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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2011

Concentrating on the intended subject it is easy to overlook what else is going on. The photo being taken was of the Small Copper Butterfly but we only later noticed also the grasshopper (below the butterfly's Proboscis) and 5 Red Soldier Beetles, 1 under the butterfly on the right, and 4 more in the next flower along, one pair mating as usual.

Ref: DF1_20110717_1617_111 Small Copper butterfly on thistle + Grasshopper + 5 common red Soldier Beetles (crop).jpg

The rear underwing of the Small Copper butterfly is different to the other 3 surfaces on each side, undoubtedly to provide camouflage when at rest.

Ref: DF1_20110719_1630_214 Small copper butterfly feeding on thistle flower showing bottom of rear wing (crop).jpg

30 Aug 2011

A Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) inspecting a beetle, which probably became midnight supper.

Ref: D45_20110718_2336_044_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) inspecting beetle (crop).jpg

29 Aug 2011

Sweet little fieldmouse (wood mouse) gorging on corn and spoilt fruit.

Ref: D45_20110716_2245_074_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nibbling food.jpg

4 days later maybe the same mouse clearing up the oily remains of peanut butter.

Ref: D45_20110720_0142_090_FB1 fieldmouse (wood mouse) lapping up peanut butter (@576).jpg

28 Aug 2011

Our usual crop of Arum lilies is not in evidence this year, but we found some deep in the mature hedge along the trackside in the ditch edge, presumably finding a little more moisture than the other sites.

Ref: P10_20110723_1831_046 Arum Lily Berries along west of track Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum) (crop).jpg

27 Aug 2011

One wild rose is smothered in Robins Pincushion - an insect gall. One at the top of the stem (above this framing) is 6cm in diameter, but these are more typical on this plant at 2 to 3 cm.

Ref: P10_20110715_1759_265 2 Robins Pincushion Galls on Wild Rose (crop).jpg

Atypically early first blackberry fruit, and rather small for the 'lead fruit' - the one at the head of a spike is usually by far the earliest and biggest. The Woodland Trust 'Natures Calendar' phenology section are particularly interested in the effect of the 2011 Spring severe drought on blackberry fruiting.
We are puzzled by the tiny 'fruitlets' in the same stem.

Ref: P10_20110714_1204_251 First ripe Blackberry fruit of 2011 with other undeveloped fruits (crop).jpg

26 Aug 2011

A week after its previous one-off sighting, this pristine young fox visited this site for at least 20 minutes.

Ref: D45_20110709_2126_072_FB1 Young fox (crop 1).jpg

Detail from above.

Ref: D45_20110709_2126_072_FB1 Young fox (crop 3 @ 768).jpg

25 Aug 2011

We didn't realise Hover-flies came this big or Gorgeous and had an expert confirm our ID as a Volucella zonaria. He commented 'I think it's the biggest native species of hover-fly, but only took up residence in Britain in the 1940s. ... The larvae live in wasp nests.'

Ref: DF1_20110711_1019_067 Hover-fly Volucella zonaria on blackberry flower (crop).jpg

24 Aug 2011

We haven't spotted a Sparrowhawk 'in the flesh' for many weeks since the fields were killed for conversion from pasture to arable, so this image came as a nice surprise outside the kitchen window.

Ref: D3B_20110713_1733_022_FB3 Sparrowhawk male (crop).jpg

23 Aug 2011

Coquettish Dunnocks are a rarity!

Ref: D45_20110713_1916_093_FB1 Dunnock back to camera but looking back.jpg

We rarely see a rodent and bird at this site at the same time - this a genuine single frame on a dingy evening. We don't think the Dunnock quite knows what to make of the mouse.

Ref: D45_20110713_1944_095_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and Dunnock together on stone (crop).jpg

22 Aug 2011

A pair of Meadow Brown butterflies mating artistically positioned across a grass stem in a shape reminiscent of the lover's Heart.
Butterflies mate 'tail to tail'.

Ref: DF1_20110714_1158_058 Meadow Brown butterflies mating on grass stem (crop).jpg

21 Aug 2011

We think we have a buzzard family of Mum, Dad and one juvenile using the thermals and updraft from local geography to go off and hunt. This one came quite close, banking as it approached (hence the increasing size left to right) and we couldn't resist this montage, much too closely spaced for reality but echoing what you see as your eyes follow the bird.

Ref: DF1_20110714_1236_266+268+269+272+274 Buzzard in flight banking overhead 1-5 of 5 (arbitrary montage).jpg

20 Aug 2011

Our juvenile kestrel male gave us a good look at his changing tail feathers - note the male centre feather we have seen before but now nearly full length, and now at his left (image's top) some more male style feathers peeping round the edge.

Ref: DF1_20110714_1647_427 Kestrel male juvenile growing adult tail feathers (crop).jpg

He flew off to the distant East where another Kestrel joined him but they never got close and he flew off. The other bird resolved the puzzle by flying our way and it turned out to be a female - almost certainly Mum.

Ref: DF1_20110714_1652_504 Kestrel female flying low over killed pasture near north bridleway hedge (crop).jpg

Next day the juvenile kestrel male, the ID more obvious from other less interesting shots at the same time, skimming atypically low over the dead grass.

Ref: DF1_20110715_1609_068 Kestrel male juvenile skimming over dead pasture (crop).jpg

19 Aug 2011

First sighting of a Small Skipper Butterfly here enjoying the thistle flowers.

Ref: DF1_20110715_1602_060 Small Skipper Butterfly female.jpg

Second sighting (the first was already bird pecked) of a Small Copper Butterfly down on a fresh flower in the mostly withering clover.

Ref: DF1_20110715_1612_104 Small Copper Butterfly on clover.jpg

18 Aug 2011

Foxes must find this stone a heaven of scents - Peanuts, fruits, and other food along with mice and rabbits leaving their aromatic calling cards.

Ref: D45_20110702_0151_021_FB1 Fox (crop).jpg

17 Aug 2011

Ringlet butterflies have only been regular visitors for a couple of years, with more appearing each year. This one likes the blackberry flowers.

Ref: DB1_20110702_1437_065 Ringlet butterfly on Blackberry flower (crop).jpg

On the trackside privet hedge 4 Ringlet butterflies were having a scrummage of mating rights - we suspect 1 female and 3 males.

Ref: DB1_20110702_1442_101 4 Ringlet Butterflies competing to mate ending with pair coupled (discontinuous) 04 of 10 (crop).jpg

3 minutes later - 'The winner takes it all'.
Butterflies mate joined back to back.

Ref: DB1_20110702_1445_155 4 Ringlet Butterflies competing to mate ending with pair coupled (discontinuous) 10 of 10 (crop).jpg

16 Aug 2011

Meet Kevin the Kestrel - a recent arrival that appears to be juvenile male who has adopted our patch & the surrounding area in which to hunt.
In the Black poplar he is watching the nearly bare ground for some inadequately cautious rodent or insect.

Ref: DF1_20110702_1716_351 Kestrel on Black Poplar branch.jpg

Ooh look - a quick descent onto something tasty?

Ref: DF1_20110702_1717_397-403 Kestrel hanging in wind gradually dropping in height 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

On the ground we have frequently watched the kestrel struggling to subdue prey. Whatever he caught has always eaten on the spot and out of our view.

Ref: DF1_20110702_1718_419 Kestrel killing prey on cut dead grass (discontinuous) 2 of 9 (crop).jpg

15 Aug 2011

Another Little Egret flyby along the side of our patch. Even taken at about 7 frames/second these images are show much to close together to get them into one image.

Ref: DF1_20110703_1745_114-116 Little Egret flyby at 7fps 5-7of 7 (arbitrary montage).jpg

A couple of frames on from the above, the egret might have noticed us, but we are apparently in the 'harmless' category!

Ref: DF1_20110703_1745_118 Little Egret flyby (crop).jpg

14 Aug 2011

This montage is from successive frames about 1 minute apart - a nice opportunity to show the yellow face mask of the two most common Tits here - Great Tit on the left and Bluetit on the right. Even losing one box to Bumble bees after it's use for nesting, we seem to have a fantastic 'crop' of tits - they must have had multiple broods this year.

Ref: D45_20110706_0629_047+0630_048_FB1 Great Tit Juvenile + Bluetit Juvenile (accurate montage 1 minute apart).jpg

Not good Spring for the blackbirds though - we have eyeballed only a couple youngsters over the whole site. This female is obviously busy on a new nest - caught twice in 90 minutes at the same site carrying maximised beakfuls of materials.

Ref: D45_20110707_0557_079+0735_089_FB1 Blackbird female collecting nesting material (accurate montage 90m apart).jpg

13 Aug 2011

The first couple of warm days at last brought out the Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselfies) and this male Brown Hawker Dragonfly obliged with some in-flight images.
Just taking off from the twig (not a montage).

Ref: DA1_20110626_1247_088_FT1 Brown Hawker Dragonfly male taking off from Hawthorn twig 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

A Brown Hawker male viewed from underneath the insect.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1233_013+1310_156_FT1 Brown Hawker Dragonfly male in Flight bottom view with Hawthorn twig (montage).jpg

This detail from another image seemed to us to show how the pattern of veins in the wings forms sheets of corrugations when the wing is under stress as here when the insect turned back in flight.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1239_051_FT1 Brown Hawker Dragonfly male in Flight showing corrugations on aerodynamically twisted wing (crop).jpg

12 Aug 2011

The first couple of warm days at last brought out the Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselfies).
This Banded Demoiselle damselfly male flying along in all his glory.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1256_110+1307_145_FT1 Banded Demoiselle male in Flight with Hawthorn twig (montage).jpg

The Banded Demoiselle damselfly female doesn't have the bands on the wings but makes up for it with the glorious green and gold abdomen.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1302_125_FT1 Banded Demoiselle female in Flight (crop).jpg

11 Aug 2011

The Moth trap caught this huge moth - our first sighting of a Privet Hawk Moth.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1446_194_FT1 Privet Hawkmoth flapping wings to warm up on Hawthorn twig (crop).jpg

Yes - it is a BIG moth.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1604_371_FT1 Privet Hawk-moth on Roys hand (crop).jpg

Here it was vigorously flapping its wings to warm up for flight and making a noticeable draught and blowing dust about on the 'set'. But even when thoroughly warm and flying round the room we couldn't persuade it to fly in the right direction to get images in flight.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1610_411_FT1 Privet Hawk-moth flapping wings to warm up on Hawthorn twig (crop).jpg

10 Aug 2011

One of our favourite moths is the plume moth. When perched it is a white 'T' shape with the 'plumes' brought close together. (Another Plume moth called the 'T' is brown and really does align all the plumes) In flight the plumes separate out to form a wing 'surface'. Here the insect is flying away from the camera and upwards.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1539_285_FT1 White Plume Moth in Flight (crop).jpg

This time the moth is flying right to left and banking towards the camera.

Ref: DA1_20110626_1540_287+1537_270_FT1 White Plume Moth in Flight with hawthorn twig (montage).jpg

09 Aug 2011

Last year we glimpsed what might be a new species here, and this year we have the confirmation of the Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly. This is the male - we have only glimpsed females so far. This insect requires running water for laying eggs, and we will be trying to work out where they are breeding off our site. But the corner we find them is also 'midge corner' and we think they visit for 'eat-on-the-hedge' meals.

Ref: DF1_20110627_0819_015 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male (1st sighting) (crop).jpg

08 Aug 2011

In the corner of our plot often plagued by midges we saw this immature Common Blue damselfly (not a regular species here) which has caught a midge and is chewing it.

Ref: DB1_20110627_1040_047 Common Blue damselfly female imm eating midge (crop).jpg

Another frame provides more detail at the 'business end'

Ref: DB1_20110627_1040_059 Common Blue damselfly female imm eating midge (head detail crop).jpg

07 Aug 2011

Thistles are an invasive plant that needs to be controlled, but they certainly attract butterflies.
We have only previously recorded a marbled White butterfly in 2008. This year a few of them are a delightful sight flitting over the flowers.

Ref: DF1_20110629_0957_176 Marbled White butterfly feeding on Thistle flower (crop).jpg

A visitor in declining numbers is the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. Here are 2 images of the top wing and underwing of the same insect on the same thistle flower although the lighting has changed a bit.

Ref: DF1_20110629_1222_017+1221_001 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on Thistle flower (montage).jpg

06 Aug 2011

This Bullfinch male (and his out of shot mate) were feeding in a shingle bed covered in weeds, decimating the seed heads and flowers.

Ref: DF1_20110628_1448_126 Bullfinch male eating unident seeds on shingled ground (crop).jpg

Some of the back garden thistles are infested with aphids and this Chiffchaff knows what to do with them.

Ref: DF1_20110628_1703_142 Chiffchaff picking Aphids off thistle stem.jpg

05 Aug 2011

This buzzard flew down into the trees to our North East and vanished. About a minute later it came zooming out with this Carrion Crow in hot pursuit. When the pair had skirmishing for about 400m the crow suddenly broke off engagement and flew back while buzzard carried on out of sight.

Ref: DF1_20110629_1236_126 Carrion Crow Harassing Buzzard (crop).jpg

04 Aug 2011

Its Wimbledon tennis fortnight - Strawberries (no cream for us), and rain (we hope - well at night to fill the ponds) - and this jackdaw is joining in the evening feast.

Ref: D5C_20110618_1838_031_FB2 Jackdaw with Strawberry top.jpg

Easy as falling off a log?

Ref: D5C_20110620_2144_017_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) slipping off log (crop).jpg

03 Aug 2011

We normally see skipper wings open or partially open hiding their underwings, and did not appreciate that the bottom of just the rear wing has a subtle green colouring different to all the other surfaces.

Ref: DF1_20110619_1010_192 Large Skipper showing bottom of hind wing (crop).jpg

And here on a thistle flower with proboscis unrolled and in full action sucking up nectar.

Ref: DF1_20110619_1028_392 Large Skipper with proboscis probing thistle flower (crop).jpg

02 Aug 2011

3 in one
Although this is a montage its real - 2 frames taken in a few seconds with different choice of focus combined to get them all sharp.

Ref: DF1_20110619_1021_243+249 Rustic Sailor Beetle (q) + 7 Spot Ladybird + Bumble Bee on same Thistle (montage for focus).jpg

4 in one
This time a single frame containing what we thought was 3 insects turned out to contain not just a Meadow Brown butterfly and 2 skippers sharing a flower, but a winged ant flying by and casting a shadow on the butterflies wing it was about to land on.

Ref: DF1_20110619_1024_346 Meadow Brown Butterfly + 2 Large Skippers feeding on single Thistle flower + flying ant (crop).jpg

Next frame the ant had landed (sort of).

Ref: DF1_20110619_1024_347 Meadow Brown Butterfly with ant on wing + 2 Large Skippers on single Thistle flower (crop of ant).jpg

01 Aug 2011

Each of our photo sites has its own brave little robin that arrives the moment we arrive with the food bowl. This adult has produced a family this year and the first signs of molt are apparent.

Ref: D45_20110622_2003_071_FB1 Robin with untidy feathers.jpg

Its about 2 months since we saw the male and female blackcaps, and here is the female, probably collecting nesting material for a new nest, She is standing at the same place as the robin, but a day and a half later.

Ref: D45_20110624_0614_106_FB1 Blackcap female with dried fibres in beak (crop).jpg



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