Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 21 May 2012 21:02
This is the habitat that the rare bee, Anthophora retusa, is pretty much restricted too at Seaford Head. The sandy soils that sit upon the chalk (loess) there are home to many of these bees, we saw them today thanks to Mike Edwards. The bee looks very like the much commoner Anthophora plumipes, which is also at Seaford Head, but is just coming to the end of its flight season now. Ground Ivy is still a valuable nectar/pollen source for these bees but I also saw them on Hound's-tongue which is just coming into flower. The bees were too quick to photograph though. In the above photo, you can just pick out a Raven sunning itself on the edge of the cliffs.
I also saw a hoverfly I haven't noticed before. The rather odd Eristalinus aeneus. It has spotty eyes but what is really odd is that it is restricted to the coast as the larvae have a thing for rotting seaweed! Again, no photos I'm afraid.
I spotted a few of these micros hanging around Teasel and I'm pretty sure they are Endothenia gentianaena. Finally I had an opportunity to use my bird-dropping mimic micro moth book! This was a tick for me and it seems Seaford Head is somewhat of a hot spot for this quite large tortrix.