Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor)
I have been wildlife watching now for many, many years and I always work on the principle that statistically I am likely to see common things when I'm out rather than rareties but equally one should always expect the unexpected. In spring the Bee-fly is a fairly common site around spring flowers and especially Primroses and Ground Ivy, it has a brown furry body, long probosis and appears to hover when taking nectar from these flowers.
I happened upon a bee-fly that did not look quite right somehow. It was a bit bigger than usual and had light markings along the side and on closer inspection the wings were dotted. Thinking this was odd I took a photograph and so was able to look it up when I got home. There was nothing like it in my field guide but a bit of digging around and I discovered we actually have twelve species of bee-fly in this country although most are uncommon or rare.
I soon had an idenfication for this one, a Dotted Bee-fly, not rare but certainly uncommon and an interesting find. Yes, always expect the unexpected!
Find out more about the nature of Dorset at www.natureofdorset.co.uk