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Hummingbird Moth

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brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110294 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2003 - 8:43 AM

Has anybody seen one of these in their garden yet? More importantly, has anybody been able to get a good shot of one?

We have one that has started visiting us. Its an amazing beastie but trying to get a good shot is proving very hard. Their wings beat so fast (hence humming bird moth) that it seems to confuse my auto focus and they dart about so much that manual focus is just about impossible.

I'd love to see a good shot, just to get a better look at this rare visitor.

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22 Aug 2003 - 8:43 AM

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grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2003 - 9:02 AM

You can see a shot on my Portfolio Brian. I also have another shot I can put up showing it from a different angle if you like. As you say not an easy shot as they never land.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110294 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2003 - 9:25 AM

Graham, seen it now, thanks. I'm hoping to have another go tomorrow - going to try my macro\flash\1/1000h sec method to try and freeze the action. Here's hoping it works!

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2003 - 9:35 AM

I haven't seen my moth now for 3 days hoping a bird hasn't got it. I've put up my second shot anyway but its still waiting for Pete's approval.

nminers
nminers  11143 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2003 - 4:22 PM

I've only seen one of these in the UK, that was in the Norfolk Broads several years ago, again during a hot summer, as I recall. However I saw loads of them in France the other week when we were over. They are the most amazing creatures but as you say, little buggers to photograph, so well done Graham!

Other weird creatures we saw: a glow-worm, praying mantis, lizards which climbed up the wall, and some enormous beetles.

I took a picture of the mantis, which was on the wall inside the cottage; after the camera flashed, it actually turned its head to look at me; VERY spooky to see that!

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2003 - 8:31 PM

Thanks Nick. have you got a picture of the mantis to put up, could be interesting?

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110294 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2003 - 8:44 PM

Graham, the hummingbird has been back several times and I finally had a chance to get a few decent shots. Pre-focussed in manual and used 1/250 sec, flash, with f stop around 8. I managed to stop the wings! I've put one up for the site, although it hasn't been loaded yet. I would welcome any feedback. Thanks, Brian

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2003 - 8:49 PM

I'll have a look as soon as its up Brian.

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 - 9:06 AM

I saw my moth this morning and took a few shots but nothing brilliant. Trouble is my camera is fully automatic and I cannot set the speed.
Your shots still not up at the moment.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110294 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2003 - 9:53 AM

If you got your earlier shot with an automatic camera I take my hat of to you! I ended up presetting a focal distance of 0.9m and chasing the moth until it appeared about the correct distance from the camera.

I guess even poor old Pete is entitled to a bank holiday break?

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 - 11:08 AM

I found the best way to get photographs is to go to the flowers the moth likes when it arrives and let it come to you. This morning at one stage I could feel his wing draught on my arm. Most of my shots are from less than 0.2m. My camera will focus down to 0.1m but some of my shots were too close. As long as the moth is not chased it doesn't feel threatened and will happily cooperate. Need a lot of flowers he likes to keep his interest though. I have a very large Isotoma which keeps him for about 5 minutes.

naturenut
naturenut  111801 forum posts England
23 Aug 2003 - 6:59 PM

As I was saying to Graham on his portfolio, (now see you have moved onto here as well) Smile I have seen these in hot summers in our garden but not this year unfortunately, maybe I need to get a large Isotoma Smile though I am being bombed by an enormous dragonfly which gets into the house given a chance !

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110294 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2003 - 7:06 PM

or a small blackcurrant salvia meggsy,this is what our's keeps coming back to. Lucky you with the dragonflies, we had a wide range last year, including some beautiful iridescent blue ones. This year so far - nothing. Think we had a Hornet Moth a couple of days ago though, something else exotic to chase.

grahammul
grahammul  11120 forum posts United Kingdom
24 Aug 2003 - 10:38 PM

Hi Margaret thought you'd find this small discussion group. Had a few large Dragonflies in the garden over the last couple of days but its almost impossible to photo them. They flash around at high speed and then are gone.
Perhaps we should start a new Wildlife (Insects) thread.

scrumpypaul
25 Aug 2003 - 12:09 AM

graham,
get yourself a pond.
went to see my brother in devon earlier this year and he has a very plant-orientated pond with loads of lilies and other aquatic stuff. it looks beautiful but isn't necessarily engineered to look that way. he tried to make sure that it wasn't an ornament but was a genuine way to attract wildlife into his garden. boy, has it worked. it is so spectacular watching bright blue dragonflies the size of birds belt around his garden. i was actually able, with a bit of care, to touch one egg-laying female as she rested. quite amazing actually, but this was a few months before i started to take photographs so no shots, honest (i once caught a fish THIS BIG). perhaps it just takes perseverence and some patience in becoming part of the background. looking forward to my next trip down there.

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