It started on Friday 25th. The sky was clear and blue and by lunchtime the temperature had also reached a nice 14C. It was the best day for insect activity for quite a while. Several species of hoverflies were out and about. These included a Marmalade Fly-Epysyrphus baltiatus, and also Meliscaeva auricollis this is a first garden record of this species. Colour-wise this is a variable species and individuals seen were either normal yellow and black as you would expect but other specimens of the same species appeared black and silver. This is caused by the lack of pollen in the diet at this time of year. The more pollen eaten the more yellow the individual. This is a fact mentioned by several contributors in UK Hoverflies forum and Wild About Britain. There was also a large Bee species seen throughout the weekend on several occasions. This is Bombus Terrestrus The-Buff Tailed Bee which is said to be active throughout the winter in Devon so is more likely than Bombus Lucorum, (White tailed bumblebee. Also a Drone Fly-Esteralis tenax. Several Fly species including an Anthomyiid fly either Hylemya nigrimana or Hylemya vagans (Anthomyiidae),
On the non insect front Common Frogs are active in the wildlife pond and spawn is evident as well as heads clear of the water.