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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This is the first Burnet Moth of any sort we have spotted here. They are day-flying moths but don't fly very readily. So we have made a montage of our guest doing the best flight we got and then fluttering on a teasel head (where we had found it).
A male Brown Hawker Dragonfly male in Flight shown over a twig of hawthorn from the hedge it frequently flies over. This wonderful beast weighed in at only 0.9 g (about 1/30th Ounce).
A bumble bee netted feeding on Great Willow Herb near a bramble patch - most likely the cause of the slightly tatty wing edges.
5 minutes later released on to a thistle flower it had a quick feed on that and then moved to a clump of Great Willow Herb & spent several minutes sampling the many flowers.
While many other species in moult look a bit like feather dusters, the chaffinches for some reason continue to look immaculate.
Today two montages each of 2 images. First a melding of two events about 2 hours apart of what we think is the same young robin that makes a nice 'Robin taking off' sequence
An absolute fantasie illustrating what is probably at least 2 robin families visiting site 2. The left bird has been flipped and merged to make this illustration of feather development.
For whatever reason this is the first time for ages we have a photo of a mouse mid-leap. Even on the original its not clear whether the 'flying' mouse is the one with truncated tail we have spotted before or whether it is just curled behind out of view.
Yummy - this young fox has found some peanut butter on the end of the log and is licking it off.
This guy shows the other aspect of a foxes culinary preferences - these teeth are for procuring the meat course.
This looks ridiculously like Mrs. Mouse inspecting the larder.
Actually the pristine ears suggest it is a young mouse.
After a years absence we are seeing the migrant painted lady butterfly this year. Most are rather tatty and faded but this individual was still in good condition. The Soldier Beetles on the thistle spent all 45 minutes of the photo-shoot mating in happy oblivion!
This fox disappeared at what we know is a rabbit warren and then emerged in the long grass obviously eating something. After several minutes it's head raised enough to see the remains being chewed over. We were upwind of the fox and were surprised it tolerated us and the camera noise. We couldn't find any remains next day.
This is a Brown Hawker dragonfly female flapping her wings as she clambered up a hawthorn twig during a photo-shoot to photograph her in flight (but the flight images didn't capture the 3-D feel).
After the indoor shoot we took her out for release and took some more
studies in sunlight until she flew off. This detail is looking
from the top of the head (eyes at the bottom) down the face at the
We estimated the number of eye segments at 30,000, couldn't believe it, but then found a reference to an exact count for the 'American Common Green Darner' at 28,672 in an excellent UK book by Steve Brooks ISBN 0-953-13990-5 page 8.
The cells do not form images (unlike the ridiculous Hollywood and nature documentary illustrations) so that IS the resolution - about 10% of a 'VGA' (640x480) colour monitor but of course wonderfully sensitive to movement, colour vision including UV, and very robust. According to the book, 3 additional eyes in a triangle at the top are very sensitive to light and are directly used for orientation in flight.
A montage of two images of the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing moth. On the left in flight showing the startling orange underwing and on the right same species (probably the same insect) taken hanging from a hawthorn twig. The 'purpose' of the colour is said to be to startle predators. It certainly startled us because we hadn't identified the moth before the photo shoot and the first hint of the orange was in this 'first flight'.
A pretty creamy gold moth called the Scalloped Oak shown in flight.
A little special for the Woodland Trust phenology enthusiasts - a Comma Butterfly on a fruiting Rowan - both 'recorded' species.
Some long awaited rain brought out the slugs. The pale slug in the middle is a 'leopard' slug.
And at another site on the same day 4 snails dominated the wet log.
We know that moorhen eat snails in the pond, but don't think we have ever photographed or seen one with a land snail, in this case a couple of small ones. In the insert you can also see the directional serrations/barbs on the beak edge that probably help yanking about foliage & pond weed.
A mouse has found the 'anvil stone' site. This was probably photographed by something else breaking the beam out of frame. Mice apparently staring at slugs and snails is uncannily common and this was the first and (and with another week gone by) only image of a mouse at this site.
Moorhen adult striding through site showing it's disproportionately large feed it needs for getting about on floating vegetation.
The skipper butterflies are difficult to differentiate in photos, but we think this is a Large Skipper. But the most interesting item we only spotted when preparing the image - a caterpillar aligned along the edge of a partially eaten leaf.
This is our two young foxes taken 2 hours apart at sites about 15m apart. For the top image (8.20 p.m.) there was still some daylight.
The second at (10.15 p.m.) it is dark (and the site is under leaf canopy anyway) and the eyes are fully dilated so the eyes look black instead of brown.
All this excitement over a single Hazel nut? The nut is on the ground bottom right still in it's green covering.
Its a long way up for this fieldmouse (wood mouse) now we have filled in the trough under the log.
There are load of young birds about. Here a couple of young bluetits are looking for lunch (it was 12:30) near the displaced thrush anvil stone.
The Comma butterfly used to be a Spring and Autumn only sighting here but this year we are seeing them regularly. The 'comma' is the white shape on the brown underwing.
The gatekeeper butterfly has appeared. It is barely 2/3 the size of the meadow brown, but the two white dots in the black spot is characteristic
From a nearby bridleway a Corvid-Buzzard skirmish disappeared out of site over the overgrown hedge. But the buzzard on its own then did a lovely flyover of which this montage probably represents between half and 1 second real time. Spacing is for effect rather than accuracy - actual positions unknown.
Two images sent to us by our email-assortment recipient wedding photographer Sarah Vivienne ( http://www.sarahvivienne.co.uk/public/index.html) who turned her camera on a commotion in her garden and captured a number of wonderful images of a male kestrel on what is probably a blackbird. Our selection, crop & processing of her originals.
Thank you Sarah!
Young birds are everywhere. Here an adult male Chaffinch takes off over a youngster who looks like it is about to follow suit.
The female Banded Demoiselle does not have the band on her wings that her mate does. The sheen on the abdomen is exquisite with a greener tinge than the males. In the recent warm days a 25m grass strip between hedges has become a wonderland of these beauties - about 4 males and a couple of females flutter gently around you as you walk slowly along the path.
The edges of the 4 wings are so nearly aligned that they almost look like shadows.
Speckled wood butterflies have been on the wing now for a couple of months. This nice example landed in the only pool of sunlight near us. Before that a more tatty example in flight from several weeks ago.
Thrush bashing a snail on the stone to get at breakfast. He ate at least two like this in 5 minutes.
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