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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
On two nights running the site log got moved (by the rooks or crows) and 3 of the female pheasants happened to photograph themselves almost identically. From this we have made this un-fudged montage of the three different birds showing differences in feather colour, eyes, beak shapes etc - all the stuff of genetic variation.
A pair of chaffinches seem to be nesting in a golden cypress visible from a window in the house. At the moment a constant stream of soft materials is going in.
Our new kitchen window camera has bagged its first 'special' - a sparrowhawk visited at dusk.
A Comma butterfly (the characteristic comma is on the Comma Butterfly underwing (click to view).) basking in the sunshine after spending the winter in hibernation. This is our first recording of one in Spring (and after a poor 2008 for butterflies in general) although its quite normal.
Groups of 3 or 4 mallard ducks frequent us this time of year, usally one female with 2 or 3 males. Here they are taking off against the daffodils
... and an unrelated flight on the next day.
Took us a while to identify this as a 'bee-fly' - then discovered we first identified one last year on 15 April 2008, so this sighting is over a week earlier. It is hovering in front of the blackthorn flower - you can see the wings as smudges left and right of the insect. Here is the 15 Apr 2008 Bee-fly on Leaf litter (click to view).
Bumble bee on Blackthorn flower. There seem to have been far more bumble bees than usual this year.
Our moorhens regularly visit this feeding site. Now the iris fronds on the main pond have started to grow the pair that 'own' the pond are starting to do the tentative nest-building things.
I'm sulking - there's no grub left!
Oh well, I suppose I can lick up some of this peanut grit.
This single male bullfinch was eating the buds on a cherry tree about 30m from the house. This pushes even our biggest lens to the limit, so rather than a couple of rather poor images we have accurately montaged two images about 1 minute apart. The fantastic colours are 'real' and not enhanced.
Pheasants are not exactly lovey-dovey, but these two spent a long time quietly feeding together ...
... and the next morning he got his 'oats', though whether with the same female we don't know - there are at least 5 females on the plot. (For those unfamiliar with our setup - this 'Stealth Camera' is useful but rather poor quality, and does black and white in poor light as here.)
Our robins all continue to flourish and visit all the feeding sites at all daytime hours.
A dynamic crop of a Rook attacking another corvid bird on the ground that we can't identify from the blurry mess of feathers in the original image.
This heron arrived outside the kitchen window so we grabbed a camera and took a few pics in the awkward light and through the double glazing. We are not sure what the newt is, but from the size suspect Great Crested Newt which have been positively confirmed in this pond.
A portrait of the 'culprit' taken a couple of minutes later.
This is the first year we remember fieldfares still being around in March. We used to only see them on the windfall apples in the Autumn.
Our first ladybird of the year is a BRITISH 7-spot ladybird - not one of those Harlequin things that are beginning to become dominant.
A heron visiting Round pond has been feasting on frogs and a few newts. Here is a moment from one of the sequences that is clear but not too upsetting.
Rather surprised there ARE any worms in the trampled and pecked over soil in front of the log, but obviously our moorhen has found one.
Some of you have a soft spot for field voles, so here is this weeks good quality sighting.
As a casual sort of 'if you don't look you don't know' we lifted the corrugated iron at the stone wall built last year by the local RSPB youth group, and there was this horrified field vole who didn't know what to do next. We think this is the first field vole we have 'seen' rather than automatically pictured.
Herons are a great subject - majestic & ruthless killers. These two images are an accurate montage probably about 0.5 seconds apart of a heron lifting off almost vertically.
This took both our fancies for no reason other than 'tweeness'. Could be the male or female, but we can't help feeling its 'she' trying out the quality of the bedding on offer before deciding whether to add some to her nest.
This long tailed tit has been given an exotic colour by the setting sun. The sky behind it was clear so it appears the 'normal' blue.
mmm - wonder what's on his mind - Spring!
Starlings don't visit our automatic photo sites much, but a new camera setup on a long established perch next to a feeder attracts them quite regularly.
On a different time scale to yesterdays bluetit, this mute swan majestically flew by, turning as it went. We rarely see mute swans here in flyovers, and they never land (they would need a long stretch of water to take off again). These over several seconds and laid out for artistic effect rather than accuracy.
We could not resist montaging (accurately positioned) this bluetit coming up to a nest box near the middle of the plot. The pictures are at 25 fps so left to right are 0.08 Sec apart, and the last interval .44 Secs after the birds head had stopped in shadow and then moved back into the sun. This really is too quick for the eye.
Harbinger of spring 2 - a male Brimstone butterfly on a primrose flower. From a distance it is very hard to see the insect until it moves.
Harbinger of Spring 1 - a bumblebee visiting the flowers - in this case pussy-willow.
When walk about at this time of year we often disturb mallard ducks at one or more ponds. These are 'wild' ducks rather than park ducks looking for handouts! The female is between two males.
The females often keep going until none but the fittest male is left. Here the male at the rear is beginning to tire.
A little silliness for April fools day:
So that's one of the places the apples go!
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