Today you might see...

Saturday 23 April 2022
Thanasimus formicarius, Christophstal April 2022

Thanasimus formicarius, Christophstal April 2022

Thanasimus formicarius, Christophstal April 2022

Thanasimus formicarius, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Thanasimus formicarius</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Thanasimus formicarius, Christophstal April 2022

The bird migration continues to be a disappointment so my attention turned to this beetle that Christine found crawling on her back. This is the European red-bellied clerid, Thanasimus formicarius, which is a ferocious predator of bark beetles. Presumably this had been hibernating in one of our wood piles.

Thursday 21 April 2022

I had hoped that the migration might start today as yesterday was so disappointing, but it was almost an exact repeat of yesterday, but without the pied flycatcher.

As there wasn't much to write about, here's a photo of a jay that had found an apple somewhere.

Common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Buzzard, Christophstal April 2022

Buzzard, Christophstal April 2022

Black kite, Christophstal April 2022

Black kite, Christophstal April 2022

Jay eating apple, Christophstal April 2022

Jay eating apple, Christophstal April 2022

Wednesday 20 April 2022
Pied flycatcher, Christophstal April 2022

Pied flycatcher, Christophstal April 2022

Common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Black kite, Christophstal April 2022

Black kite, Christophstal April 2022

Red kite aerobatics, Christophstal April 2022

Red kite aerobatics, Christophstal April 2022

In previous years, today should have been the main bird migration day. Although I recorded 26 species today, there were only two real migrants: a pied flycatcher and a couple of common redstarts.

More interesting was seeing a black kite.

There were six black redstarts fighting for territory and a couple of red kites performing sychronized aerobatics.

Saturday 16 April 2022

The Egyptian geese are still visiting the pond every day. Today there was some courting behaviour (or what passes for courting behaviour in the goose world). The male was strutting around making a lot of noise and was repeatedly biting the female's neck.

Egyptian Geese, Christophstal April 2022

Egyptian Geese, Christophstal April 2022

Egyptian Geese, Christophstal April 2022

Egyptian Geese, Christophstal April 2022

Friday 15 April 2022
<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

<em>Osmia bicornis</em>, Christophstal April 2022

Osmia bicornis, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Yellow meadow ants, Christophstal April 2022

Raspberry slime mould, Christophstal April 2022

Raspberry slime mould, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrushes, Christophstal April 2022

Mistle thrushes, Christophstal April 2022

Treecreeper, Christophstal April 2022

Treecreeper, Christophstal April 2022

Treecreeper, Christophstal April 2022

Treecreeper, Christophstal April 2022

Good Friday: There was a lot happening today! Firstly, the female bees hatched from the nest reported on earlier. In total we had 7 males and 4 females and I'm finally happy with the species ID: Osmia bicornis.

I was moving stones and wood around in the garden and discovered a large nest of yellow meadow ants (research suggests that they are difficult to ID, but I can't really see any similar European species) and some raspberry slime mould, Tubifera ferruginosa.

As the evening drew in, two mistle thrushes were sweeping majestically across the Harrerbuckel. And finally, two, yes two, treecreepers were climbing up our birch.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

This male common redstart joined the black redstarts today - the first visit this year. 

Male common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Male common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Male common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Male common redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal April 2022

Monday 11 April 2022
Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

Green sandpiper, Christophstal April 2022

We're approaching migration time and it seems it has already begun. Most of the day, a green sandpiper has been paddling around the pond and sleeping. It looks like he has just flown in and is taking a rest here.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Some of the bees have emerged from the nest I collected from the garden last week (see March diary). I can now identify them as either Osmia bicornis or Osmia cornuta. Unfortunately, they've chosen to emerge during a period of extreme cold (it's forecast to drop to -12oC tonight). I've put the netted nest out in the shed in the hope that they'll go torpid for a couple of days and I can release them when the weather improves. Hopefully, I can get a photo of a female as that might settle the exact species identification, but for now I'll leave them undisturbed.

Male <em>Osmia</em> sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male Osmia sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male <em>Osmia</em> sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male Osmia sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male <em>Osmia</em> sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male Osmia sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male <em>Osmia</em> sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022

Male Osmia sp. ex pupa, Christophstal April 2022