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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
After 5 year of absence it was a delight to see Red-legged partridges again here. First the 2 birds we first saw on the concrete farm track.
Both took turns dust bathing in the loose soil and grit at the edge of the track, this one really relishing the moment.
And what made them finally leave - a rabbit more interested than anything else - one nervous creature frightening off another!
The first Cinnabar moth we have seen here with a striking red and black appearance that acts as a warning to birds that it tastes horrible. This one was caught in the moth trap and photographed against black, but it is also flies at dusk.
Caught on moth trap this Green Carpet Moth shows the flexibility of it's wings as it powers along.
The red line along the wing of this Blood-vein moth is clearly visible.
The delicate beauty of the Brimstone Moth knocks us out every time we see one caught in the moth trap
A stunningly beautiful White Ermine moth caught overnight in a moth trap You don't see the orange body when it is 'at rest'.
A medium sized 'brown moth'. These are almost always far more intricately marked than you imagine from a distance. If moths of this sort flatten themselves against tree bark they are often incredibly difficult to see.
The Cuckoo Flower (lady's smock (cuckoo flower)) has almost finished, and the Red campion is now the Orange-tip butterfly's preferred fuel. This male is a bit tatty but still lovely and flying well.
The starlings in the loft have been fed non-stop for the last week. Some have left and others are coming to the hole in the loft demanding to be fed. There has to be more than one nest on the rafters.
A lot of the pollen producers are late this year, but the Lodgepole pine literally makes a man size clouds with every puff of wind or other disturbance.
Taking a break from the hard work picking peanut fragments out of the very robust feeder, this squirrel was clearly having a little sunbath sprawled along the feeder.
Squirrel with a plum stone (from a frozen plum) probably to be taken off and bitten open for the kernel.
Out in the early morning we waited on the bridleway to see if there were any owls about. To our pleasure 2 barn owls passed by a few minutes apart heading in the same direction. The second was carrying this rodent (looks like a mouse to us) in it's claws, rather than the traditionally photographed beak when near the nest.
Detail of a frost encrusted dandelion seed head.
A news report said that 'gardeners were having problems with dandelions this year'. We only have a few, but some of the surrounding fields are absolutely smothered in seed heads.
Converting frozen blackberries into bramble jelly creates loads of strained pulp and pips that go out over a day or 2 as a treat for our guests.
The image for 23 May 2010 (taken 15 April) showed you Moss being taken into this robins nest. Here is a similar view 3 weeks later - the eggs have hatched and an endless stream of insect food is being delivered.
Very fine year for apple blossom now it has finally made it out. But no hum of bees to go with it - 'silent spring' in this regard.
Where do the starling find so much food!
A bird seems to bring in this much every few minutes. This year we notice a lot of black 'flies' in the mix and we saw a starling spending a minute or so over the garden catching them on the wing.
Rory Morrisey's Web Site identifies these as St Mark's fly (Bibio marci)
Other beakful's include various caterpillars and mixes of flies, caterpillars and spiders.
The swifts are outnumbering the swallows this year. This shot shows the interesting stepped grey of the under-feather markings and the wonderful long primary feathers.
Our dominant male pheasant does his characteristic territorial call
with leap and wing flap every few minutes some days, even if we
are only 10 meters away.
He obliged here for the still camera providing a set of 17 pics
from which we tried to pick an image that captures the moment of
this gorgeous bird strutting his stuff.
We have a similar instance as a 42MB full HD movie but it is too big to include on our little site. Anybody interested please email us.
Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) licking the stone for the remains of the peanut butter. The tiny flower is of ground ivy.
Fluffed out robin. We have seen this bird looking exactly the same on a gate post a few days later and determined that it is one of the pair nesting in a miniature conifer by the conservatory.
And the sleek version.
The swifts have been mostly flying very high but have occasionally come low enough to be much better than 'specks in the sky'. With naked eye they tend to appear as black silhouettes but a camera with exposure locked to prevent the sky forcing underexposure it can show the subtle grey markings.
Much as we love them, mice IN the house are an absolute NO. When they won't go in the live trap we sadly resort to old-fashioned snapper traps. We put the bodies out after dark so whatever can use them does so, and here an opportunist magpie is making off with one next morning.
Big surprise one mid afternoon was this Little Owl (proper common
species name - not a 'baby owl') spotted in a flurry of wings in
the orchard and sat for a few minutes on top of the disused
nestbox that Great-spotted woodpecker have in the past (but not
so far this year) used as a drumming post.
At sunset next day this is the same owl, same perch, beautifully lit by a shaft of sunlight finding it's way through a tangle of trees and branches.
Sadly this little chap has a injured left eye which we hope is temporary - we don't know how well a one-eyed owl can manage long term.
The starlings and the Great Spotted woodpeckers really don't get on.
At dusk on one day ...
and here at dawn on the next.
Looks like badgers like slugs!
Bottom of the image we have a fieldmouse (wood mouse) doing its usual coexistence with slugs. Half an hour later the badger arrived and it looks like it quickly cleared the stone of slugs. With their poor eyesight and probably out of view, the slug at the bottom left of the stone may have escaped, but this was the last frame for many hours so we don't know.
Here a starling collected loads of the remaining feathers over the long-tailed tit nest over which we think a Sparrowhawk made or at least plucked a kill. The size & quantity of the feathers seemed too much to be a Long-tailed tit and suspect the pigeon population was reduced by 1.
Just over an hour later here is maybe the same bird with another load on his way to the nest in the loft - the nest has apparently reached the lining stage. One birds major misfortune becomes another bird's comfy nest.
We watched these 2 birds for some time in a thermal to our North. We didn't realise that one was an Osprey until later. Neither did we appreciate how fast they were rising in the thermal until we started making this montage with the top bird starting at 'constant height' but realised that the cloud features were moving downwards! So using some cloud edges (out of frame) as a new reference we see these birds rising and then tumbling down as they manoeuvre round each other. Frames are about 200mS apart except the last pair at about 600mS. The Wingspan of both birds is about 1.5m and they are rising about one third of a wingspan per frame or 2.5m/sec = 6 mph all without a flap of the wing
Portrait of an immaculate male Chaffinch in breeding colours.
A week before this image we installed a old wooden tree-trunk in the middle of our grassy area and same night a Barn owl visited it. Here a week later we caught another visit on camera in the failing light.
After quietly opening the window the bird was on the wing away from the house. It was not necessarily the window disturbed it - we rarely see them hunt from one perch for more than 3 minutes. Fortunately it perched in a willow tree behind 'Duck' pond were we could get this last image of the day. This is the first time we have seen one in a tree - we usually see them using fence posts and power poles as a hunting perches.
The subtle beauty of a bluetit on a grey morning.
And the same evening a fieldmouse (wood mouse) made it to the tree-trunk top and spent several minutes looking for food. Here he is eating a fragment of soft fruit. A leopard slug and tiny worm have also made the 1.5m ascent - no doubt much more slowly than the mouse.
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