Monday's Magic Moment: An imposter?


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Monday's Magic Moment: An imposter?

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I wandered to the canteen this morning. Nothing odd in that - probably millions of people across the country did the very same thing, hunting for a brew to start the working week.

However, something caught my eye as listened to my colleagues regaling tales of this weekend's Birdfair - an yellow, black and chestnut bullet zipped past and landed a few metres from me. It looked all the world like a hornet.

But even in my slightly sleepy Monday morning state, something flashed in my brain that this might be an imposter. So I took the chance and investigated the purple buddleia flowers this mysterious creature landed on. And low and behold, I was right! My Monday morning had suddenly come alive, as I stared at a hornet-mimicking hoverfly! Not sure what one looks like? Then take a look at the image below, taken by Richard Revels.

Just like the one I saw in the flesh this morning, it shows a female Volucella zonaria to give it it's scientific name. It doesn't have an official English name, so I'm just happy to call it the UK's biggest hoverfly, and my favourite insect! It certainly put a smile on my face this Monday morning - so much so that it must be time for another brew...

Hornet-mimicking hoverfly. Image by Richard Revels (

This is one of thousands of images from RSPB Images. Take a look and find something to make you smile this Monday!