Butterflies, Bees & Bumbles

It was a truly beautiful spring day today in Dorset. Perfect blue sky and lots of warm sunshine.

I think the insects appreciated the warmth as much as I did and in-between bouts of gardening, housework and washing I chased them round the garden with my camera.

Some interesting first’s for me today.

My first Green Veined butterfly (ever) and my first Comma butterfly of the year (always a pleasure to see).

Comma Butterfly

Ever wondered why they are called a Comma? Just look at the closed wings below and look for the funny white comma on the wing…

Comma Butterfly

A Speckled Wood was very accommodating and stayed still long enough for me to get a half decent photograph while she warmed up at 9am.

Speckled Wood Butterfly

A Bombus pascuorum (Brown bumblebee) was rooting around in the grass and the leaves. Glowing with it’s ginger hairdo.

Bombus pascuorum Queen

An Osmia rufa (male) or Red Mason Bee to you and me.  A pretty little bee feeding on the newly opened bluebells (that seem to have turned a bit purple this year!)

Osmia rufa Male - Red Mason Bee

Lastly a Lasioglossum calceatum (or maybe albipes) or a Mining Bee to us mortals. This is a tiny bee no longer than 10mm. It managed to cover itself completely in pollen from this dandelion flower (yes, I have got dandelions… hasn’t everyone?).

Lasioglossum calceatum or albipes - Mining Bee

I also saw a Andrena fulva (female) – Tawny Mining Bee and a Nomada sp probably N. fabriciana (another little bee) but the photos were pretty awful and were consigned to the “just for identification” category.

All in all a pretty great day.

PS. Thanks to Stuart Roberts at BWARS and everyone at WAB for their help with the ID’s of the bees. I’d never had known them!
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12 thoughts on “Butterflies, Bees & Bumbles

  1. Stunningly great shots again Jane! The speckled wood didn’t open – though that may well be my PC of course, though the other’s came in immediately.. How close do you get to these insects? Seems like you must be almost touching them!

    • Thanks Steve. Speckled wood OK on my computer… maybe just a glitch. At least it was the least interesting picture that you couldn’t see! I get pretty close, although not as close as you probably think. About a metre on average, using the macro feature and zoom on my camera. Sometimes I use the mega-macro and then you need to get about 10cm away… but all of these today were on normal macro. Lots of running around and hundreds of photos, just to get a few that are OK.

  2. Hi Jane, great photos here, especially the one of the comma. You really do a great job with macro mode on your camera. Didn’t you say a while back that you use the Fujifilm S5700. I have this camera too, but you seem to be much better at insect photography. Maybe I should try it more myself.

  3. Oh Jane what lovely, lovely photos! I must say this spring is quite stunning and you’ve captured it. I’m most envious you’ve seen so many butterflies already. We had the first orange tip last Wednesday, really flying this w/end. Also one pair of resident swallows returned at the w/end too.

  4. lovely photos Jane.

    out of interest do you know anything about the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Langford Lakes? I’m staying on the wilts/dorset border for a few days next week.

  5. Hi Jane,
    Some nice shots with good exposure of sunlight on the Comma and Speckled Wood butterfly.
    Good to hear you’ve had some sunshine, it’s been wet wet wet! in the West London area.
    I did get out to see the Wood Anemones, although parts of the woodland floor was carpeted with then, most have had a bit of a battering from the heavy rain, but the Bluebells made up for that, the next wild flower to show there, I’m told is the Coralroot Bittercress.
    Next week I am starting a little film on a pair of swan’s nesting, from an old disused railway embankment that over looks a swan’s nesting site. I want to get the stages of from egg to chick, so a little sunshine will help .

    • Hope your swan film is going well. Can’t wait to see the results. I didn’t bring my Canon to Florida, so I will have to wait until I get home before doing any more filming. Spring should be well on the way by then. Good luck! Jane

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