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  #826  
Old 24th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by Harold Gough View Post
As there has been little insect life, around here, anyhow, I thought it worth a mention that I saw the first tiny short-horned grasshoppers this morning.

Also, as every year, we have had Cinnabar moths lurking for days in the vicinity of our Ragwort. They are easier to photograph than butterflies. (Images to be posted soon).

Harold
There is a lesson here:

The above and many insects are active in my garden when the sun shines. So I though I would visit my local nature reserve. I saw one Early Purple Orchid and failed to find the Bird's Nest Orchids "halfway up that hill". It was a very long hill, with dense vegetation.

Nothing else flew, jumped or munched where I could see it. "Far fields" may be greener but not as productive as my garden. I never once reached for my camera.

Harold
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  #827  
Old 24th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Spent a few hours in the Tring, Ivinghoe Beacon area today. With really good results.

It was a day of perfect, emerging butterflies. Most were so fresh they were yet to take a maiden flight. It is not everyday you get to see butterflies in perfect condition as they emerge. And these are not common species so I know I am bending the rules but I thought a few pictures tell the story of a very good trip

Firstly the Duke of Burgundy. A very scarce butterfly which has declined in sites and numbers and is a priority conservation species. It is also very, very pretty.

These were emerging as we walked the hill.


Duke of Burgundy - Hamearis lucina
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Duke of Burgundy (under) - Hamearis lucina
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Duke of Burgundy - Hamearis lucina
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

It is often hard to spot the Duke because it is often accompanied by two skippers. These too were quite fresh. Firstly the Dingy Skipper...


Dingy Skipper - Erynnis tages
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

And then the Grizzled Skipper. It is difficult to separate male and female, but I assume these are a pair as another butterfly was seen off and they resettled together.


Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus malvae
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

Just down the road is an anonymous looking field which has the largest population of Small Blues I have ever seen. These were just crawling up grass stems and drying so were in perfect condition.


Small Blue - Cupido minimus
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Small Blue - Cupido minimus
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

The Green Hairstreak has been on the wing for a few weeks now, but this was new today. It is a butterfly which rapidly gets torn wings from flying in thorn bushes. So to get one with perfect scales is a joy.


Green Hairstreak - Callophrys rubi
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

Last but not least this Small Heath is a beautiful gem of detail and subtle colours.


Small Heath - Coenonympha pamphilus
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

I also photographed larks rising, a kestrel hunting, hawthorn flies and bees. I have several hundred shots. These were my shots using the EM5-MK2 and 40-150 plus 1.4tc. Natural light, hand-held. I feel comfortable with that for butterflies.

Hope you enjoy the trip too.
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  #828  
Old 24th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Peter,

A very successful day!

Harold
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  #829  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Hoverfly on Crap Diet

There was not much about yesterday, in spite of it being a warmish, sunny day. So, when I saw this hoverfly landing on sunlit Clematis leaves, I stuck with it.

At first I was annoyed and frustrated because it kept landing on a leaf which had a patch of bird faeces on it. Then I saw that it was constantly feeding on the central, dark part of this crust. So my agenda changed.

The action was on the flat bottom of a leaf with its sides raised, and thus a block to lighting, with the only available view looking more or less straight along the mid vein. I had to move my main flash from its high, lateral position, to lower and more straight ahead. The fill light, in my lens-supporting hand kept getting blocked. So I had to wiggle the latter around a bit. (The technique is patented, so hands off! ).

I nearly forgot: The flavour was Wood Pigeon. I just knew you wanted to know that! .

Anyway, here are some which were not rejects.

EM-1, Kiron 105mm at FOV +/- 17mm, twin TTL flash, hand-held.

Harold







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  #830  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Great set of butterfly shots Peter
Nice hover Harold and the flavour was important I am sure.
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I nice view does not mean a good photograph. My FLickr

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  #831  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Here some flies from the garden on Sunday

Bluebottle by Alf Branch, on Flickr

Fly 2 by Alf Branch, on Flickr

Fly with bubble by Alf Branch, on Flickr

Fly by Alf Branch, on Flickr
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  #832  
Old 25th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by alfbranch View Post
Great set of butterfly shots Peter
Nice hover Harold and the flavour was important I am sure.
Thanks, Alf.

It stuck to the inner, dark stuff (faeces) and avoided the outer (urine equivalent) area. So, no a lager fan!

Harold
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  #833  
Old 25th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Alf,

Excellent images of flies. I am no expert but the first species looks like Calliphora vincina, the second like a Dance Fly Empis and the third maybe Phaonia sp.

Harold
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  #834  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by Harold Gough View Post
Alf,

Excellent images of flies. I am no expert but the first species looks like Calliphora vincina, the second like a Dance Fly Empis and the third maybe Phaonia sp.

Harold
Harold I could not tell the difference between Calliphora vicina and Calliphora vomitoria myself

Edit
Having looked at this I reckon Calliphora vicina is correct

It could be an Empis and a Phania SP.

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  #835  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Here is some older empis shots

empis-stercorea-mating-and-eating by Alf Branch, on Flickr

empis-stercorea by Alf Branch, on Flickr

Empis-tessellata by Alf Branch, on Flickr

bicellaria-vana-feeding by Alf Branch, on Flickr


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  #836  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Harold I could not tell the difference between Calliphora vicina and Calliphora vomitoria myself

It could be an Empis and a Phania SP.

It looks too robust to be Phania funesta (our only species). However, is does resemble Xylotachina diluta a very localised rarity.

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  #837  
Old 25th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Here is some older empis shots

bicellaria-vana-feeding by Alf Branch, on Flickr

[/I]
I think the last one is Bicellaria vana, Hybotidae.

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  #838  
Old 25th May 2016
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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I think the last one is Bicellaria vana, Hybotidae.

Harold
That was the ID I had I know its not an Empis I suppose but on the same page in my book.
The title of the shot has the ID.
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  #839  
Old 25th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by alfbranch View Post
That was the ID I had I know its not an Empis I suppose but on the same page in my book.
The title of the shot has the ID.
I missed that. I am using various browsers and struggle a bit with screen size!

Harold
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  #840  
Old 26th May 2016
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Latest Baby Speckled Bush Cricket Images:

These insects grow rapidly so, if this is the same as one of the previous two, it might be distinctly larger. As a guide, the antennae are about 8mm long.

This one, after roaming around quite a lot, finally remained still at, or near, the tip of a leaf. Even so, with a brick wall behind me, twisting my body into the right position was difficult, mostly because the eye detection software in the viewfinder closes the image if my eye moves slightly away.

EM-1, Kiron 105mm, f16, twin flash, hand-held.

Harold.







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