Open the Reserve, Open the Alley!

With Minsmere now open again (albeit with limited facilities and the odd one-way system - hey, don't knock it, the toilets are open at least!), Mrs WJ and I decided it was time for our first stroll around in nearly three months.  Everything's lush (redbeds) or parched (heathland) compared to the last time we visited, but one thing's for certain, the insects are loving the weather.  So much so, that Digger Alley is open for business even earlier than usual.  Early Beewolves are snatching Honeybees already, stocking their burrows

The boys too are keen to show off - the male Beewolves have a pheromone based lek, just across the path this year from their normal location.  Handily placed for a bench to sit on

Mysterious wigglies wiggle around

together with Peacock caterpillars

False Oil Beetles

and the wonderful Green Eyed Flower Bees were enjoying the bramble flowers

Lots of Dragons around, especially these 4 Spot Chasers

But it's always the wasps we enjoy watching the most - the little Ornate Tailed taking what I think is a Blood Bee (a first for us)

Nothing compares to the Sand Wasps for determination though - that's a huge, juicy caterpillar she's got there!

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