The most numerous butterflies about were Whites , Green Veined , Small and Large . It was whilst I was trying to photograph , unsuccessfully , another PH , sunning itself on Bramble , that it flew off and disturbed a very large Large White , which turned out to be a pair mating , but at the time looked like a handkerchief flying around . They did settle , allowing some shots , but then another male wanted some of the action , came on the scene , but was not successful , as the mating male saw him off in no uncertain terms . Two other males made attempts while I was there , but neither of them were successful either . I left them to get on with what they were doing . A few Meadow Browns and Ringlets were recorded , but not much else , until the Small Tortoiseshell's area . Again life and limb was risked , to no avail as regards PHs , but I did get three sightings of Holly Blue , but not sure how many butterflies were involved for sure . On the third sighting , I got my record shot , and I'm sure he already had one leg in the air as I took it , as when the first still image disappeared from the viewfinder , so was he . Identified as a male by the small amount of dark blue marking on the edge of the forewing . I think this is a poor year for this species , they suffer predation by the parasitic ichneumon wasp Listrodomus nycthemerus , that injects it's eggs into the living caterpillar , which it eventually kills .
A species increasing in number day on day is the Gatekeeper . I found all males today , identified by the sex brand , dark markings on the forewings , the female's is clear .
By now , the clouds were rolling in again , and the odd spot of rain . On my way back to the car , I found what I first thought was a Hornet when it was on the wing , but when it settled , the single wings said fly . When it settled , I would say it was two thirds the size of a Hornet Any Ideas ?
I got back to the car just as the rain really started , and like the other time , drove home in a monsoon .
Edit : just found the fly on Google . It's Volucella zonaria , a large hoverfly .