Sunday, 11 October 2015

Tir founder + colonists

Whilst Phil jets of to Peru, I make do with a stroll around Tir Founder before heading of coaching. The Cetti's Warb, found recently, was still belting out its song. Two Willow Tit were heard - and three similar looking birds flew out of the bush, but I couldn't get on to them to check if all three were Willow Tit.

After coaching I took a trip down to Port Enyon. The birding was quiet but a patch of Ivy was heaving with Ivy Colletes bees (Colletes hederae).

This bee was first identified by science as recently as 1993, from southern Europe, and it was first recorded in the UK in 2001. By 2009 it had colonised much of the English south coast, and now is well established in the Gower. It's more or less restricted to feeding on Ivy, so it's a late emerging species - on the wing from September through to November. At first glance it looks a bit like a Honey Bee - its about the same size - but the thorax is more golden coloured with neat pale bands at the edge of each abdominal segment.  A species worth keeping an eye out for.

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