Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Insects (assorted) Page 2

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 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

Image Taken on 25 Jun 2018 at 19:34    Image of day on 15 Aug 2018

Some sort of caterpillar on its way to an ever open beak of a Blackbird youngster.

Ref: 20180815_e62_20180625_1934_028_fb5 blackbird male with caterpillar in beak(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image of day on 08 Jun 2005

This male blackbird has found this caterpillar and is probably about to take it back to chicks in a nest somewhere.

Ref: 20050608_d3c_11575 fb2 blackbird with caterpillar in beak 2005jun06_20-48-10(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 17 Sep 2013 at 06:28    Image of day on 19 Nov 2013

All those Carbohydrates and protein snacks on offer, but what the Blackbird really wants is this juicy Cranefly!

Ref: 20131119_d36_20130917_0628_017_fb4 blackbird with cranefly in beak (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 20 May 2017 at 09:34    Image of day on 10 Jul 2017

A second brood of Blue Tits is underway in the hole in the wall over the boiler (USA furnace) room. On one morning (20 May) a seemingly never ending stream of caterpillars were being delivered to the just audible screeching youngsters inside the wall.

Ref: 20170710_df3_20170520_0934_021 blue tit with large caterpillar about to enter nest hole(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 24 May 2009 at 11:43    Image of day on 22 Jun 2009

Ref: 20090622_da1_20090524_1143_218 bluetit flying to nest box on ivans black poplar with caterpillar(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 23 May 2009 at 11:17    Image of day on 22 Jun 2009

The Bluetit box on our tallest black poplar gets a delivery like this every minute or two. What a supply of insects we must have!

Ref: 20090622_da1_20090523_1117_150 bluetit flying to nest box on ivans black poplar with cranefly(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 14 May 2011 at 15:39    Image of day on 16 Jun 2011

This bluetit looks really tatty because of a strong wind blowing up the head feathers from behind. He has an insect for the chicks. We have LOTS of tit nest boxes and can't say where this one went.

Ref: 20110616_df1_20110514_1539_122 bluetit with caterpillar in beak (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 12 May 2015 at 12:10    Image of day on 03 Jul 2015

Each year a hole above the roof of the utility/boiler ('furnace' in USA) room gets used by nesting bluetits. They are obviously now feeding the youngsters as evidenced by the small grub in the birds beak. This bird routinely uses this TV aerial about 3 metres above the nest hole as a stopping off point.

Ref: 20150703_df3_20150512_1210_156 bluetit with small green grub in beak on aerial rod about to fly to nest over utility room (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Jul 2020 at 17:37    Image of day on 31 Aug 2020

This stunning insect is a Larval stage of the not-quite so stunning adult Bronze Shieldbug (Troilus luridus). The Larva starts eating vegetable matter, but later moves on to Moth larvae and Beetles.

Ref: 20200831_d73_20200729_1737_155 bronze shieldbug (troilus luridus) larva (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Feb 2019 at 12:47    Image of day on 21 Mar 2019

A Buff-tailed Bumble Bee enjoys feeding on the Viburnum flowers.

Ref: 20190321_df3_20190221_1247_004 buff-tailed bumble bee (bombus terrestris) on viburnum flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Mar 2018 at 12:07    Image of day on 04 May 2018

The first decently warm day brought out the Bumble Bees. We seem to have a colony of this species recently arrived in the UK.

Ref: 20180504_df3_20180326_1207_014 buff-tailed bumble bee on grape hyacinth(r+mb id@768).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