For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Big-headed Mining Bee, Andrena bucephala and Red Mason Bee, Osmia bicornis in my garden yesterday.

 A very early flowering blackberry cultivar attracts many insects now including this big-headed solitary bee.  It looks like a Big-headed Mining Bee.

 Above looks like a male Red Mason Bee, Osmia bicornis whilst below, collecting pollen is clearly a female Red Mason Bee.  Males don't do any such work to provision a nest.

Click on any picture to expand it.
And for my talk The extraordinary lives of wild bees and the important role of gardeners in their survival. click here

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Early-purple Orchids with pollinating Common Carder Bee on Wolstonbury Hill, West Sussex today.

 An overcast morning with spits of rain and a temperature of 12 degrees Celsius at the foot of the hill was unfavourable for insects.

Common Twayblades

On this orchid a Common Carder Bee was comatose: alive but hardly responsive.

 Its sleepy state enabled these close-up photo's of its head with orchid pollinia (pollen bearing packets) stuck to it.

Click on any picture to expand it.
See also
And my talk on bees at

Friday, 11 May 2018

Early-spider Orchids, Isle of Purbeck last Wednesday

From Worth Matravers it is a short walk, c. 4.5miles along the Priest's Way and down to the cliffs at Dancing Ledge. 

View to Swanage

 The meadows to the west of Dancing Ledge are the finest place to see these orchids in the UK.  There are thousands of them.

Orchid with cowslip

Orchid with milkwort

Orchid with daisies

going to seeds
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
And if you book public speakers, you may like my talk on native orchids detailed at

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

A plucking good time on Wolstonbury Hill, the South Downs, this morning.

Clearing scrub on the South Downs opens up the hill to sunlight allowing downland plants and flowers to thrive.  Charles demonstrates his skilled technique in "tree plucking".

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Loder valley today.

The Loder valley, is a beautiful place at any time of year and especially now the bluebells are in full bloom.

 National Trust Charcoal burner,
 Great-crested Grebe.

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