July and August is peak butterfly season in these parts, but I tend to find myself in the woods as much as on the downland, since both produce some excellent species and photographic opportunities.
The ancient relict forests north-east of Oxford are home to some magnificent species, and hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll be able to show off some images from here; already I’ve shown my first Black Hairstreak images, but I’m hoping for some further encounters with other specialities.
First, Bernwood Forest, then. At this time of year, the Black Hairstreaks have passed, but give way to more showy and charismatic species. Top of these has to be Purple Emperor (Apatura iris), for which butterfly enthusiasts travel from all over the UK. Other goodies on display include Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, and Purple Hairstreak. Below are some images from the last week or so, as usual, all taken with D800E etc. handheld unless otherwise specified.
First, the Purple Emperors. Please excuse their nasty habits!
This last shot taken with a tripod at f/28 to get both in focus; lighting conditions were far from ideal.
Next, Purple Hairstreak: one individual I managed to find resting up in a Hazel tree at eye level.