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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The ringlet butterfly is one of those quiet little browns that rewards a closer look.
The Banded Demoiselle is quite one of the most beautiful damselflies we know of. This is the male - the female has no band on different coloured wings. See in a few days.
Far more bumble bees this year than we are used to, but distasterously few honey bees.
A stop off for a mid-flight refuelling for once taken by pressing the shutter button to override the normal computer controlled trigger.
This is a male 'four-spot chaser' (change of common name since the link below). This species has been breeding on our plot for at least a decade. It first came to our attention one day when a number were emerging in May 1999 after a warm night that turned cold in the morning and slowed down the usual overnight emergence. You can see it on the main web site at Dragonfly Emergence Sequence.
Their favourite perches seem to be dead twigs by the waterside. If you have a pond put a couple of sticks about half meter long at 30 degrees from horizontal & overhanging the water, and you will likely be graced with some dragonflies using the tip. If they are already about they sometimes land on them within seconds (but usually not).
Just this one Small Tortoiseshell butterfly seen so far this year was fluttering from buttercup to buttercup. The hedges used to be awash with them. Instead we now have hundreds of Meadow Browns and still dozens of Speckled wood. We don't know whether the change is down to climate, our management, natural variation or chance.
Among the hoards of Meadow Brown butterflies are a few Small skipper butterflies. Normally seen perched with the wings slightly raised & top wing partly hidden, this spread wings view explains the orange shimmer as they fly.
This rabbit photographed in the early hours (5 a.m.) is caught in a pose like something out of children's story book!
The young fox is now known to be at least 2 individuals (seen together on an Infra-red security photo). Can't resist giving you a look from a different site.
The Chaffinches have been very obliging with 'in-flight photos' in the last couple of days
We have been hoping the male and female Muntjac had produced a fawn this year. Finally this beautiful creature has appeared. This camera is set up for smaller animals so the top of the deer is missing. Note the gangly legs and visible hoof of which we often see the imprints when the ground is soft.
The male chaffinches are apparently still feeling territorial.
Young fox exploring the aromas of other visitors and peanut grit at the thrush anvil (see yesterday).
Clearing up the site a bit and getting his stone back level with the surface has brought back the thrush. Interesting what little details are important.
This kestrel has made repeated visits to one corner of the site, most of the time in drab overcast condition when one enjoys taking the pics (about 600) but only a few are worth keeping.
Swifts continue to delight us with a group of about 10 visiting the area a few times many days. Here is the same bird in two successive frames
Unusual view of a mallard drake. Maybe he has spotted a tasty worm to catch. Out of frame in this crop a female mallard is pattering along in the dark behind him The bright yellow beak has faded but the orange feet remain vivid.
Immaculate male Chaffinch collecting food.
A large buzzard seeing off a smaller bird. Read left to right as pairs of birds
The Moth trap caught 5 of these wonderful 'Elephant Hawk-Moths'. We haven't touched up the colour - this is what they are like.
And here in flight. The clover head will give you more idea of their large size.
Burnished Brass moths are quite small but really beautiful when the light catches the 'burnished' areas properly.
We are fairly sure this is a Common Rustic moth caught on clover so we knew what to provide as a 'prop'. It then surprised us by feeding off the 'prop' in front of the camera setup. First just landing.
And second the proboscis is uncurling complete with droplets or particles from it's previous meal.
The moth trap caught a couple of Poplar Hawk-moths. Here is an image of one of them after release back in the meadow
More detail of the head and antennae.
A chance moment of 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker chicks by the nut feeder with their Dad. Mum uses a feeder on the other side of the house to feed what we think is just one other chick.
Montage of 2 successive frames in the rain, first on the RIGHT. From the lack of intervening frames we deduce that the sodden bird sat for 25 minutes preening, and all the better for it!
Juvenile Herons often seem to have trouble swallowing their catches. We don't know what this one caught, but it took the bird 3 minutes to swallow it before it flew off. There are more heron pics at the Moorhen Site heron page
The jackdaws chicks in a nest near the house have fledged. You can still see the fuzz of down on the body feathers as this youngster lands on the perch by the peanut feeders.
A common site at almost any decent wildlife pond is pairs of Azure
Azure Damselflies mating.
In August 2007 we pictured them in 'Wheel' position as the male transfers his sperm to the female (male to the left arching over the female):-
The final act - the female depositing eggs onto pond weeds.
The 'Thrushes anvil' site off the main paths by a conifer tree trunk
was 'baited' with a little peanut grit and suddenly loads of creatures
made appearances. This lot appeared over 32 hours appear all at
the same scale.
For the uninitiated in UK species, top left clockwise:-
We found a stone surrounded to broken snail shells - the first 'thrushes anvil' we have ever found. Installing a camera and beam-break at it with care not to disturb the anvil site was quickly rewarded with some images of the thrush with snails. First a thrush with snail approaching the stone which is at the left edge a quarter of the way up.
Several hours later a closer image (with presumably a fresh snail).
It always seems strange to see the moon in sunshine, but here we caught a swallow flying by it. The bird is a little off focus because it isn't 'quite' as far away as the moon (maybe 50 metres against 384,403,000 metres!). Other attempts with the bird sharp but the moon even slightly blurred look awful.
Our friendly neighbour farmer phoned us from his tractor with news that the 'buzzard has just joined me on the posts' and out we rushed to not be able to see it! But we were ready when it flew majestically over the hedge in front of us. Here is one of images.
20 minutes later a buzzard and a crow had a little skirmish to the East. Follow the pairs of birds from the top left.
2 Great Spotted Woodpecker are being fed peanut fragments by the adult male both at the feeders and more picturesquely on the trunk of a nearby Ash tree. From 3 difference sequences, first the male flying in.
The youngster (on the left) gets fed.
The parent (on the left) having to back off from the youngster eager for MORE!.
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