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30 Apr 2010

We originally made, and still have, a huge vertical montage of this sequence. But you have to scroll it to view it and decent size which spoils the effect. So here is a side by side montage with enough overlap to make it make sense, together with an inset of the whole thing down the right. Positionally accurate except top pair (no reference).

Ref: DF1_20100319_1105_092-3+095-101 Kestrel Female diving down off cables 1+2+4-10 of 10 (multiple montage).jpg

29 Apr 2010

Yesterdays flight continues. The downwards stem from the tip of the beak of the left most bird above is the one in the bottom right hand corner of the previous image.

Ref: DF1_20100321_0946_088-092 Heron in Flight along Bridleway to North 07-11 of 12 (montage).jpg

28 Apr 2010

The path of this bird allowed us to get 12 sequential images of a heron in focus against hedge and then tree backgrounds, and from them made 4 & 5 frame accurately positioned montages. The spacing of the birds was just a lucky coincidence with the frame rate of the camera (about 7 fps). Part 2 tomorrow.

Ref: DF1_20100321_0946_084-087 Heron in Flight along Bridleway to North 03-06 of 12 (montage).jpg

27 Apr 2010

Our normal views of badgers are head first or back end, so it's nice to have badger trigger the camera when all nicely in shot. The badger is wet but the site was in the rain shadow of a conifer.

Ref: D3A_20100323_0119_057_FB2 Badger side view wet with rain but site dry (crop).jpg

26 Apr 2010

In about 2 hours over 50 corn grains gradually reduced to zero.

Ref: D45_20100321_1929_021_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) (@576).jpg

25 Apr 2010

A single mallard drake at the edge of a pond. We don't know whether he had a female nearby on eggs. Traditionally the males keep away from the nest so as not to give away it's location to predators.

Ref: DF1_20100325_1633_166 Mallard male on edge of Duck pond glistening in evening sunshine.jpg

The same bird decided the photographers (on their way to chuck some food into the pond) were altogether close enough, and off he went.

Ref: DF1_20100325_1634_176-180 Mallard male in flight passing trees 06-10 of 14 (accurate montage).jpg

24 Apr 2010

No aggressive feet positions so we just can't stop ourselves seeing a faceful of joy on the bird at the left greeting his mate (single frame).

Ref: D35_20100313_0912_009_FB4 2 Robin in mid-air interaction (crop).jpg

23 Apr 2010

A pair of Dunnocks spend a lot of time at this site. Here is one of the better portraits (single frame).

Ref: D45_20100315_0557_103_FB1 Pair of Dunnock.jpg

22 Apr 2010

A pair of kestrels mostly hunt in adjacent areas with a boundary roughly to our North and South of our patch. But they spent some time hunting together without conflict in an overlapping area around our patch giving us the chance to take this flyover of the female who usually stays to the North..

Ref: DF1_20100313_1122_263-5 Kestrel female in flight looking at camera 1-3 of 3 (artistic montage).jpg

21 Apr 2010

This Sparrowhawk made an atypical loop round the house before vanishing as fast as it arrived.

Ref: DF1_20100314_0942_044 Sparrowhawk overhead (crop).jpg

20 Apr 2010

Two minutes after the sunset lit flyby (yesterdays image) the bird had perched on this post about 20m from us, then dived down to the base but came up with nothing and flew off to some more distant posts.
From the right read the sequence as: Post, Up, down, down, (lost in the grass not shown), takeoff (too confused to include) wings up & surprisingly bright (no flash) to left and fly off to left.

Ref: DF1_20100314_1753_255-281 Barn owl diving into long grass from post then flying off 3+6+10+21+26+29 of 32 (acc montage).jpg

19 Apr 2010

In that few minutes between dark enough for the barn owl to emerge and there not being enough light to photograph it, this barn owl floated silently by lit by the orange sky.

Ref: DF1_20100314_1751_239 Barn owl in flight lit by setting sun (crop).jpg

18 Apr 2010

A female Great spotted woodpecker seems to have taken a liking to the tree-trunk top. Here she is using her tail as a prop in the woodpecker's characteristic way. No wonder the tail tips get so tatty and dirty.

Ref: D35_20100315_0851_003_FB4 Great Spotted woodpecker female on tree trunk side braced by tail (crop).jpg

17 Apr 2010

Just after dark this fieldmouse (wood mouse) comes out to see what is left after the birds have settled down for the night.

Ref: D45_20100315_1845_044_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) stretching across stone to feed.jpg

16 Apr 2010

This juvenile heron spent 30 minutes at 'Duck' pond where we saw it catch nothing (inexperienced - a mature bird found 2 Great Crested Newts in 5 minutes). It then flew (instead of the usual walk) to Round pond where it first took a single frog and then this mating pair from right where we later found the spawn.
After several minutes throwing them about on the ground behind the pond it separated the pair and swallowed one of them. We didn't see where the other went and think it may have survived - there was no sign of it in the water or the bank behind a few minutes after the heron left.

Ref: DC1_20100320_1358_052 Heron juvenile catching mating frogs at Round pond and eating one 08 of 24 (crop).jpg

15 Apr 2010

The end of this long cold winter as seen an explosion of snowdrops scattered about in places we have never seen (or at least noticed) them before. Here they are tucked against a pollarded branch left to rot for the creatures to feed on.

Ref: P34_20100313_1621_860 Snowdrops against log (crop).jpg

14 Apr 2010

Nice 'Chaffinch Aerobraking' as it flies in to the tree trunk top.

Ref: D35_20100311_1618_021_FB4 Chaffinch female coming in to land (crop).jpg

13 Apr 2010

You don't often get this good a view of what a mouse is eating. In this case potato peel.

Ref: D45_20100306_2214_108_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating potato peel.jpg

12 Apr 2010

The Viburnum flowers are now withering, but this great tit looks like it is about to attack the fresh leaf buds.

Ref: DF1_20100306_1601_111 Great tit standing astride withered Viburnum flower.jpg

11 Apr 2010

Rowan berries seem to be left till last, but the mice systematically clear the site of them so they can't be 'that' bad.

Ref: D45_20100307_1828_036_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) carrying Rowan berry with other berries lying about.jpg

Table manners Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) style (single frame horizontally compressed):-

Ref: D45_20100311_0238_150_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nibbling corn grain in paws & another with peanut grit in whiskers (adjusted crop).jpg

10 Apr 2010

Three sweet little fieldmice (wood mice) quietly feeding (single frame).

Ref: D45_20100310_1847_094_FB1 4 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) together and then scattering 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

But that is just a corner of the larger story ... Successive frames one minute apart show all 4 fieldmice (wood mice) deciding on a simultaneous rapid departure. Reason unknown, but other less graphic instances were the arrival of a badger.

Ref: D45_20100310_1847_094+1848_095 4 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) together and then scattering 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

09 Apr 2010

We have been regularly going out at sunset to hope to see our local Barn owl setting out on his evening hunt. Twice now, at different places, we have seen the owl being harassed by a Corvid, in one case never identified, and in this case definitely a jackdaw. As the darkness forces us back home the owl gets left in peace by the corvids as well.

Ref: DF1_20100304_1739_024+029_032+034 Barn owl & Jackdaw sparring in flight at dusk 5+10+13+15 of 16 (montage).jpg

08 Apr 2010

Just for the joy of showing three Kestrel pics in one go.

Ref: DF1_20100305_1232_194-196 Kestrel in flight (arbitrary successive frame montage).jpg

07 Apr 2010

Our latest offering from our on-going attempt to depict a robin picking up corn grain from the surface of water. The camera was focussed ready for the bird to take the corn grain just above the birds head in the top image, so they are not as crisp as hoped. The whole sequence lasts about half a second - neither the camera nor photographer has time to adjust anything.

Ref: DC1_20100301_1033_013-16 Robin flying over water to pluck up corn grain 2-5 of 6 (montage).jpg

06 Apr 2010

The sparrowhawk passed over the house with the camera for once pointed in the right general direction so we caught this overhead view.

Ref: DF1_20100302_1052_040 Sparrowhawk in flight (crop).jpg

05 Apr 2010

Despite the cold weather we have a good show of Snowdrops this year. Here a tiny Snowdrop struggles up through the snow and mud.

Ref: P34_20100227_1238_639 Snowdrops in drainage channel at micro-planting (crop).jpg

04 Apr 2010

These frozen damaged cherries seem to be a favourite of the mice once they have cleaned up the peanuts. This cherry had vanished in the next frame 13 mins later.

Ref: D45_20100302_0333_097_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with cherry that was gone 13 mins later (crop).jpg

03 Apr 2010

This is the most characteristic frame from a sequence that makes any sense on its own. The owl was flying generally towards the camera and obviously spotted something and followed it with its head (an Owl's eyes can hardly move in their sockets so the whole head has to follow).
It was not hovering - just a momentary glance on the way by.

Ref: DF1_20100301_1644_879 Barn Owl in field to South flying to camera briefly following item on ground 06 of 15 (adjusted crop).jpg

Within the same minute it flew onto the sunlit side of the photographer, but now rather distant, and dived down into the grass out of sight.

Ref: DF1_20100301_1644_935 Barn Owl in field to South at sunset against pineham farm building works (crop 2 @ 576).jpg

02 Apr 2010

A chance glimpse through a gap in the hedge and a trudge over the fields brought us our first close encounter with a barn owl which disdainfully ignored both photographer and camera noise to hunt over some rough grass. These two images were 3 frames apart (so accurate positioning would completely spoil the effect!)

Ref: DF1_20100301_1640_793+796 Barn Owl in flight 2+5 of 6 (contracted montage).jpg

01 Apr 2010

The imminence of Spring has just about everything pairing up. This is obviously a pair of robins - they can see each other and are not fighting!

Ref: D35_20100303_1735_019_FB4 Pair of Robins at dusk.jpg

And two fieldmice (wood mice) getting up close and personal.

Ref: D45_20100304_1816_116_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) Nuzzling.jpg



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