This is an “Early Bumblebee”, Bombus pratorum, feeding on a kind of borage (Boraginaceae) but with puce flowers, Cynoglossum officinale, on the flood plain of the Old West River, a couple of miles North of Cottenham. It’s growing wild and free and in abundance there.
The plant has several common, folk, or vernacular, names among them houndstongue, houndstooth, dog’s tongue, gypsy flower, and “rats and mice” due to its odour).
Also sighted there this morning, first Common Blue butterfly of the year for me, a male Polyommatus icarus. Lots of the white-flowered wildflower around, but not entirely sure of the ID on that, yarrow? Saxifrage? Other…
Friends of mine had mentioned seeing a particular wildflower, Scarlet Pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis, recently (poor man’s barometer, it’s sometimes known, presumably it’s a folksy indicator of changeable weather). I hadn’t realised which species they mean until I happened to photograph some this morning and looking it up in colour-coded Collins Wildflowers, Lippert and Podlech.
Then there were the Kingfishers, Alcedo atthis, which were the primary target of my photographic trip.