I was looking at the expanding bud on the Japanese maple again today and noticed a flower bug, (Anthocoris nemorum) on the outside. Having taken a photo and enlarged it I discovered it was dining on a juicy aphid, thus ridding the maple of a destructive pest.
Southwood and Leston in their Land and Water Bugsof the British Isles say of this species that when they come out of hibernation they "feed on aphids, psyllids and other small animals and occasionally on leaves." Let's hope this bug doesn't become a vegetarian.
If you look carefully at a larger size of the photo you will see that the bug has its proboscis well thrust into the belly of the hapless aphid.