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With the improved weather we have been blessed by several different species of butterfly in the garden recently.

Orange tip female giving the male the come on!

The most spectacular has been the Swallowtail, but they have just passed through at speed so have not been a subject for the camera…….. Almost as frustrating is the Orange tip. They hardly ever seem to stop. The females which do not have an orange tip to their wing will sometimes pause at a hedge garlic plant but rarely alight. The males which have the orange tip seem to be always on the move. Searching for a lady to spend some time with no doubt.

I did chance upon two of them engaged in Spring time activities, but it seemed to me that Mrs Orange tip was up for a bit of the Spring activity as she was resting on some grass with her rear end prominently exposed and Mr Orange tip was fluttering around showing some interest but  it did not amount to anything. Perhaps she was being a bit to pushy or he was a bit bushed after a heavy night out with the lads? Anyway no Spring time activity ensued.

I have been able to get some shots of Wall browns Brimstone, Scarce Swallowtail and Small Heath. Red Admirals and  Swallowtails have been through but have not stopped and  there are also Small whites and Green veined whites but they are not the most interesting of butterflies. Next month we should get a lot more and with patience I should get some reasonable shots.

The technique I use is telephoto with a small ring to reduce the focal distance. Hand held and with good light and a reasonably high ISO you can get shots that are fairly acceptable. I understand that the professional way is to capture the subject using a butterfly net, then place it in a bottle and then into the fridge which slows its metabolism. Once cold you can take it out and set it up in a suitable place, then  you will have plenty of time to take your photos before it is finally warm enough to fly off.

I have never done this but maybe I will one day.