Monday, 30 July 2012

Silver Studded Blues at Prees Heath pt1 july 1st

With the British summer still not taking place!   again ! , the beautiful silver studds at Prees Heath were quite late emerging , think these are my favourite blue butterfly.   news that a few had been seen in the last few days,so i decided to go and have a look.  it was cold, dull, breezy and rain forecast so not really a promising day for photography.  But there is always a chance of getting that "special" shot , and as it turned out this was one of those days :)

Arriving at the car park early , i shot this lovely poppy flower first , the petals looking a bit crumpled!

i walk through on to the airfield site ,  the bell heather is in flower and looking very nice, will shoot it later.  coming to the first main roosting area, i notice no silvers, not a good sign :(  walking down through the silver birch trees into the central area next to the old runway ,i soon find a few low down in the long grass stems, the low light levels and combined with a strong breeze making it very hard to get sharp images!  this one is not too sharp !

this is the area they emerge in , black ants are everywhere and help the butterflies out of the ground. see last years blog

Another perched male silver stud , beautiful species :)

i have had a good look around and not seen any emerging which is a shame, i really wanted to photograph the ants cleaning the emergent butterfly. but will come again next week.  i find this grasshopper sitting on a single grass stem , which looks rather nice!

then i find yet another male sitting on the bell heather , makes a great image.  You can see the "Studds" standing out very well in this specimen, bright blue spots in the bottom edge of wing.

and an open wing shot in the heather

Now its time to get the mpe-65 lens out and shoot a couple of  high magnification images, these two are both focus stacked from 8 frames to increase depth of field.

one of the thistle flowers that are quite common here!

Then, i found this male silver studd which looked like it was playing with a red ant!   i have never noticed red ants here so was quite surprised to see one, and i watched its interaction with the butterfly for at least 15 minutes.  it kept walking around and climbing on the butterflies face! 

 This image is probably one of my favourites of the year so far , both ant & butterfly eyes are in focus , and the ant looks like it is facing off the butterfly :D
Something really special about this one!

and a crop showing more detail , notice all the blotches on the butterflies eye , most probably from overnight dew or rain.

That was superb image to finish of the morning :)   might be my fav image of the year!

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


  1. Wow!These photos and the background information you give are truly breathtaking! Thanks for sharing them!

  2. Phil, can you please do something where I can think of another word other than 'WOW'?! The poppy is absolutely stunning and it just gets even better from there. I never knew about the relationship between butterflies and ants. Thank you :-)

  3. Sounds like you had a great day...I did wonder what was going on with ant and the butterfly. its a great shot and very rare I'm guessing...I've enjoyed seeing your butterfly images and never realised there were as many species...Good work 5*

  4. Beautiful shots Phil. Lovely poppy shot at the beginning and love the cute grasshopper lol. Your ant and butterfly shot is superb!