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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The robin menacing what the feather colour suggests might be another robin. For once the flying bird is 'pin sharp'.
The robin nest has fledged and we THINK this is the robin parents for that nest still collecting food for them. We haven't managed to see any of the youngsters - mum and dad take the insect food deep into the wood piles!
Goldfinches have moved from occasional sightings to 'all round the house'. They are so attractive we can't resist including this portrait.
Last decent pic of the robin family of 4 before fledging. Ahhhh.
Is the top mouse about to use the bottom one as a trampoline?
4 days later we happened to get this one. Ouch!
The Brimstone butterflies are a bit tatty and a little faded, but still lovely. Seen feeding on these (probably hybridised) bluebells so we have used them as 'decoration'.
Did not get a good view of both sides of the wing together, so here is what you see from underneath or when the wings are folded.
The chaffinch nest barely visible in a Golden Cypress we showed you on the Female taking in nesting (click to view) is going well and both parents are taking in an 'endless' supply of insects for the chicks. Here the female by the nest.
And the male waiting on the wires for his turn. This brave male continues to take on even pairs of jackdaws that get within 10m or so of the nest.
A breakfast-time dust-up at the nut feeder. Come on guys - there's plenty for everyone!
The swallows are definitely back in pristine breeding condition.
And the robins never go away! This one really is beginning to look a bit scruffy with all the effort going into feeding the chicks in the tool shed chicks in the tool shed (click to view)
In the last couple of years speckled wood butterflies have moved from occasional sightings to the most common butterfly here. Unfortunately the previous holder of that title - the Small Tortoiseshell - is becoming a once in a while siting. Anyway, this slightly tatty individual make a nice pic with lilac.
Our new camera position at a horizontal branch fixed to the peanut feeder post produces some interesting top and bottom moments of conflict - this one at dusk. The Woodpecker wing tips were lost off the bottom of the frame - deciding what to cover in the camera field really is a quality compromise and guessing game.
A pair of robins build a nest on top of a rack in a dilapidated tool shed (windows & door long gone) & they now have at least 4 chicks in it. The parents usually come out and wait expectantly for a tit-bit from us, so we can go in and get a picture. We can't see what we are photographing even on the camera's LCD because it is so dark, but switching the camera to automatic & flash and pointing it through the gap in the fertiliser bags usually gets something. Only once a day though - don't want to stress them.
We have been doing UV (Ultra violet) images of as many variants
of bluebells as we have (natural, white variant, a pink variant
and the invasive Spanish). We have a couple of clumps of the white
variant amongst thousands of naturals and Spanish hybrids.
We plan to add hundreds of UV images (flowers & insects) as a special new section later in 2009 - if you want any bluebells or others in advance just ask.
No idea what is going on here, but couldn't resist showing you.
On the Right hand bird notice the two raised Alulae (the clearest is the spike on the wing immediately above the eye) we have never noticed this before on any small bird. They are rather more obvious on this Kestrel (click to view)) and form part of the anti-stalling aerodynamics of the magic of bird wings.
We are often asked for pictures of birds collecting nesting material. We won't loiter around birds actively nesting for fear of frightening them off or showing predators where to look. But these two 'chance' images show the supply end of the nest build. First a Jackdaw ripping strips of some bark.
And the more sedate Greenfinch collecting feathers to line the cup of the nest hidden we know not where.
The tale of the Long-tailed tit (sorry).
Long-tailed tits have been rare sightings until this year when one bird has spent hours each day fluttering at the windows. Presumably he is defending his territory from his own reflection.
Here he is launching himself at the window to flap against it for a few seconds, back to a perch, rest a few seconds, and off he goes again. He does this whether we draw the curtains, put things in the window or whatever.
Only the orange tip butterfly male (shown here) sports the orange tip that gives the species it's name. The female does share the delicate green tracery with her mate.
A house sparrow may not seem very exciting, but this is one of the first of several sightings this year. Only seen here once last year, and then not for years before.
We have resurrected and upgraded our 'flight tunnel' last used 13
years ago making the best of what modern digital cameras have to offer.
Our site is awash with these Lady's smock (Cuckoo flower) flowers and all the white butterflies, including this Green-veined, love them!
We have a 30 year old 'Korean Pine' about 2m high that used to be a pot plant when we lived in a town and we planted it out here. After all these years it has suddenly exploded into life and it was filling the air with pollen whenever the wind moved it.
A rather more typically diffuse cloud.
This Peacock butterfly has overwintered in remarkably good condition & decorates the cherry blossom, or is it vice-versa.
For some reason this year only a clump of the white variant of Snake's-head fritillary has flowered.
On a rather overcast day this heron spent 10 minutes downing 6 assorted Great Crested Newts & Smooth Newts. This poor little thing is the smaller Smooth Newt.
The huge beak of this Rook can still pick up a single corn grain. Our initial reaction to the beak and scaly foot was 'you can see the dinosaur in that bird'.
We sometimes see grey squirrels sneering at us from high tree branches, but most often wheedling bits of peanut out of the various feeders.
This is 'Courtship feeding' where the male feeds the female
to demonstrate he can be a good provider for their chicks, and
provide some extra food while she is making eggs.
But a nice fresh worm would not feature on OUR breakfast menu!
Rare sighting for us (and the first at any automatic photo site) is this male Reed Bunting. He has turned up a few times since and hope he may become a 'regular'.
All afternoon this kestrel hunted in a strong wind using fence posts as
launching platforms. She must have been very hungry to spend all
afternoon on nothing but worms and insects (all swallowed on the
ground before returning to a post).
The montage splits the approach and return because the images on the ground and several more would have obscured one another. White bits are where we have no decent background image to fill in. Positions are genuine but the intervals between shots have been chosen to get a decent montage. She spent some seconds on the ground. The round insert is a near original resolution crop of the image on the ground.
There are a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers visiting various places around the house. Do hope they are breeding somewhere near.
The Beauty and the beastly. Note the raised Alulae forming part of the 'aerodynamic package' to prevent stalling.
A starling image in our 'Weekly Assortment' email (join if you want) included a comment about not noticing the '2-tone' beak before. One of our recipients told us that its a breeding time sex difference - males have blue base and females have pink (or maybe 'natural'). This image is a montage with the left bird turned round to show you a pair with the beaks adjacent.
Our local female kestrel hunting from a fence post framed by the emerging blackthorn flowers in the hedge behind.
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