Sunday, August 29, 2010


On Wednesday, August 4th, I went round to Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea. I walked up through a grassy area above the bay, near Bishop's Wood, and saw a Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly feeding on the pathside flowers. I was very pleased, as I had only seen this species once before, and had no idea there were any in this area. Unfortunately, this individual was a little tatty, but I still took a couple of pictures:

Whilst there, I was also able to photograph this Speckled Wood butterfly:

The following night, I came down with sickness and diarrhoea, and was out of action for a week. (Maybe something to do with the dodgy takeaway sausage I ate at Caswell Bay!)
The few times I've been out photographing since, I've been concentrating on butterflies, as I've been having autofocus problems with my various cameras and lenses, which has ruled out most bird photography.
I've found 'Cabbage' Whites quite difficult to photograph, as they seem to be constantly on the move, so I was pleased to photograph this Large White on my first tentative walk out after illness:

I spotted my first Comma of the year in the same area:

I went round to Caswell Bay again, to see if I could see any more Silver-washed Fritillaries. No such luck, but I managed a couple of shots of Meadow Browns:

And another Speckled Wood:

There seems to be a glut of Small Tortoiseshells this year (unlike last year, when I hardly saw a single one round here). This individual was in the Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park:

There are still plenty of Common Blues flying around in the sand dunes on sunny days:

Along with smaller numbers of Small Coppers:

This Speckled Wood was posing obligingly on some Oak leaves on the edge of the local golf course:

There is a Buddleia bush on Swansea seafront which is blooming later than most of the others, and is thus proving a magnet to local butterflies, including the numerous Small Tortoiseshells:

and Red Admirals, which look great from the front:

or the side:

Last year, there was a large influx of Painted Ladies, but, until the last few days, I hadn't seen a single one this year. However, this bush has now pulled in a half-dozen or so of these beauties:

I also saw my first Peacock of the year a couple of days ago:

Thanks to those who have commented in my absence, and I hope to post more very soon!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Common Blues

The last few days have been mainly cloudy here, with occasional periods of sunshine. When the sun has shone, it has brought out plenty of butterflies to feed on the flowers in the dunes at the top of my local beach. 'Cabbage' Whites (Large and Small Whites) have been probably the most conspicuous, due to their large size and fast-flying ways, but I've also seen a few Small Coppers, and, today, a bright yellow Brimstone. However, the most numerous seem to be Common Blues. The males are particularly striking, and range from this tatty individual, feeding on Common Ragwort:

to this pristine specimen:

The females have a beauty of their own, their wing colour ranging from a dark brown, to blue with just a few brown markings:

Here's one in the wings-folded position:

And, finally, a mated pair:

I haven't done much butterfly photography, so hope to get out and sharpen up my techniques before the summer is gone.