Queens Award for Voluntary Service

East side of Fauna

Visited the east side of Fauna around Upper Sowerholme last Monday (06.03.2017) around midday to see what Diptera might be about.

[ Diptera? There are over 7000 species of true flies (as opposed to butterflies, mayflies, etc.) in Britain and they are a vitally important group of insects – as indicators of the health and biodiversity of an area, as pollinators that can be of equal or even greater importance than bees, as crucial agents of the disposal of organic matter, and far more. ]

Still early in the year and not much flying about… a few groups of non-biting midges dancing low down near the water and the occasional small fly flitting away near the ground. As is often the case, a range of species is most easily visible on the fence panels along the path – saw species from the bluebottle family, dungfly family and more.

Fly of the Day – Geomyza tripunctata
One of 16 species that we have in the Opomyzidae family of flies. Widespread across Britain and found in grassy habitats. Swept fair numbers from grasses and saw one on a fence panel. There will be many thousands across Fairfield. Only 3-4 mm long but with distinctive wing markings that give it its name. Adults from March to November, peaking in April so do look out for this attractive animal sitting on grasses or leaves (or fences!).
Photo: H. Baas, courtesy ‘free nature images’

Three-spot Geomyza
Three-spot Geomyza

Also saw about 20 jackdaws wheeling low over the Hay Meadow and later saw half a dozen or so hanging about on the path fences and the ground nearby.