I was looking for gall flies on an aphid-infested burdock plant when this small metallic-green and orange wasp alighted among the aphids. It stayed for a few seconds, just long enough for me to get a few blurry photos, before it flew off into the middle of a big patch of thistles.
It's a cuckoo wasp, possibly Hedychrydium roseum (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae), based mainly on the non-metallic look of the orange, but the above photo is not really clear enough for a proper identification.
Photo taken in The Wilderness, Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, on 2010-07-09.
A water ladybird, Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Smaller and slimmer than the more usual types of ladybird. As the name suggest, it is normally found near water, on reeds, but this specimen was was actually about 100 metres away from the lake, on a thistle.
Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-07-11.
A male hoverfly, probably Dasysyrphus albostriatus (Diptera: Syrphidae). Presumably albostriatus because of the two white lines just behind the head. Note that the lines on the abdomen lean forward and are straight (not curved as those in Scaeva pyrastri and Eupeopdes luniger). The following photo shows the lines a bit more clearly:
And this is a female:
As with Eupeodes luniger, there seems to be quite a bit of variability in the thickness of the lines on the abdomen.
Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-06-19 (the male) and 2010-07-11 (the female).