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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Chaffinches have done well this year and many adults and youngsters visit the tree-stump top. They often squabble over the rights to this tiny piece of real-estate.
But they can also be very elegant.
Robins are very territorial, but we didn't see any evidence of this being more than a brief squabble.
Unusually a tripple entry for today celebrating this years first Migrant Hawker Dragonflies. First we netted this female.
2 Days later a male also obliged with some photos in flight.
This view solved a riddle hanging over from last year when we caught a 'white faced' dragonfly which escaped from the net before we could identify it. The sex and stage of life vary the body & facial colour.
Continuing from yesterdays night flying moth, first a subtle brown moth called the 'Swallow Prominent'.
Although we know what many moths are at first glance many look so like wood bark with wings closed we don't know what it is until later. So the orange wings often generate the same surprise for us on their first flight as it has evolved to do to predators.
We would never have dreamed of including a Japanese lantern seed case with this Magpie moth (a day flyer) if it hadn't been that when we released this Magpie moth it flew straight onto one and stayed until we left.
A few days later we put out the moth trap & one of the hundreds of moths was this Angle Shades moth that flew off right by these Woody Nightshade berries that grow over the heating oil tank.
Our first close up sighting of a grass snake under one of a several sheets of corrugated iron. A quick image grabbed before it gave us a filthy look (if a snake can) and prompt slide off under the matted dead grass. Saw it again later at the same place later in the day & a few days subsequently.
At last - a 7-spot ladybird willing to fly indoors!
Put it on a leaf, it walked to the light, waiting a moment at the tip, and off it flew. Another 7-spot alternated with it preferred to walk back up the twig and hide. Never realised the wings have a little spot matching the carapace.
This painted lady dipped into successive florets (single flowers in a group) on a teasel, dipping into 1 a couple of times - it may be more random than it looks. Anyway, in a single sequence of 3 seconds here are the dips into 3 little fuel stores.
Repeated attempts at getting a good high speed dragonfly-in-flight sequence got this unexpected moment of interest. The dragonfly spent a moment hovering and in the reaction time to press the shutter to store the last 1 second it turned round on the spot and flew back towards the camera (and then even more out of focus). The entire time for the montage shown was 0.166 second.
Young Mouse: All Mine!
Mum: Don't you dare try to eat it all - you'll get a tummy ache.
Even photographing it through a hole in the foliage doesn't keep you hidden from the beady eye of a kestrel.
Following yesterdays single bird take off, this is a typical
sight of young swallows being fed on wires without the parent
landing. This is an 'effect' montage - the perched bird is
obviously stationary! The insect you see in the last two appeared
only at that moment, and flew off - a lucky escape for whatever
As the chicks get stronger they start feeding themselves and taking food from parents 'on the wing'. For a view of this from August 2007 click here to pop-up a separate window or tab.
Most years one or more families of swallows spend a day or two using out overhead wires as a family 'picnic' area. Today a swallow taking off from the main wire at 20 frames per second (0.05 Sec between pics montaged for effect rather than spacial accuracy).
This tatty individual is our first sighting of ANY 'blue' butterfly for 2 seasons. He never produced a good single top and bottom wing visible in a single shot, so here is a montage of a single flight about 1/4 seconds apart.
A closer and more sedate view of the beautiful patterned wing.
The combination of flash (lasts about 0.001 sec) and shutter movement blur (about 0.05 sec) has produced this rather unusual view of a juvenile woodpecker.
There is nothing within half a metre to jump from. Its not an unusual sight at this site, but the leaping mouse is in unusually sharp focus.
And a closer view.
Our interpretation: Look mum - no paws - ouch.
This is a male Southern Hawker Dragonfly which has become a regular summer visitor in the last few years. We finally managed to net this one for some portraits. The first image was taken in our flying insect setup.
We generally put our 'guests' on a hawthorn hedge to fly off in their own time and if they don't go immediately we take a few portraits.
Bush crickets have enormously long antennae - it really reaches just past the right edge of this picture!
The new emergence of Brimstone butterflies has started so we have some pristine examples to photograph. Here we were lucky enough to catch a moment with the top and bottom of the wings both visible.
Heard a buzzard calling and arrived for a view just as it appeared rising up toward a dead branch on a black poplar and landed on it for a few seconds. This is an accurate montage of two shots about 1 second apart. The black speck was one of a number of insects apparently dislodged by the draft.
This male blackbird spent quite a while sunning itself in the hedge and then on the ground in the salad bed. It is not obvious from this angle that the wings are spread and it is facing the sun. The beak-open position seems to be characteristic - birds don't sweat so they need a way of keeping cool.
After several years of seeing very few frogs we are delighted to see them jumping off the banks of the ponds into the water once again. Right to left the first 4 images are 0.1 sec apart and accurately montaged. The splash is the real splash 0.2 sec after the last frog image which is perhaps already touching the water, so it is offset so you can see it. The frog was gone by frame 9 (for numbering see legend) which showed a splash free hole in the duckweed. This much splash took another 3 frames (0.15 sec) to appear.
This year 7-spot ladybirds outnumber the Harlequin invader several to one. This chance photo is the result of a set of 'framing exposures'. For the uninitiated, enthusiast's cameras can usually be set to take 3 or more sets of images per shutter press at nominal, underexposed and overexposed so that you can be fairly sure of getting a decent one. But as the camera took the 3 images the insect flipped under the leaf. So we used the paint package to adjust the exposures to roughly match to build this little sequence.
Oh dear - more mice nuzzling snails - this time a very young mouse we have often seen photographed on this log in the surrounding few days.
Another family of swallows visited for one day. The young were not as advanced as the previous family because the chicks took all their food while waiting on the wires. The parent rarely land - just passing the insects as they almost hover and flying on to catch more.
Painted lady butterfly out before the dew has dried sunning itself to warm up prior to a busy day feeding at assorted wild and cultivated flowers.
Skimming over wet grass is a favourite of swallows after rain.
An accurate crop of a swallow taking an insect (assuming that the insect didn't move much in the fraction of second of the birds swoop at it). You can just make out the wings of the insect.
We netted a couple of male darter dragonflies. We were surprised to find the second about 50% heavier than the first.
The apparent expression on the 'face' and the leg waving as it flew by really cracks us up. We know its not real but still love it.
The extremely dark underwing and dazzling top wing of this Peacock Butterfly make an incredible contrast.
This was found in a patch of teasel. Its about ladybird size but is actually one of many stages of life of a shieldbug with no common name (see description). The dark areas including the row of spots are iridescent.
A harvestmen spider also found on the teasels & so photographed on one.
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