Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Cricket & Grasshopper are broadly differentiated by the former
having very long antennae. This is a Long-winged Conehead Cricket female.
The book description "antennae longer than the body" does not even begin to express the staggering length!
Grasshoppers are very hard to ID accurately - they are amazingly varied at various stages of their lives & their calls can also be important.
This wonderful fly came to our attention. It is about 15mm long, looks wonderful, but is parasitic (lays eggs inside other creatures) so not very endearing.
Here you can see this female Common Blue butterfly reaching to the bottom of the flower rather than the more visible anthers it is standing on.
This one suddenly uncoiled her proboscis to reach into the nectaries of a bramble flower. We have never noticed one reaching out sideways like this before from one flower to reach another
The main image is a lucky (if spending an hour trying is 'luck') single frame of a male Common blue butterfly spotting a female and coming over to try his luck! The bottom 2 show her turning round, and then him trying to couple with her. They flew off in a blur without coupling (but may have elsewhere).
The female common blues do not usually display there brown upper wing surface in the way that the males do. Here we see her basking for a moment.
A male Emerald Damselfly brought to us for some technical photos of the blue 'pruinescence' (a powdery substance that rubs off) & went on to provide some delightful images before release. The Hop sedge looks a bit strange but that is how it goes - there were hundreds like this with very similar strips sticking up and down.
And taking a final fly before going back to the waterside
This Southern Hawker dragonfly landed on a Cypreses (from which this frond was cut) in a small cloud of pollen. We brought it in for a few pics in flight, of which this actually has the whole insect in view. One of the 4 wings is pointing straight at the camera - a useful illustration of the total independence of each wing in flight.
I see you!
A week later another individual came in for a few in flight images. Like all our guests they get released unharmed near where we netted them
We put the moth trap out Sunday-Monday night and caught something like 1000 insects! Many wouldn't oblige in our flight kit, but some did. Here is a Red Underwing Moth, a large moth we have not seen before that looks just mottled grey when at rest.
We put the moth trap out Sunday-Monday night and caught something like 1000 insects! Many wouldn't oblige in our flight kit, but some did. This lovely little 'Orange swift moth' obliged with just this one image.
This 'Ruby Tiger Moth' fits the description but is much redder than any illustrations or other photos but it varies a lot with geography.
A week before we wondered whether this fieldmouse (wood mouse) was eating the earwig on the tree-trunk top.
This time we can see no other explanation.
"I see You"
Whatever it saw probably wasn't around much longer.
"What are you?"
A young mouse possibly having its first encounter with a leopard slug.
The local male kestrel did a flyby giving the cameraman a good stare. This is an accurately positioned montage at about 7 fps.
One buzzard (particularly given to calling repeatedly in flight) started frequenting fields to our north giving us some photo opportunities. This sequence is of it flying against a cut crop field 'underneath' local landmark Hanslope Church 1 montage shown in ever increasing detail of the bird as it started to call. Camera frame rate about 7 fps
On the left of the original frame was a starling on the nut feeder squawking back, but this seems to be the most satisfying crop from the frame.
Common Blue butterflies are, for the moment, almost 'common' - a nice change from previous years. Here one is on a thistle flower with a chance water drop on the grass stem magnifying stem detail.
Our grass snake is not as 'reliable' as last year, but last year he/she didn't show off the forked tongue so clearly.
We delight at these delicate youngsters - the first one a young great tit.
Next a young robin - "Hey - look at my new red feathers"
And an adult female Blackbird showing the camera what she thinks is a good meal - none of this vegan stuff!
Various stony places are littered with broken snail shells. Here is the culprit - a Song Thrush. We think this is a youngish one - it has certainly taken the snail to where there is no convenient stone.
Badgers and foxes are suddenly regular visitors again.
This is the first time we have seen a young fox at this site this year.
We couldn't resist this montage at exactly the same scale of these 3 visitors over two nights. All three species are currently regular visitors at this site.
These Long-winged Conehead Cricket are quite hard to spot on the Hop Sedge. The antenna on the left is about 20% out of crop, whilst the apparently short vertical one is full length but foreshortened by pointing at the camera. Don't be conned by the short wings - this is an immature insect and the wings are not yet fully developed - the telling detail is at the tail end.
A freshly emerged male Blue-tailed Damselfly not yet in adult colour.
A couple of chaffinch males appeared over about 10 minutes obviously not appreciating each other's presence and diving on each other. No one image seemed to tell the story so we have montaged 3 together to provide the flavour.
Change over at the tree-stump - the arriving magpie has his claws rather more threatening than needed for just a landing. The iridescent green sheen on the tail feathers is an optical interference effect (real - not a photographic effect).
We very rarely see Wrens at the photo sites, so when we DO get one why does it look like it is falling over backwards?
The Common Blue butterflies are seen over our 'meadow' intermittently during the year Here are two views of an individual that stayed for a few minutes before doing the 'vanishing trick'.
The view of the grass stems through the wing is real - the wings are semi-transparent.
This juvenile Green woodpecker often spends a while on top edge of the meadow post. We have montaged in the bird flying off a minute after the main image - it was very blurred (selectively sharpened here) but shows off the lovely colours (not enhanced).
Genuine single frame (the bluetit at the left selectively sharpened) of a couple of the new inhabitants of our patch. Tits sometimes produce second or late broods - this year both Bluetits and Great tit have done just that.
Female chaffinch looking like she couldn't be sweeter.
Maybe not ...
Just a fieldmouse (wood mouse) - but how twee can you get?
Whoosh ... - a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) makes a hasty exit.
Going the opposite way at more sedate pace is a shrew. We rather like the snail in the background NOT taking part in a race. From being a very unusual sighting we have seen a shrew a few times now at this site so it may be becoming a regular.
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive