Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2008

We brought you another Female Common Darter Dragonfly 11 days ago, but this new set shows the female in a more normal pose.

Ref: DA1_20080816_1306_023 common darter dragonfly female.jpg

This is a head-on view of the 'face'.

Ref: DA1_20080816_1308_050 common darter dragonfly female head detail (web crop).jpg

30 Aug 2008

To our relief the swallows have suddenly re-appeared complete with families to feed. The lighting wasn't too good but we had a go anyway.
In a montage from last year they are seen feeding on the wing:-

This year first effort is easier to see yourself - look for this wherever you see young swallows perched on wire, gutters, TV aerials etc. If you would like a large version as a September 2008 Calendar click on Woodland Trust Calendars

Ref: DA1_20080815_1459_035 Swallow failing to feed young on wires 2 of 4 (web crop).jpg

29 Aug 2008

The moorhen have raised 4 chick to nearly adult size, and have started on a new brood on a new nest close to the previous. Here an adult in fine breeding condition comes for late afternoon snack but will have had to have waited for our evening round.

Ref: D3A_20080812_1739_015 fb2 Moorhen.jpg

28 Aug 2008

Raw corn and peanut butter anybody? His beak isn't really suited to this mix, but he is determined to get it anyway.

Ref: D3A_20080813_1840_065 fb2 Magpie with beak open to eat grain mixed with peanut butter.jpg

27 Aug 2008

The little owl has abandoned his original spoil heap and is using other bare ground & standing on fence posts (where they are 'traditionally' seen). The first image is on a post with the stuck-open bridleway entrance in the background. One eye is obscured by a leaf.

Ref: DC1_20080814_0857_020 Little owl on fence post near bridleway gate (1 eye obscured by leaf).jpg

Here he is on his new choice of ground, the owl watching us watching him.

Ref: DC1_20080814_0912_046 Little owl standing on bare earth in field to N (web crop).jpg

26 Aug 2008

A buzzard appeared from nowhere, made a few loud calls that got Roy stampeding out with the camera, and then did a couple of circles at about 15m high before disappearing out of sight.

Ref: DC1_20080814_1001_033 Buzzard calling in flight (web crop).jpg

25 Aug 2008

Huge number of our acorns have become deformed by insect invasion. This type is called a 'Knopper Gall'.

Ref: P34_20080814_0839_204 Knopper Gall (insect deformed Acorn) Seq (web crop).jpg

24 Aug 2008

A juvenile heron visited the 'Duck pond' and walked around for a few minutes. It was obvious it didn't enjoy the strong wind ruffling the feathers. We didn't see him catch anything.

Ref: D01_20080810_1354_006 Heron Juvenile at Duck Pond.jpg

He took off in no particular hurry - these two successive frames were taken probably 150 mSec apart.

Ref: D01_20080810_1357_022 Heron Juvenile taking off from Duck Pond.jpg

Ref: D01_20080810_1357_023 Heron Juvenile taking off from Duck Pond.jpg

23 Aug 2008

Most landings are perfect elegance (we could show you dozens a night) but they don't all go as planned.

Ref: D3A_20080810_0621_114 fb2 Robin making awkward landing on end of log.jpg

22 Aug 2008

All that sticky fruit pulp needs wiping off?
It's never occurred to us before that maybe birds can't 'wipe their beaks' with their tongues like we 'wipe our lips'.

Ref: D3A_20080809_1836_080 fb2 Young magpie cleaning beak on log.jpg

21 Aug 2008

This rainy night (7.5mm in the rain gauge) was soaking the few creatures who decided to venture out. Examining the twisting of various parts and the flying raindrops suggests this rabbit was doing the classic twist and shake to shed some of the wet.

Ref: D3A_20080809_1945_084 fb2 Rabbit shaking out rainfall.jpg

20 Aug 2008

A female Common Darter dragonfly warming herself on the back of a garden seat, positioned herself vertically to catch the sunshine. A newsletter recipient tells us this is called the obelisk position, normally used at midday to keep cool.

Ref: DA1_20080807_1533_047 Common Darter female 2 positioning herself to warm in the sun.jpg

A minute or so before the above it was on a stone where we took this close-up of the head and thorax.

Ref: DA1_20080807_1532_023 Common Darter female 2 head & thorax detail.jpg

... and from the same frame extreme detail of the eye.
We have never noticed before that the eyes not only have two separately coloured areas, but these areas have different 'honeycomb' sizes and curvatures, presumably with different optical characteristics. You could spend a lifetime researching these amazing creatures so little changed from fossils millions of years old.

Ref: DA1_20080807_1532_023 Common Darter female 2 eye detail.jpg

19 Aug 2008

The left and right halves of this pic are separated by 17 minutes at 2 a.m. but make an attractive pairing. We haven't seen the vole for some time - the log had been sinking into the ground so that it had not been breaking the beam.

Ref: d3B_20080804_0201_097_&_0218_099 fb1 Field Vole + Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) + slugs and snail (Montage).jpg

18 Aug 2008

Hope you laugh at this is much as we did. Nothing else animate in the original frame, so no real idea what it's doing.
Practicing for the Rabbit Olympic High-jump, maybe?

Ref: D3A_20080801_0504_047 fb2 Rabbit landing on front paws.jpg

17 Aug 2008

Two views of a young robin begging for food from a parent. First the whole story with an off-focus parent to the right.

Ref: D3B_20080802_0525_143 fb1 Robin Chick begging from parent (crop with both birds).jpg

... and now a closer look at the chick.

Ref: D3B_20080802_0525_143 fb1 Robin Chick begging from parent (crop on chick).jpg

16 Aug 2008

Nice show of the underwing of one of 'our' developing young robins.

Ref: D3A_20080730_0508_038 fb2 Young robin with wing feathers spread.jpg

15 Aug 2008

What must it be like to have a tail you can do this with?
From the position of the left front leg we rather imagine the mouse was caught in the middle of giving it's tail a groom.

Ref: D3B_20080730_2203_147 fb1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with tail across face.jpg

14 Aug 2008

Rabbits have now replaced pheasants as the dominant species visiting the camera site 2. This is a genuine single frame of pair of rabbits possibly using the log like a 'kissing seat'. But then maybe we are just too romantic.

Ref: D3A_20080729_0515_090 fb2 Pair of Rabbits possibly nuzzling over log like a kissing seat.jpg

This is a bit of a fiddle, but the robin was originally off the edge of the frame (with tail missing) so we moved him across to make a more compact offering. Recently seeing more birds and rabbits together than we are used to - any significance unknown.

Ref: D3A_20080729_0517_092 fb2 Rabbit and Robin (montage within single frame to bring Robin closer).jpg

13 Aug 2008

Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and Snail at the Camera 1 fruit stall.
Their visit were actually 9 minutes apart but we could not resist bringing them together.

Ref: d3b_20080728_0005_031&_0014_034 fb1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and (montaged) snail at fruit.jpg

12 Aug 2008

Dragonflies really are incredible creatures. Unlike the one shown a few days ago this is definitely a female. Sexing can be difficult - the colours change with maturity and even with temperature and other characteristics don't appear in photos

Ref: DA1_20080727_1353_017 Southern Hawker dragonfly Female.jpg

Here is a head shot with an inset showing the compound eye.
Compound eyes are an array of uni-directional cells rather than lens and retina. Resolution is poor but they have huge angle of view, are lightweight, detect movement quickly, and some detect polarisation (used to navigate by skylight).
More info at Wiki Compound Eye
The streaks on the eye in the main image are Moire (artificial digital patterning) effects at the reduced resolution used in these archives.

Ref: DA1_20080727_1359_073 Southern Hawker dragonfly Female eye detail.jpg

11 Aug 2008

2 Buzzards in the same general area inevitably seems to lead to a skirmish. These had several 'goes' at one another over about 10 minutes before they parted ways.

Ref: DC1_20080728_1112_084 Two Buzzards in aerial skirmish 2 of 8 (web crop@624 ).jpg

10 Aug 2008

This is the female Common Darter Dragonfly perched on a stick at the pond edge - a favourite way of getting to see them close up.

Ref: DC1_20080726_1101_004 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched on stick (web crop).jpg

We brought you a Male Common Darter Dragonfly last year on 21 Sep 2007 - here it is:-

To complete the cycle here are a pair coupled together (male above) coordinating their flight to repeatedly dip the females ovipositor (her tail tip) in the water to deposit eggs. In the original you can see that the water surface tension is still connecting her to the surface.

Ref: DC1_20080728_1209_167 Pair of Common Darter Dragonflies laying in Dragon Pond.jpg

09 Aug 2008

As promised in the image for 2 June 2008 we have tried to photograph the Male Banded Damoiselle. Well some effort brought the luck - here is the beauty.

Ref: DA1_20080726_1702_055 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly Male (web crop).jpg

08 Aug 2008

Continuing our unintentional 'birds twisting in flight' sequence, this young robin's body is almost inverted with head almost vertical.
'Look mum - upside down flying - ouch'.

Ref: D3A_20080724_0541_035 fb2 Young robin in flight with body nearing inverted.jpg

07 Aug 2008

The Little Owl is still spending hours on the dirt patch. Here he was having such a satisfying stretch we almost wanted to do the same.

Ref: D60_20080725_1343_030 Little Owl Stretching.jpg

06 Aug 2008

This is a Hawker dragonfly - the largest type. In the words of an old TV documentary we saw a couple of weeks ago, it will kill and eat 'anything smaller than itself'! Our experts differ on whether this is a male or female.

Ref: DA1_20080722_1626_029 Southern Hawker Dragonfly sex unsure (web crop).jpg

Here is the powerful mouth and segmented eyes.

Ref: DA1_20080722_1624_011 Southern Hawker Dragonfly sex unsure (web crop).jpg

05 Aug 2008

Not seen a robin in quite this pose before. He is probably trying to wheedle a bit of nut from in a crack in the bark.

Ref: D3A_20080722_0643_088 fb2 Young Robin with beak touching top of log.jpg

04 Aug 2008

Darter dragonflies are smaller than Hawker Dragonflies. They tend to perch on twig, dash out for a fly round, and then return.

Ref: DA1_20080722_1631_062 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly Male (web crop).jpg

In this detailed shot you can see it is 'dusty' even over the eyes. When he has warmed up he will probably 'preen' himself clean.

Ref: DA1_20080722_1636_101 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly Male (web crop).jpg

03 Aug 2008

Took the opportunity to get a closer image of the Little Owl (see 26 July 2008). It only stressed for us that they are about starling size.

Ref: DC1_20080722_1823_010 Little Owl on spoil heap (web crop 2).jpg

02 Aug 2008

Some more Odonata (Dragonfly like insect) today and at least a couple more alternate days. This female Banded Demoiselle (a larger than average damselfly) is quite different to the male which is blue and actually HAS got bands on his wings. Hope to bring you her 'husband' if we can catch him for some photos!

Ref: DA1_20080723_1556_070 Banded Demoiselle Female (web crop).jpg

Detail of the head - love the iridescence.

Ref: DA1_20080723_1554_035 Banded Demoiselle Female (web crop).jpg

01 Aug 2008

This male blackbird seems to be really going for a 'mixed diet'. We make it 2 worms, a few chips of peanut all mixed up in sticky fruit pulp. Forget the worms and it sounds lovely.

Ref: D3A_20080720_1926_096 fb2 Blackbird male with worms + nuts in beak (web crop).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive