A walk in the park

bee-fly

A pleasant walk yesterday in the country park nature reserve revealed the first tortoiseshell butterfly of the year for me on the path by the coastguards’ cottages. The yellow gorse bushes on the firehills looked magnificent against the clear blue sky and along one of the sandy paths I came across two bee-flies (Bombylius major) hovering near the old nesting sites of mining bees. Female bee-flies lay their eggs close to the nests of mining bees and their larvae enter and parasitize the bee larvae. Bee-flies tend to be characterised by the long straight proboscis, furry bee-like body and long spindly legs.

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