Sunday, 27 May 2012

Whixall Moss Butterflies & Bees May 14th

Another trip to whixall moss on the welsh/Shropshire border.  it was a warm day , still a bit breezy but hopefully the green hairstreaks will be in a nice mood to be photographed :))
a quick look at the normal section just on the moss at the crossroads produced nothing , so a fast walk along to the canal section i shot all the butterflies on the previous week.  it appears that most of the dandelion flowers that lined the towpath had gone over , which drastically reduces the number of opportunities to shoot bees !  but plenty of blossom :)

It was soon evident that butterfly numbers where way down on the previous week , a brief glimpse of a holly blue was all i spotted, but soon found a few recently emerged large red Damselflies , which perched very nicely:)

Eventually i came to the wooden platform where all the green hairstreaks where last week!   they were still there , but very flighty and took a lot of chasing lol , but eventually managed a few good shots.

They really are a beautiful species :)   and amazingly i managed to get one on my finger!!!!!!

A Cold Bee needed warming up!

Leaving this area to continue down to the end section to hopefully find some Dandelion flowers to shoot some miner bees. but just a few meters down the tow path and i spotted a Hairstreak feeding on a daisy flower! i have never seen this before and spent about 5 minutes shooting it , just had to get a good shot of this!

At the bottom end there where plenty of the required flowers , but first a female Orange tip was feeding!    it stayed in the same position for ages , so managed to focus stack a few frames on this image!

I soon found the miner bees , a passing cloud cooled the temperature down enough for this one to stay still while i shot it with mpe-65 macro lens at about x4 magnification:)  what a wonderful image!  my fav of the day.

Then i found a cold Nomada bee , that wanted to be warmed up also:D  most Miner & Nomada species need warmth to fly , so when a cloud blocks the sun, the Bees cool down sufficiently to prevent them flying!
5 frames focus stacked to increase depth of field, shot one handed by resting mpe lens barrel on my palm while shooting!  holding finger in front of a dandelion flower for background colour!

And yet another cold Miner bee , which looked like it had curled up to sleep inside the flower!  lol

Enough of shooting the Bees , these few shots were more than i expected so back looking for Butterflies :)    Brimstones were noticeable by their absence but eventually found one perched nicely:)

And finally , an Orange tip feeding hard, which allowed me to shoot its portrait at high magnification with mpe lens, focus stacked 5 frames , f6.3 iso 100  handheld, resting left elbow on knee to brace camera to keep frames aligned.

                                                 The end of another great days shooting:)

                               all images shot with canon 5d2,100mmL & mpe-65 macro lens                  


  1. Love the Green Hairsteaks and Orange Tips. Not sure about the bees! Superb photos again! :)

  2. Fascinating post Phil.
    Your shots of the bees really interested me. Great to be able to see the pollen on them and I loved the background colour of dandelion yellow. Superlative.

  3. I had no idea Green Hairstreaks were so small, Phil. Superb shots.