Swallows at Seven Sisters

In keeping with my new found discipline of keeping posts relatively well-focused (though I can’t always manage that with the camera), here’s a selection of photos of swallows seen today at Seven Sisters.

swallows

swallows

swallows

swallows

Meanwhile our mini heatwave is continuing, with temperatures up in the mid-70s°F, but thankfully no sign of the storms that punctuated the heat towards the end of last week. The weather looks set to continue for several more days at least. Are we actually going to have a summer this year?

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Falmer Butterflies

With the launch of the annual ‘Big Butterfly Count‘ this week I’ve an excuse to post some more photos of butterflies. These were all seen as I walked around the edge of the University of Brighton Falmer campus today, in glorious sunshine. I’ll start with the very pretty (and very numerous) common blues.

Common blue butterflies

Common blue butterflies

Counting them would be tricky. They are very small and emerged like dust from the path as I walked along.

Easier to count (perhaps), although they are rarely stationary for more than a moment, are the marbled whites. They tend to keep to the long grass which makes photographing them a little bit hit and miss. This is a relative hit.

Marbled white butterfly

There were also peacock butterflies, the ever-present meadow browns, and this (less common) ringlet butterfly.

Ringlet butterfly

The other very common species is the cinnabar. Actually a moth, and in this case in the caterpillar stage. They were very easy to spot on the forest of ragwort in the fields beyond the campus fringe.

Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort

The closing photo was taken towards the end of the walk, as I was heading back down from the hills. To the right you can see the curved roof of the Amex Stadium (Brighton and Hove Albion’s home), the University of Brighton campus (and my office) is just to the left of it; and in the distance is the University of Sussex. Everything beyond is part of the South Downs National Park.

The Amex Stadium, the University of Brighton Falmer campus

Camera note: most of the photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. The cinnabars and the landscape were taken with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.

Collared Dove and other flight shots

The main sequence today is a collared dove, flying low over Falmer Pond this morning. I’d been hoping for more photos of swallows, swifts and house martins, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. And I was quite pleased to take these ;)

collared dove

collared dove

collared dove

The first of the other flight shots in the title is a fairly standard photo of starlings. It’s hard to be sure, but I don’t think I’ve seen as many this year as in previous years. Overall, their numbers are in decline, but local variations can mask the true situation. Anyway, just a quite nice image of them flying overhead in a small group.

Flock of starlings

The final shot is one of those that I’m always looking for but very rarely do all the elements fall into place. It was taken against a blue sky, but I’ve converted it to black and white.

Aircraft crossing the moon

Aircraft crossing the moon

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.