From day to day.

Janvier 2009Janvier 2009 2Février 2009Mars 2009Avril 2009Mai 2009Juin 2009Juin 2009 2Juillet 2009Août 2009Septembre 2009Octobre 2009Novembre 2009Décembre 2009
Janvier 2010
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°               °                                                                                                                                                                                                           

April 2009 

April 1st


Festival of cherry blossoms ...


3 April

Fur for cool spring...

Gold, from afar it looked like a bee.

Fast take-off, zigzagging from flower to flower, agile, gathering and hovering like a hummingbird, with high pitched hum.

It is a dipteran. This fly in fur coat is a bee fly, likely a Dark-edged Bee Fly [Bombylius major] (Bombyle bichon or Grand Bombyle). "Dark-edged" because its wings are dark fringed. It is very common in the spring.


Hard to follow, its departures are swift. Its wings beat so fast that they are hardly visible in these photos.
It long slender legs resting on the flower, it feeds on a cowslip. Its long proboscis specialises it in flowers with long floral tube on whose nectar it feeds.

Size: 8-12mm.


It looks impressive, but it is perfectly harmless, it is its very long proboscis (7mm) that we see. It holds it horizontally.

It rests a moment, allowing us to observe its proboscis and its two-coloured wings.

Its larvae parasitize the nests of solitary bees. They feed on the reserves and then on the larvae themselves. The female bee fly lays at the entrance to their underground nests still open while the bee collects the provisions.


7 April


During one of his regular passages, the little blue shows a great interest in the birch catkins hanging upside down to one of them.

The nest box, unfortunately, does not provoke the same interest...



Active buzzing in the prunus.




[Laelia Purpurata]

Why the credit for this orchid?
Because it is 18 years old, but it is not its birthday. She simply hasn't flourished since... 16 years!

So, 16 years of waiting, deserve a little picture, isn't?


The beautiful Brazilian has finally flowered. It is Brazil's national flower.

Genus Sophronitis, close to "Cattleya" it grows in southern Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), at the top of trees in areas of marshes along the coast.

It took four months for the spathe to grow and that I began to hope. And more than two months for its buds, visible by transparency, emerge from the spathe. It is deliciously scented.


16 April

Speckled Wood.

.The speckled Wood.

[Pararge aegeria] [Nymphalidae-Satyrinae] (Tircis)

Spring generation. There are usually two generations per year.
They overwinter in the state of caterpillars or pupae and emerge in spring.

This one landed on a branch of bramble and accepted to be admired at leisure.

Usually they have three brown ocelli, marked with a white central spot in the hindwings, this one has only a small point as third ocellus.

Size: 35-40mm.



Here it is in autumn (October).

On the rocks or in leaf litter they blend so well with their support they are difficult to see and often you not see them only when they fly. But generally they rest quite quickly nearby. It is a territorial butterfly.


Widespread, there are two varieties: brown with yellow spots is the "Pararge aegeria Tircis", clearer with orange spots for "Pararge aegeria aegeria" in the south on France.



Easter passed, and a blue tit and a great tit still pose a claw on the balcony, singing ... but unfortunately the nest is likely to remain empty this year.


17 April

Brand new ... and flamboyant!


Click for the introductions...

Let's stay with colours with baby common moorhen.
Another style.



20 April

In black and white.


 White wagtail [Motacilla alba]  
    (Bergeronnette grise)



All black and white in a grey coat.

We encounter it, scampering graciously shaking his head and swinging the tail in the grass meadows, chasing the insects that it catches by basing them on the ground.

Or flying undulating over the water to catch them in midair, as this one will do surely interested in the ballet of dragonflies.

Part of white wagtails migrate in the fall.



It is spring; the chin and throat are black, contrasting with the very white face. Black nape and cap (male). They lose their black colour after the summer when they moult (at right in October)


27 April

The delicate wings of the Orange Tip.

Orange Tip. "Aurore" in french (dawn).
[Anthocharis cardamines - Pieridae]. 

It likes crucifer and has a preference for the Cuckoo Flower [Cardamine pratensis], which earned him his name.

It is also called
"Piéride du cresson"  (Cuckoo Flower is also called "Cresson des prés" ou "Cressonnette").

Here, a male gathers pollen from another crucifer: garlic mustard.

Only males have these magnificent orange spots, the females are white with a black spot and the edge of the wings black, like many of the Pierides.

They overwinter in the chrysalis state and many in April.



The other face is also pretty, mottled grey and green, a perfect camouflage in the vegetation. 

A similar reverse, a little duller, for the female.

Garlic Mustard.
[Alliaria officinalis or Alliaria petiolata - Brassicaceae -] (
Alliaire officinale or Herbe à ail or Ail des haies)

Flowering from April to June
The plant spreads an aroma of garlic when crumpled and can be used in cooking.


Cuckoo Flower 

(Cardamine des prés) [Cardamine pratensis].

(Ph.210409 Plaine de Sorques)


23 April: first common swift seen from home.


29 April

After orange, lemon.

.Common Brimstone.
[Gonepteryx rhamni - Pieridae Coliadinae -]
(Citron (lemon, in french))

Well, here you must take me at my word!

This butterfly is as bright yellow as the dandelion flower when it sits. But unless you can take it the flight you will not see the quality of lemon yellow.
It sits with closed wings which beautifully mimic a green leaf, even with the veins.
These beautiful colours are for monsieur. Madame it is rather greenish white, with a reverse as well mimetic.



It can be seen all the year.

It was born in July, spent the winter hidden under a leaf, come out again the following spring to mate and lay eggs.

In May-June he still flies. Longevity of a year for this butterfly: a record.

It takes even a short nap in the summer when it starts to be too hot, when it lives with low activity until the fall. At the first cold, it get to sleep again, with a leaf for mat, until the spring.

(Ph.210409 Plaine de Sorques)



30 April

The hunter sets off watching its prey...






Cuckoo bee. [Sphecodes sp .- Hymenoptera -] (Abeille coucou).
Perhaps albilabris the white labrum Sphécode.  
But this is a matter for specialists.

Solitary bee, it burrows parasitizes other solitary bees. She lay in the nest of his "hostess" and its larva eats pollen reserves accumulated by the latter. As it feeds in other's reserves, it has not tools, hair or brushes to collect pollen as the harvester bees.

(12mm, antennae: 12 segments)
(Cuckoo bee)



The involuntary "hostess", entering the nest.

Hard time for workers! The cuckoo-bee leaves a nest, and a bee-fly looks to another to lay at the entrance.


(Ph.140409 Vincennes)


Retour                                                                                                                                                            Suite