Thursday, 21 June 2012

A summery day for insect photography


Ergh. Exams. Whine whine whine, moan moan moan. 

This blog update comes from the deepest recesses of university exam season. With my first exam in just 2 days time, this morning's sunny weather brought some welcome relief (and vitamin D) to my pasty revision cave complexion!
Taking study breaks are important. and with my knees just about recovered from last summer's tandem escapade to Paris, the Wetland centre is suddenly just a few mins away on my trusty fixed-gear bike.

First off, a little extra plug for the London WWT Centre. 


Pictures will follow in a later blog post, but I really recommend a visit to see them.

The otters were not the aim of my visit today, however. I had set myself *REVISION RULES*

i) 1hr only.
ii) NO hides.

Summer at the centre offers a whole lot for everyone. Despite being a weekday, the centre was heaving with people ans school groups, all scampering about enjoing the sun and nature. With my limited time window, I wanted to quickly find a location to get results. My first piece of luck came in the waterlife gardens. Searching for bees, I instead spotted two dragonflies caught in a spiders web. The silken threads were so fine you could hardly believe the insects were stuck - they looked more frozen mid flight between the flowers.

Speaking of flowers, there certainly are plenty around at the moment. Lots of mootings about the various orchids that are out at the centre at the moment - I particularly wanted to find a bee orchid, but no luck today (only 1 hr remember!).

My second photo spot found me over towards the sandmartin bank. There is a nice wooden bench here with a wildflower bank surrounding it. With the warm sun beating down, I sat watching buff tailed bumblebees bzz about. It was, however, the beetles that got my camera shutter firing. I think this fellow is a common flower beetle, but his emerald green colours looked great in the grasses.

Sticking with beetles, I also managed to snap a couple of shots of an ever familiar ladybird :)

So finally (its late, im sleepy, revision has warped my brain). The last couple of pics (and indeed the first couple of the honey bees) were all taken just outside the wetland center in the lovely flower bed that greets you on arrival. Flowers, bees and bugs aplenty, I particularly like the snap below of a cardinal(?) beetle on a cornflower - with the chaotic cornflower stems making a fascinating background onto which the tiny detail of the beetle stands out.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this installment. Im always open to comments, tips, bug identifications and general chatter! And remember, BRITISH BEES NEED YOU. BEE-BEE FRIENDLY TODAY!!!


Monday, 11 June 2012


Bees are important. Fact. Its completely irrefutable. 

For one thing. Each and every bee is alive and buzzing, and quite frankly, they should have the right to keep doing so!

Lets be realistic though, the bottom line is this isnt how humanity as a whole tends to think. Lets instead arrive at the same conclusion, but wave **MONEY** around instead. Friends of the Earth quote the statistic that it would cost £1.8 BILLION to pollinate crops without bees. So they are important right?!

Anyone who reads this blog more regularly will now perhaps be thinking, "another bee post? has will gone bee crazy?!" Well yes, I rather think I have. But this post is not about my photography, or any of my other daily gripes. This post is to help YOU get in touch with your local bees because they need YOUR help. 

Bees are in trouble, but there are loads of ways that we can all get together and make things better. We just need to spread awareness and take some small steps in as many little places as possible. Plant a flower, sign a petition, all these little bee sized actions will add up and could make a big swarm sized difference. So below are some links to help you on your journey of bee-scovery

Click, read and take what action you see fit. But please, help our bees :D

All images © William Bermingham 2012

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Bees and Bugs

So. My last post was about beeeees, and people seemed to like that.


As I am in a revision cave and unable to go to the wetland centre, I thought i would dig out a few more pictures of our insecty friends for this blog update. Lets start with dragonflies. Beautiful and deadly, I think I speak for everyone in saying that these ancient creatures are almost universily fascinating. Their method of flight, their massive variation and vibrant colours ensure they will appeal on some level to most people.

The folwoing 3 shots showcase some dragonflies from 3 countries; Holland, the UK (LWC) and Singapore respectively. Identifications/trivia comments welcome!

This last photo is the one I am most proud of, and I wouldn't have snapped it without the sharp eyes of my girlfriend spying this chap sitting oh so perfectly atop a flowering stem. A copy of this one is hanging in my hallway and always reminds me of warmer climes!

Now, for those who have had a gander at this blog before, you will know that first and foremost I tend to snap our feathery friends. But I must say, its quite rare that I actually use my bird photos for anything other than to browse through occasionally. In terms of picking photos for more daily viewing like my laptop background, it's my more macro themes shots that tend to win out. Here are a couple of shots that have previously graced my computer

And now i really must return to revision. Lets finish with a couple more bees :D

All images © William Bermingham 2012