Nature Profiles

Birds of Arizona

hooded oriole

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Roosting in a Columbine flower, Garston Wood RSPB Reserve, Dorset

 

 

blue th hmb

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Martin Down NNR, Dorset

This little mining bee has a fascinating life cycle, laying its eggs in old snail shells, then moving and camouflaging the sealed 'nest' to avoid predation by parasitic wasps.

O.bicolor is a common sight on unimproved grassland in southern England, but become very rare from the Midlands northwards.  The female is easily identified by her black head and thorax and bright orange abdomen.

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black phoebe

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Cupola Pond, Derbyshire

One of the easiest British flies to identify, the Noon Fly is often seen basking in the mid-day sun, hence its name. 

It is an attractive species, with bright orange wing bases and a golden face, and can be seen throughout the United Kingdom.

 

 

house wren

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These gregarious flies are often seen basking on tree trunks on warm days in spring and early summer.

The common name derives from the early emergence of the adult flies, around St Mark's Day in late April.

 

 

junco

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Coombs Dale SSSI, Derbyshire

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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

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An expert mimic of bumblebees (different species depending on the colour morph present), V.bombylans is a common hoverfly of southern Britain, although it is found as far north as the Orkney Isles.

There are five Volucella species in Britain, all restricted to southern England except V.bombylans and V.pellucens.

 

 

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Garston Wood RSPB Reserve, Dorset

Although large and rather intimidating to look at, hornets are rather docile members of the wasp family, compared to many of their more common cousins.  They are easily recognised by their yellow and reddish-brown colouration and large size.

The warming climate has allowed hornets to spread northwards into the North Midlands and southern Yorkshire in recent years.

This one turned up in my moth trap one night, where it presumably ate its fill before being released in the morning!

 

 

Wasp sp

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Chesterfield, Derbyshire

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Ichneumonid Wasp sp (Ophioninae sp)

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Garston Wood RSPB Reserve, Dorset

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Scorpion Fly (__________)

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Howe Ridding Wood NR, Cumbria