Friday, 13 June 2014

Blue tit family and Sycamore aphids

I heard the rasping begging calls of blue tit fledglings coming from a Sycamore tree, which I find it is a very common occurrence. As I approached I noticed clouds of Sycamore Aphids cascading down from the tree as the adult Blue tits moved about, searching for the aphids themselves and green caterpillars (above). It was a very impressive spectacle as the light hit the aphids and amplified the effect. The tree leaves were thickly peppered with aphids, and fledglings were having a go at finding food by themselves. One of them found a long green caterpillar and wrestled with it for a while until it was able to swallow it.
I tried to capture the density of aphids flying off around the tree in this photo.
The evenly spaced, winged Sycamore aphids (Drepanosiphum platanoidis)
A fledgling begging for food.
The adult cuts the caterpillar in half before feeding the fledgling.
This young one had caught a caterpillar on its own.
You can watch one of the adults foraging and the aphids flying off here.