|Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana) - a beast of an insect. |
I can't imagine that I've made a major discovery, for such a widespread and common species, it must
just be overlooked? How many people take time to look at flies?
As usual, I looked like an advert for a charity shop - full camo, bangles, beads and a necklace, plus a snide Rolex; is it any wonder that no-one ever speaks to me? With no more info than I'd gleaned from Birdguides, my intention was to head straight to Stonelees. One brave soul asked if I knew anything about the Bee-eater, as I passed the car park - I could only tell him that it was still present at 11.50hrs; it was now well after 15.00hrs! I wandered along the cycle track, encountering no-one; so arrived at a deserted Stonelees NR. That's funny, the car park was rather full, surely they weren't all dog walkers?
A slow stroll around the reserve, finding a very smart fly along the path towards the old Pfizer sports field. I fitted the extension tubes and fired off a few shots - Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana) being the result. New to me and new for Thanet (if the info I gleaned from the Internet is correct?), however, I feel that like many insect records, they are simply overlooked and under recorded.
|My best effort - pitiful by any standards, yet the best I could muster in the grey conditions of a balmy Thanet afternoon.|
I stayed on site for a couple of hours, bumping into Heather Willis and Steve Ray, which was nice. However, my over-riding memories will be off the desperate behaviour of the visiting birders (twitchers) who harried the Bee-eater from pillar to post. I will make no more comment, I used to go twitching and am sure that I would have been no less enthusiastic. The Bee-eater looks very tired, I didn't see it catch any prey whilst watching it, the strong NE (20mph) wind and 11C temperatures will have done nothing to aid its' cause and constant disturbance by birders won't have had any beneficial effect.
|Don't panic - I didn't get this shot at Pegwell Bay!|
This is what a Bee-eater is supposed to look like,illuminated by the Mediterranean sun.
(Pefkohorri, N.E. Greece - May 2009)
|Common Whitethroat - a male |
I used my 170-500mm Sigma with a 1.4x converter - not too shabby?