Large Black and White hover fly

Large Black and White hover fly

Large Black and White hover fly, originally uploaded by Simon Hawketts.

Volucella zonaria hover fly on thistle

When Jan and the children when to church this morning I took a trip over to Box Wood on the northern side of Stevenage. I’d seen lots of pictures of butterflies which had been taken there so I hoped to be able to get several different species and come back with quite a few decent pictures.

When I found somewhere to park and got into the woods, I found that the area I’d got to was not ‘butterfly country’ at all, and there wasn’t time to explore too much, so after taking a few dismal shots of fallen tree trunks and fungi I headed back to the car. However, when I got back to the car I discovered a much more interesting little patch of thistle and blackberry bushes which were swarming with bees and hover flies. I took these pictures there with my Tamron 70-300 mm macro zoom. There are mostly hand held because there was enough light to have at least 1/400th sec and the aperture wide open to get as much ‘bokeh’ as possible.

I thought that these insects were all bees but on closer inspection of my Collins Gem Insects book it turns out there are all hover flies ! I thought there was only one hover fly species – you learn something new etc.

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