Twenty-plume Moth

My first photograph of any description in 2012 is this backlit Twenty-plume Moth - Alucita hexadactyla, photographed on the window at home in Godolphin Cross while I listened to Wolves loosing to a referee assisted Chelski, 1 - 2!

This very common little moth has a wingspan of around 15mm and is the only representative of it's family currently known from the UK. The adult moth can be found throughout the year, including January, hence it's appearance during this admittedly mild mid winter period.

Ergot on grass seed headDuring an early evening walk around Trelusback Farm near Stithians, on Monday 29th August 2011, I came across a number of Common Blue Butterflies – Polyommatus icarus settling down to roost amongst the tall grasses that had sprung up where volunteers from the Cornwall Butterly Conservation group had worked hard to expand a clearing during the late winter & early spring of 2011.

This area had been cleared of gorse and willows to allow Purple Moor Grass - Molinia caerulea and Devil’s Bit Scabious - Succisa pratensis to flourish, these being the key elements of prime habitat in which the rare Marsh Fritillary – Euphydryas aurinia can thrive. Although it is too early to tell if the management work will ultimately be successful in it’s aims, the signs are good with both plant species doing well. The Common Blue’s were certainly making good use of the location and were obvious candidates for a photograph.

BDS logoSome personal ramblings on the rise & fall of the Cornwall Dragonfly Group

It is now 25 years since Dave Thomas & Steve Jones led the first British Dragonfly Society field meeting to take place in Cornwall at Red Moor & Breney Common on the 19th July 1986.
On a bright and sunny day 22 people came along to that first meeting, including former dragonfly county recorders, Pat Paton (1962 to 1975) and Harry Robinson (1976 to 1988). Others had travelled from as far a field as Devon & Hampshire.

Male Black Darter - Sympetrum danae Saturday 30th July 2011

Start time 10:30am (ends 1.00pm)

Meet at Minions Heritage Centre (grid reference SX262714). 
Bring wellies or Water proof walking boots, close focusing binoculars, camera, and suncream.
Leader: Steve Jones, organised by Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project. 

Common Blue Butterfly detailOutdoor Photography August 2011

I am delighted to have recently had two of my photographs published in a national magazine for the first time. The double page spread appears in the Reader Gallery section of the August 2011 edition of Outdoor Photography (on sale 7th July), and features two macro shots. The first is of a Common Blue Butterfly taken at Windmill Farm with a Canon 350D in 2008, and the second a female Violet Dropwing taken on the Rio Grande in Andalucia in 2010 with a Canon 400D. The Violet Dropwing fills the page and the reproduction in the magazine is fantastic so I was naturally thrilled!

Small Red DamselflySunday 17th July 2011

Start time 10:30am 

Meet at Trehudreth Cottage Smallholding SX108727, Waterloo, Blisland.
From Blisland leave the north eastern corner of the village green and immediately turn right on the single track road sign posted to Cassacawn, Metherin & Waterloo. After 500 metres turn right at Cassacawn dropping down the hill sign posted School. After you reach the bottom of the hill take the next left. Trehudreth Cottage Smallholding is on the left just after the first right hand bend on this road.