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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2009

A Chaffinch male caught in a very dynamic position.

Ref: D50_20090925_0731_047_FB5 Chaffinch male in flight.jpg

30 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090927_0915_014 Spider web soaked in dew showing rainbow colours (web crop).jpg

29 Oct 2009

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'.

Ref: P34_20090927_1353_304 Grey Dagger Moth Caterpillar on Blackthorn (web crop).jpg

This side view shows it chewing successive arcs out of the leaf.

Ref: P34_20090927_1613_332 Grey Dagger Moth Caterpillar eating Blackthorn leaf.jpg

28 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090913_0854_043 Grass snake under corrugated iron 30m WSW of Duck Pond (head crop).jpg

27 Oct 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.

Ref: DB1_20090914_0919_072 Sparrowhawk single flyby (selected) 1 of 8 (web crop).jpg

Ref: DB1_20090914_0919_073 Sparrowhawk single flyby (selected) 2 of 8 (web crop).jpg

Ref: DB1_20090914_0919_087 Sparrowhawk single flyby (selected) 8 of 8 (web crop).jpg

26 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D01_20090918_1958_027 Brown Long-eared (q) bat in flight.jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20090919_1950_021+022+023 Brown Long-eared Bat in flight (Accurate Montage single flight at about 5fps).jpg

25 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090916_1245_031 Red admiral butterfly on Mallow flower.jpg

24 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D50_20090918_1813_032_FB5 Chaffinch female threatened by arriving male (web crop).jpg

23 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090909_1238_142-150 Hobby catching insect at about 5fps 01-09 of 10 (montage top left to bottom right).jpg

22 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D01_20090908_2018_032 Silver Y moth feeding on Yellow Buddleia at night (orig).jpg

21 Oct 2009

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

Ref: D01_20090908_2018_035 Burnished Brass moth with proboscis half curled flying to Yellow Buddleia (web crop).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20090908_2025_055 Burnished Brass moth feeding on Yellow Buddleia at night (orig).jpg

20 Oct 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.

Ref: DB1_20090908_1616_115 Lesser Marsh (q) Grasshopper (web crop).jpg

19 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090909_1714_121 Southern Hawker dragonfly pair mating in Willow behind Duck Pond & parting after 1 Hr 19 of 36 (web crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DB1_20090909_1739_157 Southern Hawker dragonfly pair mating in Willow behind Duck Pond & parting after 1 Hr 25 of 36 (web crop).jpg

The moment of separation probably and she flew off we know not where. He flew off a few minutes later

Ref: DB1_20090909_1744_179 Southern Hawker dragonfly pair mating in Willow behind Duck Pond & parting after 1 Hr 33 of 36 (web crop).jpg

18 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DA1_20090831_1507_061+1514_071_FT1 Large yellow underwing moth in flight with Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) (montage).jpg

17 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DA1_20090901_1312_006+1327_024_FT1 Azure Damselfly male in flight with grass seed head (montage).jpg

Ref: DA1_20090901_1314_014_FT1 Azure Damselfly male in flight (web crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DB1_20090903_1619_052 Green woodpecker peering round tree at camera peering through tree (web crop).jpg

15 Oct 2009

What is it about fieldmice (wood mice) with slugs & snails?

Ref: D3A_20090902_2108_027_FB2 Mouse and Leopard slug (web crop).jpg

14 Oct 2009

The robins here have again had a very successful breeding season. First a robin on a log showing off his wonderful red breast

Ref: D3A_20090904_1848_012_FB2 Robin arched upward displaying red breast.jpg

And probably a different robin in flight.

Ref: D3B_20090901_0714_033_FB1 Robin in flight (web crop).jpg

13 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: P34_20090904_0821_894 Evening Primrose flower wet with morning dew (web crop).jpg

The top third of the stem in more context. Note the fly for scale.

Ref: P34_20090904_0821_906 Evening Primrose flowers (web crop).jpg

12 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D3A_20090825_1949_015_FB2 Wren (web crop).jpg

This young chaffinch had us both reacting Aah - how sweet. Hope it has the same effect for you.

Ref: D3A_20090825_0624_066_FB2 Chaffinch juvenile.jpg

11 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D3A_20090827_0621_035_FB2 Chaffinch male in flight (crop).jpg

10 Oct 2009

This quite old female common darter dragonfly is very faded but in otherwise good condition and a good flyer.

Ref: DA1_20090830_1009_115+1014_134_FT1 Common Darter Dragonfly over mature female in Flight with Hawthorn twig (montage).jpg

09 Oct 2009

The day-flying Brimstone Moth has wing marks mimicking leaf damage that make it very hard to spot on foliage.

Ref: DA1_20090823_1237_280+1249_292_FT1 Brimstone Moth in flight with Corkscrew Hazel leaf (montage).jpg

08 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DA1_20090830_0942_038+0949_048_FT1 Red Admiral Butterfly in Flight with yellow buddleia (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: DA1_20090830_1033_205_FT1 2 Red Admiral butterflies on yellow Buddleia (web crop).jpg

07 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090831_1805_080 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male on desiccated hogweed stem (web crop).jpg

06 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DA1_20090820_1301_008_FT1 Harlequin Ladybird in flight from Hawthorn (web crop).jpg

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

Ref: DA1_20090820_1305_021+1302_015_FT1 Harlequin Ladybird in flight (montage of separate flights).jpg

05 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090823_0909_023 Grass snake under corrugated iron 30m WSW of Duck Pond in serpentine shape.jpg

04 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DB1_20090823_1739_078+079+090 Hobby in flight (from frame rate est 5fps) 01+02+06 of 13 (montage).jpg

03 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D3B_20090821_2004_026_FB1 Fox sitting down to eat (web crop).jpg

02 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: D3B_20090822_1946_086_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) running off with mouthful of food & debris.jpg

Genuine single frame (as always unless the Ref: field says 'montage').

Ref: D3B_20090822_2020_087_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping over another.jpg

01 Oct 2009

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.

Ref: DA1_20090823_1107_085+1114_120+1251_304_FT1 Brown Argus butterfly in flight top & bottom with Round-leaved Mint (montage).jpg



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