Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Insects (assorted) Page 2

Image Taken on 09 May 2011 at 10:58    Image of day on 07 Jun 2011

Also under the corrugated iron sheet was this Bee-Fly which came out rather reluctantly, hovering very low to the ground giving us opportunities to capture this unusual view of it hovering over the ground with a lovely shadow.

Ref: 20110607_df1_20110509_1058_056 bee-fly flying just above ground with shadow (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Apr 2023 at 11:06    Image of day on 20 Jun 2023

A Bee-fly in flight.

Ref: 20230620_df3_20230429_1106_059 bee-fly hovering(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Apr 2020 at 16:23    Image of day on 02 May 2020

A Bee-fly hovers in the sunshine
Completely Harmless! - that long probe is NOT a stinger!

Ref: 20200502_df3_20200414_1623_068 bee-fly hovering(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Apr 2018 at 10:44    Image of day on 29 May 2018

Early Spring brings Bee-flies out to hover over anything, photographers included. They are not bees, but true flies that mimic bees. The long proboscis is not a sting, and the insect in completely harmless to humans.

Ref: 20180529_df3_20180419_1044_008 bee-fly hovering (discontinuous) 4 of 4 (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Apr 2018 at 17:45    Image of day on 29 May 2018

The range of wing movement of the Bee-fly seems to be very small - this montage includes the full range of up and down movement.

Ref: 20180529_df3_20180419_1745_086+099+085 bee-fly hovering (selected) 2+3+1 of 3 (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Apr 2015 at 15:01    Image of day on 02 Jun 2015

A Bee-fly with characteristic long straight Proboscis hovering perhaps 2.5 metres up over the rough meadow grass. The brown pattern on the wings almost looks 'painted' on with brush streaks, but has not been 'fiddled' with.
Manual exposure 1/4000Sec F7 170mm (not allowing for 1.4x teleconverter) 2500 ISO

Ref: 20150602_df3_20150415_1501_331 bee-fly hovering 3 of 3 (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 01 May 2023 at 16:40    Image of day on 20 Jun 2023

A bee-fly hovered over the corrugated Iron sheet for several seconds before landing. That's 27 frames at 7 fps skipped to get this pair 4 seconds apart.

Ref: 20230620_d72_20230501_1640_044+071 bee-fly hovering over and landing on corrugated iron sheet (accurate montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Apr 2023 at 12:47    Image of day on 19 May 2023

This Bee-fly is feeding by hovering in front of a blackthorn flower. The 'sharp' wing is just changing the direction of movement - the rest of the 20 or so pics of this moment have wings a blurry mess even at 1/1000th second exposure.

Ref: 20230519_df3_20230408_1247_170 bee-fly hovering to feed on blackthorn blossom (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Mar 2019 at 14:57    Image of day on 01 May 2019

... and here a Bee-fly hovers back to camera 'into the wind'. Look for that long (harmless) proboscis - it is NOT a stinger.

Ref: 20190501_df5_20190330_1457_074 bee-fly in flight (1st of 2019)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Apr 2010 at 14:50    Image of day on 30 May 2010

This might be a 'common' bee-fly (one of 12 or 15 species according to which book you look in but neither has any detail) now seen here in Spring for the last 3 years. This year we got the 'Flight Tunnel' out of its winter hibernation early and made this one one of the subjects.

Ref: 20100530_da1_20100424_1450_117+1612_208_ft1 bee-fly in flight and red campion flowers (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Mar 2019 at 11:27    Image of day on 01 May 2019

The arrival of Bee-flies, a 'True fly, not a Bee, signals the new season is well underway. Here is one perched on some dried grass ...

Ref: 20190501_df5_20190330_1127_052 bee-fly perched in desiccated grass(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Apr 2018 at 15:32    Image of day on 29 May 2018

We first spotted this Bee-fly flying around the shrubs in a sunny patch. Fortunately it landed on this desiccated Oak leaf, possibly to warm itself in the sun, and we caught this view with the interesting shadows of the wings.

Ref: 20180529_df3_20180414_1532_118 bee-fly perched on dead oak leaf with shadows of wings (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 13 Apr 2021 at 15:57    Image of day on 29 May 2021

For us the real start of the insect season is the first sightings of Bee-flies.

Ref: 20210529_d73_20210413_1557_147+1541_101 bee-fly perched on leaf with in-flight insert (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 03 Apr 2023 at 15:49    Image of day on 19 May 2023

We didn't even know Bee-flies existed until we started seeing them here. This one is resting on one of last years fallen Oak Leaves. The proboscis at the front is clearly visible, and the structure of the wings is best seen in the shadow cast by the left wing.

Ref: 20230519_df3_20230403_1549_145 bee-fly resting on fallen oak leaf (1st of 2013)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2023 at 10:33    Image of day on 19 May 2023

Bee-flies don't stay around for long, so we tend to photograph them whenever we see one. The water drops on the tips of two grass stems are as yet un-dried dew.

Ref: 20230519_df3_20230407_1033_120 bee-fly resting on ground level leaf with natural water drops on grass tips(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Apr 2023 at 12:52    Image of day on 19 May 2023

Finally a Bee-fly on a nettle. Some patches of sheltered nettle just didn't die back in the frosts this year, giving it a head-start this year.

Ref: 20230519_df3_20230408_1252_187 bee-fly resting on nettle leaf(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Sep 2014 at 15:53    Image of day on 29 Nov 2014

Another Cranefly goes down the throat of an ever hungry Black-headed gull. The third image just shows one of the wings hanging out of the beak - enlarged at the bottom right.

Ref: 20141129_df2_20140919_1553_748-750 black headed gull catching crane-fly in flight 1-3 of 5 (downwards montage @5ps with insert)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Sep 2014 at 15:52    Image of day on 29 Nov 2014

With the air full of various insects, especially the juicy Craneflies (Daddy Long legs for the uninitiated) we discovered that Black-headed gull can catch & eat them in flight.
This bird almost stopped horizontal motion as it swung up to catch the insect, so the vertical positions of the bird are arbitrary, but the horizontal positions are approximately right. We were fortunate that the wing positions of the last 3 images almost fit together like a jigsaw for a nice compact presentation!

Ref: 20141129_df2_20140919_1552_635-638 black headed gull catching crane-fly in flight 3-6 of 8 (top to bottom montage @ 5fps)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Sep 2014 at 15:28    Image of day on 25 Nov 2014

This montage from the same set of originals is at the camera's resolution. Look carefully to see what we described above.

Ref: 20141125_df2_20140915_1528_157-160 black headed gull in eclipse catching fly in flight & swallowing 5fps 2-5 of 9 (detailed montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Sep 2014 at 15:28    Image of day on 25 Nov 2014

We noticed that many of the gulls were jinking about in flight, and wondered why, so spent several hundred frames trying to catch the behaviour. This one event really surprised us - chasing and catching a small insect in the tip of it's beak, then opening the gape and letting the breeze of flight blow it in.
Subsequent photos show that this is not typical - gulls catch crane-flies and similar in an open beak - perhaps this was a bee that it needed to subdue first.
Read this montage left to right - that black dot really is the insect which is in the beak tip in the second and third image and is in the gape in the last.

Ref: 20141125_df2_20140915_1528_157-160 black headed gull in eclipse catching fly in flight & swallowing 5fps 2-5 of 9 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg




Comments and requests for image use

To make a comment, ask for information or to request a full resolution image, send us an email including the reference or the date for the image you are interested in.

All initial contacts should be made using the icon below:-

Mail Us