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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2010

This Migrant hawker dragonfly female was hunting over our North boundary on a chilly but sunny day and this was taken as she flew by into the wind slowing her progress enough to follow it with the camera. Note how the legs are neatly folded underneath - something you don't see in our indoor pictures because the insect hasn't had time to pull them up.

Ref: DF1_20100905_1430_119 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly adult female in flight.jpg

30 Oct 2010

Two montages to tell little stories.
In the first the two outer birds are approaching simultaneously (with no hint of threat) but too far apart to make a good picture. But the next frame 5 minutes later showed them apparently enjoying each other's company so a long thin take on the 2 suggested itself.

Ref: D3A_20100906_1830_015+1835_016_FB2 Female and male chaffinches flying in then together 5 minutes later 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

The male Kestrel getting mobbed by a couple of rooks. A strong wind right to left meant that the birds overlapped so we have about doubled the real horizontal spacing.

Ref: DF1_20100904_0925_002-004 Kestrel mobbed by 2 Rooks flying into headwind (montage at 7fps horizontal spacing doubled).jpg

29 Oct 2010

A Dunnock gives us a view of it's underside, claws and both of the Alulae (singular Alula) which are the birds 'thumbs' with a few feathers on that it raises to help prevent it 'stalling' at low speeds. Note the head and wing shadow on the bark on the stem of the hedging.

Ref: D45_20100907_1838_194_FB1 Dunnock in flight over ground (crop 1).jpg

28 Oct 2010

Either the bats have suddenly started using the loft again, or they are doing so at a time we can get to see them - about 05:45 in the morning as they return to the roost in the loft. Morning is better than evening for photography as they have a last hunt and often have to 'queue' to squeeze into the entrance under the eaves. In the evening they tend to zoom out of the hole and leave. Here 3 bats flew by the entrance hole hidden under facia top right. We guess there something like 10 bats altogether.

Ref: DB1_20100903_0549_111 3 Brown long-eared bats flying by loft entrance hole 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

And our favourite single frame with all that wonderful texture in the stretched wing membranes.

Ref: DB1_20100905_0546_098 Brown long-eared bat in flight (crop @768).jpg

27 Oct 2010

Despite the poor weather the brief periods of sunshine brought out a few dragonflies. They are getting a bit tatty now following encounters with blackberry thorns etc., but worth a few outdoor images on-the-wing. It is really only possible when they hover for a moment - here two frames about 150mS apart as he drifted forward a little.

Ref: DC1_20100901_1117_013+014 Southern Hawker Dragonfly mature male hovering 1+2 of 2 (Horizontally accurate montage @7fps).jpg

This is a common Darter dragonfly seen next day perched on a leaf while it warms up.

Ref: DF1_20100902_1510_393 Common Darter Dragonfly female on leaf (crop).jpg

26 Oct 2010

The end of a months long drought has converted the pond margins into something better than liquid mud to the main pond has brought back some of the moorhen family. First one of the adults.

Ref: DC1_20100901_1119_053 Adult moorhen walking on iris roots at Dragon pond 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

And now one of this years juveniles. The vivid green tiny leaves coating the water and lower parts of the birds is 'duckweed' a thin layer of which comes and goes on some of the ponds.

Ref: DC1_20100901_1307_077 Juvenile moorhen walking on iris roots at Dragon pond 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

25 Oct 2010

We must have seen these Spotted flycatchers before, but have not recognised them. First a portrait.

Ref: DF1_20100901_1455_020 Spotted Flycatcher on wires (crop).jpg

And now a moment from their hunting technique - sit on a wire, post or branch until you see a tempting insect. Launch towards it (may be 0.5 to several metres away), grab it, then fly back to your previous perch or another one nearby. Here we were lucky to catch the exact moment of the insect inside the beak but not yet captive - it did get it judging by the following two frames.

Ref: DF1_20100901_1748_163 Spotted flycatcher in flight with insect going into beak (crop).jpg

24 Oct 2010

Adult swallows sometimes feed their youngster on the wing. They generally rise up facing each other to get the appropriate beak alignment for just a moment.

Ref: DF1_20100903_1218_031 Swallow feeding youngster in flight (selected frames) 2 of 2 (crop @432).jpg

How do the insects get taken in the first place? The speck top right is an insect from the frame with the bird image nearest it. The left bird image is the same bird about 150mS earlier but the insect was out of the panning camera's frame and there are no other references so we put it somewhere 'pretty' and probably much too close!

Ref: DF1_20100902_1215_323+324 Swallow in flight pursuing insect 1+2 of 2 (montage left bird positioned for compactness).jpg

23 Oct 2010

Swallow parents usually feed their youngsters by giving perching juveniles a beakful of insects without landing themselves. With one beak inside another it is always difficult to see the moment of transfer, so from 2 different encounters first we see the approach with the adult's beak overflowing with insects.

Ref: DF1_20100902_1259_256 Swallow in flight feeding juvenile perched on apple tree branch 4 of 9 (crop).jpg

And now the adult reversing out to fly off leaving the juveniles beak now similarly filled.

Ref: DF1_20100903_1639_525 Swallow feeding youngster on wires 5 of 7 (crop).jpg

22 Oct 2010

A Hobby arrived pursued by a couple of jackdaws for an extended aerial dogfight tracking round the area. Here the jackdaw was closing in on the Hobby.

Ref: DF1_20100902_1620_162+1621_165 Jackdaw harassing Hobby attacked in return 03+06 of 50 (arbitrary montage of orig pairs).jpg

Finally the Hobby had enough and got the advantage - they really were this close. The encounter drifted off to the East and we lost them in the haze.

Ref: DF1_20100902_1621_196 Jackdaw harassing Hobby gets attacked in return (discontinuous) 25 of 50 (crop @768).jpg

21 Oct 2010

We have often wondered what happens when the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk happen along together. Well it turns out to be an extended fight - here are 8 time ordered pairs in a chaotic montage, moving from dark blue sky overhead to pale haze lower down but further away. All these are at the same scale.

Ref: DF1_20100903_1235-1237_070+106+183+188+220+252+254+255 Kestrel & Sparrowhawk fighting in flight 8 selected from 68 (montage).jpg

20 Oct 2010

The excitement of what the bird hopes is a parent arriving with food.

Ref: DF1_20100903_1634_466 Swallow begging on wire but disappointed (crop).jpg

This bird decided not to wait and went chasing after the parent.

Ref: DF1_20100903_1212_010 Juvenile Swallow taking off from Apple tree twig 3 of 4 (crop).jpg

19 Oct 2010

Crouched down to spring on the - err - fruit?

Ref: D45_20100828_2026_191_FB1 crouching fox (crop 1).jpg

18 Oct 2010

Processing autumn's bounty means the wildlife can't move for peelings and rotten bits, so they clamber over.

Ref: D35_20100827_2246_201_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) clambering over apple core.jpg

At another site, also loaded with fruit, we have the winner of the 'Twee fieldmouse (wood mouse) of the week' competition.

Ref: D45_20100829_0240_223_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on hind legs looking over heap of fruit.jpg

17 Oct 2010

The local Sparrowhawk doing one of it's high speed fly-bys.

Ref: DF1_20100829_1524_025-028 Sparrowhawk in flight over grass 1-4 of 4 (montage at about 7fps).jpg

16 Oct 2010

On a ramble down the bridleway we spotted this Little owl - the species name of this day and night hunting owl. We normally see it on the high voltage wires in what is obviously it's territory.

Ref: DF1_20100831_1106_113 Little owl on Fence post along Bridleway to North (crop).jpg

15 Oct 2010

But this is a genuine single frame of two young fieldmice (wood mice). Perhaps they are rehearsing the balcony scene from 'Romeo & Julliet'.

Ref: D3A_20100831_2132_146_FB2 2 young fieldmice (wood mice) - one on log looking down at other (crop).jpg

Did the vole suddenly appear over the stone and frighten the life out of the shrew?

Ref: D45_20100901_2002_069_FB1 Vole startling shrew (q) (crop).jpg

14 Oct 2010

Male chaffinches are squabbling all over the site. These two look like they have given up mild skirmishes to decide the issue for now at least.

Ref: D45_20100824_0634_083_FB1 2 Chaffinch males fighting on the wing (crop).jpg

13 Oct 2010

A line of Lodgepole pines at the edge of our mini-meadow facing roughly South are not ideal for the trees behind but they make a magnet for dragonflies on cool but sunny days. This is a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly sunning itself before setting off on another patrol.

Ref: DF1_20100828_1518_156 Migrant hawker dragonfly male basking on pine twig.jpg

Another individual (different detail in the markings) has chosen the end of a pine cone to bask.

Ref: DF1_20100827_1212_037 Migrant hawker dragonfly male basking on pine cone (crop 2).jpg

12 Oct 2010

During a poor year for flycatchers a brief sunny period after rain brought out a few Swallows, 1 swift and this House Martin which has lifted its head to snatch the insect you can just see as an elongated smudge half a birds length ahead of it's beak.

Ref: DF1_20100828_1754_267 House Martin in flight reaching up to catch just visible insect (crop).jpg

Another view of a House Martin banking really hard in flight.

Ref: DF1_20100828_1754_272 House Martin in flight with wings past vertical.jpg

11 Oct 2010

A sunshine and heavy showers day produced some wonderful clouds. To the East was a blue sky with a few cloud tendrils and to the West at the same moment was this wonderful chaotic sight.

Ref: P01_20100828_1757_107 Clouds during sunshine & showers over house (crop).jpg

10 Oct 2010

The heap of food looks good enough for us to tuck in, and the slug and fieldmouse (wood mouse) seem to agree.

Ref: D35_20100821_0042_027_FB4 Leopard slug + fieldmouse (wood mouse) with fallen hawthorn twig.jpg

We don't know where the twig of Hawthorn berries came from, but in the gales bits of the old black poplars are ending up 50 metres from them so these could have blown in from a number of our trees.

Ref: D35_20100822_0152_074_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) examining heap of food including hawthorn berry (@576).jpg

09 Oct 2010

Two views of what is probably the same young blackbird 20 minutes apart.

Ref: D45_20100822_1827_007+1802_180_FB1 Young Blackbird in 2 views about 20mins apart (montage).jpg

This is a montage of two images about 1 minute apart each with a really young bluetit (2 images at the left) accompanied by an adult (2 images on the right) all in their original positions. Both bluetits and Great tits have 'second brooded' this year.

Ref: D45_20100822_1912_016+1913_017_FB1 2 young Bluetits interleave montaged 1 minute apart (montage).jpg

08 Oct 2010

A bit of sunshine tends to bring out the butterflies on even quite cool days. These two were enjoying a sheltered patch of blackberries (brambles) when we 'invited' them in for a photo session.
First a Red Admiral butterfly.

Ref: DA1_20100822_1207_017+1301_104_FT1 Red Admiral Butterfly in flight with blackberry flowers (montage).jpg

This is a speckled wood - the dominant butterfly LAST year and quite common this year.

Ref: DA1_20100822_1224_091+1301_104_FT1 Speckled wood butterfly in flight with blackberry flower (montage).jpg

07 Oct 2010

This Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was for once flying low enough over a hedge for us to net her and bring it in for a few minutes taking photos.
Several years ago the Hawk and Owl trust determined that pellets from hobbies mostly contained the remains of Migrant Hawker dragonflies. But it is not so abundant this year - we have been pleased to see just one or two.

Ref: DA1_20100822_1213_038+1300_099_FT1 Migrant Hawker dragonfly imm female in flight with hawthorn twig (montage).jpg

06 Oct 2010

Several (what we think are Brown Long-eared) bats were swirling round the house just before dawn. Here we have montaged 4 successive frames taken at about 10 fps of two bats flying in together but going off in different directions. If you want to work out which bat is which yourself work it out now before you get to the annotated image 2 below this one!

Ref: DB1_20100822_0528_002-005 2 Brown Long-eared (q) bats flying near loft entrance hole 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg

Detail of the bat on the left.

Ref: DB1_20100822_0528_002 2 Long-eared (q) bats flying near loft entrance hole 1 of 4 (single bat crop @432).jpg

If you enjoyed the impression, you might find this annotation of the two flight paths of interest. The entrance hole to the loft is in the eaves close to the upper wing tip of the bat at the end of the 'green' sequence.

Ref: DB1_20100822_0528_002-005 2 Brown Long-eared (q) bats flying near loft entrance hole 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage annotation).jpg

05 Oct 2010

A young grass snake was under the corrugated iron to warm up. It panicked when we lifted the cover and then the back edge of the metal blocked his normal exit, but it stopped for a moment, and found a another route. It didn't use the hole in the ground used by the larger snake - maybe it was 'occupied'.

Ref: DF1_20100824_0936_134 Young grass snake under corrugated iron sheet 30m WSW of Duck Pond (crop).jpg

A larger grass snake basking in the sunshine at the end of the day in the sedge at the back of 'Duck pond'. It stayed for several minutes apparently completely still while we watched and captured a few images. The insert was 3 minutes after the main image and you can see it has barely moved relative to the plant stems. This is the first time we have noticed a grass snake basking in this manner.

Ref: P02_20100822_1803_375+1805_393 Grass snake sunbathing in Hop sedge at Duck pond (montage of head detail).jpg

04 Oct 2010

A pair of full moons Monday evening and the following morning. Full moons are always the opposite side of the sky to the sun so you don't see the sunrise or sunset. However, the cloud in the first image is lit pink by the sunset.

Ref: P32_20100823_2011_938 Full moon over pink cloud (crop).jpg

The moon in the second image has the same tint as the cloud in the first because of the atmospheric conditions that colour sunrises. We haven't altered the colours at all and the camera colour balance is locked to daylight.
The flattened shape is caused by atmospheric refraction near the horizon.

Ref: P32_20100824_0545_954 Full moon setting at horizon by phone pole (crop).jpg

03 Oct 2010

A young robin and a chaffinch male skirmish.
Who swerved first?

Ref: D3A_20100817_0716_078_FB2 Robin and chaffinch male skirmish (crop 1).jpg

02 Oct 2010

In 26 Sep 2010 we showed you a male Emerald damselfly brought to us for some technical photos (see previous description). To complete the study we photographed some more males and this female.

Ref: DA1_20100815_1410_011+1521_149_FT1 Emerald damselfly Female in flight with ornamental rush (montage).jpg

01 Oct 2010

A common darter dragonfly in flight. Darters dragonflies are intermediate in size between Damselflies and Hawker Dragonflies and you may spot them perching on overhanging pond side foliage, taking off and returning to the same spot.

Ref: DA1_20100816_1358_053+1544_157_FT1 Common Darter dragonfly male in flight with Flag Iris leaf (montage).jpg



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