Combat or copulation?

From Rick. Things must be getting bad. I’m paying attention to insects! [Rick’s main interest of course is geology.] At 10am, on 6th June after the shower, but in bright sunshine, on the patio.

At first I thought of an invasive killer eating our bees, but on closer inspection I think its copulation, not combat. I’m pretty sure they’re bees, but no idea why they aren’t the right colour, or doing this sort of thing on the wing. Maybe one you guys will know? Rick

Reflecting on lockdown sightings

From Stuart in Penistone. First and foremost many thanks for the latest wildlife news from all the contributors; week after week the observations have been fascinating.

Lynn and I have continued our daily walks and now often reflect on what we have seen since the Lockdown began on the 23rd of March.

On one walk, just after lockdown started, we had stopped to look at the buds of a horse chestnut tree and felt their stickiness. As the weeks progressed these buds swelled and burst with the soft pale leaves, these expanded rapidly and it was not long before we saw the first flower spikes beginning to develop. Next these flower spikes came into full bloom like large candles, they are a beautiful flower, a rich white mixed with delicate pink tones. Now, these last few days we have been past this very same tree again and the flower heads are fading. This is just one example of the huge changes we have all seen these past 10 weeks as we have watched spring unfold.

This past week I have also been checking my list of records and mopping up some obvious omissions with regard to the birds, so this week I have made it my aim to record both Linnet and Meadow Pipit while up around Hartcliffe and that mission is accomplished with both species present. On one of these walks I also spotted my second Red Kite of “lockdown”, this was near Hartcliffe too and very high up in a clear blue sky but even there a Crow was still giving it a hard time!