July Squares: Silver-studded Blue Butterflies.

A contribution to Becky’s July Squares: Blue photo challenge.

Having only just realised how many birds there are with blue in their common English name it then occurred to me that there’s also a family of butterflies known as the Blues.

So here’s a pair of Silver-studded Blue Butterflies mating on a grass seed head. Photographed on Prees Heath, Shropshire, England.

 

July Squares: Silver-studded Blue Butterflies.

Mating Common Pond Skaters.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the late 1980s.

I had put in a garden pond specifically for wildlife and the photographic opportunities it would provide. One of the first species to colonise the pond was the Common Pond Skater (Gerris lacustris). I photographed this mating pair as they rested on the edge of a water lily leaf.

Mating Pond Skaters.

Terns Legs and Feet.

My contribution to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feet and/or Legs.

I had a few ideas for the challenge before thinking of this sequence of photos taken on the Lake Huron shoreline one spring.

I was photographing a Common Tern on a rock in the water when a second bird flew in with its legs and feet extended for landing.

Two Common Terns

The second bird lands and walks towards the one on the rock. By the front birds wing position it was fairly obvious what was going to happen next.

Ready to mate.

The birds mate, the male using his legs and feet to balance on the back of the female. I’m guessing that they were a well established pair as the male didn’t bring a fish as a courtship offering.

mating Common Terns

After mating both birds started using their legs and feet to scratch and preen.

Preening Common Terns

Mating House Sparrows.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the late 1980s.

I was photographing garden birds using a shed as a hide. I had buried an offcut of butyl rubber pond liner in the ground to create a natural looking puddle so the birds could drink and bath in the water.

I spotted this pair of House Sparrows mating in the hedge and swung the camera around to get shots of the behaviour. The photo was published in BBC Wildlife magazine some time later.

Mating House Sparrows.

Orange on yellow.

A pair of Common Red Soldier Beetles mating on Ragwort flowers. Despite the common English name I’d describe them as orange rather than red.

The Soldier part of the common English name comes from the colour pattern supposedly reminiscent of the red uniforms of early British soldiers.

A film shot from my archives. Taken in Cheshire, England in the mid 1980s.

Soldier Beetles mating on Ragwort flowers.

Land, mate, preen.

A sequence of photos taken on the Lake Huron shoreline in the spring.

I was photographing a Common Tern on a rock in the water when a second bird flew in.

Two Common Terns

The second bird landed and approached the one on the rock. By the front birds wing position it was fairly obvious what was going to happen next.

Ready to mate.

The birds mate. I’m guessing that they were a well established pair as the male didn’t bring a fish as a courtship offering.

mating Common Terns

After mating both birds started preening.

Preening Common Terns