Slowly working my way across a hillside covered in yellow cowslip searching for my first Duke of Burgundy butterfly of 2013 I notice a moth-like flicker of dark chocolate brown arc into the dry grass further up the slope. With my eyes fixed on the spot where it lands I move cautiously upwards to find a freshly emerged Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae. It’s not ‘His Grace’ but a real stunner all the same and another first for my year list.
This little orange firecracker is a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene, a male I believe, photographed on the 9th June at Bentley Wood. This was one of the first butterflies I photographed last May when I got my macro lens and I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to viewing the results. Particularly as this was a new species for me. What a disappointment then to discover the vast majority were either blurred or just slightly out of focus. To be fair I did manage to get a few decent shots, one of which was shortlisted for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s 50th anniversary photographic competition, but believe me that was more down to luck than judgement. Read more
My recent trip to Cyprus was a little disappointing. Although I did get to see many hundreds of butterflies they proved remarkably difficult to photograph. For starters it was way hotter than expected, peaking at around 37 degrees. It was clear I’d misjudged the timing by 2 weeks to a month – the majority of the wildflowers were burnt to a crisp.