Bobthebirder's Video Blog

Radipole Lake RSPB Reserve
Wednesday August 22nd 2012

With news of an osprey in the area I headed off to my local reserve to capture some dramatic footage of the avian predator plunging into the lake after one of the monster carp that abound therein. Not a sign of it so here is a video of some flies.

Actually we start with a bee. This was thought to be a buff-tailed bumblebee at first but apparently the shiny thorax (the part of the body below the head) makes it a cuckoo bee. Cuckoo bees are supposed to have evolved from the more familiar bumblebees that nest colonially, with one queen bee tended by many sterile female workers. A cuckoo bee will kill the queen and use the nest and workers to rear her own young, a bit like a dictator taking over a country by displacing the previous leader.

I'm not certain at all that this is really a cuckoo bee, I find bees very difficult to identify, so I've uploaded a still from the sequence to iSpot for identification, see: http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/289240



Looking at this video I noticed something I had never seen before. This always happens when I get home and go over the day's filming. This time I noticed the amount of time that the bee spent stroking its furry body with its back legs. Perhaps it just feels nice but I bet it has a useful purpose, like a bird preening its feathers. Have another look at the bee sequence then compare it with this next one, of a hoverfly.



It's doing the same thing! Stroking its body with its back legs, just like the bee! This fly definitely looks like it's cleaning itself, but from what? Perhaps it gets covered in pollen from visiting flowers which could encourage fungi and bacteria to grow, so it carefully removes pollen every day from its body.

You'll notice that the sound disappears half way through this sequence. This is when I decided to switch to high speed video to slow down the leg movements to see if I could work out what was going on. My camera can only record high speed sequences at a low resolution so you'll no doubt also notice the drop in resolution. Just stand further away from the screen, it will look fine.

By the way, I have absolutely no idea which species of hoverfly this is. I can't find it in any of my books. It could well be new to science. See http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/289246 for the iSpot experts' opinion.



Now another hoverfly. This one is content to just rub its legs together. No soundtrack again as this is all at high speed, but not as high as the previous one so the resolution is a bit better. I think this is a species called the dronefly, but here is its iSpot page just to make sure: http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/289249

I particularly like to film insects in flight, slowed down of course. This fly kept flying off to a new flower so I included some take-off sequences here. I got a bit carried away with this next one of a green fly, trying to film it taking off.



Even slowed right down to one eighth of normal speed the little devil just zooms straight off out of frame. I need a better camera.



Finally we have a very colourful sequence of a honey bee (I don't need iSpot to identify this one) feeding on flowers of Canadian golden-rod. High res first (normal speed) followed by a low res (one eighth speed) bit. These lovely little insects fly slow enough for my camera to make a reasonable job of showing flight detail.

The background sound is a bit more distracting here because I've now walked round the reserve and am standing closer to the traffic speeding along Weymouth Way. I really can't think of another reserve that has so much wildlife ignoring so much disturbance as Radipole Lake. Well done to the RSPB for managing it so well in very difficult circumstances.

The full video can be seen at http://youtu.be/_JHI8xgcEiE.

You can choose which of my walks you would like to go on by visiting http://www.dorsetwalks.com

or you can keep in contact via Twitter (@bobthebirder) or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/natureportfolio


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video archive:

July 2017
12/07 - silver-washed fritillaries
04/07 - common shrew

June 2017
04/06 - grey mullet

May 2017
16/05 - sedge warbler
02/05 - adders

April 2017
30/04 - reed warbler
16/04 - tiger beetle
15/04 - wood ants
13/04 - ducks
09/04 - seabirds

March 2017
11/03 - grey heron

February 2017
19/02 - wagtails
09/02 - finches



December 2016
17/12 - reed bunting
13/12 - turnstones
08/12 - cattle egrets

November 2016
12/11 - purple sandpipers
01/11 - grey plover

October 2016
19/10 - sika stag
15/10 - bass fishing
13/10 - dippers
07/10 - magpies
01/10 - ivy bees

September 2016
22/09 - dor beeetle
18/09 - osprey
13/09 - ortolan bunting

August 2016
25/08 - garganey

July 2016
30/07 - wood and green sandpipers
20/07 - white admiral

June 2016
21/06 - green hairstreak
12/06 - bumble-bees
05/06 - small mountain ringlet

May 2016
17/05 - bloody-nosed beetle
16/05 - cardinal beetle
04/05 - water vole
03/05 - black-tailed godwit

April 2016
20/04 - chiffchaff
18/04 - cetti's warbler
17/04 - blackcap
13/04 - fulmar
02/04 - great crested newt

March 2016
29/03 - oil beetle
13/03 - cetti's warbler
06/03 - weasel
02/03 - pallas's warbler

February 2016
29/02 - spoonbill
19/02 - raven
12/02 - tits and finches
01/02 - dung beetle

January 2016
26/01 - storm at portland bill
04/01 - red-breasted merganser



December 2015
30/12 - storm frank
27/12 - short-eared owl
22/12 - male marsh harrier
18/12 - rock pipit
14/12 - great northern diver

November 2015
30/11 - tame robin
22/11 - fox hunting voles
16/11 - daubenton's bat

October 2015
29/10 - kestrel
25/10 - chiffchaff
21/10 - water vole

September 2015
29/09 - long-winged conehead
15/09 - grey phalarope
10/09 - little egret
06/09 - kingfisher

August 2015
25/08 - grey heron
03/08 - little egret

July 2015
23/07 - silver-washed fritillary
22/07 - wood ants
21/07 - red deer
08/07 - high brown fritillary

June 2015
30/06 - leaf-cutter bee
29/06 - female marsh harrier
27/06 - fox family
21/06 - emperor dragonfly
15/06 - green tiger beetle
07/06 - smooth-hound

May 2015
28/05 - pearl-bordered fritillary
27/05 - pearl-bordered fritillary
26/05 - wood warbler
24/05 - common tern
09/05 - swallows
03/05 - male marsh harrier

April 2015
21/04 - greenshank
13/04 - roe deer
09/04 - sandwich terns
08/04 - kite and heron
06/04 - red fox

March 2015
29/03 - tree sparrow
24/03 - buntings
20/03 - solar eclipse
18/03 - bonaparte's gull
14/03 - godwits
10/03 - little egret
07/03 - spoonbills
03/03 - red kites
02/03 - mute swans

February 2015
24/02 - marsh harriers

January 2015
31/01 - little egret
27/01 - kestrel
20/01 - teal
17/01 - magpie
11/01 - rook



December 2014
27/12 - bearded tits
21/12 - marsh harriers
13/12 - purple sandpipers
10/12 - shags
07/12 - buzzard

November 2014
19/11 - langton herring
15/11 - drake scaup

October 2014
25/10 - long-tailed duck
19/10 - gulls
06/10 - wheatear

September 2014
23/09 - radipole lake
14/09 - new forest
07/09 - sark

August 2014
28/08 - british wildlife centre
12/08 - brown argus
11/08 - migrant hawker
04/08 - hoverfly and bee

July 2014
29/07 - east anglia day 4
28/07 - east anglia day 3
27/07 - east anglia day 2
26/07 - east anglia day 1
15/07 - peacock butterfly
09/07 - wareham forest
07/07 - alner's gorse

June 2014
30/06 - moreton
22/06 - jellyfish
21/06 - dragonflies
16/06 - black hairstreak
14/06 - adonis blue
09/06 - marsh fritillaries

May 2014
27/05 - charmouth
26/05 - terns
24/05 - roe deer
20/05 - fox
19/05 - sleepy ducks

April 2014
28/04 - dartford warblers
16/04 - dipper

March 2014
22/03 - kingston maurward
07/03 - red squirrels

February 2014
23/02 - deer
15/02 - mergansers
11/02 - slimbridge
01/02 - portland bill



December 2013
26/12 - Brünnich's guillemot
13/12 - amoeba
10/12 - marsh harriers
06/12 - lizards & kestrel

November 2013
26/11 - surf scoter
12/11 - stonechats
03/11 - marsh harriers

October 2013
20/10 - sandpiper & ibis
06/10 - dolphins
01/10 - hobbies

September 2013
16/09 - more kingfishers
13/09 - kingfishers
10/09 - common darter
06/09 - penn weare

August 2013
26/08 - goldfinch
25/08 - clouded yellow
04/08 - silver-spotted skipper

July 2013
07/07 - gulls & fish
02/07 - red-crested pochard

June 2013
14/06 - east anglia
09/06 - new forest
02/06 - cygnets

May 2013
26/05 - cuckoo
20/05 - goslings
11/05 - mute swans
04/05 - canada geese

April 2013
28/04 - fox
15/04 - garganey
04/04 - deer & hares

March 2013
30/03 - brown rat
25/03 - med gulls
19/03 - mischievous crow
09/03 - water rail
08/03 - microscopy
05/03 - hoodie

February 2013
12/02 - finches

January 2013
25/01 - portland bill
22/01 - snipe
19/01 - wigeon
12/01 - bittern
05/01 - snow bunting

December 2012
18/12 - purple sandpipers
11/12 - larks & pipits
09/12 - bearded tits
01/12 - teal

November 2012
18/11 - nuthatch
03/11 - starlings
01/11 - hare & deer

October 2012
23/10 - kingfisher
16/10 - herons
01/10 - lizards

September 2012
28/09 - squirrels
25/09 - otter
18/09 - spiders
14/09 - butterflies
11/09 - grebes
04/09 - dragonflies
03/09 - holly blue

August 2012
28/08 - common blue
25/08 - sandpipers
23/08 - woodpecker
22/08 - bees & flies





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