Privet and willow

I’ve been experimenting with a new lens for my Canon R7 body, the RF 100-400. The problem with the “professional” Canon lenses is that they start at around £2,000 and go up to about £22,000! Not something I can either afford or justify for my hobby. The much cheaper 100-400mm zoom gives me something approaching the focal range of my trusty Sigma, but is native to the newish Canon RF mount system and therefore works better with the autofocus: Well that’s what the reviews say, but I have to work on my understanding of the camera and my photography technique to get the best out of this setup I think!

I was pleased with this photo of a wood pigeon today using the new lens

However one advantage is the better minimum focus distance of this lens, which means that I can use it to try to take sharper photos of flowers and moths, something which I’m experimenting with this week. Monday’s photo of the female pale tussock moth was one of my first moth attempts with this setup. So far this year Brenda and I have mostly been doing the flower and moth photos using our smartphone cameras: Less than ideal!

Today she had a privet hawk-moth in the trap and so I tried a few photos of it on the lawn, as hawk-moths don’t immediately fly off when they are taken out of a moth pot.

privet hawk-moth

Brenda writes: “I was out and about today but only able to log one new flower species, purple toadflax.

In the moth trap there were three new species, two of which led me a merry dance round the kitchen. The nutmeg is a very pretty moth with a distinctive speckled texture to its markings.


The willow beauty is just lovely, but the prize today was a privet hawk-moth (see Steve’s photo above).

A willow beauty with wonderful feathered antennae

The traffic in the trap is interesting from day to day. There are some species that will be there every day for a period – at the moment heart and dart, dark arches, marbled minor, setaceous Hebrew character and turnip are among the regulars. Others are more intermittent, so after a gap there was a whitepoint and some vines rustics and yesterday there was a silver y.”

New species for June 14th:
Moths: willow beauty, nutmeg, privet hawk-moth
Flowers: purple toadflax

Birds = 200
Moths = 107
Wildflowers = 197