Overrun by shiny black flies …

My daily constitutional this morning was marred by finding a dead shrew but then being harassed by a constant supply of black flies (not the housefly variety).

What are they? Well, I tried googling ‘black flies that hover, buzz, are shiny’ but didn’t get anywhere. Took to Twitter where someone suggested it might be Hawthorn flies.

Also known as St Mark’s flies, they usually appear around 24th April. Well, blow me, they were bang on. If so, apparently the reason I don’t normally see them is that they have a very short adult flying life of one week. Swarms are irritating – definitely – but they are apparently great pollinators.

Must admit, I expected to be bitten as they are dangly-legged creatures which just hang in the air and look quite vicious.

However, they don’t bite or sting. Phew. Anyone else spotted any?



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