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Rare Solitary Mining Bee on Moor

Andrena tarsata discovered by researcher on Fylingdales

Andrena-tarsata bee

Photo  © Linda Hislop

Bees were among the wildlife highlights of Fylingdales Moor, North Yorkshire, in the summer of 2011.

A small colony of the rare solitary mining bee Andrena tarsata (pictured) was discovered there by Louise Hislop, who is doing a two-year study of this Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species in the North York Moors, funded by Defra. The bee’s main foraging food plant is common tormentil.

Another rare invertebrate found this year was the bog bush-cricket Metrioptera brachyptera.

Birds of prey included goshawk, hen harrier, marsh harrier, kestrel, buzzard, sparrowhawk and – one of the prime drivers of the Trust’s management of Fylingdales Moor – merlin. One pair nested successfully this year and two fledged young were ringed.

As well as the annual Fylingdales Moor Bird Survey, biodiversity studies commissioned in 2011 covered ground beetles, water beetles, field voles and moths.

There is also an annual count of butterflies carried out by volunteer Wendy English and her husband, Howard, along a fixed route on a section of the Lyke Wake Walk at Jugger Howe. Fylingdales is one of the most important sites in Britain for the small pearl-bordered fritillary that thrives on the dog violets which are encouraged by the Trust’s management strategy.

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