(A Very Late) Scarce Chaser from Robin

Via email and the BDS:

“An exceptionally late Scarce Chaser was photographed by Robin Procter at Lower Bruckland Ponds on 1 September. Although a known site for this species, the individual was fresh, teneral-like, and hence must have emerged more than a month later than any previously in Britain!”

Thanks for sending in this photo of the late Scarce Chaser:

Scarce chaser, Lower Bruckland, 1 Sep 2015.

Close-up Nature Photos from Keith West

All photos © Keith West.

Some more photos from Keith West today. They’ve been sitting in my email for some time so apologies to Keith for not getting them uploaded more quickly!

When sending these, Keith did mention some of the equipment he uses:

For most of the close-up work I have a perspex box 21X15X3.5 c/ms, the lid is on the narrow, long side.
This enables me to photograph through the top and sides.
The camera is a Sony NEX 3 with three interchangeable lenses. The one I use for close-up work is the 18-55mm set to
macro and with two 2 diopter c-u filters fitted. Daylight is the lighting where possible. For most other pictures, it would be the 18-200mm lens.
It’s great to have this sort of insight, especially for people like myself who only dabble in the photography side of things, and wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to creating these fascinating shots. Perhaps the most important points that Keith has to make are these:
All are hand held, no tripod if I can help it. The best asset is being very patient!
My camera is always with me when out, away from home.
In short, great nature photos take time, not only to understand the vast array of equipment and the nuances of each camera and so on, but also in the time it takes for nature itself to be ready to be photographed! Finally, to get those pictures, you really need your camera on you because you don’t always know when the opportunity for a great photo will arise. Thanks again Keith!
If there is anyone else out there just dying to get their photos featured on the site then we would love to hear from you. That includes any tips you might have about equipment, technique, or even a philosophy you have about taking photos of wildlife.

Name that… flying insect?

A bit of an irregular post this one… but I we need some help.

One of our readers sadly encountered this dead creature in the middle of Exeter… Unfortunately all we have to go on is a picture from a mobile phone, captured on another mobile phone.

Unidentified insect

The details:

  • between 5-8 inches long
  • The lighter parts at the bottom were wings (it looks to me like there might be 2 sets of 2 there)
  • the cluster of darker bits at the top were all legs. To me that means it fits the normal dragonfly morphology (based on my expertise in assumptions arising from Wikipedia)
  • the yellow patches were apparently much brighter in real life
  • the road it was lying on was not particular near any water
  • it was not a hornet

Any suggestions would be welcomed, provided they weren’t things like “stop taking pictures with 2 mobile phones” and “stop using Wikipedia and pretending you know stuff”.