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