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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 May 2009

The robin menacing what the feather colour suggests might be another robin. For once the flying bird is 'pin sharp'.

Ref: D3A_20090505_1842_021 fb2 Robin in flight (sharp) & threatening another bird behind log.jpg

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!

Ref: DB1_20090508_1742_186 Robin with beak full of food for fledglings (q) (detail crop).jpg

30 May 2009

Goldfinches have moved from occasional sightings to 'all round the house'. They are so attractive we can't resist including this portrait.

Ref: DB1_20090507_1631_009 Goldfinch and dandelion.jpg

29 May 2009

Last decent pic of the robin family of 4 before fledging. Ahhhh.

Ref: P34_20090505_0759_947 Robin nest in tool shed (web crop).jpg

28 May 2009

Is the top mouse about to use the bottom one as a trampoline?

Ref: D3B_20090501_2045_050 fb1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) about to jump onto or over another.jpg

4 days later we happened to get this one. Ouch!

Ref: D3B_20090505_2146_064 fb1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) using head of another as a launch pad.jpg

27 May 2009

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'.

Ref: DC1_20090503_1500_159+1451_145 ft1 Brimstone butterfly male in flight top with bluebell (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: DC1_20090503_1504_183+1453_150 ft1 Brimstone butterfly male in flight bottom with Bluebell (montage).jpg

26 May 2009

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.

Ref: D01_20090502_1629_116 Chaffinch female taking insects to nest in Golden Cypress (web crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DB1_20090429_1804_017 Chaffinch male with beak full of insects on phone wire a few metres from nest.jpg

25 May 2009

A breakfast-time dust-up at the nut feeder. Come on guys - there's plenty for everyone!

Ref: D50_20090430_0810_027 fb3 Great tit and robin altercation.jpg

24 May 2009

The swallows are definitely back in pristine breeding condition.

Ref: DB1_20090502_1643_092 swallow adult with long tail streamers perched on wire.jpg

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)

Ref: DB1_20090502_1646_107 Robin singing on tip of Cypress near his nest with chicks in tool shed.jpg

23 May 2009

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.

Ref: DC1_20090501_1438_078+1543_214 ft1 Speckled wood butterfly in flight showing top of wing with Lilac Blossom (montage).jpg

22 May 2009

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.

Ref: D50_20090427_1957_029 fb3 Starling on perch with Great Spotted Woodpecker female hanging beneath.jpg

21 May 2009

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.

Ref: P34_20090423_1029_622 Robin nest in tool shed (2 chicks begging) (web crop).jpg

20 May 2009

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.

Ref: P34_20090424_1102_657 White bluebell (web crop).jpg

19 May 2009

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.

Ref: D35_20090422_2009_094 fb4 2 robins taking off.jpg

18 May 2009

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.

Ref: D35_20090424_1801_103 fb4 Jackdaw pulling off strip of bark (for nesting (q)) against Red Campion.jpg

And the more sedate Greenfinch collecting feathers to line the cup of the nest hidden we know not where.

Ref: D3A_20090423_0810_118 Greenfinch male collecting nesting material.jpg

17 May 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090423_1503_143 Long-tailed tit on teasel stem.jpg

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.

Ref: DB1_20090423_1501_118 Long-tailed tit flying towards living room window.jpg

16 May 2009

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.

Ref: DC1_20090423_1345_185+1357_199 ft1 Orange-tip butterfly male flying over Red Campion (montage).jpg

15 May 2009

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.

Ref: D35_20090420_0601_051 fb4 House Sparrow & Robin squabbling.jpg

14 May 2009

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!

Ref: DC1_20090421_1653_244+1716_318 ft1 Green veined White butterfly over Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) they were feeding on (montage).jpg

13 May 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090418_1636_089 Pollen falling from Korean Pine (web crop 3).jpg

A rather more typically diffuse cloud.

Ref: DB1_20090418_1636_090 Pollen falling from Korean Pine (orig).jpg

12 May 2009

This Peacock butterfly has overwintered in remarkably good condition & decorates the cherry blossom, or is it vice-versa.

Ref: DB1_20090415_1511_023 Peacock butterfly feeding on Cherry blossom (web crop).jpg

11 May 2009

For some reason this year only a clump of the white variant of Snake's-head fritillary has flowered.

Ref: P34_20090414_1103_285 Snakes-head fritillary white variant clump & detail (web crop).jpg

10 May 2009

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.

Ref: D01_20090415_1046_216 Heron Catching Great Crested Newts & Smooth Newts at Duck pond 13 of 15 (web crop 2).jpg

09 May 2009

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'.

Ref: D3B_20090414_1904_136 fb1 Rook picking up single corn grain (web crop).jpg

08 May 2009

We sometimes see grey squirrels sneering at us from high tree branches, but most often wheedling bits of peanut out of the various feeders.

Ref: FJ1_20090413_0853_052 Squirrel on nut feeder by kitchen window.jpg

07 May 2009

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!

Ref: D3A_20090410_0837_053 fb2 Robin presenting worm to mate.jpg

06 May 2009

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'.

Ref: D3B_20090409_1700_001 fb1 Reed Bunting male.jpg

05 May 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090407_1444_063-103 Kestrel female diving from post onto prey + eating it + flying to post (montage of 12 from 41).jpg

04 May 2009

There are a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers visiting various places around the house. Do hope they are breeding somewhere near.

Ref: D50_20090405_1920_010 fb3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female landing.jpg

03 May 2009

The Beauty and the beastly. Note the raised Alulae forming part of the 'aerodynamic package' to prevent stalling.

Ref: DB1_20090407_1554_376 Kestrel female flying in to land on power pole horizontal bar 11 of 15 (web crop).jpg

02 May 2009

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.

Ref: D50_20090408_0733_035+0734_036 fb3 Starling Female=pink beak base & Male=Blue (montage).jpg

01 May 2009

Our local female kestrel hunting from a fence post framed by the emerging blackthorn flowers in the hedge behind.

Ref: DB1_20090407_1609_535 Kestrel female on post top backed by blackthorn flowers (crop 2).jpg



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