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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Dec 2010

The Leopard slug obstacle course for mice ...

Ref: D35_20101102_0327_015_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) jumping over Leopard slug (@576).jpg

Ref: D35_20101103_0149_041_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) jumping over Leopard slug.jpg

30 Dec 2010

A bumper apple crop this year means plenty of windfalls left for all comers night and day.

Ref: D45_20101101_1911_057_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on red apple.jpg

Ref: D45_20101103_0740_201_FB1 Blackbird male with autumn debris.jpg

29 Dec 2010

Grey squirrels are popping up everywhere. Here one is caught in a particularly animated position on the ground.
Warning: the image after this one includes a (not too graphic) dead mouse that you might prefer to skip over

Ref: D5C_20101103_0755_036_FB2 Squirrel swivelling on log top (crop).jpg

As an oldish house in the country we just can't keep mice out of the house, and use several 'live traps' to catch them for eviction. However we had one upstairs that wouldn't go in the live trap and was chewing electric cables, so we used normal mousetrap and put the body out in the morning to see what took it (a Magpie). But earlier in the day we got this very atypical image of a grey squirrel we think reacting in some way to the mouse even though it only a few hours dead.

Ref: D35_20101029_1404_006_FB4 Grey squirrel reacting to dead mouse (crop).jpg

28 Dec 2010

On the Roof
A single frame from short sequence that works better on its own than with the others. The insect was flying left to right and the bird missed it, letting the insect do a high speed exit upwards.

Ref: DF1_20101024_1244_058 White Wagtail trying and failing to catch insect in flight 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

Over the Roof
Earth moving works on the adjacent farm has had the same effect on the gulls as ploughing - a flock of maybe 50 sweeping about looking for disturbed food. Here a part of the group of Black-headed Gulls in eclipse (the black spot is the ID) make a pleasing random pattern.

Ref: DF1_20101028_1232_026 5 of larger flock of Black-headed Gulls in flight (crop).jpg

27 Dec 2010

More from the twee mouse competition folio.

Ref: D45_20101024_1840_235_FB1 fieldmouse (wood mouse) on hind legs with apples and sloe.jpg

This single mouse spent over an hour hovering around this apple, presumably managing to nibble little bits. Here is a montage of a couple of moments.

Ref: D45_20101025_1918_071+1956_076_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) spending 1hr with apple (montage).jpg

Ah - single frame of a couple of mice that just this once managed to show both of their faces at the same time.

Ref: D45_20101027_1952_261_FB1 2 fieldmice (wood mice) feeding.jpg

26 Dec 2010

For just 2 days running a tawny owl turned up at the kitchen window feeder and perch moving around it for 25 minutes or so each day. Some images were taken automatically, others with a remote trigger watching the events on CCTV in Infra-red light. Here are a couple of contrasting portraits.

Ref: D3B_20101024_1846_021_FB3 Tawny Owl (crop).jpg

Obviously having a good stare at what might be on the ground. The owl can not hear the camera through the double glazing, and completely ignores the camera flash.

Ref: D3B_20101024_1852_024_FB3 Tawny Owl (crop).jpg

25 Dec 2010

This is a simplified version of our 2010 Christmas card.
Best wishes to you all.
The Jays returning for the Autumn provided some unusual views hunting along the bridleway posts. But our favourite image has to be this immaculate portrait from the automated tree-stump top camera.
Grey squirrels are far from everybody's favourite, and do some damage to our little wood. But the cheeky little critters are fantastically photogenic.

Ref: xmas card 2010 (web version).jpg

24 Dec 2010

We and a birding visitor were graced by the Sparrowhawk spending a few minutes on the 'meadow post' while we watched.

Ref: D01_20101027_1549_023 Sparrowhawk in meadow post (crop).jpg

23 Dec 2010

Three unexpected bird feasts
Can a Bluetit really manage raw root veg?

Ref: D35_20101025_1407_005_FB4 Bluetit trying to bite raw carrot top.jpg

All that beak for a tiny 'something'!

Ref: D35_20101027_1656_076_FB4 Rook selecting tiny piece of food.jpg

A couple of decent apples to choose from, and which one does the robin pick?

Ref: D45_20101025_1730_049_FB1 Robin packing at rotten apple.jpg

22 Dec 2010

Successive frames about 1 minute apart indicate an extended dispute between this female chaffinch and a great tit.

Ref: D45_20101028_1646_342+1647_343_FB1 Chaffinch female and Great Tit in at least 1 minute long stand-off (montage).jpg

21 Dec 2010

The images for 28 Nov 2010 brought you a Jay 'hunting' along the bridleway. A month on one has arrived in our patch and taken this lovely photo of itself at the tree-stump.

Ref: D35_20101019_1047_028_FB4 Jay (crop).jpg

20 Dec 2010

This (we assume one individual) Tawny owl has turned up soon after dusk a few times at the perch outside the kitchen window. Sometimes it triggers the IR beam and takes a photo, but it seems to prefer the perch on the left side which the automatic camera doesn't cover. It seems to spend about 30 minutes at the site occasionally turning towards or away from the house. It was clearly hunting has not so far not obviously caught anything.
Here the classic staring eyes fully dilated in the dark.

Ref: D3B_20101023_1845_038_FB3 Tawny Owl (crop).jpg

Roll-up, Roll-up, for the Tawny Owl Photo Booth Through an upstairs window in what to the eye was total darkness & without flash, and using trial and error aiming, focus and exposure, produced a good number of poses of the owl on the left of the perch. Owls are remarkably still when hunting so quite a few images are not movement blurred even at the necessary 8 second exposure. The results are not great images but we think they are fun.
Technical: Manual exposure, manual focus (trial and error examining images on LCD) Each frame 8 seconds @ F4.0 ISO 6,400 600mm lens on heavy tripod.

Ref: DC1_20101023_1905_087+090+096+098+101+106 Tawny owl left of kitchen window feeder by moonlight (montage of 6 from 11).jpg

19 Dec 2010

A few days after a photo of a Tawny owl at the tree stump we got this image outside the kitchen window. Examining the CCTV footage for the same time we see it land on the top of the feeder (when this photo was taken), stay 10 minutes swivelling to look all round, then suddenly flying away over the pond and returning a few seconds later to the same perch approaching from above so not breaking the beam again (which is lower and to the right).

Ref: D3B_20101017_1944_300_FB3 Tawny Owl (crop).jpg

Next morning the local sparrowhawk spent a moment on our 'Raptor Perch' (more normally occupied by amorous pigeons) and this was the single image grabbed through the kitchen window before the movement was spotted and off it went. The background is a silver birch.

Ref: DF1_20101018_1125_014 Sparrowhawk on Raptor perch (crop).jpg

18 Dec 2010

Some Day visitors to the Hedge bottom
Very autumnal portrait of a lovely Dunnock.

Ref: D45_20101014_1709_022_FB1 Dunnock in hedge bottom with apple & sloe.jpg

Next morning, a not so happy dunnock (right) face to face with a Chaffinch male.

Ref: D45_20101015_0810_099_FB1 Chaffinch male and Dunnock face-off (crop).jpg

17 Dec 2010

Some Night visitors to the Hedge bottom
Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) practicing the splits with artistic paw movements?

Ref: D45_20101014_1929_055_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on spread hind legs & front paws crossed (@432).jpg

We don't often see bank volves carrying off anything, let alone this quite large lump of soft fruit.

Ref: D45_20101015_0203_081_FB1 Bank vole carrying off big lump of fruit.jpg

The apple looks rotten enough to be fermenting.
Drunken rabbit anybody - insects certainly do get drunk on fermented fruit!

Ref: D45_20101017_1806_312_FB1 Rabbit examining windfall apple.jpg

16 Dec 2010

The new female kestrel taking a look at the landlords.

Ref: DF1_20101019_1055_091 Kestrel female in flight looking at camera (crop).jpg

One minute later the kestrel above dived on some prey in the grass and we could see her dispatching something with head and wings occasionally becoming visible, so we got the camera ready for the takeoff. This is an accurately positioned montage. The bird took off into a strong Left to Right Northerly wind which is why she swings back to the right as she climbs. The head in the grass and launch are consecutive frames but with a few seconds between them. The first 4 in flight are alternate frames (about 3.5 fps) to avoid overlap and the rest are about 7 fps.
The enlarged insert shows the beginning of the sequence - if you are an author or artist interested in other positions we can supply any of them in full resolution.

Ref: DF1_20101019_1056_121-139 Kestrel female flying off after kill in grass (prey eaten) 1+2+4+6+8+10-19 of 19 (montage 2).jpg

15 Dec 2010

A flock of about 30 goldfinches is often about the plot enjoying the catkins. They are very skittish and you have to be slow and patient for them to ignore humans. Here the flock is arriving at a silver birch.

Ref: DF1_20101020_1654_099 Flock of about 30 Goldfinches landing in top of Silver Birch 2 of 8 (crop).jpg

Now they have all landed in this one tree there seem to be more goldfinches than tree! (genuine single frame). The endless twittering of these flocks is a delight.

Ref: DF1_20101020_1655_126 Flock of about 30 Goldfinches landing in top of Silver Birch 8 of 8 (crop).jpg

14 Dec 2010

A quite common occurrence - a robin threatening chaffinch male.

Ref: D3A_20101009_1757_125_FB2 Pheasant male sitting + Chaffinch male landing (q) + attacking Robin in flight (crop 3).jpg

But here you see the event in its original context, which somehow changes everything.

Ref: D3A_20101009_1757_125_FB2 Pheasant male sitting + Chaffinch male landing (q) + attacking Robin in flight (crop 1).jpg

13 Dec 2010

A Twee fieldmouse (wood mouse) entry for this month. Is the lean a new fashion?

Ref: D45_20101009_0051_059_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on hind legs (crop).jpg

This is a different fieldmouse (wood mouse) that appeared regularly over 24 hours in almost exactly the same place ...

Ref: D45_20101009_0455_090+0340_079+20101010_0518_182_FB1 Single Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on hind legs over 24 hrs (montage).jpg

12 Dec 2010

From an autumn moth trap catch of about 200 moths we selected about 20 to try to photograph in flight. Only 2 obliged enough to obtain reasonable images. First what we think is a Bridled Green Moth

Ref: DA1_20101010_1313_061_FT1 Brindled Green (q) Moth in flight (crop).jpg

This Black Rustic Moth looks jet black at rest because all you can see is the top of the forewing, that you can see bottom left, which is opaque black. It is very reluctant to fly to order - this was the only in-flight image over about 6 individuals from 2 sessions a month apart.

Ref: DA1_20101010_1348_203_FT1 Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra) Moth in flight (crop).jpg

11 Dec 2010

Can't resist a buzzard - the last of a sequence of 6 as it turned overhead suddenly caught the birds essence.

Ref: DF1_20101010_1351_022 Buzzard flying overhead 6 of 6 (crop).jpg

10 Dec 2010

An unexpectedly extended and impressive showing by the sparrowhawk circling overhead for a few moments.

Ref: DF1_20101010_1549_390 Sparrowhawk flying overhead (crop).jpg

09 Dec 2010

Lovely surprise of the week was a Tawny owl landing on the tree stump. We have been hearing the occasional one-off distant Tawny owl call over the CCTV system around dusk for a about a week, but this was a complete surprise. We had a look for a pellet but didn't find one.

Ref: D35_20101013_1838_088_FB4 Tawny Owl (crop).jpg

08 Dec 2010

Despite the ravages of leaf miner moths on the horse chestnut trees (of which conkers are the seed), we have a fair crop of conkers this year. The mice had quite a few goes at getting through the tough skin and this was the most fun image we caught of them trying.

Ref: D45_20101012_2303_251_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) chewing horse chestnut conker (crop @768).jpg

Whoosh - complete with shadow

Ref: D45_20101013_1958_357_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) starting leap with whole shadow (crop).jpg

07 Dec 2010

"Who are you looking at".

Ref: D35_20101008_0351_140_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) facing camera.jpg

The "What happened next" competition possibilities seem endless.

Ref: D3A_20101006_1907_203_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) jumping up log end with another behind (@768).jpg

06 Dec 2010

Our busy Female kestrel goes on hunting until sunset though we rarely see her for a few hours after dawn. Here she is flying 'home' (wherever she roosts) lit by the setting sun.

Ref: DF1_20101006_1757_148 Kestrel flying low at sunset (crop).jpg

Next morning a much rarer siting - a cormorant flying over our patch.

Ref: DF1_20101007_1059_295 Cormorant in flight (crop).jpg

05 Dec 2010

In early October food and sunshine still bring a few butterflies out to feed - here a Comma butterfly on ripe blackberries where it can suck up the sugary juice. The bit of spider web between head and left wing suggest a recent unpleasant encounter with a spider's web.

Ref: DF1_20101007_1104_344 Comma butterfly on blackberry fruits (crop).jpg

3 days later we netted this surprisingly spruce Comma butterfly and brought it in for some images in flight. First showing the bottom of the wings with the white 'comma'.

Ref: DA1_20101010_1527_364+1545_446_FT1 Comma Butterfly in flight with Blackberry fruits (montage).jpg

And now the top view with our resilient yellow buddleia still making new flowers as you can see at the top of the floret.

Ref: DA1_20101010_1540_433+1611_009_FT1 Comma Butterfly in flight with yellow buddleia (montage).jpg

04 Dec 2010

Our newly arrived female kestrel seems to hunt the area around us several times a day. Here she flies along the bridleway about 100m from us with some rodent she has caught (not visible in this first single frame)

Ref: DF1_20101007_1238_417 Kestrel female flying along bridleway with prey in one talon to land on post 06 of 19 (crop).jpg

Here she continues flying RIGHT to LEFT aerobraking to land on the post where you can now see the rodent. Accurate montage at about 3.5 fps (alternate frames from a 7 fps sequence) except for extra image of the post at the left.

Ref: DF1_20101007_1238_419+421+423+425+428 Kestrel female flying along bridleway with prey in one talon to land on post 08+10+12+14+17 of 19 (accurate montage exc last).jpg

03 Dec 2010

This image shows our new female kestrel already using an uncut clump of overgrown hedge on the adjacent farm too much for the flail cutter to manage 3 days before after 5 years of unrestrained growth.

Ref: DF1_20101008_1518_099 Kestrel female on hedge clump to East too thick for flail (crop 1).jpg

Driving down country roads many of you will have seen flail cutters trimming hedges and throwing out a shower of wood chips (and sometimes large lumps!). This is a view from the other side (from a very safe distance) of the rotating flail in action. The cutter on the end of thick rods, offset down the rotor, are hinged so that if they hit something that they can't cut they don't just smash or jam.

Ref: DF1_20101005_1552_017 Tractor flail cutting hedge to East viewing cutters & thick stems (crop).jpg

02 Dec 2010

By the standard of recent years we have a decent number of 7-spot ladybirds & only a few Harlequins. This group of 4 7-spots were hiding under a leaf in the hedge and were rudely turned vertical for a picture.

Ref: P34_20101007_1021_909 4 7-spot ladybirds under leaf in hedge.jpg

A weekly photograph of the canopy of a stand of 19 Large Leaf Lime trees show that Autumn has started with just one tree noticeably 'turning' before the others.

Ref: P34_20101007_1054_916 Canopy of Large leaf Lime Copse Seq.jpg

01 Dec 2010

The early hours of an early October morning saw the return of the Polecat for just this one frame.

Ref: D45_20101011_0351_298_FB1 Polecat (crop).jpg



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