting photo challenge. Quite easy to film and photo on the iPhone, but trying to use a zoom lens on the SLR was a different sort of challenge. I’m not sure if the quality is any better, and both the me and the bees found the constant chatter of the lens as it autofocused quite distracting. Manual focus seems the way to go.

Buff-tailed bumblebee on Beauty Bush

The North East Bee Hunt has been great for helping me recognise bumblebees in the garden. You don’t need to know much to be able to distinguish the common bumblebees. I’ve gone from “they’re all just bees” to being able to recognise the ones that come to visit the garden.

Tree bumblebees in blue tit nestbox

I was bemused and mildly perturbed when tree bumblebees set up home in a nest box normally used by blue tits. Just a neat socially-distanced two metres from where we sometimes sit out when it’s sunny. I suspected, rightly, that they were like the Borg, and would ignore us as long as they did not consider us an immediate threat.

There’s a really good article on the Bumblebee conservation trust website that explains all about tree bumblebees and their, at times, somewhat mystifying behaviour. For the moment, I for one welcome my new bumbleebee overlords, and, in a month or two, when they’ve packed up and gone, I suspect I’ll quite miss them.