Sunday, 12 August 2012

Catching the Bug

I've just finished reading (and listening to) Catching the Bug by The Sound Approach. It's superb. Really superb. However, that's not what I want to talk about — I'll write a full review soon. I want to skip from The Sound Approach to birding to...

The Sound Approach to beeing

Let me introduce you to Bombus sylvarum, the Shrill Carder Bee.

It's quite a rare bee in the UK; indeed, it was a tick on my bee list. They're lovely little things. As their name suggests, they're rather shrill.

However, before we look at that further, let me introduce you to another bee that was new for my bee list.
Bombus humilis, the Brown-banded Carder Bee.

Brown-banded Carder Bees sound like... well, bees. Have a listen:

Shrill Carder Bees, in contrast, sound... shrill. Who'dathoughtit.

The shrill buzzing noise actually proved a really useful way to pick individuals up as they whizzed from bush to bush.

And just for fun:
I was going to annotate these and make some clever comments about fundamentals and modulations but after 90 minutes of being bored senseless by the London 2012 closing ceremony I'm not sure I've got the brain power... Still, I hear the Spice Girls are going to make an appearance later. I hope Geri's got her Union Jack dress on.

Earlier in the day, in case you're not fed up of bumblebees yet, we saw at least several of these; or should I say we managed to ID several of these:
Bombus soroeensis, Broken-belted Bumblebee
In total, we managed to see ten species of bumblebee.

Also this:
It's a Puss Moth caterpillar and it was speeding across the track at Dungeness ARC pit. They're green right up until the point at which they pupate, so this individual must have been right on the cusp of pupating. It was massive — about the size of my finger; and in case you're wonder, its head is at the right-hand end.

It was generally quiet for birds. Two Little Stints were on ARC pit along with two Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and a decent flock of Golden Plover. A Reed Warbler and a couple of Common Whitethroats were in the trapping area at the obs.

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