It was a rare morning of complete calm at Kielder – the mirrored surface of the reservoir reflecting the forest and hills to the north. It only lasted for a few hours before a chilly breeze got up cancelling out the warmth of the unbroken sunshine. Out of the wind the flowers of the willow trees provided useful early season food for bumble bees and hoverflies. Spring specialists such as the hoverfly Melangyna lasiophthalma (no English name to make it easier!) frequented these trees alongside a range of bumblebees and some unidentified flies.
On a sheltered bank little mounds of mined soil with an adjacent tiny hole indicated the presence of some burrowing insects. One bee dug itself underground before any identification was possible but a few others hung around, basking on sun warmed stones. Amongst them were a few ashy or grey mining bees (Andrena cineraria) with their distinctive grey hairs and black abdomen. These bees are solitary in that they each have their own burrow although they do often nest close to one another. Like the hoverfly it is a species of spring most usually seen between April and June.
All this activity was going on adjacent to well used paths but rarely noticed by those who pass by.