Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Continuing from the previous dive down, we lost her in the grass but picked her up flying nearly straight at the camera with some small morsel in her left claw (right as viewed). We have had to spread the images left to right as they hopelessly overlapped if montaged in their proper places. The hunt, dive and this takeoff all taken within the same exciting minute!
Several days before & 200m away to the North she caught a rodent on the bridleway (unable to ID) and flew up to a post with it, had a few pecks and flew off with it down the bridleway.
About 30m away on our own mains cables and with us in full view the bird ignored us and got on with an avid search of the ground. She is in one place all of the time - so we have placed each pic as if along the wire.
Frames 6 & 7 were wings up 'ready to go', and then woosh - down she went. We have had to spread the pics horizontally except for the last pair. (Tomorrow - what happened next).
A newly arrived Jay took us by surprise by hunting from the bridleway posts presumably for worms and insects all swallowed on the ground. Here a montage of it flying from the ground up to a post top. It was beautiful to watch this over and over as the bird worked its way along the posts.
These 2 images show the jay flying down, skimming along the ground and then swerving to dive down on something in the grass. We have never seen this before and neither have experts we have consulted.
The windfall apples are a great hit with the voles, mice and slugs. (Genuine single frame a bit tidied up)
A flock of about 100 goldfinches disperses to feed. Here a group of 10 in one image is better presented as this 7 all stuffing themselves on Silver Birch catkins. This is a mixture of males, females and juveniles.
And one in more details - "caught in the act". Is the look 'guilty' or 'so what'.
Out on the bridleway with coats on, this Small Copper butterfly was sunning itself on the ground. This is the normal form, rather than the blue-spotted variant we photographed in the same month last year
We have a yellow Buddleia that has always kept flowering until the first air frost. We seem to have a solitary Red admiral around the plot that is a regular on these flowers. Here it is rolling up it's proboscis after feeding on nectar - there is still a drop of fluid at the top of the curve.
A portrait of our new local female Kestrel flying along in the distance.
This is the next 3 images accurately montaged - we are frequently surprised how far a bird in full flight goes 'per flap' once it is in full flight.
A few collared doves have reappeared after a short summer absence. This one perching on the main electric wires took off nicely on cue for the camera. Montage at about 7 fps is horizontally stretched to show the whole bird each time.
"Mr. DeMille - do you prefer my front or profile views?"
Consecutive frames of a ludicrously twee mouse.
This field mouse (we think the same one each time but not sure) came visiting this rotten apple for hours. Here is a confection of 3 visits.
The robin spent 15 minutes in the morning with better culinary equipment making the hole ever bigger, and appeared again the same evening for further helpings.
Some dew drenched mornings have created very visible spiders webs & some water drops large enough to work as lenses. Here the second from the left berry and drop is inverted and enlarged 5 times on the top right showing an image of our treetop line.
The camera DOES lie - you can see these rainbows on dew spangled spider webs by eye much better than they are captured by cameras because the intense colours tend to overexpose and turn white. While trying to catch the wanted effect on this occasion the camera auto-focussed on the foliage behind, so the water refracted colours show up much better.
Many birds feed on the emerging catkins of the silver birches, and among them we spotted this lovely male Bullfinch stuffing itself.
A couple of (possibly the same individual) fieldmouse (wood mouse) portraits about an hour apart.
The change-over between day-shift and night-shift is always interesting.
Birds start singing a few minutes before the bats head for the loft.
Owls and Corvids squabble for only a few minutes at twilight, etc.
But we rarely get images of birds and mice in the same frame so 2 consecutive frames a couple of minutes apart, both showing a robin seeing off a mouse, suggest that birds are above mice in the 'pecking order', especially if the bird is a robin.
Some of the bounty of Autumn moved to the photo sites lets us see them stuffing themselves in preparation for the hard times ahead, even if they don't know why.
Sticky fingers (well paws anyway)!
A movement catching the eye and a quick grab for the camera while the Weasel moved to the other side of the conservatory was just in time to catch this image through the rain splashed window. It didn't seem to notice us - maybe dirty windows are a GOOD wildlife watching tip!
A common Blue butterfly male feeding on some ragwort flowers. Its a bit faded on both sides - signs of a life well spent in the sunshine? If he has a memory for such things (pretty unlikely!) he is going to be disappointed to find it gone later in the day after a grass cut (its was growing in a grass walk). We don't let poisonous Ragwort seed in this cattle country anyway. The yellow buddleia (which flowers until first frost) will have to do.
Craneflies all over the place, but perhaps not the invasion of some years. Here a pair doing what comes naturally down in the grass.
A small and pristine badger at about 3:30 a.m. looking for 'tea' by his time clock.
A fairly typical encounter at the camera sites, this time between a robin and a great tit. Note the capricious floating seed in front of the robin's beak.
This windfall apple from a red apple tree brought to the site created a lot of interest amongst the customers. Here from a vole.
Twee fieldmouse (wood mouse) - with apple.
Finally got carried off after about 4 days. We suspect it was bitten up by a fox or badger we didn't see, but it's a sharp variety and it didn't eat it all.
A couple of mice spent quite a while feeding quietly on the top of the
tree stump, but never aligned themselves nicely together -
so we have 'cheated' with an accurate montage.
The harvestman spiders far exceed the number seen in previous years.
Genuine single frame. We wonder where the mice are hiding the trampoline.
A really pretty little moth we think is a 'Square-spot Rustic'.
We are fairly sure this moth is a 'Sallow'. We didn't get any one shot we thought told the whole story so here are two views on either side of a twig.
As the season advances dragonflies generally get tatty wings from encounters with thorns etc. They continue to fly fine with quite extensive damage - we are glad there are no nerves in dragonfly wings. This Common Darter Dragonfly female is now past breeding and is photographed with the actual teasel plant she was netted on. Her head is turned bit toward the camera with her left eye at the top of the head.
This image of a male of the same species is taken as a single exposure using a strobe light - a very fast flash with the shutter held open. 80Hz means 80 flashes a second, so the image below last for about 1/10th second. These have to be photographed against an extremely black background (typically 20 flashes hit it) and are not photo montages but made 'in the camera' with the images appearing to be transparent.
We accidentally caught this fly along with a dragonfly (likely the male above) and we used the same strobe technique for this pic.
A wet morning produced some wonderfully bespangled webs. The spider you can see in the
middle of the web has the common name 'Garden Spider'.
Apparently the glue on the web stays sticky even when wet, but we can't think the covering of dew drops does anything for the 'stealth' aspect of the web!
Same web, same spider, from the sun-lit side.
A morning session photographing bats flying round before entering their roost in our loft is portrayed as this montage over about 5 minutes. Positions are adjusted to avoid overlaps. The house wall is accurately positioned for the bat closest to it (i.e. from the same frame).
The upright posture of the bat at the top looks like something
out of a Dracula story.
People frightened of bats getting tangled in hair etc. should know that we have spent hours with them flying around our heads and Marie has long fine hair, and although we sometimes feel the breeze of them passing none has ever touched us or our equipment. They seem to 'see in the dark' (echolocate) better than see in the day.
The mint bed outside the back door has been allowed to flower and some of the butterflies like to feed on it now many other flowers are turning to seed. First the crenelated Comma butterfly, named for the white spot when the wings are closed.
And now a Red Admiral butterfly.
Hardly a nick in the wing of this beauty despite being almost at the end of his life.
Photographed through the living room window, a bluetit feasted on seeds from a broken weed stem in the hedge. Look carefully at the beak and you will see the seed itself attached to the hairs that would have let it be blown away in the wind if the bird hadn't got it first
After dark a fieldmouse (wood mouse) makes whole meal out of the pulled out stalk and core of a strawberry.
Carrot tends to get nibbled for a day or so before suddenly disappearing. On the side of the tree stump is a harvestman spider that looks like it has FAR too many legs because the legs and their shadows looks very similar.
Looks like the robin initiated this little encounter.
The Robin's head is uncannily sharp on the original, so here is a 'zoom in'
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive