With experience there comes a time when you see a fleeting glimpse of a bird and you know what it is instantly even though you did not see its plumage colouring or anything else in detail. A well known ornithologist, T A Coward, is credited with making the term popular by using it in a book he wrote in 1922 but whether he invented the term is not clear. There are various suggestions as to its origination but, to me, it stands for 'just is'. "Why was that flash a robin?"; answer "I can't explain, it just is, I could tell by its jizz."
What on earth has that got to do with a hoverfly? Well, jizz can apply to virtually anything and sometimes it does not tell you what a species is but it tells you that something you have seen is possibly something you have not encountered before. So it was with this hoverfly, Parasyrphus vittiger.I was walking on heathland with conifers nearby in September and I saw and photographed this insect visiting the last remaining heather flowers. There are several species with yellow and black bands on the abdomen but there was something about the jizz of this one that struck me as being different. Armed with the photograph, the date
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