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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

21 April, 2012

Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor)

I have been wildlife watching now for many, many years and I always work on the principle that statistically I am likely to see common things when I'm out rather than rareties but equally one should always expect the unexpected. In spring the Bee-fly is a fairly common site around spring flowers and especially Primroses and Ground Ivy, it has a brown furry body, long probosis and appears to hover when taking nectar from these flowers.

I happened upon a bee-fly that did not look quite right somehow. It was a bit bigger than usual and had light markings along the side and on closer inspection the wings were dotted. Thinking this was odd I took a photograph and so was able to look it up when I got home. There was nothing like it in my field guide but a bit of digging around and I discovered we actually have twelve species of bee-fly in this country although most are uncommon or rare.

I soon had an idenfication for this one, a Dotted Bee-fly, not rare but certainly uncommon and an interesting find. Yes, always expect the unexpected!

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Find out more about the nature of Dorset at www.natureofdorset.co.uk