Saturday, 17 July 2010

Corstorphine Hill

We had a lovely walk round Corstorphine Hill today, one of our favourite spots in Edinburgh. As always at this time of the year the hillsides were pink with rosebay willow herbs, that were buzzing with bees. There were three possibly four species of bumble bees and there were some honey bees too. (We're not experts but we think the bumble bees were: common carder, white tailed bumblebee, red tailed bumblebee and possibly another species we can't identify but it had a distinctly stripy bottom). Bumblebee Conservation Trust has a helpful guide to bumble bee identification on their website. Crafty Green Boyfriend took some wonderful photos of bees and other insects but is saving them for competitions, so I can't share them here! The other insects we saw included a couple of species of hoverflies (Microscopy UK has a helpful page about hoverflies, including an identification guide here). One of the species we saw was probably Portevinia maculata, I'm not sure about the other. We also saw lots of red soldier beetles that like to sit on plants of the umbellifer family (hogweeds and wild parsleys).
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Corstophine Hill is a place of mixed habitats with areas of open grassland, woodland and bare rock so it's perhaps appropriate that today was a day of mixed weather, from bright sunshine to heavy rain and back again.

20 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

so beautiful

Lucy said...

What lovely places you have so close to you. I'm filled with admiration that you find out what kind of bumble bees and hoverflies they are. I've always been intrigued by the differences between the bees especially, but not troubled to find out their names. I'll head over to that site and see what I can learn.

gardenpath said...

I can see why that would be a favorite place, especially when while the flowers are in bloom. That is a new plant for me, so I looked it up. Sounds interesting.

Naquillity said...

hello Crafty Green~ sorry for my long absence. i've been busy with family, etc... that picture is beautiful. i can imagine the rest of the scenery from your description. who wouldn't enjoy walking in such beauty? hope all is well.

bunnits said...

What a lovely photo. You are fortunate to have such beautiful areas to explore and enjoy.

Thanks for the links. They were quite informative.

Janice Thomson said...

Wow now that's a lovely riot of colour. Love that lonely foxglove standing above the rest...

Silver said...

Looka like you have a lot of potential salad there!

Howard BME said...

Much to my shame, I only went up Corstorphine Hill for my first time a couple of weeks ago, after living in Edinburgh nearly three years. I agree that it’s a really great spot, with superb views, and plenty of bunnies, too, if you’re there at the right time.

As for rosebay willowherb, it is absolutely everywhere at this time of year. The main Edinburgh–Glasgow railway line is lined with it practially all the way. It’s attractive, but one can have too much of a good thing!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

that was interesting! we have this cactus on the porch and whenever I water it we get the biggest shinest blackest bees there within minutes; they are like spiders with wings; at least to me they are.

Cathy Ross said...

Hi Juliette, Thanks for stopping by my blog "Capture The Soul" and leaving a lovely note! Your blog is delightful and I really enjoyed visiting and seeing all your beautiful photos. I'm also following you on Twitter now! Cheers! Cathy

Kathiesbirds said...

Crafty Green Poet, what pretty wildflowers! Thanks for all your visits to my blogs. However, you seemed to have missed the one I think you might like the best, my Poet Tree blog! http://kathiespoettree.blogspot.com/ I added you on my blogroll there. It is very nice to meet you!

BLOGitse said...

I can imagine you two shooting pictures there...what a place to take photos!
Thanks - I got both of your comments.
Have a relaxing Sunday!

BLOGitsePHOTOS

Deb G said...

So pretty! Yesterday I went to a bee keeping demonstration. The bees were flying around everywhere in the garden...so incredible. I forgot my camera. :(

Captain Shagrat said...

enjoyed reading the info on the bees crafty, a worthwhile organisazation indeed

Annette F Tait said...

so many different bees!
I would have to go there with a guide book and see what they all prefer to do.
I've never been to Corstorphine hill either.

Love your swift note book!
why the swift and not the swallow?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Annette - there are swifts that nest in our neighbourhood every year so I see a lot of them, swallows aren't so easy to see in Edinburgh, apart from on the outskirts.

Cathy said...

Looks like a wonderful place for a walk Juliet. We have an abundance of rosebay willow herb down here too. I seem to have spotted lots more bees this year so I hope they are standing their ground. They love our aliums to bits. I have masses of photos of those red soldier beetles. They seem to love cow parsley particularly. Pity we can't see your boyfriend's bees. They are tricky to photograph as they are always on the move. My best shots have been when the temp drops in the evening and the bees fall asleep on the flowers.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Howard, Corstorphine Hill is actually the only place where I look at the rosebay willowhwerb and admire it, just because of the way the colour sits in the landscape. Everywhere else its just a nicely coloured common plant.

Cathy - I hope the bees are holding their own too, and yes they are difficult to photograph.

Sanja said...

That is very interesting about the bees and the hill. Kises for you from Macedonia.

Sanja said...

J think kisses, J have made a mistake