Thursday, 5 April 2012

Roosting Orange-tips

Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines male
On Wednesday morning I returned to the roosting Orange-tips to take more photos. They were exactly where I  left them on Tuesday afternoon and this time I had my tripod and tried various photographic techniques including flash. I informed Mark that they were still in situ and he was able to join in the fun. At 11:30 the one of the butterflies cleaned its face, opened its wings 15 seconds later it flew off. The other one stayed put for another 30 minutes before it flew off. It immediately headed for my tripod which has an id tag with  light and dark blue areas. It fluttered around the tag for sometime on two occasions before flying away. We had noticed that the Orange-tips were favouring the blue/violet flowers, and nectared mainly on Bluebells and Wood violets, and mostly ignored the abundant white Wood anemones. I also caught them on Ground ivy once and Wood anemones twice, but never on yellow Celandines. One also headed for a drinks can which had a blue colour. They showed a definite preference for flowers at the blue end of the spectrum.

Mark took some shots of me in action!

Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines male
Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines male

Id needed  please for this 1cm moth
Bombus terrestris, Buff-tailed bumblebee queen
I found this queen bee dead on the tarmac.


  1. Hi Colin. Great photos of the Orange Tips. What did you learn from your experiments with various photographic techniques? Did using the flash help?

    Best wishes,


  2. Paul, thanks for your comments. The tripod definitely made the roosting shots easier. My best two roosters were: 1. flash, 200th sec, f10; 2. no flash, 250th sec, f4.5. Both eliminated the background. The non-flash was a softer shot, lighter background (previous day's headline shot). The flash emphasised the lovely green/gold pattern (above). My best nectaring shot was no flash, 250th sec, f13 using monopod. Good focus given it was not straight on (previous day on Wood anemone). I use a Nikon D90 with 180mm Sigma close-up lens, also Canon G9 and Canon IXUS 950 compacts. I mostly shoot Speed priority.


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