After seeing my first ever Stag Beetles a few nights ago in Whitstable and savouring the experience, I really wanted to see them again and hoped that Steve would have a few more in his garden. Despite him spending quite a while searching, no more have been seen yet but I'm still hopeful that he will get a few more that I might be able to see and photograph. Seeing my recent tweets on Twitter, Andrew Malone put a few photos up of Stag Beetles in his garden which is also in Whitstable and mentioned that I was welcome to visit if he was in one evening. Thankfully last night, Andrew sent me another photo saying that a few males and females were in his garden and that was it. A few messages later and I was soon arriving on his doorstep and venturing into what is a stunning wildlife garden. Andrew showed me the holes the Stag Beetles come out of after years underground and various noises could be heard in the undergrowth. It wasn't long until I was photographing a couple of male Stag Beetles up close and also making the time to study these stunning insects. There were two ideal scenarios that I wanted to see which included seeing a Stag Beetle in flight and seeing my first ever female Stag Beetle. With some patience, I eventually managed a couple of images of a male Stag Beetle preparing to fly and then watched it flying around noisily before being lost to view over the neighbour's garden, superb. Andrew wouldn't be beaten and before I left, he found a female Stag Beetle walking through the grass which I was then able to briefly photograph and study before she was returned back to the grass to continue her night. An excellent hour spent studying these quite remarkable insects and also, my thanks must go to Andrew for his great hospitality and tour of his lovely wildlife garden and of course, showing me a few Stag Beetles. Fingers crossed that Andrew or Steve will get lucky again and that I might be able to make another visit to improve on my shots taken so far and further my knowledge on this species.
Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) - male
Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) - female