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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The male pheasant often arrives before we have finished checking over the camera kits to get the first helping. On this occasion we thought he looked very drab but assumed it was just the light. But even in flash he looks dusty, and now Marie remembers she has seen him dust-bathing on the bonfire ash. He was back to vivid next day.
From a few days before, a head portrait of proud male pheasant lording it over a feeding female (out of focus on the left of the original).
The new bluetit nestbox on the venerable 'elm' post contains really young chicks - no calls audible & for a while one parent was passing food to the other inside.
A buzzard did a few low circles about 20m high over our 'meadow'. All the photos have the green cast in the shadows which we assume is light coming off the grass.
Some swifts did a few low circles. Here one has it's mouth open to catch the insects it feeds on.
The male kestrel is about this area a number of times each day at the moment.
Rabbits are a constant presence that we don't often feature, but this one could take a nice portrait of itself because the rooks had moved away the log.
You see these by the thousand on flowering horse chestnut, but have you ever looked at the detailed mix of colours and forms?
'Double trouble' or '2 for Joy'. NOT a montage.
At last got some decent images of House Martins. We have selected one that again illustrates birds flying with their heads 'still', in this case still horizontal, with the body, wings & tail all sideways (See Yellowhammer from 22 May 2008).
A pair of blackbirds appeared quite regularly together at this site, but never both good images together, so here is a montage (from successive frames) with the male moved for better effect.
We really don't know what is going on with this pair of Yellowhammers, but its an interesting moment.
A gust of wind produced a cloud of pollen metres across from a stand of pines. The photo of this is not as impressive as the event, so here is a little induced but genuine mini-cloud.
The male Kestrel did this lovely flyby, but then proceeded to hover against the sun.
Lovely pairing of colours. The female Brimstone is white but with the orange spot.
The Blackbirds nest fledged successfully (while we weren't watching) but we found this fledgling still in the shed sitting on the junk.
We watched this squirrel dig up and eat about 6 bulbs from the grass patch we call the lawn.
Starlings nesting in our roof-space now have young to feed. The chicks are being well supplied with an 'airlift' of all kinds of squishy nutritious yucks.
Birds generally fly with their heads 'still', using the neck to adjust for orientation and oscillation of the wings - the kestrel is the best example. But this isn't bad - the head is clearly normally oriented while the body and wings are almost at a right-angle.
The great tits have created a carpet of complete fallen blossom heads. They seem to be biting them off, eating the unformed fruit under the flower, and then dropping them. There is so much shade in the tree now the leaves are out its hard to get a clear image - this is the best illustration.
The debris from the above - there are hundreds of these flower heads.
The swallows are back. This one seems rather elegant balancing in the wind. They have even been in the house through an open window and needed rescuing when caught in curtains.
Our dilapidated toolshed is apparently the ideal nursery for these blackbirds. Visits limited to one a day for a quick photo and to grab any tools we need.
The apple blossom this year has been prolific. Distant shots never seem to capture the feel, so here is a closer sample.
The Holly Blue butterfly is a rare visitor photographed here only 4
times: 1997 (Kodachrome - in flight, date unknown), 21 May 2001, 16 May 2002, 5 May 2008.
Note the date drift.
The identification of the plant is wrong - it should be Green Alkanet (sometimes Evergreen Bugloss) (Pentaglottis Sempervirens). Thanks to Rory Morrisey for the correction.
We have to assume the female is on the left begging the insect in the male's beak as part of courtship feeding.
This pair of fieldmice (wood mice) seem to be having a energetic chase around the site.
At the other camera rooks moving the logs sometimes blocks the beam, blocks the camera, or as here generates an interesting new view.
Mr & Mrs Green woodpecker - we hope they are nesting somewhere! The male is the one with the extra red on the cheek.
Some Snakes-head Fritilliaries are 'white', but this is the first time we have seen a 'clump' of them here. Unspectacular but rather pretty.
A lot of sound from a little bird. Human singers are taught to open their mouths wide to sing. The dunnock does it naturally.
Don't usually get such a good view. He obviously saw us so perhaps he is getting used to us - 'mostly harmless'. This isn't as close as it looks (guess about 30m).
This week the Sparrowhawk has replaced the male Kestrel as flyby tease of the week. Have always loved the mad yellow eye.
Now the bird breeding season is upon us we will ensure that no more whole peanuts (that might choke a nestling) go out - the grits get sieved for the next few months! So here is a last 'fieldmouse (wood mouse) with peanut' for a while ...
Chaffinches everywhere we are delighted to say - this one singing his heart out from the hawthorn 'tree' growing out of the hedge over camera site 1.
While about to photograph the growing 'candle' on our selected horse-chestnut we noticed this Shieldbug. Now we have the authoritative and nicely presented tome on the subject 'The ... Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles' by 'Evans and Edmondson' we are (reasonably) confident of the identification.
A first for us - a fly-over by a curlew in the evening sunshine.
We at first thought the beak contained something rather unfortunate, but it seems to be a piece of waste fruit.
The unusually sharp image of a Robin flying through the site
Wrens are so quick its usually 'look - there was a wren there'. In a shady corner this one was exploring the ivy on the garage wall giving us a chance for a photo.
The Muntjac deer like we usually see them - distant and nervously moving away from us. We rather like the horizontal bars of light and tree shadows.
NOT a montage. We watched with amazement as the muntjac walked past the clearly visible fox without a qualm, being much more worried about us standing quietly about 100m away.
We have recently seen this rook with a load of wing feathers missing but it doesn't seem to effect his flight one iota.
There were a couple of images like this at different places along the log, so we presume the stance has some significance. In the others its not so obvious that is isn't about to clamber up the log.
The yellowhammer female at last poses properly. The male appears in the images for 1 May 2008.
Starling (nesting in our roof-space) collecting old reed mace for the nest.
Black poplar's moment of glory is (for us) the red catkins. The dropped catkins make a slippery mess all up the track. The trees don't leaf for a few weeks yet. Oh - and there is a blue tit!
And down on the ground the first daisies smile at the sun.
Don't often get Chaffinches in full flight, so have to forgive this one for leaving his tail out of frame!
A more static image of the pair of chaffinches at this site.
When did your partner last offer you a nice slimy worm as a token of love?
... or sing to you at 100dB
Yesterday's newt eating heron finally got startled and took off. Fingers were not fast enough to catch the launch, but the wonderful wing shapes during lift-off do make a good sight. This image should animate showing about a second during the takeoff as 6 images.
This mature heron spent about 45 minutes catching at least 15 newts (mostly the protected great-crested!) at the duck shaped pond. Here is a sequence of one such taken over about 1 minute. (1) Grab from water, (2 & 3) manoeuvre head first, (4 & 5) down it goes.
This pair of mallard have been feeding together in various ponds for some days. After a couple of hours in the main pond they pulled out onto the bank near the house for a drowse in the sunshine.
Another inexplicable moment in the fieldmouse (wood mouse) family.
A pair of Yellowhammer are visiting this site as they did last year. The bright yellow head is the male - the less brilliant female has yet to take a good pic of herself
This might be a 'common' bee-fly (one of 12 or 15 species according to which book you look in but neither has any detail) but it is new to us.
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