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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Dec 2011

At around 3 a.m. this fieldmouse (wood mouse) really can't be doing anything but having a lick of the (we are told) sweet and protein rich slime of the Leopard slug.

Ref: D5C_20111122_0313_023_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) stepping on leopard slug (crop 1).jpg

30 Dec 2011

Down in the hedge bottom this male chaffinch is twisting exquisitely as it flies over a female or juvenile another frame height below.

Ref: D45_20111123_1550_146_FB1 Chaffinch male in flight over female (q) below (crop 2).jpg

29 Dec 2011

This young heron came to check out the meadow while there was still frost on the grass. This is the third visit (at various times) we have spotted him hunting in the rank grass so it must be worthwhile for him. The large image is the bird reasonably alert, but a couple of minutes later the neck had folded into the relaxed position oblivious to the camera perhaps 25 metres away looking through a window.
(Techie: First image 600mm + 1.4 Teleconverter, second with converter removed and the scales left unchanged.)

Ref: D01_20111123_0902_057+0904_064 Heron on meadow path on frosty morning poised & then neck folded (crop and insert montage).jpg

28 Dec 2011

After a several months absence the Tree Sparrows have returned. First seen on a feeder they now seem to have commandeered this Great Tit box. We can see here that a Great Tit isn't pleased but didn't manage to shoo them away. At the moment the birds are only 'prospecting' and looking for winter shelter, but we often get 2 pairs breeding here in Great Tit nestboxes, sometimes including this one. They are rare birds (RSPB Red status) so especially welcome

Ref: DC1_20111116_1133_038 2 Tree Sparrow at Nest box on elm post interfered with by Great Tit (crop).jpg

A later view with one of the Tree Sparrows exiting the box while the other continues preening.

Ref: DC1_20111116_1134_063 2 Tree Sparrow at Nest box on elm post with one leaving box (crop).jpg

27 Dec 2011

From the house across the main pond, we spotted this tiny wren having an unusually long stay at the water's edge. Normally you see a wren for barely more than a few seconds before it rushes off elsewhere.

Ref: DC1_20111115_1217_018 Wren on Iris frond at waters edge (crop).jpg

26 Dec 2011

Perhaps 30 minutes after putting out the bait at this site, the majority was gone and this robin seems determined that his beak was going to be the last to get the easy food.

Ref: D45_20111116_1547_143_FB1 Robin seeing off Bluetit in flight (crop).jpg

25 Dec 2011

A Christmas day treat for Owl lovers - who isn't?
This tawny owl made several visits to the tree stump over a few days, obviously not the least bothered by the flash.
Don't be shy!

Ref: D35_20111112_0202_084_FB4 Tawny Owl on tree stump facing away (crop).jpg

44 Hours later, a nice portrait in profile. The yellow-green colour around the beak is real.

Ref: D35_20111113_2156_114_FB4 Tawny Owl on tree stump side view (crop 1).jpg

Another day on we see a landing from straight ahead, and maybe discover one of the attractions of this tree-stump - one claw has trapped one of the Leopard slugs - a nice easy meal for the owl? The next image was 4 hours later so we will never know!

Ref: d35_20111115_0046_013_fb4 tawny owl landing on tree stump with claw on leopard slug (crop).jpg

24 Dec 2011

This juvenile heron spent some 20 minutes avidly hunting in the meadow, including about 5 minutes mostly hidden in the tall weeds, stock still and focussed on something it eventually lunged at, but we never saw what it was.

Ref: D01_20111117_0855_013 heron juvenile in meadow near Duck pond (crop).jpg

23 Dec 2011

This is a montage of two leopard slugs on the side of the tree-stump over about 30 minutes around midnight. We are assured that this behaviour is definitely the prelude to mating. The initial frame looks like the initial nip the slug finding the invitational slime trail gives to the slug it finds.
The mating itself is an amazing sight - you can see a Video of it from a BBC documentary we remember seeing 'off air' at

Ref: D35_20111031_2341_051+2342_052+2347_053+20111101_0001_054_FB4 2 Leopard slugs circling each other 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

A couple of weeks later we caught just this one frame of 2 leopard slugs 'formation slithering'.

Ref: D5C_20111111_2319_067_FB2 2 Leopard slugs in same position on log top.jpg

22 Dec 2011

No teeth or claws being presented, so we assume this is a 'friendly' encounter between these 2 fieldmice (wood mice)

Ref: D45_20111104_1719_084_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) face to face.jpg

Most definitely NOT a friendly encounter between these 2 fieldmice (wood mice).

Ref: D45_20111106_2020_218_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) fighting (crop).jpg

21 Dec 2011

There are a male and female kestrels about in the area now, but the female stays mainly to the north & never gets close enough for good portraits. The male uses posts and wires around the house and the fields to the south for hunting, as here on our mains electricity supply wire

Ref: D01_20111106_1354_056 Kestrel hunting from mains wire (crop).jpg

20 Dec 2011

The grey squirrels beat us to most of the hazelnuts while they are unripe on the trees, so we buy them at the local supermarket like everybody else! A few of these go down a treat with our population of 'tree rats'

Ref: D5C_20111107_1528_011_FB2 Grey Squirrel in rain with hazelnut in mouth (crop 2).jpg

Ref: D5C_20111108_1520_068_FB2 Grey Squirrel gnawing hazelnut.jpg

19 Dec 2011

This is a single frame of 3 fieldmice (wood mice) 'playing' follow my leader over the stone. The middle one seems likely to have lost grip on the stone, and we would love to have had another frame half a second later!

Ref: D45_20111107_1720_054_FB1 3 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) head to tail (crop).jpg

18 Dec 2011

There were 5 male pheasant wandering about on the path across the 'meadow', but the camera was set up such that we couldn't get all 5 at once. At the top is one female, and then 4 of the males resplendent in the milky sun showing vibrant down to absent white neck rings.

Ref: D01_20111109_1317_096 4 (of 5) pheasant males + 1 female (crop).jpg

Along the hedge of the sprouting crop in an adjacent field 9 grey partridges saw us (before we saw them as always!) and scurried together, like the books say they do and then wandered into the bottom of what is left of the hedge.

Ref: DF1_20111109_1509_067 9 Grey Partridges by hedge to East.jpg

17 Dec 2011

This Kestrel, probably a mature male with atypical lightly barred tail, was at this time a daily visitor. Apart from occasionally hovering, he likes to hunt from various posts and treetops, and as here from the mains wires which sway in the wind. He is totally intolerant of humans - we can only get images through windows from inside the house as a 'hide'.
3 minutes of HD video on the same camera (far too big for our web site) showed us that the bird does the same 'keep the head still' scheme as when it is hovering while focussed on the ground, but the moment he looks up the head just sways about with the rest of the body. All of the positional correction comes from the neck - the legs are locked in place.

Ref: D01_20111103_1244_002 Kestrel male (q) hunting from mains wire (crop).jpg

The previous day he had obliged with a bit of hovering. This is a selection of 3 images from 31 as he spotted something and dived out of camera frame and then out of sight.

Ref: DF1_20111102_1327_151+171+177 Kestrel Hovering in strong wind 08+20+24 of 31 (vertical montage).jpg

16 Dec 2011

This is whole spoilt apple - Grey Squirrels are strong little beasts.

Ref: D35_20111031_1404_017_FB4 Grey Squirrel carrying whole apple.jpg

Sunset over Grey Squirrel
We have a closer crops showing all the edge lit whiskers etc., but it just doesn't capture the moment.

Ref: D35_20111101_1605_071_FB4 Grey Squirrel backlit by setting sun (crop 1).jpg

"The house is over there"

Ref: D35_20111101_1643_074_FB4 Grey squirrel with front leg pointing sideways.jpg

15 Dec 2011

Fieldmice (Wood Mice) normally run from anything larger than themselves, so this is an unusual paring of a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) actively moving towards the rabbit. Other images and poor grooming of the rabbit suggests that it was very static and in the early stages of Myxomatosis (many rabbits here catch it, some recover)

Ref: D5C_20111031_1803_017_FB2 Rabbit eating fruit with fieldmouse (wood mouse) on log (crop).jpg

14 Dec 2011

A quiet gathering of fieldmice (wood mice) in a single moment. The 3 on the right are all tucking into corn grains missed by the birds.

Ref: D45_20111030_1728_160_FB1 4 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) feeding around the stone (single frame).jpg

Practice for the Mouse Olympics - nicely judged synchronised leaping.

Ref: D5C_20111101_1721_065_FB2 2 fieldmice (wood mice) leaping vertically aligned (crop).jpg

Not so cooperative ...

Ref: D5C_20111101_1726_066_FB2 2 fieldmice (wood mice) leaping and another on ground (crop).jpg

13 Dec 2011

We are starting to recognise 'whisker contact' as quite common. Here a couple of rabbits around a gloomy dawn

Ref: D5C_20111028_0756_003_FB2 2 rabbits whiskers to whiskers (crop).jpg

We often see fieldmice (wood mice) so close their whiskers must be touching. What a different world of sensations they inhabit.

Ref: D5C_20111102_1713_132_FB2 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) whiskers to whiskers.jpg

12 Dec 2011

This delightful female Muntjac deer was unexpectedly spotted on the back of the main pond's island. It is all so overgrown they can probably walk across without getting their hooves wet! The sunlight came and went - this is the 'prettiest' of the many images we took.

Ref: DF1_20111103_1132_013 Muntjac deer female grooming on back of Dragon Pond island (crop).jpg

She was intensively grooming, licking over her fur, but we never got a really illustrative shot. But here she is licking her cheek with her impressively long tongue.

Ref: DF1_20111103_1131_004 Muntjac deer female grooming on back of Dragon Pond island - licking cheek (crop).jpg

And here she is dealing with an itch under the chin using a back hoof.

Ref: DF1_20111103_1132_028 Muntjac deer female grooming on back of Dragon Pond island - scratching chin with back leg (crop).jpg

11 Dec 2011

A really common insect - the Hawthorn Shieldbug, but none the less welcome for that, and seen very late in the season - an ever increasing trend of starting earlier, and for some carrying on later, depending on what limits their lifespan.

Ref: P10_20111030_1015_738 Hawthorn Shieldbug (crop).jpg

Same individual, now on the stem of the fallen leaf showing the underside.

Ref: P10_20111030_1016_745 Hawthorn Shieldbug (crop).jpg

10 Dec 2011

One of our several Grey squirrels tucking into a piece of apple. Fruit is generally very popular at the moment as the creatures 'feed up' ready for winter's meanness.

Ref: D35_20111023_1442_090_FB4 squirrel on tree-stump top eating slice of apple (crop).jpg

As animals feed up for the winter, almost everything, including rabbits normally content with grass, is carrying off pieces of fruit.

Ref: D45_20111025_0726_044_FB1 Rabbit carrying off piece of apple (crop).jpg

09 Dec 2011

Genuine single frame of 3 fieldmice (wood mice) going crazy. We love the apparent nonchalance of the one top left.

Ref: D45_20111027_1917_218_FB1 3 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) leaping (crop).jpg

A fieldmouse (wood mouse) sharing a peaceful moment with a much less vigorous Leopard slug.

Ref: D5C_20111025_0527_032_FB2 Leopard slug and fieldmouse (wood mouse) facing away on top of log.jpg

08 Dec 2011

This carrion crow was wobbling about on the top of a black poplar in a breeze, and decided to depart while the camera was running. We kept 6 consecutive pictures, but they overlap too much to show all at once, and couldn't decide which set of alternates images to montage, so in the end did them both. The larger gap to the right-most image in each case is due to acceleration.

Ref: DF1_20111028_1332_086+088+090 Carrion Crow taking off from black poplar top 1+3+5 of 6 (accurate montage alternates @7fps).jpg

Ref: DF1_20111028_1332_087+089+091 Carrion Crow taking off from black poplar top 2+4+6 of 6 (accurate montage alternates @7fps).jpg

07 Dec 2011

Down in the hedge bottom a Great Tit shows off it's wings with lovely symmetry. The bluetit watches.

Ref: D45_20111021_1715_018_FB1 Great tit in flight watched by Bluetit (crop).jpg

Birds and rodents together in single images is not as uncommon as it used to be. We think this fieldmouse (wood mouse) is warning off the arriving robin. We have no idea of the outcome if a real battle ensured - sharp beak and 2 claws vs sharp teeth and 4 claws!

Ref: D45_20111022_1826_119_FB1 Robin landing by aggressive mouse (crop).jpg

06 Dec 2011

From the house we have seen 2 herons visiting our patch, but this adult came flying along our East boundary, saw us outside and promptly turned away to fly over the centre of our patch. This single frame of the 12 we kept seemed to catch the light 'just right'.

Ref: DF1_20111025_1636_255 Heron in Flight 06 of 12 (crop).jpg

At the end of the same sequence the heron faded from view through the trees. The montage is accurately spaced at 7 frames/sec

Ref: DF1_20111025_1636_258-261 Heron in Flight through autumn branches 09-12 of 12 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

05 Dec 2011

There is a lot of leaping about and showing off in the hedge bottom at the moment. We really don't know what's going on here, but so what.

Ref: D45_20111023_1947_199_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping over another (crop).jpg

04 Dec 2011

A nice show of feathers from this Bluetit fluttering through the hedge bottom.

Ref: D45_20111014_1710_023_FB1 Bluetit fluttering through hedge bottom.jpg

03 Dec 2011

Attack the err - apple?

Ref: D45_20111015_1719_125_FB1 Grey Squirrel leaping towards camera (crop).jpg

Perhaps the apple didn't run away fast enough!

Ref: D45_20111016_1741_235_FB1 Grey Squirrel licking (q) windfall apple.jpg

02 Dec 2011

We could not resist making up a little story as soon the hunting fox and the fleeing mice, both in the same positions you see in this montage, taken 90 minutes apart, ended up next to each other on the screen.

Ref: D45_20111015_2049_167+1911_143_FB1 Fox in crouched hunting position and 2 fieldmice (wood mice) leaping away (90mins earlier) (montage).jpg

01 Dec 2011

This Little Egret flew right over our meadow. This montaged selection of images is for enjoyment rather than accuracy.

Ref: DF1_20111015_1056_217+221+223 Little Egret flying South East (discontinuous) 03+05+07 of 11 (arbitrary montage).jpg



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