I had a good day shooting some butterflies on Saturday at the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Lankham Bottom, nr Cattistock in Dorset. Not only did I get some nice shots of some butterflies, but I also saw a small copper for the first time. It’s one of the extra rewards in visiting new reserves to hunt out interesting macro opportunities.
The parking at the reserve is limited to a few spots in the country lane that runs alongside the reserves two entrances. The largest entrance being the gate (no parking in front of gate) to Wessex Waters pumping station, where there is slightly more roadside space to park than the first bridleway entrance off the A37.
The reserve is fairly big, with very steep sides. Great going down them, but an effort going back up to the car!
I did notice that many of the butterflies on the reserve were infected with parasites as some of the shots below show. The majority of the shots were taken on my Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens. All shots taken at ISO400 on Canon 50D.
The first willingish subject was this male Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus which I took a set of shots whilst it posed on a leaf.
F8 with Flash 1/200 sec ISO 400
F8 Natural light, 1/250 sec ISO 400
F5.6 Natural Light, 1/400 sec. ISO 400
F5.6 Natural Light, 1/400 sec ISO 400.
The new subject I took several shots of was a female Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus. I took some on the 100mm lens and took some closeups of the parasites on the Canon MPE-65mm lens.
F8 1/250 ISO 400 Flash.
F4 1/250 ISO 400 Flash.
F13 1/250 ISO 400 Flash. – 1x magnification.
F13 1/250 ISO 400 Flash. – 2x magnification.
I then came across another male Common Blue, and got these two shots on the 100mm lens.
F8 1/200 ISO 400 Natual Light.
F8 1/160 ISO 400 Flash.
Towards the bottom of the hill I came across a pair of mating Small Whites -Pieris rapae – taken again on the 100mm.
F8 1/200 ISO 400 Natural Light.
I then spotted some really bright an colourful reddish butterflies about the size of a common blue, and got these shots ( the closer up one could be improved, but they are the first of this species, I’ve taken. I later identified them as Small Coppers – Lycaena phlaeas. I do like this first shot though of the butterfly in its meadow field environment.
F8 1/200 ISO 400 Flash.
F8 1/200 ISO 400 Flash.
The last subject I shot on the day, was not a butterfly, but a posing grasshopper which I spotted whilst taking a rest and drink, just before leaving.
F6.3 ISO 400 1/250 Flash.
Map of Location