Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good year for hover flies

Don't know if it's because of the warmer weather, or because I haven't cut back hedging too early this year, or perhaps a combination of both, but we have been observing many more hover flies in the garden on the sunny days than we've noticed before.

Today, as I sat out enjoying the late afternoon sunshine, I saw one of them, looking like a bee, hovering over a patch of warm concrete near the shed where we lodge the cats at night. Hover flies are harmless insects who bluff predators by looking like a more aggressive insect like a wasp, or a bee, in the case of my new-found pal.

After a few passes in my direction, he (I'm fairly sure it was a male, as these are the ones which defend territories and try to attract females) got used to my moving about with the camera and would rest from time to time on a sunlit leaf. For my part I practised getting used to the macro focus on the camera. It had trouble locating a particular spider on a web that I tried to photograph unsuccessfully.
Took the above pic among about 70 or so others today. You can view a larger version of this pic and also one of a red-eyed fly I saw today on the Flickr item to the right of the screen.

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