Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Bees on the wild chives

Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

A trio of images of the Soldier Beetle, including a couple of shots showing just how they set about increasing their numbers in our gardens! I am indebted to Roy Norris for putting me right on the identification of this tiny creature. Thanks Roy.

All images Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm prime macro lens

Monday, 29 July 2013

Disney does damselfly

Quality-wise, this image is no keeper – in a blustery wind I struggled to get the macro focus to latch on to the subject – but I do love this cartoon-like, almost comical approach to photographing the Common Blue Damselfly.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

This shot was taken for my column in the October issue of The English Home magazine. Luckily, it has a distinctly autumnal feel.


As something of an antidote to the wasp featured earlier, here's a harmless female Hoverfly which uses markings similar to those of the wasp to trick predators into mistakenly it is foul tasting and packs a powerful sting. Such a subterfuge is called Batesian mimicry after English naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates, who first described it in 1862. Hoverflies vary considerably in shape and colouration, but I reckon this example is Episyrphus balteatus. Happy to be corrected, as always.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/100th sec, f/8, ISO 400

Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Not everyone's cup of tea, of course, but the markings are undeniably impressive and certainly work as a visual message that this is an insect not to be messed with. It should also be remembered when maligning the wasp that there is barely a single 'pest' insect species that isn't predated upon by this formidable hunter.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/160th sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/640th sec, f/10, ISO 400

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Red Deer stag

I saw this shot while taking an hour out in London's Richmond Park. I got plenty of other shots of Red Deer stags and hinds, but was drawn to this one because of the quality of the light and the sense it gives of getting a glimpse into the private world of this most majestic beast. I also like the swarm of insects caught in the evening glow and the gentle highlights which reveal the presence of velvet on the still-growing antlers.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/80th sec, f/4.5, 210mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/200th sec, f/5, 210mm at ISO 500

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Lunch on the go for this Pied Wagtail

Enjoying the sunshine in the garden for an hour at lunchtime yesterday, I noticed this Pied Wagtail returning to the same spot on the lawn time after time. When I investigated why this part of the garden was such a draw I found (brace yourself) that I had failed to completely clear up one of the 'dog eggs' left by my labrador, Bumble. I decided to leave it and – confident the wagtail would be unable to resist the feast of flies that had gathered – I was able to lie down on the grass within just a few metres and capture lunch on the go for this most endearing little bird, who was almost oblivious to my presence.

All shots: Canon 1ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm L series lens at 400mm

Monday, 1 July 2013

More hedgehog shots

These are for Toffeeapple, who requested more shots of this little fellow...