More macro adventures 2

After the morning’s successes, I then went down to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve (the north side) to catch up with some butterfly species I hadn’t seen so far this year.  I managed to find 16 species in total, including 3 new for my year (Chalkhill Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, Dark Green Fritillary).  The former 2 are specialities at this site, and it was good to see them in good numbers; it seems that the July weather has made up, to some degree at least, for the miserable spring we experienced.

I got some nice shots of the Chalkhill Blues; one in particular was resting in the overcast conditions soon after my arrival, and enabled me to get my tripod down to ground level to take some properly considered shots: a couple of these below.

ChalkhillBlue113AR1024

Lysandra coridon

Nikon D800E/200f4micro/cpl

ISO 640 1/80 f/18, tripod, cable release

ChalkhillBlueAR1200

Lysandra coridon

Nikon D800 E/200f4micro/cpl

ISO 400 1/50 f/18, tripod, cable release
Croppped from vertical

Towards the end of my visit the sun came out fully and the temperature jumped at least 8°C; this meant that tripod shooting was pretty much out, since the butterflies were now content only to zoom around the flowery slopes at hyperspeed.  I still managed one or two shots with my handheld flash setup, including of a Small Tortoiseshell which allowed me a close approach.  Though it didn’t sit for long, it did allow a few shots, 3 of which I stacked in processing to maximize my depth of field.

SmallTortoiseshellAR1200

Aglais urticae

Nikon D800E/200f4micro/cpl/SB600+softbox

ISO 1000 1/250 f/16 handheld

Stack of 3 frames blended in CS6

The 16 species I saw in total were as follows: Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Silver-spotted Skipper.

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