Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Breney

On Monday I found ten Small Pearl-bordereds at Breney Common, Cornwall.  I had it in mind that I would see some of the last Marsh Fritillary's but alas I saw none.  However, I did see some very nice, pristine Small PBF's and a couple individuals were very obliging as they waited for the sun to come out.

Silver-studded Blue at Penhale

One of my favourite butterfly's finally emerged in small numbers last week at Penhale sands.  I saw about 25 insects.  This male spent half an hour warming its wings in the early morning sun.  The three ants seemed to show as much interest as I did!
Taken with Nikon D3x and 105mm VR Macro, hand held.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Heath Fritillary

I managed to visit Luckett in the week to see the Heath Fritillary.  The weather has been poor this week but Thursday bucked the trend and was eventually good enough to bring out a few insects.  Heath Fritillary is one of the rarer butterfly's in the UK and likewise is restricted to just a couple sites in south east Cornwall.  Luckett is specifically managed as a nature reserve on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall. 

The images were taken with flash as the light wasn't bright enough. More images can be found on my flicker site HERE

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Azure Damselfly

These images were taken a couple nights ago while searching for butterflies in dull weather.  I find the early evening the best time to photo insects as they don't readily fly away! And they are quite docile at this time of day.  Damselflies can be really tricky as they move and hide on the opposite side of the camera lens.  There were about ten Azures and this male and female were preparing to go to roost.

Taken with Nikon D3x and 105mm VR Macro. Hand held.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Common Blues at dusk

Common Blue habitually congregate at dusk just before they go to roost.  I saw eight males in a fairly small square area of about about 2' but these two were the only ones together.  It was much duller yesterday evening and what a difference the weather makes.  Common Blue was the only butterfly species I saw last night at this site.

Pair of Common Blue preparing to go to roost.

Taken with D3x Nikon and 105mm Macro. Tripod mounted. More images can be found on my Flickr site here

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Marsh Fritillary on the Lizard, Cornwall

This evening I managed to see about 30 Marsh Fritillary in strong, low sunlight.  One or two were quite docile as they sunbathed in the last rays of warmth - ideal for close viewing and composed photography. Below are some images from this evening.  (ps. apologies for featuring the two Common Blues in the Brown Argus post last night).

Sea Thrift at sunset tonight with the camera pointing directly at the sun. Exposure +1.0 EV

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Brown Argus at Penhale in backlight

This evening I saw less than ten Brown Argus at Penhale.  Most were tatty and at the end of their life.  The second brood in July will be the next opporunity.  That said, with very strong low sunshine, I managed to get some quite nice back lit images as they perched on the tops, straining to get the last remnants of heat.

Brown Argus backlit with low sunshine. Nikon D3x, 105mm VR Macro Lens.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A visit to Goss Moor and Breney Common

With very few birds in Cornwall, a visit to the east of the county was in order to find some butterflies.  I was hoping to see two species in particular but sadly dipped.  The Grizzled Skipper at Goss Moor was not recorded last year and it seems the same for 2013.  Alas it is most likely now extinct from this site.  I searched for a couple hours until the motor bike scramblers arrived.  I did see eight Dingy Skipper and one Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.  Given that this was probably the hottest day this year (18.5 degs), I was surprised how few butterflies there were.

On to Breney Common where I was hoping to see Marsh Fritillary.  I met John Cook and he had seen two here today but I failed to find them.  But I did find another two Small Pearl-bordereds, one Small Copper, three Four-spotted Chaser and very good numbers of Large Red Damselfly.  Some images of the day are below - all taken with D3x and 105mm macro.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Goss Moor

Dingy Skipper at Goss Moor

Small Copper at Breney

Large Red Damselfly at Breney

Four-spotted Chaser at Breney Common

(I also heard one Garden Warbler singing at Goss Moor).

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Spotted Flycatcher at Pistil Meadow

This evening I went to the Lizard area and connected with two Spotted Flycatcher feeding at Pistil Meadow, The Lizard.  Not quite the 700 seen at Portland Bill today, but nevertheless, these two were part of the same amazing movement of the species today.  I also saw two adult Chough in the area.