Rare moth back in northern Netherlands


This video from the Netherlands is about National park Dwingelderveld in winter.

Translated from the Dutch Natuurmonumenten conservationists:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pachythelia villosella, a very rare moth species, is back in Drenthe province. In late July, several individuals were seen and found dead in the National Park Dwingelderveld.

Disappeared species

Warden Ruud Kreetz of Natuurmonumenten says: “The species had disappeared from the northern provinces long ago, and was only seen recently on some spots in the Veluwe, North Brabant and Limburg.”

Birds, bees, butterflies earlier in mild winter weather


This video says about itself:

Up Close: Andrena Vaga Bee Digs an Impressive Hole

2 Feb 2014

Andrena is the largest genus in the family Andrenidae, and is nearly worldwide in distribution, with the notable exceptions of Oceania and South America. With over 1,300 species, it is one of the largest of all bee genera. Species are often brown to black with whitish abdominal hair bands, though other colors are possible, most commonly reddish, but also including metallic blue or green.

Body length commonly ranges between 8 – 17 mm with males smaller and more slender than females, which often show a black triangle (the “pygidial plate”) at the abdominal apex. In temperate areas, Andrena bees (both males and females) emerge from the underground cells where their prepupae spend the winter, when the temperature ranges from about 20°C to 30°C. They mate, and the females then seek sites for their nest burrows, where they construct small cells containing a ball of pollen mixed with nectar, upon which an egg is laid, before each cell is sealed. Andrena usually prefer sandy soils for a nesting substrate, near or under shrubs to be protected from heat and frost.

Andrena females can be readily distinguished from most other small bees by the possession of broad velvety areas in between the compound eyes and the antennal bases, called “facial foveae”. They also tend to have very long scopal hairs on the trochanters of the hind leg.

Some people say spring starts officially on 1 March. Some say 21 March. Astronomers say between 19 and 21 March.

Though it is still winter now according to many viewpoints, mild winter means that in the Netherlands, many birds and insects are unusually early, Vroege Vogels radio said today.

Andrea vaga bees are already flying. So are large earth bumblebee queens.

Some butterfly species fly already: peacock, red admiral, brimstone, small tortoiseshell. Not that surprising for these species, as they winter as adults, and will start flying when temperature allows.

A bit more unusual are other butterfly species which already fly now: small white and speckled wood. These species winter as pupae. Apparently, mild temperatures make for a quicker metamorphosis.

Skylarks and chaffinches sing already.

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Fungi, godwits and avocets


Meeslouwer lake, 23 February 2014

This photo shows the Meeslouwer lake, just north of Starrevaart nature reserve.

Today, 23 January 2014, to Starrevaart. In the pond next to the parking lot, gadwall ducks swimming.

A bit further, in the Meeslouwer lake: grey lag geese; coots; great cormorants sitting on poles.

Canada geese. Two little grebes. Tufted ducks.

Then, to the Starrevaart lake. Shelducks. A buzzard flying. Pheasants walking.

In woodland, fungi; the winter weather so far is mild. Scurvy twiglet mushrooms.

Witches' butter, 23 February 2014

On a fallen tree, witches’ butter.

A bit further, Coprinellus micaceus fungi. And Coprinus domesticus fungi. And Bjerkandera adusta.

Lesser celandine already flowering along a ditch, though spring still has to begin officially.

In the Starrevaart lake, scores of common pochards swimming. Behind them, over a thousand wigeons.

On the small island near the hide: many oystercatchers, scores of northern lapwings; and a few black-tailed godwits, just back from spring migration.

Oystercatchers and avocets flying away, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Every now and then, something scares the birds on the islet, and they fly away. On the photo, oystercatchers fly with two avocets, while wigeons swim.

Oystercatchers and godwits, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Most of the birds return to the island, if they think it was false alarm. On the photo oystercatchers, northern lapwings, and two black-tailed godwits; with a wigeon swimming in front of them.

Lapwings and godwits, 23 February 2014

Two male and one female goldeneyes swimming near the other side of the lake.

Shoveler, 23 February 2014

A male shoveler duck swims behind the islet.

Northern lapwing, 23 February 2014

A northern lapwing on top of a pole, with a row of wigeons underneath.

Northern lapwing, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Lapwings and wigeons gather as well on the rocks just east of the islet.

Lapwings and wigeons, 23 February 2014

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