Sunday brunch

Walking into the kitchen half way through the morning, I was pulled up short by the sight of this great spotted woodpecker brunching on peanuts. We have two peanut feeders, but the woodpeckers will only use this one, which is quite close to the house, if the ‘safer’ one on the apple tree is empty. Once my diner had left I took the hint, went outside, and topped up the buffet.

A short while later, in rather better light, I captured several hairy-footed flower bees feeding on pulmonaria nectar, and bickering and barging each other like lairy lads on a night out. Because their probosces are so long A. plumipes are deep flower specialists, and don’t have to go right inside a bloom to reach the nectar, so they tend to adopt the pose you see in tonight’s extra. It’s a very efficient way of feeding in that it allows for a quick lift-off, either to move to the next flower or to chase after a female, but it always looks to me as though the bee is peering into the flower, searching for something that he’s lost, and I find it irresistibly charming.