It may just be my personal perception but I get the impression that Butterflies have had a bumper Spring this year. Whenever I have been out walking it has been hard to miss the sheer quantity and variety of species that have been on the wing. Orange Tips in particular have been very abundant, both locally and when I was down in Devon a couple of weeks ago. One recent individual in Bishopston Valley on Gower was very approachable, allowing me to get photographs of its green and white outer wing as well as the vibrant inner that gives this butterfly its name. Even better was the fact that it was feeding on its favourite food source the Cuckoo Flower, which is also known as Lady’s Smock.

24155 - Orange Tip Butterfly
24156 - Orange Tip Butterfly

A less common Butterfly also seen on the same day was the following Small Copper. We found it feeding along the cliffs that border Three Cliffs Bay where the strong breeze was keeping it close to the ground.

24149 - Small Copper Butterfly

Damselflies and Dragonflies have also been emerging with a recent visit to the Cors Dyfi reserve delivering a couple of Four Spotted Chasers and numerous Large Red Damselflies. I followed the pair below around for a good while before they finally settled down long enough for me to move in with the macro. Whenever I see Damselflies in their mating position I wonder if the traditional heart shape that we all know and love originates from the shape made by these delicate creatures.

24289 - Large Red Damselfly

My final inclusion for this post is a Bee, again taken around Three Cliffs on Gower. The large white object in the photo is actually a piece of plastic that the Bee had presumably mistaken for a flower. The thing that I found fascinating about this particular shot is that I have caught the Bee with its proboscis fully extended, something which I have not seen before. Unfortunately I forgot to take a full body shot so I haven’t been able to get the identification down to anything more detailed than ‘Bee’.

24146 - Bee

Bringing things bang up to date there were still Cinnabar Moths emerging around the garden yesterday as well as numerous other moth species that I have yet to identify. I really need to get a moth trap built and operational as soon as I get some spare time.


TexWisGirl · May 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm

great shots! i love it when butterflies cooperate and lay their wings out for a photo shoot! the 'bee' is greatness!

holdingmoments · May 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Beautiful captures Adam.
I love that first shot of the Orange Tip.

I agree with your observation about the butterflies; there seems to be a lot about, and they seem to have appeared very quickly too.

theconstantwalker · May 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Lovely images. The mating Damselflies capture is stunning.
Cinnabars are a beautiful daylight moth to see a beautiful shade of purple/red …looking forward to seeing them.

J · May 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

Lovely shots, particularly of the male Orange Tip. Never had much success photographing them with the wings open, and showing the orange tips.

Adam Tilt · May 23, 2011 at 11:44 pm

texwisgirl – I do too. Just wish they did it more often.

Keith – Glad you enjoyed them. Interesting to hear that I'm not the only one with that opinion then.

Andrew – Thanks. I think Cinnabars are probably my favourite moth.

Jeremy – Thanks. They are a particularly tricky species to catch with their wings open. This is the only individual that I have had any luck with thus far.

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