Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

During the dog walk this morning, I was standing waiting for a Buzzard to come in low enough for a shot when I heard this Hummingbird Hawkmoth buzzing between the nettle flowers to my right. I gave up on the raptor (the sun was really warm and the bird's distinctive shape was getting smaller and smaller as it rose in circles on a thermal current) and concentrated instead on this summer migrant from continental Europe. I'm glad I did. It's such a beautiful insect and – though tricky to capture – when I did I was rewarded with some worthwhile shots, managing to get that long 'tongue' in sharp detail and the moth's wings frozen in motion. I particularly like the composition of the first shot and the clarity of the feeding action shown in the second.
All shots Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/3,200 sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800




4 comments:

  1. Fantastic shots Tim! Haven`t seen one yet this year, hopefully one will appear on my hardy geraniums like last year!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  2. How marvellous! Those shots are superb, you must feel very happy.

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  3. Hi John. If they've been around before, I'm sure they'll return although my guide book tells me they occur in variable numbers and are by no means common every year. Fingers crossed.

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  4. Hi Toffeeapple. Thanks, as always, for your kind comments. Yes, I am thrilled with these shots. Some, I think, do come close to doing this wonderful creature justice.

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