Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Whixall Moss Bug Hunt April 10

Today i decided to do some macro, not really shot much this year, so off to Whixall moss in Shropshire in the hope of finding something to shoot!   brimstone,orange tip and holly blues where seen last week, but the weather has turned since then and was not looking great for today either.
I decided to take the main path across the moss then walk down the canal towpath where there are plenty of dandelion flowers which always attract bees and hoverflies :)

                                                                     This is the main path

As you can see it is bleak, wide open peat bogs but attracts plenty of bird species along with large numbers of insects!         i didn't find anything along this section so made my way quickly to the canal. almost straight away i found this tiny ichneumon wasp , which happily climbed on my finger presumably to get some warmth!   as it was quite cold this morning.  this was shot at about x4 magnification with mpe-65 and is 3 frames focus stacked to increase depth of field.

Continuing down the canal i noticed dozens of ladybirds, most of the plants had them on, but noticed alot had damaged wing cases, very strange!  this one appeared to be sleeping  lol

       Next to be shot was a tiny Weevil, about 5mm long this one, again this is a 3 frame focus stack

As soon as i came across the first of the patches of dandelion the sun came out and hoverflies were feeding in Ernest:)

                                                          and another one resting on a leaf!

Yet more ladybirds , this one has something on its head , appears to be fungus or something similar!

Just before i went back onto the moss, i found the first of the days Miner bees feeding on a dandelion, it crawled on my finger almost straight away to warm itself :)     they cannot fly when cold !

I took the path back onto the moss to look for green tiger beetles which can often be found down by the old peat workings!   but i looked everywhere and could not find any!  the like it dry and hot to hunt on the  peat .  this is the old works.

Any how, back towards the canal in search of more miner bees :)   look at the sky now!  perfect to bring the bees out to feed!

Back on the canal , a beautiful hoverfly :)  again 3 frames focus stacked .

Miner bee time!   loads of them feeding , so here are a few images , all single frames shot with mpe-65
they are about 6-7 mm in length .

just love this!  even though cant see its head  lol

The clouds were starting to really build now , so a hasty decision to head back to the car!
there is a wooden bird viewing platform , and i noticed this small fly sitting in the warm sun!

I made my way back across the mosses , and just near the carpark, noticed this small miner bee in the shade on a wooden post rail! obviously too cold to fly :)

And finally , i shot it looking up towards the blue sky for the background, using full flash with a higher iso400 to allow more natural light into the exposure to prevent a black background from the flash fallout!
it worked perfectly!  i focused on the jaws as they are the most prominent focal point :D

                                                    The end of another good days shooting :) 

    all shots taken with canon 5d2 and mpe-65 macro lens  ( except landscapes HTC phone )


  1. Looks like you had a great time and some wonderful shots, especially the last bee shot.


  2. Lovely Miner bee Phil