But is it the rare empis opaca or is it a common empis livida? I sent an image of this fly to a friend of mine to identify and suddenly I am steeped in tiny details about tiny but fascinating subjects in order to find out.
The first image below lacked the details that would reveal the truth. Did it have 3 stripes on its thorax or 4? I went back to find out.
I thought a video clip (below) would help and what do you know, it is the common dance fly "empis livida". It did make me think perhaps I should stop searching the horizons with binoculars and pay more attention to what is going on around my feet?
Here are a couple of other images. Sadly, as these little guys sit atop the ragwort blossoms they are oblivious of the hungry swallows who see these as such an easy target. That's nature folks.