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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This hobby did a nice flyover and circle. The first shot (poor quality not shown) suggest that it had just caught a dragonfly and transferred it from talon to beak, and was circling for a minute to see if there were any more.
This Female Banded Demoiselle (females do not have the wing bands) was our guest for a few pics. The first is a 'head and wing' view of the underneath of the insect flying nearly straight upwards. The twist of their wings in flight is very evident as are the green eyes.
And how she might appear in flight if your eyes could capture an image at the approximately 0.03 mS flash duration.
This Migrant Hawker Dragonfly, an immature female, was the first of the year reported in this area.
Apparently Great tits and Bluetits occasionally produce a second brood.. Maybe all the peanut feeders & other food offerings we provide speed up raising the first brood, because we are seeing multiple batches of new young tits at the kitchen window feeders, and here 50m away at the tree stump they photograph themselves. This is a montage of a young Bluetit and young Great Tit photographed about an hour apart but in their actual positions.
Lifting a sheet of corrugated iron at the side of the meadow area revealed this somnolent grass snake. Only visible from the other side is a 'mouse size' bulge in the body and we assume it was quietly digesting a meal before being so rudely disturbed.
Swallows remain a rarity this year, seen as the odd bird perhaps a few times a week. This one chose an overcast day to go chasing after an (invisible) insect overhead. The bland sky doesn't provide the reference points to montage accurately, so we sort of guess/try and make it look nice. We expect reality would spread them out more horizontally but you get a feel for the twisting & turning. The tail and the 'pins' are spread much wider than we normally see.
A female Banded Demoiselle damselfly decorating the blackthorn hedge at our North east boundary.
A Large Red Damselfly but as yet without the typically red eyes. Many odonata vary hugely in colour as they age.
Unable to choose between the various images we took of this individual, here is a montage as they actually appeared in their frames over about 2 minutes. An unusually obliging flyer.
Small Tortoiseshell butterflies used to be abundant here, but we now see 'a few'. The underwing is a completely different dark brown.
A 'Ruddy Darter' dragonfly caught over the sedge at Duck pond who we 'invited' in for a few minutes for some photos in flight.
Continuing images from yesterdays female Sparrowhawk ...
"I see you!"
A very relaxed hunt mostly spent with one foot drawn up into the feathers, she was keeping her eye on something to the right she finally quietly put both feet down and suddenly plunged to the right. Left hand image is 9 minutes before the right pair, which is an accurately positioned montage perhaps a second apart.
This female Sparrowhawk spent about 15 minutes standing on a 4m high branch about 15m from the house.
Scatching with that talon looks nearly as dangerous as a cut-throat razor!
On a patch of desiccated grass in the back garden, this grasshopper obligingly allowed us a few images before hopping off. We think it is a Lesser Marsh Grasshopper but we are not knowledgeable enough to be sure. Note the stunning and colour match with dead grass (like it is at the bottom of rank grass) even though produced by different materials.
We thought the spread tail and generally perky look made an unusual view of this Juvenile Great spotted woodpecker.
This Broad bodied Chaser is one of the unmistakable dragonflies. Only the male of this species has the blue pruinescence - a powdery blue coating that gets patchy over the weeks that the insect lives.
The return of the high resolution & richly coloured (not enhanced) fox.
3 days earlier at the same site - a badger made a long awaited reappearance at this high resolution camera site.
An adult moorhen in a typical stance creeping along the pond margin, big feet spread to support the birds weight on the submerged vegetation.
The moorhen on the main pond have produced 7 young for their second brood, so with the 2 juveniles still about we sometimes have 11 of the birds on the water. This juvenile was clambering over the foliage full of 'joie de vivre'
Probably Mum with the two she is looking after, while the Father as usual finished the incubation and looks after 'the rest'. Its an effective strategy that helps the odds against predators and food supply.
A beautiful Emperor dragonfly female depositing eggs. The only image we got before she flew off for no obvious reason - this was taken from at least 5 meters away - it's possible to get much closer when there isn't water in the way!
We had a photograph of a Whitethroat with caterpillar on 26 May 2010, so this one a month later must be another family.
Most moths are little brown or grey creatures ... but this psychedelic beastie is called an Elephant Hawk Moth. They love honeysuckle but we decided to show this moth unadorned.
The range of yellow underwing moths are always startling as they change from a drab brown into a brilliant yellow-orange display that frightens off many potential predators.
The Buff tip moth has an incredible camouflage when on wood - it looks like a broken twig end. Doesn't work so well on this leaf but you get to see it's intricacy.
Here in flight.
And finally from 11 years ago we had completely forgotten finding this pair mating on grass stems taken with an early digital camera working at less than 1 M pixel and writing the results to a floppy disc!
The damselflies are busy mating and laying. Mating couples often get harassed by other males wanting (and sometimes managing to get) the female for themselves.
Single frame of some sort of Great Spotted woodpecker family squabble
Ringlet Butterflies are new to us here in the last few years and this year are in good numbers. This is the insect in flight with the low clover flowers they tend to flitter between.
And here against a Hawthorn hedge backdrop where we also see them.
The Sparrowhawk usually goes for birds IN the hedge rather than on the feeders, so we were lucky to get this image of one coming in to spend about a minute on the perch by one of the nut feeders.
We have been seeing male Banded demoiselles damselflies fluttering around the sunlit hedges for a few days. Here is one brought in for a little photo session.
A few days later we got our first sight of the year of the ladies, this one photographed at rest in the sunshine, catching the light unusually well.
The adult female Green Woodpecker likes our meadow post and we rather like this take off sequence when she left. The birds at the left are about 130mS apart
Dragonflies end their 2 or 3 year life as predatory aquatic
larvae by crawling up a plant stem and emerging from a pupal case
(Exuvia) to expand into the flying insect. This image
shows the intricacy of the case including transparent eyes and
the strands which are insides of the breathing spiracles. The
insect exited out of the upper back. Thanks for Rory for the gift
of the Exuvia from his garden pond.
If you are interested in more detail we photographed an exit sequence of a different dragonfly species in 1999 (with far inferior equipment) which you can see at Dragonfly Emergence sequence
Our first definite Emperor Dragonfly at our site. This is the glorious male on Hop sedge on the island of Duck Pond.
A juvenile Great Tit out of the nest for a week or two now looks so sweet.
Meanwhile this Dunnock adult is obviously still hard at work collecting food for his chicks somewhere nearby.
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