Following that prolonged period of "good weather for ducks" (or should that be duckweeds?) it was nice to get out on an insect foray, today. The wind didn't help much, and the diversity of insects flying was a little disappointing. However, I did manage a new hoverfly for me, Xylota sylvarum. It's not uncommon and can be found along wooded edges in much of southern Britain. I saw 2 today and both were striking in their behaviour, where they appeared to be dancing over the leaves and flying short distances between them, almost working the plant systematically. It's quite a big hoverfly and when I first saw it I thought it was going to be a wasp.
female Common Dater
The route I took today started at Resolven and followed the Neath Canal for a few hundred yards before working along the Neath River towards Glyn-Neath, as far as the Borrow Pits. A mass emergence of Common Blue Damselfly has occurred at the Borrow Pits with easily 1000+ in the vegetation and along the shore. Good numbers also of Common Darter and a few Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Other notables included Kingfisher, Dark-green Fritillary and Black & Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata)