Twitter is not real. Sorry I should have put in a spoiler alert, but there you go. It is easy to believe that everyone out there is really interested in conservation; green issues; therapeutic and/or addictive birding. But I also get a buzz (pun intended) from bees and so there are a few entomologists (and I now realise closet entomologists) I follow. So on the last day of April when I am trying to make some of the lower tetrad scores look more respectable my timeline fills up with pictures of robber flies as people jump on this bandwagon. There are some seriously badass critters out there and they are posting pictures of some really mean looking flies.
The brain child of @flygirlNHM who and I quote
In this year when I am trying to get people, birders to take more of an interest in wildlife in NZ26 I realise I have lacked ambition. I have also realised that the more you look the more fascinating the natural world becomes.
So under the banner of such a day in pretty windy conditions that would stop most insects flying I went around some of the less frequented sites in Gateshead.
Tetrad q -Windy Nook aptly named produced 5 species of warbler including my first Lesser Whitethroat of the Year #102. Also I found a female Sparrowhawk sitting in a tree which she allowed me to approach to about 20m. And while her yellow eyes followed every small bird passing through the bushes around her I realised I have never been so close and not been separated by panes of glass.
Tetrad k- swallows hawked over Saltwell Park lake, a Willow Warbler sang and at last I got a Greenfinch or three here.
Tetrad g- Dunston side of the river 4 Common Sandpipers, Whitethroats, more Willow Warblers and Bullfinch. However, the surprise find was a Sedge Warbler #103. All told a good day.
As for robber flies, this ones Eriopogon laniger . . .
. . . like lots of other things we can’t care about them unless we know more about them. And they are important. #robberflyday.