Now that Willow catkins have opened, a few insects have started to pollinate. This hoverfly is Parasyrphus punctulatus:
|The hoverfly Parasyrphus punctulatus|
I have seen plenty of queen bumblebees searching for a place to nest - both Bombus terrestris and Bombus lucorum - seemingly in larger numbers than I have seen before. Perhaps the searching season has been compressed by the weather. I first found Bombus pratorum - the Early Nesting Bumblebee - in a fairly wild area in 2006, but I have seen several workers appearing on the hedgerow in the last few years: apparently it is becoming increasing urbanised due to the removal or loss of its usual habitat.
I found this queen - one of two queens that I have seen for the first time this year - crawling slowly around, so I suspect she had just emerged, since she is shiny clean.
|Queen Bombus pratorum|
A couple of moths came to light. The micros were worn beyond identification, but the March Moth is always very easy to identify due to the very triangular shape of the wings at rest:
A few more flowers have opened, the most notable being Common Fumitory:
The 1k square challenge list now sits at 295 species. The list can be seen here.