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31 May 2010

Really sensitive animals detect even the dim red glow or barely human audible click of the IR filter in these Scoutguard SG500 self-contained day/night cameras. We set them to take 3 successive stills 1 or 2 seconds apart, and this is the third of a set of three as the fox was 1: oblivious, 2: turned, and 3: glared!

Ref: SG2_20100429_0102_033_SC2 Fox in IR threatening camera.jpg

At another camera we see a Roe deer for only the second time (see also 12 May 2010) identified for us by the guy who sold us our second camera at specialist site

Ref: SG1_20100429_0242_010_SC1 Roe Deer in IR.jpg

30 May 2010

This might be a 'common' bee-fly (one of 12 or 15 species according to which book you look in but neither has any detail) now seen here in Spring for the last 3 years. This year we got the 'Flight Tunnel' out of its winter hibernation early and made this one one of the subjects.

Ref: DA1_20100424_1450_117+1612_208_FT1 Bee-fly in flight and Red Campion flowers (montage).jpg

29 May 2010

Gotcha! (subsequent frames not included here showed he caught a newt)

Ref: D01_20100423_1758_289 Heron at Duck pond catching newt in with water splash (selected frames) 1 of 7 (crop).jpg

One sort of assumed that a heron's beak is something like a simple hinge. But these two frames show lots of articulation.

Ref: D01_20100423_1746_032+034 Heron with open beak showing jaw articulation 1+2(insert) of 2 (montage 2).jpg

28 May 2010

A nicely groomed badger with unusually good view of the top and bottom of a badger's front feet in a single moment.

Ref: D3A_20100424_0410_080_FB2 Badger with views of top and bottom of front paws (crop).jpg

27 May 2010

A few buzzards identified a thermal that included these 2 not so immediately identified birds climbing with them. Turns out they were a 'pair' of Merlins. The female on the left is said to be bigger than the male on the right, but they were also climbing in the thermal and taken about 1 minute apart, so don't take the relative sizes literally.

Ref: DF1_20100424_1547_117+1548_148 Merlin female (left) & male in thermal also being used by buzzards (montage scaling unknown).jpg

26 May 2010

A heron down to some serious newt hunting. What a huge bird for such tiny helpless prey wrapped round the end of it's beak.

Ref: D01_20100423_1752_215 Heron at Duck pond catching newt in flurry of wings 09 of 14 (crop).jpg

Journalists love finding 'unfortunate' pictures of 'notables' caught in awkward poses. Well this heron walking to our left with one leg in the air, looking our way & decorated with daffodils shows you can make even this hunter look a bit daft!

Ref: DC1_20100423_1723_057 Heron facing camera while walking sideways with daffodils (crop).jpg

25 May 2010

The tits, chaffinches and goldfinches are making merry with the buds and flowers. Here a Bluetit is feeding from the front of a cherry flower with a yellow pollen stain on the feathers to prove it.
We are also finding the bitten off flowers previous seen as a result of Great tit activity. Do we have something interesting here - Bluetits feed in the top of the flowers and Great tits bite off the undeveloped fruit base?
For the great tit images see images for 21 May 2008.

Ref: DF1_20100421_0810_062+064 Bluetit feeding on cherry flower (montage).jpg

24 May 2010

We can't even begin to imagine where this mouse is coming from or going to - there isn't even discernable movement blur to help ! Its right at the left edge of the frame with the log just to the right. The shadow at bottom right belongs to the mouse.

Ref: D3A_20100420_2318_032_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) mid leap (crop).jpg

23 May 2010

A pair of Robins are nest building in a miniature conifer very close to the house. We wouldn't be able to get nearer the nest without disturbing them, but can view their comings and goings obliquely through a window. Here is an accurate montage of some nesting material being delivered.

Ref: DF1_20100415_1616_050+051+053 Robin taking moss into nest in miniature conifer 1+2+4 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

22 May 2010

Standing in the garden with some visitors this robin came for an offering of corn but it spotted a huge worm and couldn't resist this much more exciting prospect. It proceeded to bite the worm in two. The front half exited at speed, but the back half was neatly snipped into at least two pieces by the robin and promptly swallowed. And all while all 4 of us stood perhaps 2 metres away dumbfounded.

Ref: DF1_20100417_1056_064 Robin eating tail end of large worm in two halves 11 of 18 (crop).jpg

21 May 2010

Roy's favourite butterfly put in the first appearance of the year on what here is it's favourite flower - the Cuckoo flower, also called Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower)

Ref: DF1_20100417_1646_155 Orange-tip butterfly male on Cuckoo flower (crop).jpg

20 May 2010

Our dark pheasant male regularly dust baths in what is notionally the salad bed. Here he has piled soil on his back as part of the proceedings.

Ref: DF1_20100413_1529_045 Pheasant male (dark individual) dust bathing (discontinuous) 3 of 4 (crop).jpg

From a different viewpoint 6 days on, the end of the procedure - a cloud of dust and flying soil as he shakes himself out.

Ref: DF1_20100419_1158_060 Pheasant male (dark individual) dust bathing & shaking out afterwards 03 of 11 (crop).jpg

19 May 2010

2 tree sparrows having a serious dispute with another watching. We can't help assuming 2 males and a female.

Ref: D3B_20100410_1736_012_FB3 2 tree sparrows fighting in flight while another watches (crop).jpg


Ref: D3B_20100417_0721_037_FB3 3 Tree sparrows with one stepping or standing on another.jpg

18 May 2010

Mother mallard duck and her 11 ducklings (1 of which was the traditional tail-end charlie nearly always out of shot) visited 3 of the ponds in one day before vanishing - the moorhens attempt and usually succeed in chasing duck families away.

Ref: DF1_20100414_1400_021 Mallard duck mother with ducklings leaving Round pond (crop).jpg

17 May 2010

Thursday 15 Apr 2010 afternoon & the whole weekend were weirdly clear without a trace of the usual plethora of contrails following the banning of commercial airline flights in parts of Europe when a volcano in Iceland started throwing ash into the higher atmosphere.
The total lack of cloud will have contributed to an atypically low temperature of -1C early Saturday with a ground frost. Here is a closed up and limp dandelion 'nicely' frosted

Ref: P34_20100418_0618_437 Closed Dandelion flowers with ground frost (crop).jpg

Sunsets, and in this case Sunrise, were also unusually hazy - this one viewed over a local farm.

Ref: DF1_20100418_0610_003 Sunrise over Pineham Farm during Icelandic volcano dust cloud (crop only).jpg

16 May 2010

Not much doubt who won this encounter!

Ref: D35_20100407_0832_048_FB4 Robin threatening fleeing Bluetit.jpg

15 May 2010

We often see tits on catkins and assume this one has got in a lovely mess with pollen over his face.

Ref: D35_20100409_0927_019_FB4 Bluetit with yellow (pollen (q)) stained face.jpg

14 May 2010

These two shots (each pair a genuine single frame) taken as successive frames about 3 minutes apart really caught our fancy.

Ref: D3A_20100407_2158_069+2201_070+_FB2 Pair of fieldmice (wood mice) on log as seen 3 minutes apart (montage).jpg

13 May 2010

A little portrait and a mystery solved.
In the entry for 17 May 2009 (image taken 23 Apr 2009) we reported on a long-tailed tit defending his territory from his reflection in the window. He is at it again this year but now we know he has a nest in the hedge right outside. Maybe it is there year after year?

Ref: DF1_20100411_0638_008 Long-tailed tit looking at his reflection in the window.jpg

And here a grabbed shot of the nest with the entrance hole on the opposite side to the window. The sphere of soft mossy materials is about 10cm diameter so the bird must curl into a ball to fit inside. You can just see a feather of the bird inside which was not disturbed by this momentary stop along the path.

Ref: P34_20100330_1300_108 Long-tailed tit nest from North showing feathers of bird inside (crop).jpg

12 May 2010

A late identification of this as a Roe deer in Infra-red light confirms this as our first siting of this species. Previously the only deer where the minute Muntjc deer. This is the third of 3 images taken over a few seconds - the dim red light of the IR illuminator seems to have attracted the attention of the deer which is now staring at the camera.

Ref: sg1_20100311_2343_015_sc1 roe deer (1st time identified) (crop).jpg

11 May 2010

The herons are still going after the newts and several make occasional visits over our patch, but do a flyover if we are already outside. Always trying for that unusual image, this flyover produced an unusual shadow of the heron's head on its own under-wing, complete with light spot when the sun is shining through the nostril holes in the beak (no fiddling - genuine single frame just exposure corrected & cropped).

Ref: DF1_20100402_1631_202 Heron in flight with beak and nostril shadow on wing (crop).jpg

10 May 2010

Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and Field Vole in similar position just 8 minutes apart. Note the very different lengths of the tails.

Ref: D45_20100402_2012_052+2004_051_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) & Field Vole comparison (montage).jpg

09 May 2010

We never see swans in our patch (not safe for takeoff) but in the last couple of days a couple have been feeding on the sprouting 'whatever' in an arable field to our north undoubtedly to the farmer's annoyance. Here we caught their arrival 'on the wing' though this time they landed out of our sight.

Ref: DF1_20100403_1046_069 2 Mute Swans in flight over fields to North 11 of 46 (crop).jpg

08 May 2010

We had always thought this shiny ceramic top of the large peanut feeder would not attract a bird of any size - corvids don't land on it. Checking the CCTV camera we found it had landed on the feeder, stayed 4 minutes and then flew off and did so again a few days later.

Ref: D3B_20100405_0045_010_FB3 Tawny Owl landing on top of large peanut feeder (crop 2 @768).jpg

07 May 2010

A genuine single frame of a pair of robins.
At other times or year they would be fighting like the proverbial 'cats and dogs' but nature calls a romantic truce for Spring!

Ref: D45_20100404_1929_041_FB1 Robin pair.jpg

And 100m away an undoubtedly different bird posed in the sunshine for a portrait.

Ref: DF1_20100404_1635_207 Robin on blackthorn twig.jpg

06 May 2010

At last - a creature that WANTS lumps of dried up carrot! That's quite a big load for a little vole.

Ref: D45_20100328_1948_124_FB1 Field Vole carrying off piece of carrot.jpg

One of last years frozen cherries stripped to the stone which the mouse enjoy opening for the kernel.

Ref: D45_20100330_2109_124_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with cherry stone in mouth.jpg

05 May 2010

Missed a bit!

Ref: D45_20100328_2000_129_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with head sharply turned while feeding.jpg

04 May 2010

We have no idea how many Newts we have in this pond, but it must be hundreds to stand the annual predation by herons. In 6 minutes this one heron took at least 3 and we don't know how long he had been there before we noticed it. It worked along the back edge right to left as viewed here dispatching newts with obvious skill.

Ref: D01_20100330_1124_114 Heron catching Great Crested Newt 06 of 11 (crop).jpg

An unfortunately good view of one of the newts being despatched.

Ref: D01_20100330_1125_140 Heron with Great Crested Newt struggling in beak (crop).jpg

03 May 2010

A Chaffinch 'skydiving' near the ground with primary feather tips shadowed on the log.

Ref: D3A_20100401_1655_059_FB2 Chaffinch female diving to ground (crop).jpg

02 May 2010

3 Little tree sparrows queuing in an orderly fashion for the nut feeder. The one on the left is just taking off towards the food. These are NOT the ordinary (but declining) house sparrow but the rarer tree sparrow with dark patch on the cheek. To our delight they breed freely here undoubtedly helped by the accessible peanuts food supplement.

Ref: D3B_20100401_1644_026_FB3 3 Tree sparrows.jpg

01 May 2010

A woodland shot of a mature heron quietly waiting for a meal to appear, as to opposed to actively hunting. He didn't catch anything this time then wandered back into the shade.

Ref: DC1_20100321_0935_002 Heron on Round pond bank against leaf litter and tree trunks (crop).jpg



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