Grey-patched Mining-bee

I've rather lost track of the days, one day is so very much like the next. But at least today I had the excitement of a small delivery of plants from Bluebell Cottage nursery - all fairly robust shade-lovers bought to diversify the wild end of the garden - Balm-leaved Red-deadnettle, Large-leaved Pachyphragma and Five-leaved Cuckoo-flower. preparing the ground and planting these took up a chunk of the morning, and I was serenaded beautifully by one of our local robins.

The sun appeared briefly in the afternoon, though the wind was still quite chilly. This male Grey-patched Mining-bee had found itself a sheltered corner on our golden-leaved Flowering Currant, but was just too cold to fly away when I poked a macro lens towards it. This species is widespread through southern Britain and nests among short to medium-length grassland; there is no obvious preference for areas of bare ground. Nests are always well-dispersed.

Another film this evening - 'The Death of Stalin' - an engaging dark comedy which captured much of the spirit of Russia at the time, even though it's historical accuracy deviates from the truth somewhat.

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