Friday, 14 March 2014

Allerthorpe Common

The weather was promising to spot basking adders so we headed off to Allerthorpe Common with some mist. This was my first visit to the site, a mix of scots pine plantation and heath. On arrival we heard Chiffchaff singing and saw Marsh, Blue and Great tit. Later, we caught up with a more interesting array of birds, including Siskin, Yellowhammer, Treecreeper, a pair of Jays and Mistle Thrushes.
 We saw a pair of Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow.
 On the sandy path by the little nature reserve a bunch of the early mining bee Andrena clarkella. Males checked exit holes for females and two males tried to mate with a female at the same time.
 No adders appears to be basking, although James found one under a piece of felt. This was my first ever British snake! Some members of the party also saw lizards, not me unfortunately, although, to compensate we came across this toad, who patiently sat for a lengthy photographic session, as corresponds to the first toad of the year.
Common Toad
Andrena clarkella mating ball
 one male leaves
the bedraggled female after the males left
adder
 adder
 a view of the wide woodand ride with glassland and heath
 gorse
linnet
reed bunting
Yellowhammer
Another Yellowhammer
Treecreeper
The bumblebee mimic Tachina ursina, thanks to Richard Comont for the identification and to Robert Jaques for suggesting Bear Fly as a common name for the species.
One of two male Brimstones we saw
Pair of Buzzards

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