A few flying things today. Firstly, a small, but beautiful insect which was seen flitting around the drying grasses of the meadows near our home. This is a female Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus). The males are generally more blue and lack the attractive spots along the edges of the wings. Common in Britain's grasslands, the adult Common Blue feeds on many different species of the pea family of plants, especially Bird's Foot Trefoil, Restharrow and White Clover. The caterpillars are also fond of the leaves of these plants.
Tephritis formosa). The names come from it's patterned wings and it's habit of laying it's eggs in the stems of various plants causing 'galls'. This is a female again, as can be seen from the ovipositor at the end of the abdomen, which it uses to insert eggs into the plant stems.
Sternus vulgaris) are well known to us all and as such are often overlooked, but they do demand closer inspection. Their plumage is an amazing combination of shiny, glossed colours. When the light shines on them in the right way they reveal violet and green colours which would rival any exotic species.