More Butterflies, Dragons and Damsels

June 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Since my last blog post in early May I've been making the most of the improving weather with plenty of visits to local wildlife hot spots, focussing primarily on insects. I've had my fair share of success and have added a number of new images to my Butterflies and Macro galleries.

Things haven't been particularly easy at times given some very strong and persistent winds, which have proved a real hindrance to macro photography, even when visiting more sheltered locations. As usual though, patience has been key and I've had plenty of fun along the way with pleasing results. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary colony that I'd been visiting sadly hasn't had a great year (and now appears to have gone over) however in stark contrast the Marsh Fritillary colony has been brilliant. I've had a number of close encounters with Four-spotted Chasers over recent weeks, finding a real stronghold of these tough critters and also found a very obliging Red Eyed Damselfly. I've also been paying regular visits to Daneway Banks and have found plenty of Common Blues and Brown Argus though the star attraction, the Large Blue, is still yet to emerge. Not long to wait though...

Here are a few of my favourites from the last few weeks:

Four Spotted ChaserFour Spotted ChaserFour-spotted Chaser: Found at Lower Moor Farm taking shelter from a stiff breeze. Red Eyed DamselflyRed Eyed DamselflyRed Eyed Damselfly: I nearly walked into the fine specimen during a visit to Lower Moor Farm on a very cool day. It took plenty of attempts to get the correct focal plane but an obliging subject made that possible. Brown ArgusBrown ArgusBrown Argus: A fresh individual roosting up during an overcast afternoon visit to Daneway Banks. Pearl-bordered FritillaryPearl-bordered FritillaryPearl-bordered Fritillary: A chance encounter with a cracking butterfly. This particular one seemed very settled and thankfully stayed still just long enough. Common BlueCommon BlueA roosting Common Blue found at Daneway Banks. Again, taken on an overcast day. Marsh FritillaryMarsh FritillaryMarsh Fritillary: A stunning individual found roosting at Strawberry Banks during an evening visit. I've not really spent any significant time on the birding front with the exception of the local Hobbies which have been as spectacular as ever though getting decent shots has again evaded me. I've not dedicated as much time to them as I perhaps should've done but the time I have spent watching them has been awesome, especially with them hawking at such close quarters. I did have a trip to Farmoor, which led to a brilliant spell with a Ringed Plover. I managed to gain the trust of this smart little wader which came so close  that I had 10 minutes with it too close to focus on. No complaint though as it was a magical moment allowing me to just sit and watch whilst it occasionally called and preened. A real treat.

Ringed PloverRinged Plover The next few weeks should see increasing activity on the butterfly front with the Large Blue and Marbled White two of the species I'm most looking forward to seeing. I'll no doubt get distracted by plenty of other bits and bobs but that's all part of the fun. Nothing beats going out exploring and not knowing what lies in wait!


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