Monday, 13 August 2012

South Stack Beetle Hunt July 5 2012

After leaving the mountain lake above Betws-y- coed i drove across to the isle of Anglesey and towards Hollyhead to the rspb South Stack reserve.   i didn't think it was warm or sunny enough to be able to shoot the huge number of wasp species that are usually present  on the cliff tops , but i should find something to photograph :)

this is South stack lighthouse which i visited in a previous blog  Here

Walking down the path towards the cliff edge , i almost immediately spotted a Rose Chafer beetle feeding on what appeared to be angelica florets. i shot this with natural light.

they really are a stunning colour, shooting anything on a pale or white flower is extremely difficult to get a good exposure , using flash makes it even harder which i found out later in the afternoon.
walking along the main path along the cliff top a huge beetle flew past me, very close! the sound they make is quite loud and i managed to follow it until it landed, it was a Cockchafer about 1.1/4 inch in length , which are often called May bugs :)     late this year with it being such a cold summer presumably.   it landed on a rock that was covered in pale lichen which made it easy to shoot as it was about 2 ft above the path.  these are the images i shot at different magnifications.

            it soon flew off into  heather but i managed one more head on shot .

along the cliff top there is virtually nothing to be seen , very unusual but a few of these tiny green flower beetles, approx 5 mm in length.

and a Digger wasp that didn't want its face photographed   lol

On way back to the car park i found another Rose Chafer , so tried shooting with mpe-65 and flash!  found it very difficult to get good exposure on both beetle and flower. in fact this is the only half decent image i got, you can see the difference in colour to a natural light shot of the beetle

                                                                       mpe-65 full flash

                                                   natural light 100mm macro , much more natural

Then just below the car park i heard a loud buzzing , after a few minutes looking i spotted a Hummingbird Hawkmoth egg laying , i watched in amazement for ages trying to shoot a very fast moving moth lol     here is the best image

i found an egg she had layed and took it home, here is the Caterpillar that hatched and is now in a pupae almost ready to emerge into a beautiful moth.

        That was the end of a long day , not the best for photography but enjoyable all the same :)

                                  tomorrow i will be in the lake district butterfly hunting :)


  1. I tried really hard and almost won. but, at the egg-collection, the Wow just slipped out! I love the way you make the usually-miss-able or ignored, so beautiful :-)

  2. Never thought I would say this but those bugs look really beautiful! But the caterpillar is my favourite.... :-)

  3. Lovely pics - and from a part of the country I know very well, though I was more interested in the Schist than the bugs when I was there. We're taking a lot more time to check out the insect life on our walks now, all thanks to your blog & pics, so thank you for giving us a whole new dimension to our travels.

  4. Nice one Phil. Some good pix in there mate. I too like the caterpillar. In particular his little tail! lol