16 August 2010

Trench Wood

After torrential rains on Saturday it became "balmy" on Sunday and I decided to see what was happening at Trench Wood.

It was a day for Butterflies and other big flying insects.

Common Blue - Polyommatus icarus
You could spend your life chasing these around. So when they finally settle.....

Comma - Polygonia c-album
Their upperwings are so much more pretty but it is interesting also to see the underwings and their overall shape.

Brimstone - Gonepteryx rhamni
I haven't seen any Brimstones since about May but there was a patch with about 8 of them

Green Veined White - Pieris napi

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea
For once I didn't have to chase this Dragonfly. Instead of a cat and mouse pursuit this beautiful Dragonfly decided to land close by and pose as I was taking shots of the Brimstones. He didn't stay long but it was long enough and I am grateful.

Hornet Alert !

For the past month or so I have been on the lookout for a large hoverfly Volucella zonaria which is huge and is a Hornet mimic. I have seen fleeting glimpses but never enough even to get a bad photo. I came across a spot where I saw one but it kept just out of reach and evrytime I tried to change position to grab a picture it would disappear again!

Then out of the blue I heard the unmistakable droning buzz of a Hornet and it came lumbering into view. Last time I saw one of these I failed miserably to get a decent picture as it was gone as soon as I saw it but this one flew around for about 5 minutes. However it just wouldn't settle anywhere and whilst it looked to be lumbering about quite slowly I think that is just because it was so big and in reality it is still going quite fast. Anyway excuses out of the way I must have taken about 30 shots and these are the best !

To be honest they do not do justice to how big this thing was You don't get any sense of scale and it could just be the size of an ordinary wasp, but believe me it was HUGE. It would also have been nice to have gotten an in focus shot in profile but some other time maybe. I suppose the only consolation is that it is not too bad for an "in flight "shot.

Hornet - Vespa crabro

Hornet - Vespa crabro

Hoverfly - Volucella inanis
As for Volucella zonaria I didn't manage to get a picture but I did at least come across its slightly smaller cousin.

Shieldbug - Corizus hyoscyami

Location:Middletown Ln,,United Kingdom


  1. What a beautiful collection of fantastic insect photographs. I am quite envious but I can see your blog could well help me identify some of the wildlife I find around the garden from time to time.

  2. Thanks John, for your kind comments. Pete

  3. Great shot of the Southern Hawker you have there. I was tracking the similarly big Emperor and Brown Hawker at the weekend but unlike the smaller Common Darter they were constantly on the move. The beauty of the Darters I find is that they rest a lot of the time making them very good subjects to photograph.

  4. Very true, Anthony, the Hawkers always seem to be racing about or landing way up a tree out of reach of my 100mm macro lens! This one was very kind to me.