Filby: Lesser Emperor and the large Volucella hornet mimic......
To start the month off a visit to Filby (1st) found the first Volucella zonaria of the year, along with other hoverfly species; Sericomyia silentis and both male and female Eristalis intricarius.
Butterflies were represented by singles of White Admiral, Red Admiral, Large White, Green-veined White and Painted Lady, although a ‘small’ butterfly coming out of the Oaks may have been a Purple Hairstreak, all to brief view to be certain.
At least 6 Norfolk Hawkers were seen, along with the first Brown Hawker of the year, 4 Black-tailed Skimmer, 3 Four-spotted Chaser, male Emperor Dragonfly and two fly-pasts by a male Lesser Emperor, from the boardwalk along Filby Broad.
Smaller Odonata featured Red-eyed, Blue-tailed, Azure, Common Blue and Variable Damselflies.
Tree Bumblebee workers were seen along with a female Vestal Cuckoo Bee Bombus vestalis and as yet unidentified Andrena, Bombus and Megachile bee species and a Fly species.
Blackcap, Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff were singing, whilst Common Terns and 2 Common Buzzards flew overhead and a Sparrowhawk flew across Filby Broad carrying prey and later returned with the prey most likely delivered to its nest. A pair of Great Crested Grebes with two young was on Filby Broad, not helped by a speeding boat going across the broad on several occasions from the yacht club. The matter, along with photos showing the amount of wash from the boat has been sent to the Trinity Broads warden.
The ongoing incursion into what are very shallow lakes, prone to pollution by man for his own pleasure appears to be with no regard to the unique ecosystem of the Broads. The last estimate I heard was that what remains of ‘The Great Swamp’ is only 10% of what it once was. I would suggest it is far less than that now and decreasing!
Lesser Emperor Great Crested Grebe family
Volucella zonaria Sericomyia silentis Eristalis intricarius (male) .....
fFmale Eristalis intricarius Tree Bumblebee Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee