A visit to Lackford Lakes, Suffolk but this time concentrating on the "insect bank" just past the visitor centre. The target species was Bee Wolf and we will get to them soon, however the Buddleia bushes were attracting huge numbers of butterflies, so let's start here.
There were very good numbers of Painted Ladies, and I always marvel at the fact they migrate here from North Africa!
A surprise visitor was this incredible Hummingbird Hawk-moth. Even with a fast shutter speed the wings were a blur!
A few larger Dragonflies were patrolling but not settling for shots apart from an obliging Common Darter.
It was also fascinating to watch a family of Common Lizards in the wood pile.
And so to the Bee Wolf! Not actually a Bee or a Wolf but a Wasp. They are parasitic and prey on Honey Bees. They firstly dig a hole then catch their prey, bringing it back to the hole and laying an egg in the body before sealing the hole. When the young hatch they have a ready meal.
Whilst watching these, I noticed another parasitic wasp carrying a caterpillar. This was a Red Banded Sand Wasp which has a similar tactic to the Bee Wolf. However, rather than flying in with prey it dragged this caterpillar along the bank for a good 15 yards to its prepared nest hole.
A fascinating day, and Lackford Lakes never disappoints.