Caught in action, photographing the wildlife in St James's Park London
The "Cow Parsley" was looking stunning in this wildlife patch outside the Cafe and I stepped in for a closer look in time to spot some gorgeous creatures:
The current thinking on Harlequin ladybirds is that killing a few will make very little difference to their spread and sometimes it's difficult to distinguish one of our native struggling species. A voratious predator of aphids, it has a reputation for turning on other eggs and larvae when foodstocks are low. Report findings here.
My app identified the hoverfly as a Sun Fly, Helophilus pendulus, but this hoverfly is also called 'The Footballer' referencing its stripy thorax. 'Sunfly' is due to its preference for bright sunny days. However there are several species with similar stripes which are difficult to tell apart: Helophilus pendulus, H. trivittatus and H. hybridus. A common find, particularly around water or damp habitats. (more info). This was right next to the lakes.
The bee is probably the Common Carder bee, Bombus pascuorum, although it's difficult to be sure without seeing it's bum.
There were other insects flying about but too quick to photograph or identify.
I'm not an expert on Cow Parsley. Suffice to say this flower belongs to the Umbellifer family. The same family as carrots, parsnip and dill, there are also a number of very poisionous, ones such as Hemlock, and skin irritants, such as Giant Hogweed - so take care! Google Umbellifer for some really interesting reads such as Richard Jackson and Rachel Lambert.
This underview reminds me of wild carrot - I was fascinated by the little purple umbel in the midst of the cream:
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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