I'm seriously considering changing the title of this blog. You'll see why shortly. It's been a VERY busy week at BirdGuides London branch. The highlight (by some margin) was an outing to Martin Down in Wiltshire with the good people of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. They've recruited a new field officer, and Ben Darvill was on scene to do some training. We tagged along in the hope of learning something.
There are 23(ish) species of bumbles in the UK. Some of them are easy to see, but many of them are horribly rare and UKBAP listed. With the help of Ben we found and filmed two of them on this outing. The rather lovely Bombus humilis (a ginger crew-cut bee) and the delightful Bombus ruderarius (a black, red-tailed bee and extremely tricky to separate from the common Bombus lapidarius). Both are carder bees (ie they sort of knit a surface nest out of moss rather than occupying a burrow like most commoner bumbles). I can't wait to produce an ID guide to bumbles - I get the impression lots of people would like to learn more about them.
Back to the blog-post title then. On my way to work on Friday I found this enormous male Lime Hawkmoth clinging to a window. I licked my finger and picked him up and brought him to work so that Max could take a pretty photo. (Not all moths will let you do this - but hawkmoths are pretty tolerant). So for your delectation, the fourth green lep in as many posts: