Butterfly Courtship and other garden life

The garden is possibly at its best at this time of year. The plants are coming into bloom, and the butterflies add their own grace and colour to the scene. And so today, another unseasonably hot day, I decided to stay put and enjoy it.

The first sighting was a pair of speckled woods flying together. They tend to keep to the deep shade (hence their name) which makes them awkward to photograph on the wing (not enough light), so my only shots are of one of them which settled at the rear of the garden. Unlike the tattered example of a few days ago, this one is in fine condition.
Speckled Wood Butterfly

I also seem to be seeing good numbers of orange tips in the garden this year. The males are easy to spot, the females less so, though seeing a pair acting out their courtship ritual makes things a little easier. Getting the photos is another matter, but the light was excellent and I was able to get within a reasonable distance with the 100mm macro lens.
Orange Tip Butterflies

The third species spotted today was one I've not knowingly featured before (at least I don't think I have). Another species of white, these are green-veined whites, again acting out their courtship ritual. These were taken from across the garden with the 400mm prime lens.
Green Veined White Butterflies

The garden in summer is a haven for birds as well. This year we've had a wide variety of species appear, but today I focused on the three most common: the crow, the wood pigeon and the herring gull.

Wood Pigeon

Herring Gull

The foxes continue to evade the camera for the moment, though they are still active through the night. No sign of any cubs so it may be a quiet year. It's still early days though. I'll keep watching.
Nature Blog Network
Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D. The first four were taken with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens. The rest were taken with the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

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  1. gdare April 25, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    The second photo of wood pigeon was made a moment before it hit your camera? 😆

  2. cakkleberrylane April 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    I love the shots of the wood pigeon! The herring gull is great – his top half looks so graceful and then the big, orange "boots"! Lovely butterflies!

  3. Words April 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Darko, it seemed like that, especially peering through the lens!

  4. Words April 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Erwin, thanks!

  5. Words April 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Lois, I was pleased with the seagull shot. Nice to have some sense of movement as it came into land. The wood pigeons love the garden and tend to dominate things, but they do photograph well.

  6. Mickeyjoe-Irl April 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    I do like your in flight shots, I find the wings and feathers so interesting.

  7. SittingFox April 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    That pigeon made me laugh!

    I'm seeing quite a few orange-tips as well. Apparently they feed on the nectar of bluebells, but those are abundant every year, so I guess their boom must be due to something else :right:

    Nice shots! 🙂

  8. Words April 29, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Adele, the bluebells are beginning to appear here so I'll keep my eye open. I can't say I've really noticed the link in the past, but I'm fascinated by why certain species of butterfly have exceptional years (like the painted ladies of a few (?) years ago).

  9. Words April 29, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Mick, thanks. The gull has the best feather detail in this set, but that's partly because it's just about to land. Everything is working overtime at that moment.

  10. Wulpen October 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Very nice