Silver-studded Blue

Silver-studded Blue
Silver-studded Blue, Iping Common

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Photographing Butterflies

Haven't been able to get out and about over the last week so nothing to report; however, I came across this website today, some fantastic photos and some great tips on how to improve your photography!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Heyshott Escarpment SU900176 - Sussex Branch Butterfly Conservation

My first trip as a fully-paid up member of butterfly conservation, led by Neil Hulme.

A  good selection of downland butterflies seen, including the nationally threatened Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina. We saw a total of 9 individuals and although they were looking a bit worn due to their early emergence this year (it seems they are all doing it, still a fantastic little butterfly.

I managed to get a few half decent shots but definately would like to return next year to catch some newly emerged butterflies!

Other butterflies seen today, included: Brown Argus, Common Blue, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Green-veined white, Red Admiral, Small Heath, and Speckled Wood.

Of note we also saw, rather appropriately, a Butterfly Orchid and some Common Spotted and Fly Orchids

Thank-you Neil for your knowledge and enthusiasm, I learnt a lot.

Copyright2011@Leigh Prevost Photography

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Butterflies doing well but for how long?

An interesting article in the Guardian yesterday:

Crab Spiders

Found some interesting facts on crab spiders: the remarkable Crab Spider Thomisus onustus has a chameleon-like ability to change colour to match it's surroundings, so it can be white, yellow, pink or variegated in appearance. The change of colour takes about 2 or 3 days to complete however, so it is common to find a spider on the "wrong colour" of flower.
Spending several days motionless on a flower head, crab spiders wait for their next meal to fly in they have excellent forward vision, and move immediately and stealthily towards any bee or butterfly which settles on the flower. In contrast, their peripheral vision is poor, so much so that it is possible for a butterfly to settle alongside the spider without being attacked. If on the other hand it is unfortunate enough to walk across the spider's field of vision, the powerful pincer-like forelegs immediately seize the butterfly. The spider then bites it on the neck, injecting it with a paralysing venom which incorporates enzymes that liquefy the butterfly's internal tissues Thomisus onustus then sucks out the body contents of the butterfly, discarding the chitinous exoskeleton and wing. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

The First Post

Well here we are, my first ever blog - well more a means to keep a log of all the different butterflies I see and photograph in 2011 in my (current) home of sussex (east and west).

Inspired by Patrick Barkham Butterfly Isles

a truly great read, if like me you have ever spent many a summer month in your youth chasing butterflies around fields and meadows

Yesterday we spent a few hours at Park Corner Heath in East Sussex in search of the  Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries (spbf) Boloria selene.

The spbf is only found in at a few protected sites across sussex unfortunately I was unable to get any good shots of the spbf as they were too quick and only settled for a few seconds, unfortunately for this one, a few seconds was all it took before...

attack of the Crab Spider
a sad demise

 Unfortunately for the butterfly the Crab Spider came out on top anyone know what the little white 'droplet' on the spbf thorax is - venom perhaps?

Other species seen, included my first ever Brown Argus (a male), 2 Small Heaths, several Common Blues, a Brimstone and a Grizzled Skipper (poss ab taras aberrant - thoughts appreciated) plus a Crimson Spot Tiger Moth

Male Brown Argus on Bugle, a first

Grizzled Skipper, aberrant, ab taras

Copyright2011@Leigh Prevost Photography