Wednesday 13 July 2022

Kentish Nature Walks #48 - Ranscombe - not a loop, just the car park! - 13th July 2022

A morning up the garden sweating buckets and then some time lurking on the pc had me melting  and so at 1.30 I took myself to the Ranscombe car park just to look for bees – well one in particular.  Having failed to find any Andrena hattorfiana yesterday at the top end I thought I would try the few patches of Field Scabious here. 

Walking would be at a minimum and a retreat from the sun an easy ask.  I found a fine female immediately with her pink glowing pollen baskets and opaque wings but she was so active that getting any shots was tricky. Thanks to Grant I now know that I did however get a good image of my first ever male!

 Andrena hattorfiana - female

Andrena hattorfiana - male

Most of the Nettle-leaved Bellflowers in this exposed position were going over but the Ploughman’s Spikenard was at last coming out.  I walked up to the first meadow which was ablaze with flower.  There were now big clumps of Marjoram and Wild Basil and glowing white heads of Wild Carrot with that curious little burgundy floret in the middle.

Nettle-leaved Bellflower

Wild Carrot 

Ploughman’s Spikenard 

But it was not alive with insects.  There were plenty of Field and Meadow Grasshoppers and the first properly mature Long-winged Coneheads but the only bees were Honeys and a few common Bumbles. I saw no solitary species or wasps at all and only one Six Spot Burnet Moth – my first this year. There were a few zippy micro moths and a nicely marked Dingy White Plume.

Bombus lapidarius

Bombus terrestris

Bombus vestalis

Long-winged Conehead - female

Meadow Grasshopper

Six Spot Burnet Moth

Dingy White Plume - Merrifieldia baliodactylus - thanks Antony

It was sharing its bloom with a huge Nowickia ferox – a seriously beefed up Tachinid. Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and Small Whites danced across the field but in low numbers with a few Skippers, a male Brimstone, three Brown Argus and four fresh new Common Blues. 


Brown Argus

Common Blues

Meadow Brown

Nowickia ferox

It was another cloudy day but it was stifling and I retreated back home after forty short minutes but pleased to have achieved my goal.

Just the one Nemophora metallica was seen. 
I think this might be the female with the shorter antennae

No comments:

Post a Comment