This afternoon I went hunting small early butterflies at a nearby brownfield site with HelenJG and her friend C. We made some pretty good finds, including the first Brown Argus I’d seen this year, and a very unexpected Green Hairstreak, and I came home with (surprise, surprise) far too many photos. But having speed-processed them all this evening, none of the butterflies pleases me as much as this very fresh Large Red Damselfly, which emerged from our wildlife pond this morning. She took her maiden flight from the sedge on which she’d eclosed up onto the top of one of the flag irises, and rested there until I annoyed her, when she fluttered up into the quince tree out of my way. I was moderately apologetic, but still pleased that I’d captured the shot.

My extra tonight gets the Invert of the Day award, and would have made it into top spot on this post if I’d achieved a better portrait of her. She’s Ferdinandea cuprea, a hoverfly I photographed for the first time just last summer, over in Trench Wood, and which immediately became one of my favourites because of its lush golden abdomen and dramatically spotted wings. When I found this specimen down in the wild garden this morning I was delighted and astonished – though given the number of trees we have, it’s probably time that I stopped being surprised when woodland species decide to take up residence in this section of the garden.