When things do go slightly more according to plan!
This time my luck was in. On my first visit to the Palaeochorio site I was trying to find Ophrys leochroma, but failing! Weather was hot and sunny, so in fact better for butterflies than orchid photography, so I went handheld and started stalking them. With this method you really do need to stick at it, because eventually butterflies will need to rest or feed; in my experience, Lycaenidae and Skippers are easiest to pursue in this manner, though it still requires some patience. You just have to hope that they will stay accessible, perch nicely, and generally behave for you rather than fly away as soon as you approach. During this session, I managed three or four species, but only this one individual posed nicely enough for some good portraits.
South of Paleochorio, Samos, Greece (Orchid Site 1)
ISO 500 1/250 f/18 handheld
For anyone interested, here’s a list of the butterfly books and field-guides I use for researching and IDing Greek (or indeed any European) butterflies:
Lazaros Pamperis, The Butterflies of Greece (Koan Editions, 2009): a superb weighty tome with good pictures and excellent distribution maps and altitude and flying-time diagrams for all the 235 species of Greece.
Vadim Tshikolovets, Butterflies of Europe and the Mediterranean Area (Tshikolovets Publications, 2011): another rather substantial volume, which includes species further East into the Caucasus and central Asia, with photographs and maps.
Tom Tolman and Richard Lewington, The Collins Butterfly Guide (Collins, 2009): the standard reference for European and North African species.
Tristan Lafranchis, Butterflies of Europe (Diatheo, 2004): an excellent pocket-sized ID guide with good photos and detailed discrimination of key features.