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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Sure he was eating the buds/flowers but never caught him at it.
The fieldmice (wood mice) are now making several visits most nights, so here is a sample.
Have finally identified a pretty lilac coloured 'weed' in various parts of the oldest land as Cuckoo Flower also called Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower).
Rabbits look sweet and innocent at this age. Its later that they eat the flower, make warrens under sheds and tear the bark off trees!
The log at camera 2 keeps getting moved, once .5m away from the site. Here is a culprit. The log is not particularly heavy, but we are amazed that a rook can lift it in it's beak. We had assumed that it has been rolled or kicked out of position.
Birds are just so agile in the air. There is the head of another Dunnock at the right edge of the original frame, so maybe this is the male showing off. You can see the log is in one of its 'rook-adjusted' positions
An attempt to catch the feel of 'our' kestrel tumbling down out of the sky onto an unfortunate in the grass. Maybe should have spaced them out more vertically, but you get the idea.
Before 'lunch' (his or ours?) the thermals haven't got going much yet so for once he is more than a spec in the sky.
One of the male pheasants strutting his stuff in the sunshine.
The Mallard duck pairs often take off together, but not so far close enough for a satisfactory 'pair of ducks in flight' pic. So here they are one at a time having panned from one to the other. First Him ...
... and now Her ...
We watched as a buzzard flew lazy circles and then another came into view and they quietly circled for a couple of minutes before one closed in on the other and surprise 'dogfight' ensued. Here is the crux of the first encounter all taken within a second or two. They separated and drifted out of camera range continuing to spar.
There are 41 more of these and we haven't got the time at the moment to do more than label and store them against future effort. It was the classic hover, down-a-bit, hover, down-a-bit several times, pounce on the ground, eat it, and fly away. Never saw what was caught. Goes nicely as precursor to Kestrel Catching & eating Weasel as an illustration of his technique although he went straight down off the wires onto the weasel.
Many trees have matured enough to start producing seed in the last couple of years, and the seed eaters are becoming regular visitors.
The snow here has not lasted long, but a quick rush out with the camera produced some rewarding results. The 'Duck & Daffodils' sounds like it ought to be the name of a country pub.
Whether they are squabbling or loving we are not really sure.
A little break from the fauna to appreciate the flora.
A study in glowing colours.
A Muntjac deer pair came for a visit to the back garden/orchard on a gloomy day. This was taken in similar place & viewpoint to one of our long term favourites from 25 Apr 2005 - click on Muntjac mother & Fawn
The head detail of the male Muntjac that was following the previous female. This is not the male deer we featured in January you can see by clicking on Muntjac male with asymmetric antlers Note the swollen scent gland and pit below the eye and the tiny tusk at the mouth which always makes us think of 'vampire muntjac'.
A Mallard duck (the female) leaping from the water in the evening sunlight. The background are some flower daffodils and silver birch trunks.
Pairs of moorhen seem to be nesting at two ponds and in a woodpile in the back garden. The two on the main pond are the only ones we can photograph easily, so here is a little portrait of them being affectionate.
A pair of Jackdaws have taken over an old Magpie nest in the Hawthorn trees about 5 metres from the house and are 'refurbishing' it - i.e. adding even more sticks. We rather like the stark gargoyle-esque silhouette.
Mrs. Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) doing an evening shop for potato? The white streak in the foreground is a bit of grass blown in the wind.
From about 100m away we watched this male Kestrel hunting, catching a weasel in the grass, carrying it in its talons to a fence post, where it ripped it apart and ate it over about 5 minutes. In the 5th image (lower right edge) the prey is hidden by the body of the banking bird as it circled round to the fence post. All images are full resolution crops from huge originals. (Make sure you see the whole width).
Think this is the same Kestrel male a few hours after his airborne skirmishes.
Another ridiculously tame robin 2m from us engaging in a song duel with two other robins each 20m or so away.
A dogfight of several minutes between a male kestrel (a female kestrel staying with the two but at a 'safe' distance) took place too high for first class images, but this will give you an idea of the action. This is not a 'line-of-sight' effect - the adjacent frame taken a fraction of a second before has the rook's beak overlapping the kestrel - here the kestrel's wing overlaps the rook.
Unusual pose of a Long-tailed Tit with it's tail pushed out of position by the twigs and feathers fluffed out. Sweet little face.
We believe this is a female sparrowhawk - normally viewed here as a 'woooosh - what was that' experience as a small bird exits existence :-( On a not very fine day a surprisingly good thermal raised this circling bird from just about photographable distance to a speck in the blue in a couple of minutes with barely a wing flap.
Looks like we might be lucky enough to have long-tail Tits not only beautifying our patch, but breeding as well.
Fox arrives just as the sky (top left) fades away.
At least two pairs of mallard visit the ponds and other areas. This pair moved out of the back-garden pond into the violets as we approached, thought about flying off (agitated bobbing etc.), but calmed down and we took this as we left the area, and they stayed for another hour or so.
This year Redwings have moved from brief glimpse in autumn to regular views on the camera and physical sightings.
A brave/crazy Robin getting stroppy with a Redwing many times its weight.
Heron(s) are still hunting in 'Round' pond and this one spent 30m wandering around. We caught the moment that it left, springing upwards before disappearing out of frame, something we hope this little montage expresses.
A striking example of size contrast. You just never see such size contrasts in books which are separated into separate sections. Despite the room for more brain in the pheasant, we think the Dunnocks make better use of what they have.
A pair of rooks have found both photo sites. Unfortunately they are strong enough to knock the logs about causing beam-break and focus problems. Here is the detail of the beak with its characteristic pale unfeathered skin at the base.
The robins continue to display and generally show-off. Love the eye-to-eye contact.
This vole or voles had many forays to collect peanuts and take them we know not where. Here is a montage of three images over about 2Hrs chosen so as not to overlay one another.
Another entry for 'Miss Winsome Whiskers of 2008'?
For 17 years here we have hardly seen a House sparrow (though Tree Sparrows breed freely). Suddenly a Great tit (hole size) nest box on the dead elm stump is being investigated by a male House sparrow. He can only just squeeze in and out, and other potential occupants were lurking. Here a Tree sparrow has just made a hesitant flight by the House sparrow at the hole.
A picture of a male blackbird to go with the female we presented on 19 Mar 2008 - Click Female collecting nesting material to see the 'girl'. These may not be a pair - the sites are about 100m apart.
A robin manages to get itself all in-focus for this geometric display of wings and feathers.
The image you see is a heron that has just caught a pair of
If that is gruesome enough for you stop here!
The bird couldn't swallow the linked pair, so repeatedly threw them back into the water to separate them, and then ate one. We didn't find any remains of the other and assume it survived. A day or so later we spotted spawn in the area - maybe success in their final act. An animated sequence of 15 images is at Heron Eating Frog Sequence.
Don't see often see male and female pheasants together. Its just getting dark at tea-time!
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