These shots of a male Common Blue were taken this evening in bright, low sunlight. The insect was docile and ready to roost so gave me the opportunity to move around it. All were taken within five minutes of each other and goes to show what a change of position does to the final image. The top shot is back-lit and directly facing the sun. Exposure was +0.3EV. The bottom shot is with the sun behind me and exposure dropped to -0.7EV. Aperture F/13. ISO 200. All handheld with 200mm Micro Nikkor F/4.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
One of my favourite aspects of birding in Cornwall is the annual movement of seabirds from July to September. Spectacular movements of around 800 Cory's hearwater have already been seen off Porthgwarra. I managed to see five off Pendeen last week, one giving quite close views, though still too distant for photography. The shots below were taken from a pelagic last year. Hopefully I will be able to get on a couple over the next month or so.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
These shots were taken yesterday evening, which is the only time of day that seems to be the best to get anywhere near this species. Dark-greens are strong fliers and only need a hint of sunshine to fly around. The species is locally common in Cornwall with the north coastal regions being the best eg Gwithian towans, Perranporth dunes and around the Camel Estuary.
Sunday, 10 July 2011
A fascinating field trip to Windmill Farm today with a dozen people unearthed a new world of fascinating macro subjects. Led by Steve Jones and Dougy Wright, we were introduced to water-based insects, dragonfly exuviae, butterflies, grass snakes, crickets and ovipositing! Many thanks to all those present for sharing their specialist knowledge. The images below are a small selection of today's highlights.
The image below is a fascinating collection of Emperor exuviae. Steve Jones is monitoring the area - 268 were collected yesterday from just two pools. Counting exuviae gives a more accurate picture of how many adults are in the area, most of which disperse.The collection is just a small sample and the actual total is probably three or four times this amount.
|Blue-tailed Damselflies in the copulation wheel|
|Common Darter, approx one day old|
|Common Darter recently emerged from its' exuviae.|
|Female Emperor ovipositing|
|Emperor Dragonfly exuviae, a selection of 268 collected from just two pools at Windmill.|
|Female Golden-ringed Dragonfly - we witnessed an Emperor devouring another Golden-ringed Dragonfly!|
|Great Green Bush Cricket, female.|
|Water Stick Insect with freshly devoured beetle (top right) and the eggs of the stick insect growing inside the reed. Opposite the pale eggs are the breathing tubes (small spikes).|
I took this image last Thursday in low light. There are actually two shown in this photo. The image was taken at about 8pm on ISO800, far higher than I normally use. The insect was also "shivering" which meant this image was the only one just in focus. Dark-green Fritillary is a bit of a speciality in this region and this was my first for the year here.
I took this shot last week on an evening visit to Perranporth. My friend Sam Williams also took a similar shot as we experimented with back-lit macro. The low evening sun is situated just above the 12 o'clock position. Exposure was raised to +1 EV. Ap F/10.
Monday, 4 July 2011
|Female Purple Emperor, video grab, courtesy of John Chapple.|
|Large Skipper, male, one of hundreds seen during the day.|
|Male Silver-washed Fritillary|
|Female Silver-washed Fritillary being shown interest from a male.|
A must-visit to the famous Bentley Wood on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border on Sunday paid dividends. John Chapple and me saw every available species including four Purple Emperors (also known as His/Her Majesty), two White-letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreaks, scores of Silver-washed Fritillary, Dark-green Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, scores of Marbled Whites and White Admirals and hundreds of Ringlets.
Below are some shots of Marbled White and White Admiral. Further images will follow in later posts. Given the number of enthusiasts present and surrounding some species, I decided to use a longer lens as the macro would involve too close a view with so many observers to consider. It was good to see so many faces from the past there, especially the Devon crews!
A link to more information on Bentley Wood can be found HERE
|Female Marbled White nectaring on Marsh Thistle|
|White Admiral (the first to appear on this blog).|