Mr Miyagi

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 1 July 2018 18:45

Yesterday morning, about 8.30 am I was getting to the end of a bird survey at Limpsfield Common in Surrey. No net, no pots. Just my binoculars and Weatherwriter, nothing else. And clothes obviously. When before me a golden orb of light appeared on a sunny ride. It wasn't a religious experience or a UFO, it was far more impressive than that. This hairy nugget of a hoverfly with magic wands for antennae got right up in my grill and I had an idea as to what it was but I needed to catch it to be sure. I stood motionless as the fly descended from eye level and landed in the eye cups of my binoculars! I had one chance and amazingly managed to grab it between my thumb and forefinger before transferring it to a pot. It was indeed the nationally scarce Callicera aurata and an impressive beast indeed. 

I have wanted to see this for some time so it was a great way to end the survey. It actually flew off as I was taking this photo (after cooling down in the fridge) but amazingly I did it again, catching it between my little finger and palm. So when I caught a Syritta pipiens in the kitchen just now, I was feeling rather blase about my fly grabbing skills.

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