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Speckled Wood The Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) likes to bask in a sunspot in dappled woodland. I watched this typical behaviour in my Oxfordshire garden.
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April 2012

Nikon D300s with Tamron 90mm macro lens, 1/350s @ f/9.5

Wall Brown The Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) has become rather scarce inland. It likes stony places such as coastal cliffs: this female was near South Stack on Anglesey.
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August 2007

Nikon D70 with 70-300VR lens, 1/1500s @ f/5.6

Small Heath The Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) is widespread, especially on open grassland but may be found almost anywhere. It always rests with wings closed, as seen here at the BBOWT Hartslock Nature Reserve in Oxfordshire.
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June 2009

Nikon D70 with 70-300VR lens, 1/500s @ f/11

Meadow Brown The Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) is an abundant high Summer butterfly. I photographed this example in Bentley Wood, near Salisbury.
Click for underside view

August 2001

Pentax K1000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens.

The Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron) is only found at altitudes above 500m, which gives it a very limited range in England and Scotland. It only flies in sunshine and drops deep into the mat grass when clouds appear, making it very difficult to find and photograph. The colonies on Irton Fell in Cumbria are probably the most accessible and a sunny afternoon found this example basking on a bracken frond.
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June 2012

Nikon D300s with Tamron 90mm macro lens, 1/250s @ f/8

Large Heath The Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia) is found in boggy moorland, mainly in Northern Britain. I saw this courting pair at Whixall Moss, Shropshire, where their repeated wing-flapping allowed a rare view of the upperside markings.
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July 2013

Nikon D300s with 300/4 lens + 1.4X TC, 1/750s @ f/5.6

Marbled White The Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) is actually a 'brown' butterfly found on chalk or limestone grassland, such as Sydlings Copse in Oxfordshire, where I photographed this male. The female is lighter brown, with a yellow leading edge to the forewing.
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July 2007

Nikon D70 with 70-300VR lens, 1/500s @ f/5.6

Ringlet The Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) has almost black upper wings and characteristic 'rings' on the underside. This example is in a Poppy field near Oxford.
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July 2007

Nikon D70 with 70-300VR lens, 1/350s @ f/13

Gatekeeper The Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) is both smaller and brighter coloured than the Meadow Brown and has paired white spots on the forewing. It favours hedgerows and field entrances. This strongly marked male is at Clifton Hampden in Oxfordshire.
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July 1991

Pentax K1000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens.

Grayling The Grayling (Hipparchia semele) favours dry stony ground as here on Silchester Common in Berkshire. When resting, the forewing eyespot is often hidden, providing near-perfect camouflage.
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August 1991

Pentax K1000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens.

Scotch Argus The Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops) flourishes in Scotland but is very rare in northern England. I photographed this example at Smardale in Cumbria.
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August 1992

Pentax K1000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens.

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All text and photographs on this website are Copyright Mike Flemming.