Hairstreaks and others Butterflies at Alners Gorse

A mid July weekend visit to the Butterfly conservations Alners Gorse reserve proved rewarding in species of butterfly seen.  I managed to see & shoot my first purple hairstreaks, and also spotted an shot a Brown Hairstreak.

Being a hot weekend the butterflies were fairly active, but fortunately in abundance too, so a bit of stalking on those nectaring on flowers gave opportunities for shots.  As they were active I mostly wished I’d left my tripod in the car and relied on the bright light and ISO 400 to get some hand held natural light photographs, which I used on most of the shots, however a couple of mating burnett moths meant I did manage to use the tripod, which helped justify lugging it around.

I was also wearing my new “photo vest” – an old “cargo” top bought from Frontline in Poole –  an Army surplus type store for the princely sum of about £25.  Much less than a “proper” photo vest, though functions the same – large pockets for drinks, lenses etc.  I wish I’d got one earlier – certainly easier than a camera bag on a warm day.  I’ll have to take a shot and post in another article soon.

Six-Spot Burnet Moths - Zygaena filipendulaeCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO400)
Six-Spot Burnet Moths - Zygaena filipendulae

Six-Spot Burnet Moths – Zygaena filipendulae. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F8 1/500 Natural Light Tripod.

I was pleased near the start to get this nice Brown Hairstreak posing on the flowers at the bottom of the hill.  I saw about 3 on the day, but this was by far most photogenic one.

Brown Hairstreak - Thecla betulaeCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO400)
Brown Hairstreak - Thecla betulae

Brown Hairstreak – Thecla betulae. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F6.3 1/320 Natural Light.

Next up a couple of Purple Hairstreaks – one shot in natural light.

Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercusCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO400)
Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercus

Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercus. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F5.6 1/500 Natural Light.

And another using flash lighting only ( this taken on the following day in colder / cloudier conditions – also at Alners Gorse).  I like both in their own way – one more natural – the other standing out well against the black flash produced background.

Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercusCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO400)
Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercus

Purple Hairstreak -Neozephyrus quercus. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F8 1/250 Flash Lit from Canon MT-24ex Twin Flash.

I also found and identified – in my excellent new field guide book – “Insects of the New Forest” this Dance Fly on a flower.  Highly recommend this book btw for id of insects in the UK – especially the South Coast.

Dance Fly - Empis tessellata on flowerCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/4.5, 1/250 sec, ISO400)
Dance Fly - Empis tessellata on flower

Dance Fly – Empis tessellata on flower. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F4.5 1/250 Natural Light.

The final three butterfly shots made use of sun light falling in various angles – I hope you like them.  The first is not full frame – but a roughly 3/4 crop.

Peacock Butterfly - Inachis ioCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO400)
Peacock Butterfly - Inachis io

Peacock Butterfly – Inachis io (Cropped). Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F5.6 1/640 Natural Light.

Backlit Comma - Polygonia c-albumCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO400)
Backlit Comma - Polygonia c-album

Backlit Comma – Polygonia c-album. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F8 1/160 Natural Light.

Backlit Green-veined White - Pieris napiCanon EOS 50D (100mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO400)
Backlit Green-veined White - Pieris napi

Backlit Green-veined White – Pieris napi.  Taken on Canon 50D with Canon 100mm F2.8 USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F5.6 1/800 Natural Light.

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Chris

I've been taking macro photography from 2004. I use both Canon film and digital cameras.

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