The domain configuration of micron-sized permalloy ellipses was studied under the influence of an in-plane rotating magnetic field using magnetic force microscopy. The field amplitude was chosen such that when the field is applied parallel to the long axis of the ellipses they are saturated, but when the field is perpendicular to the long axis they exhibit multi-domain states. The rotation angle for nucleation and annihilation of domains was determined for different magnitudes of the applied magnetic field and for two different lateral sizes of ellipses, 6 Am x 2 Am and 3 Am x 1 Am. It was found that both nucleation and annihilation occur over a range of angles for both lateral sizes of ellipses. Saturated states are stable for a wider range of angles for larger values of the applied field.