Butterfly Fortunes

April 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The butterfly season has finally begun and so far it would seem that fortune is favouring me. Last year was very slow going, especially during the early part of the season but this year I'm off to a flier with some fantastic moments already under my belt. I had really been hoping to find more Orange-tips this year and whilst I found a few last year, my timing was far too late. With locations ideas in mind I've found a really encouraging number of these early emergers and have been lucky to find them in some wonderful light. Some very early mornings have paid off and below are a few of my favourite images from the last couple of weeks.

Orange-tipOrange-tip Orange-tipOrange-tip Orange-tipOrange-tip Orange-tipOrange-tip Whilst looking for Orange-tips one evening I had a chance encounter that really put a smile on my face. I happened on an extremely smart Green-veined White. This is a species I'd never found before so I was extremely careful not to disturb this little gem when setting up. Fortunately it was a very cool overcast evening so the butterfly was as docile as they come.

Green-veined WhiteGreen-veined White Green-veined WhiteGreen-veined White The following weekend saw me up at the crack of dawn back to where I'd found the previous butterflies and it wasn't long before I found both Orange-tips and Green-veined Whites roosting, the latter in some very obliging positions although getting a clean background meant a very uncomfortable position in order to avoid damaging nearby flowers. It was an extremely chilly morning with frost in the most sheltered corners. The light however was what really stood out. The sunrise was quite spectacular and it turned the meadow I was in to gold. I wasted no time in getting as many images as I could as this was not an opportunity to waste.

Green-veined WhiteGreen-veined White Green-veined WhiteGreen-veined White My most recent butterfly hunt took me to Rodborough Common. Only a five minute drive from home, I decided to have a look for the Duke of Burgundy, having heard a few had been seen elsewhere in the South of England. I didn't have my camera gear so it was very much 'recon only' and given how fresh it felt, I wasn't at all confident. However, I was wrong and during a sunny spell I found a single male on the wing in the usual spot. My tactic of sitting down to watch and wait for movement worked. Certainly something I'd recommend. Earlier this week I kept an eye on the forecast and Thursday after work looked promising with relatively low temperatures and very little breeze. I was again not feeling too confident given how small these butterflies are and had the memory of last year in mind when I spent countless hours searching without success. Luck was again with me though and within minutes I found a cracking male at almost eye-level perched on a bud! I'd been looking low in the grass and only stood up to get my footing on the steep slope, otherwise I may very well have missed it. I then found another male on the side of a cowslip before finding a female. She was a little more active though and flew from an Ash leaf before I could get a decent shot. No complaints though as I'd already had more success than ever before and am really pleased with the images I got.

Duke of BurgundyDuke of Burgundy Duke of BurgundyDuke of Burgundy Duke of BurgundyDuke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy really is a cracking little butterfly and I hope I've done them justice. The only problem is I have well and truly got the butterfly bug!


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