Fortunately the fly was still there, and even better, obligingly stayed still long enough to be wrangled into the pot. With that achieved, all I had to do was work out which species it was. The scutellum was clearly all yellow, so that narrowed it down to two species, and after a lot of faffing, several escape attempts and a lot of blurry photos, I managed to get a good enough shot of the antennae to see the pit on the inside of the 3rd segment (I said they were tricky!) This was large enough to clinch the identification as Brachyopa scutellaris, the commonest UK species, but still by no means common. The fly was released unharmed, and unsurprisingly didn't hang around for any nice photos after a day in a glass tube!
|The unhoverfly like Brachyopa scutellaris|
I had the luxury of an extra day off this week, and managed to get some free time to go and explore the nearby blackthorn which is in full flower, and attracting a decent variety of insects. My first small tortoiseshell of the year was very nice to see, along with a brace of peacocks and a single Brimstone skipping past on the breeze. The hoverfly contingent was dominated, as always this year, by Eristalis pertinax, with a single Melanostoma scalare the only other species I saw, although there were also a fair few Bee-flies on the wing, which are kind of honorary hoverflies in my mind.