This Down-looker Snipe-fly, Rhagio scolopacea, was keeping watch from a fence-post at the edge of the parkland alongside Top Park Wood, Nostell, in May last year. It habitually rests facing downwards and it will dart off on short flights, like a snipe.
This was probably a male defending a territory as it waited for a female to appear but this common species of snipe-fly has occasionally been recorded snatching insects in mid-air. The larvae are predators, feeding on small earthworms and insects in leaf litter and in decaying wood.
Despite its impressive appearance, it is harmless to humans.