What a Difference a Day Makes!

In his recent blog, Ian mentioned Digger Alley was quiet, with no sign of any of the residents just yet.  Just a day or two later however, and this year's early pioneers are putting in an appearance.  First of all, your eye is caught by a bee on a flower. 

Nothing unusual about that, but there's something not quite right, it's flying down to the ground.  Hang on, I think that's a Cliff Mining bee - in the path.  Well, OK, this is Minsmere!

Whilst I'm not 100% certain about that Cliff Miner, there's no doubt about this little lady - yes, the Pantaloons are back!

And not just the girls - the boys are around too

Ahem, well, ok, there's a female in there somewhere, he appears to be keen to get acquainted!  Come out where we can...Ah, that's better

The lurid coloured eyes of our next visitor can mean only one thing - the diminutive Green Eyed Flower Bees are around too - this one's a male I believe, with the yellow base to the antenna

Keen not to be left out, the Ornate Tailed Digger Wasp popped out to say hello as well

And a male Beewolf was searching for the girls, although they're a bit elusive so far

Needless to say, the Jewel Wasps aren't far behind

But the award for the day's weirdest photo must surely go to Mrs WJ who caught this grasshopper.  This pink grasshopper!  It's a rare genetic mutation called erythrism apparently!


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  • Good to see digger alley is awake. just in time for me to try out my new toys :)
    Great Photos Mr WJ

    My Flickr. Photos link HERE

  • What amazing photos! I have to confess I would never have noticed most of those beautiful creatures, so thank you. I must look closer to me in future!

    Birdie's DU Summaries 2018

  • In reply to SheilaFE:

    It's always important to look closely at what's nearby - though it can take you a looooong while to get anywhere!  Mrs WJ was rather taken with the eyelashes on this fly for example...


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  • Wow! Fantastic photos.

    My husband always complains that we do hours per mile, not miles per hour when out walking around reserves. As you can tell I am the photographer, not him. LOL.

    Some of my previous photos from elsewhere are on my Flickr site here... www.flickr.com/.../


  • The good thing about Digger Alley is that it's not too far away from the Visitor Centre - so you can always send him back for coffees should you get a bit sidetracked with bees & wasps :-) Your 100-400 is excellent for all the bugs - pop in a macro if you have one & you'll be covered for pretty much anything. Take as much time as you can wandering round - it's always tempting to try and see everything on a visit, but Minsmere is a large reserve. It is quite easy to spend an entire week exploring the place! If you're limiting yourself to just the one day (should you be looking at something else on day 2 for example), aim to get into Island Mere early (Bitterns, Marsh Harriers, Beardies & Otter hopefully), then pop into the Visitor Centre when it opens (ie 9am onwards). Cafe open at half 9 for breakfast. Then do the Scrape loop (via Digger Alley). A late lunch/afternoon tea, then maybe the woodland trail (or the big loop via Dunwich Heath if you feel like a good stretch of the legs by then) and a late dinner. The nice thing about Minsmere is that the reserve itself is open dawn to dusk, so there's no panic about getting out at 5pm and it's normally lovely & peaceful after that time


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  • Great photos WJ, I assume your using a macro? Brilliant detail of all the insects. Time for us to make another visit soon.



  • In reply to tony:

    Yep, macro time of year, although the 100-400 comes into its own when it gets busier with in-flight stuff. 5D4 with the Sigma 180mm & Mrs WJ's using the Canon 100mm L on an 80D. All good fun!


    Find me on Flickr / All about your camera - The Getting off Auto Index