Wednesday 30 June 2010

Dark green Fritillary poser

This Dark green Fritillary was taken tonight at about 8.45pm tonight in rapidly dropping light.  By day it is a very strong flyer with rapid flight and just about impossible to approach.  By evening they are docile and will pose without any concerns, if you can find one of course.  I was lucky and just caught this one basking in the late sunshine on a grass stem.

Dark green Fritillary's are the commonest of the Fritillary's in Cornwall and they prefer the dune systems of North Cornwall including Perransands, Hayle Towans and areas aound the Camel Estuary.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Small Skipper close up

These shots of Small Skipper were taken tonight with the Nikon Micro Nikkor 105mm F/2.8 lens.  I've had some really good fun tonight with this lens.

These images involve two different skippers, but taken from very different angles.  The image above has had the exposure raised to +1.3 EV to compensate for the bright background.

The image above and below have the aperture set to F/8 at approx six inches distance, thus the only part of the insect in focus is the eye and antennae.

Blues in macro

These Silver-studded Blue images were taken tonight around Perranporth Dune system.  Further to my previous post, the count of scores should now read hundreds.  2010 seems to have been a superb year for this species - they are everywhere. 

Tonight was warm but quite overcast and dull - not the perfect evening for photography.  But these these tiny half inch size butterflies were desperate for the last hint of heat and posed quite nicely on the tops of flag iris.

Tonight I used a true macro lens, the Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 on a tripod.  You can get to within six inches of the subject as the results here show.  There is approx 20% crop on each shot.

EXIF detail: Aperture priority, mostly f/8 to f/10. ISO 200 to 320. Exposure -0.7 to +0.3 depending on angle and available light. WB Cloudy.  I try to position the camera dead square so that no part of the insect creeps into the out-of-focus zone (which is critical when so close).

Sunday 27 June 2010

Silver-studded Blue at Perranporth Dunes

These shots were taken on Saturday 26th June on Perranporth Dunes.  There were scores of them, well into three figures.  They were taken in the early afternoon sunshine which is probably not the best light.  I used a circular polariser filter to eliminate some of the intense glare.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Marsh Frogs

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but I have been away for a week and also the World Cup has taken over my life.  It hasn't left much time for photography, but these two shots of a Marsh Frog are amusing!  You can just make out my reflection in the pupil of the lower image.

Violet Dropwing in Cyprus

I took these shots of this male Violet Dropwing at Aspro Pools, Cyprus.  There were only a handful of them but this male was particularly obliging.  I used a 300mm F/4 lens which has a decent 2.5 ft close focus, so it's almost a macro and certainly good enough for dragonflies and butterflies.

Heath Fritillary and dragonflies in East Cornwall

The image above is looking towards Luckett Woods, the CWT reserve which supports a colony of Heath Fritillary's.  We saw around 30 today.  It was hot and the butterflies were very active, so the only decent shot I took was this male below.  

Several Golden-ringed Dragonfly were hawking up and down the rides.  This one allowed close approach to approx 10 ft away.

The White-legged Damselfly below was seen near Boyton on the River Tamar (Devon side).  It was the only individual present.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Marmora's Warbler - fifth record for Britain

The occurrence of the fifth Marmora's Warbler for Britain must rate as one of the most remarkable of records.  The species breeds in Corsica and winters in North Africa and is thus a relatively short distance migrant.  How the species can overshoot so far is beyond belief.  But five have made it to the UK and one as far as St Abbs Head !

I couldn't resist the tempatation to twitch this bird.  Following an early rise at 3.30am, I was on site at the Blorenge, Blaenavon by 7.15 (am). The singing male was on show immediately.  I read several posts on birdforum that the best technique is to wait in one postion and it will pass by very close.  I chose my site and 30 mins later it posed about 20 ft in front of me !   It was singing constantly and even collecting nesting material.  Its' territory was extensive - perhaps several hundred yards but it patrolled its' patch with regular intervals.

The Blorenge is part of the Brecon Beacons and in the morning sunshine looked picturesque.  I'm guessing that it isn't always like this though!  The site hosts quite a few Whinchats (above image taken today), Tree Pipits, Stonechat, Willow Warblers and some Red Grouse though I didn't see the latter. 

The scenery images are the exact site where the Marmora's was today .

Above image is facing north west towards the Brecon Beacons.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Perranporth blues

An evening visit to the sand dunes at Perranporth revealed about 30 Common Blues last night. I arrived a bit later than I would have wished and most of them were docile and ready to settle for the night. Just one opened its' wings briefly to reveal its' stunning azure blue colour.

The above and below images are of the same individual but a subtle change of position alters the background colour and foliage to give a completely different perspective.