These are fascinating little bees. They use the pieces of leaf to form a small cell where an egg will be deposited along with some pollen and nectar into a tunnel which will have been excavated into rotten wood usually. About a dozen or so cells are deposited in the same tunnel and then the tunnel is sealed with leaves and then abandoned. The eggs hatch as larvae and feed off the pollen and nectar, then they hibernate and pupate into bees the following year.
I managed to find where our bees were building their tunnels, they were excavating into a rotten branch in our old Cherry tree (see below). The Acer's not looking too good, but i'll happily put up with it.
Other winged delights in the garden this morning were a Chiffchaff which silently flitted around the trees and bushes, and three Goldfinches which tinkled merrily away as they had a breakfast of Sunflower hearts. A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker chose peanuts off the menu and surprisingly a Stock Dove down the bottom of the garden was a new tick. I checked the bird books because i'm aware of impostors in the Pigeon game but it seemed to be the genuine article.
Brown Hawkers and what i'm certain were Emperor Dragonflies criss crossed the garden, sometimes settling momentarily, but just the usual blue species represented the Damselflies although Carol has recently seen a Banded Demoiselle in the garden.
I got itchy feet this afternoon and headed off for an hour down New Hythe lakes. I parked at the waterworks entrance and immediately noticed the Cinnabar caterpillars pictured above on their favourite plant, Common Ragwort.
A bit further on a footbridge crosses the Millstream and this is home to a few Banded Demoiselles, a female of which is pictured below. Bizarrely, I noticed that the males looked their usual blue colour on one side of the bridge but when they flew to the other side they appeared green! Honestly it's true and no, I hadn't been on the Pimms.
I didn't venture further than the Bittern corner of Streamside lake for reasons that I won't bore you with. Suffice to say the exuberance of youth, the barking of dogs and the consequences of lager feature heavily. But never mind, I amused myself taking some more pictures of Red eyed Damselflies (below) which I confess are becoming a favourite of mine.
I couldn't help firing off a couple of rounds at this juvenile Great Tit. It seemed to want me to, it did everything except smile.