Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bee-eating birds and wood-eating wasps

A very cool wasp ID guide points out that it's very important to gaze into their eyes, or at least see their face, as the abdominal markings can be very variable. I am thinking this could be Dolichovespula saxonica? I spotted this wasp while standing patiently in a line of lots of telescope-wielding hopefuls, all staring in the direction of the arrow. As well as sand martins zooming in and out of a great rank of nest holes (circled), there are in this Cumbrian quarry, two pairs of bee-eater!! It was a real waiting game and in four hours there were two sightings but what an amazingly colourful bird the bee-eater is, wowser!

Someone got some good pics here and if you want to visit, it's a fiver for parking, directions here, and the RSPB are monitoring the site and have signs and a viewing spot. Although it was quiet on Saturday, soon there will be lots of activity as the young get bigger and hungrier - so good luck! And if the bee-eaters are being coy, there are oodles of sand martins, swifts, a family of wheater, sparrowhawks, and big dragonflies to spot. Oh, and some very smart wasps!