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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The Leopard slug obstacle course for mice ...
A bumper apple crop this year means plenty of windfalls left for all comers night and day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More from the twee mouse competition folio.
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.
Ah - single frame of a couple of mice that just this once managed to show both of their faces at the same time.
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.
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.
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.
We and a birding visitor were graced by the Sparrowhawk spending a few minutes on the 'meadow post' while we watched.
Three unexpected bird feasts
Can a Bluetit really manage raw root veg?
All that beak for a tiny 'something'!
A couple of decent apples to choose from, and which one does the robin pick?
Successive frames about 1 minute apart indicate an extended dispute between this female chaffinch and a great tit.
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.
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
Here the classic staring eyes fully dilated in the dark.
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.
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).
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.
Some Day visitors to the Hedge bottom
Very autumnal portrait of a lovely Dunnock.
Next morning, a not so happy dunnock (right) face to face with a Chaffinch male.
Some Night visitors to the Hedge bottom
Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) practicing the splits with artistic paw movements?
We don't often see bank volves carrying off anything, let alone this quite large lump of soft fruit.
The apple looks rotten enough to be fermenting.
Drunken rabbit anybody - insects certainly do get drunk on fermented fruit!
The new female kestrel taking a look at the landlords.
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.
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.
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.
A quite common occurrence - a robin threatening chaffinch male.
But here you see the event in its original context, which somehow changes everything.
A Twee fieldmouse (wood mouse) entry for this month. Is the lean a new fashion?
This is a different fieldmouse (wood mouse) that appeared regularly over 24 hours in almost exactly the same place ...
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
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.
Can't resist a buzzard - the last of a sequence of 6 as it turned overhead suddenly caught the birds essence.
An unexpectedly extended and impressive showing by the sparrowhawk circling overhead for a few moments.
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.
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.
Whoosh - complete with shadow
"Who are you looking at".
The "What happened next" competition possibilities seem endless.
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.
Next morning a much rarer siting - a cormorant flying over our patch.
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.
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'.
And now the top view with our resilient yellow buddleia still making new flowers as you can see at the top of the floret.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The early hours of an early October morning saw the return of the Polecat for just this one frame.
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