The good weather on Good Friday brought out the first hoverfly in my garden. A single drone fly Eristalis tenax was holding territory in a sunny patch over my lawn. It also brought out the first dark-edged beefly Bombylius major. Both these species should soon become frequent as the weather warms up.
At Yardley Hastings Sand Pit on 17th March a single, large, very active fly was spotted on low vegetation. It turned out to be a parasitic fly (family Tachinidae) Gonia picea. This fly is a parasioid of the larvae of the antler moth.
With poor weather for searching for adult flies, I have been looking at leaf mines. The fly mines I have noted during the month were:
Chromatomyia aprilina on honeysuckle
Chromatomyia primulae on primrose
Phytomyza ranunculi on lesser celandine.
Most intriguing was a mine on a shrub in the Orangery at Castle Ashby Gardens. The plant was labelled Jasminium wallinderium but I have been unable to trace the causer. Both David Manning and I took sample leaves to try to rear out an adult but mine is looking decidedly dead. The following is a photo of the mystery mine.