The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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  •  » Introduction to Fly Families Worshop, Preston Montford, 5-7th Mar 2010

#1 2010-03-11 18:12:01

Judy Webb
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 422

Introduction to Fly Families Worshop, Preston Montford, 5-7th Mar 2010

Congratulations to John and Barbara Ismay, the hard-working tutors and to all the attendees on this course.  For anyone who does not know how these courses work, we were supposed to all arrive in time for the 6.00pm dinner on the Friday night, but due to an unfortunate accident closing the M40 for most of Friday, the tutors and some attendees had a long delayed and stressful journey, arriving much later in the evening.  Luckily meals were saved and the centre bar is open from 9.00pm every evening for relaxation and chat.  Preston Montford staff always look after us very well and this was no exception.  Packed lunches and copious tea and cake every afternoon!

Accommodation for this course was in the modern study bedroom block with mostly en-suite showers. This block is situated to the rear of the main older building and is next to the centre pond, where newts entertained us in the coffee breaks.  The centre is a short distance from the river Severn, which makes a very interesting and beautiful walk for a bit of early morning bird watching before the course starts.  Any attendee who was not already a member, achieved free DF membership for the year as part of the course fee.

Saturday and most of Sunday were taken up by presentations and practical work.  Each attendee had their own microscope and set of named flies to work on.  In the photos below John demonstrates how a tiny video camera can be trained on a particular fly to project an image of an important feature.  People can then search for this on their own specimen of this fly using their own microscope.

Here are a few photos of the Centre and the course in action. John and Barbara even took people out into the grounds to demonstrate particular netting techniques - here sweeping along a log and up and down the bark of a tree.  Due to the near zero temperatures, not many Diptera were in evidence, but remarkably one fly was captured from the log!

I think all had a good and enjoyable time and went away with knowledge and a whole host of materials to really get them a good way into Diptera identification.  Role on the good weather so we can all get out there with our nets and practice new skills!



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