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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A Chaffinch male caught in a very dynamic position.
Never seen a rainbow in a spiders web before. No faking or winding up the colour, nor camera effect (have similar pics on two completely different camera designs). Angle of view was very critical and this was an attempt to get as much of the spectrum at once. The sun was low in the sky to the cameras right shining from the same side & there is no reason to think it is not following the normal rainbow angular rules.
This beauty was on the top of a 1.5m high hedge. The moth that will emerge is a rather drab affair in shades of grey that we don't seem ever to have photographed. The 2 bumps and strange angle are quite normal according to 'the book'.
This side view shows it chewing successive arcs out of the leaf.
We have several corrugated iron reptile warmers but only one gets any snakes and then only one at a time. This one was a little more tolerant than usual and we managed a head portrait without it slithering off. A day or so later we found a nearly intact snake skin (well it WAS intact until we had to extract it tangled in bramble thorns) under the same cover. See image for 2 Nov 2009.
We don't see much of this bird except as Wham-Bang-Grab-Gone visits to take tits at the bird feeders, so its nice to get a few pics. The bird actually got so close it filled the frame for a moment but horribly blurred and human necks don't bend far enough backwards to follow it.
We saw about a dozen bats leaving the loft and got pictures of what we think are Brown long-eared bats. They exit through a long existing hole under the eaves several metres from this point, but this is where they all seem to fly and by the time you have spotted one exiting its too late unless you photograph where they (mostly) go.
Next day viewed from the other side of the exit hole using multi-exposure flash we caught these 3 moments of a bats flight here accurately montaged back together. A fixed camera setup with 20m cable release so we could react in time watching from the other side.
Not much by way of butterflies on show now - just the odd tatty speckled wood. So this lovely Red admiral has to be counted as a bonus.
This tree trunk has just been stocked for the next night's visitors. The male on the right isn't being very gallant towards the female (or maybe juvenile) on the left.
Wouldn't it be nice to claim we planned to photograph a hobby catching
an insect in it's talons, taking a bite and dropping the remains
(or maybe dropping it) all in 2 seconds. But we only found it
happened when we were looking through the images later.
This is a montage of sequential frames over about 2 seconds. The insect (most likely a Dragonfly) has been slightly contrast enhanced to make it visible at this size, and the white arrows added to help. The first three bird images are accurately positioned assuming the insect hadn't moved much. The remainder are just placed 'to fit', with the last three each with their own insect falling behind the bird.
Another newly discovered dusk visitor to our yellow buddleia is this 'Silver Y' moth - it's not hard to see where it gets it's name.
We have lived here for 19 years, and enjoyed our yellow buddleia and its visitors by day. Out on a fruitless bat foray on a very mild evening we discovered that it also has a 'night shift'. This is a couple of images of the burnished Brass moth. The first is in flight and shows a partially coiled proboscis
And here actually feeding with the proboscis in a floret. This moth has previously been photographed after being caught in the moth trap - see the image for 12 July 2009.
A change on land management in a our open area has brought a flood of grasshoppers and crickets. We think we have identified this grasshopper correctly.
We saw this pair of Southern Hawker dragonflies land in this
'Wheel' configuration in a willow behind duck pond and spend
63 minutes hanging on there being blown around in the wind before
finally parting in two stages.
The male is at the top using his tail clasper to hold the female behind the head. She brings her vulva opening up to the male to pick up the sperm. They were very determined - the wind was blowing them about from this position to almost horizontal.
About 3 minutes before separating she has had enough and drops into 'tandem'. Some species then go on to lay eggs in this configuration, but not these.
The moment of separation probably and she flew off we know not where. He flew off a few minutes later
This moth was trapped in the conservatory & we took some portraits before letting it go. The plant is Lemon Balm (not listed as a native wild flower in the UK) but grows rampantly in the herb patch and smells and tastes smashing.
What seems to be a new emergence Azure Damselfly was flying along the bank of the pond and 'came in' for a 10 minute photo shoot.
The green woodpecker is around all year, but usually only detectable by his call and sometimes fleeting view of departure. But we got lucky this week with an image from an automatic camera
A couple of hours earlier that afternoon we had a sort 'if I can't see you can't see me' type of sneaked portrait.
What is it about fieldmice (wood mice) with slugs & snails?
The robins here have again had a very successful breeding season. First a robin on a log showing off his wonderful red breast
And probably a different robin in flight.
Every year or so an evening primrose or two (this year just one) pops up about 1.5m high and provides some glorious colour as the other flowers (literally) turn to seed. We have never done anything to introduce them but do let them seed before tidying up. For whatever reason they don't seem to attract much by way of the larger insects, and so have escaped being photographed until now.
The top third of the stem in more context. Note the fly for scale.
We quite often get fleeting views of wrens in the hedges, but have not photographed one at a one of the 'sites' for 4 years. So we are pleased this one popped by.
This young chaffinch had us both reacting Aah - how sweet. Hope it has the same effect for you.
There are a huge number of chaffinches about at the moment, so we get more chances to get a really crisp image of a male chaffinch in flight.
This quite old female common darter dragonfly is very faded but in otherwise good condition and a good flyer.
The day-flying Brimstone Moth has wing marks mimicking leaf damage that make it very hard to spot on foliage.
A pristine batch of Red Admiral butterflies have emerged, and we caught a couple to photograph. The first was taken in flight at a moment that shows both top and bottom of the wings.
We offered the pair a feed on a yellow buddleia flower (on which we netted one of them) and took the opportunity for some portraits.
A warm wind with intermittent sun brought out a wonderful show of dragonflies including at least a dozen of these beauties over the hedges, ponds and along the paths. Near the end of the day this one perched on a sequence of dead weed stems and finally stayed on this one. It was still there 10 minutes later when we left it in peace.
We have had Harlequin Ladybirds for a few years now, but this year have
only found a couple against 2 dozen or 7-spots - hopefully a good trend.
However, it obliged with flying for us so, this one gets it's place
on the site.
First just after taking off from the hawthorn leaf.
And now a montage of a couple of separate flights. Never caught this
one in focus with it's wings down.
If your are surprised it is a Harlequin (about the same size as a 7-spot) have a look at http://www.uksafari.com/ladybirdharlequin2.htm
One or more grass snakes like to warm up on cooler days under corrugated iron sheets put down for just this purpose. We limit ourselves to one disturbance a day. This snake seemed to us bigger than the last and had concertinaed itself into the shaping of the corrugations.
This is only our second sighting of a hobby in flight, and interestingly just 2 days earlier in the year than the first & only time last year.
The foxes are still regulars at all the ground level sites but this is the first time we can remember one sitting down to eat.
The fieldmice (wood mice) seem totally barmy. We are surprised this one can even manage this amount of junk - the unusually stiff tail may be helping to counterbalance the load.
Genuine single frame (as always unless the Ref: field says 'montage').
We have confirmation (based on static images not included here) that this is a quite scarce 'blue' butterfly called the Brown Argus where .. err .. neither sex is blue! But it is beautiful.
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