One duckling, a swarm of flying ants and some macros

I'll start today's entry with a duckling photographed at lunchtime. It's an ordinary duckling, nothing special, but I like the way the light reflects on the water.

I also took some macros of the local insect life, which is now abundant. Summer photography is really quite different from the other seasons. Short lenses, great light (though it can be too harsh), and a myriad of strange and wonderful creatures to find.
Red soldier beetle

Oedemera nobilis beetle

Hover fly

The real spectacle came at the end of the day. This shot really doesn't do it justice. Flying ants took to the air in their annual mating swarm. Easy pickings for the gulls which could scarcely stop gorging themselves. I'm sure many other predators were taking their fill.
Flying ant swarm

As ever, with flying ants some were still at ground level. There were so many it was easy to pick and choose which to photograph. And mine have wings 😉

And just for a bit of humour, check out the ant photo from London's Metro newspaper and the laziest caption ever!
Nature Blog Network
Camera note: ant swarm and duckling taken with the Canon 40D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The macros were all taken with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

This entry was posted in Insects and tagged , , , .


  1. CedarFox July 20, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    Great pictures :up:
    LOL @ the ant caption! They should've asked you for a picture of an ant with wings! 😀

  2. gdare July 20, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    😆 Someone was too lazy to find an ant with wings :doh:
    Red soldier beetle and Oedemera nobilis beetle look the same to me except the colour :left:

  3. pollyfoofoo July 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    i always enjoy looking at your photos. thank you for sharing the lovely nature adventures with us.

  4. Dudley July 20, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Putting that new macro lens to good use :up:

  5. SittingFox July 20, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    I think the London smog is getting to the creativity of the Metro writers :right: (Although, on another point, they did publish an apology today over the inaccurate fox population claims.)

    But those are wonderful pictures. So much of summer is taking in the fine detail. Looking forward to seeing more!

  6. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Jennifer thanks!

  7. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Adele, oh good that they published an apology about the foxes, and congrats to you for pursuing it. I'm sure to have more insect photos over the next few weeks…

  8. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Erwin, thanks!

  9. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Darko, if you look closely the oedemera (the green one) has bulbous legs (which means it's a male, by the way!). Soldier beetles don't have those 😉

  10. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Eric, thanks! That really was a poor piece of picture research. I wonder how often they do things like that.

  11. Words July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Andy, yes I can see I'll use the lens a lot (especially at this time of year).

  12. Vulpes vulpes July 22, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Really lovely! :up:

  13. Words July 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Thanks Vulpes!

  14. Ukwildlife August 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Great set

  15. Words August 5, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Neil :cheers:

  16. Flying Red Fox Blog September 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    I remember those swarm of ants, had fun keeping them out of the kitchen at workies lol! 😛

  17. Flying Red Fox Blog September 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    I think you can tell if its a good Summer by the increased amount of insects like ants and wasps.

  18. Words September 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    If only… lots of insects this year, but I wouldn't say we've had a great summer. Mind you, not as many wasps as usual in the garden, so maybe the theory is right.

  19. Words September 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Mark, wow you're tracing back through some old posts. The ants were great… really spectacular this year.

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

    Great Pict :up:

  21. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    ERWIN writes:


  22. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    MSnowGolem writes:

    ive seen:GnatsTermitesAntsWaspsBeesAndHornets

  23. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    SomeOne writes:


  24. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #
  25. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Anonymous writes:

    i have a ant pile in my backyard
    and theres Winged Ants

  26. anonymous June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    junior writes:

    no Anoymous!!