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I’m still heavily corseted today, but moving a little more easily than yesterday; given which, I decided this morning to make a small road trip – just up to the wetland reserve at Upton Warren. Because birds. Evidence of my being an actual rain god continues to mount however: when I began collecting my gear the garden was bathed in brilliant sunshine, but by the time I reached the front door it was heaving down – and though the water fowl at Upton Warren probably don’t mind drenching rain, I do. So once again I was confined to the (very soggy) garden.

Early this afternoon the rain stopped and the sky cleared enough for me to think a bug hunt might be worthwhile, and it was. I have dozens of photos of bees and hoverflies, some of them really quite interesting; but as I was about to go back indoors I saw this Orange-tip patrolling the verge across the lane, and I immediately set off in pursuit of him.

The problem with freshly-emerged male butterflies, of course, is that they’re intent on finding females, and very rarely settle – so you have to be lucky, and catch one at the point when its energy runs out and it simply has to land for a rest. This one first came down on a cow-parsley head, but didn’t feed and lifted again before I could reach him; but after flying only about a metre he landed again on a nettle, and stayed there. I managed to get shots of his other side by sticking the lens through the middle of the cow-parsley, but I didn’t like the light, and luckily he sat and allowed me take this profile as well.

A camera club judge would almost certainly say that this isn’t quite good enough, because it’s not perfectly sharp from stem to stern. To which I would reply: if you think you can do better, feel free to crawl through the stinging nettles in my place.

All the keepers are here, if you’re interested.