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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Swifts are the fly-catching bird of the moment. Here is a little celebration. At left the beak is open and it is either about to catch or has just caught an insect.
A new behaviour in Swifts for us. We are used to larger birds spilling air to lose height, but this swift seemed to be doing the same. With about 1 second of action here this bird tumbled chaotically down and then regained control. The positions are as accurate as we can determine from the cloud moving through the panning camera frame.
After a mid-air argument with a Rook, this Buzzard did a circle round and flew right by the camerman at low level. For once the camera was set up just right. This is two successive frames arbitrarily spaced.
Couldn't resist this detail from another frame.
"Don't you dare!"
Grey Squirrel trying to catch his shadow?
Poof ... the magicians
Rabbit Pheasant female appears.
The dry weather has many birds making the most of ash to bathe in. This taken over 'a few' seconds in a steady wind blowing away the dust cloud.
It then moved onto the ash tree on 'Dragon Pond' island and did a bit of half-hearted pecking.
We relocated this camera about 30m and immediately started seeing juvenile robins (at least 2) in this new territory.
Mum or dad Robin flying in to the site's rock which we used to replace the log which the rooks threw aside with great ease.
When it is warm we have loads of these appear from 'nowhere'. They are called the 'Noon Fly' possibly because they only appear when it is warm. They are wonderfully intricate and the yellow patches on the wings is quite startling. None of our ID books do it justice, and perhaps neither does this.
Yellow Flag Iris is designed to use bees for pollination. The sexual organs are beneath the upper petal which presses down on the bee as it enters leaving or picking up pollen on its back that you can see as yellow specks on the last image. Bees always go in the 'front' pushing up the upper petal, but exit out of the side.
4 (of at least 5) Juvenile Starlings forming a very 'English' queue with one of the adults at the left.
We have been seeing fresh broken snail shells in more places than usual, and here is one of the culprits!
The Robin wants exactly the place the male chaffinch is occupying - of course!
The Robin is unusually sharp, so lets enjoy a close-up
Something has obviously gone wrong for this female mallard, who has been accompanying this male and showing none of the frantic 'feed and get back' behaviour. This slope is SUPPOSED to be underwater but only a few millimetres of rain in two months just can't keep up with evaporation.
In the distance to the North this Little Egret was having a really hard time trying to make progress into a strong NE wind, at times going backwards. We expected it to give up and land but instead it dropped in height into the shelter of trees & made straight for us, giving an opportunity for flyover shots.
A Bullfinch male carrying insects in his beak - certainly the first such sighting here. At the same site we saw him again next day and the day after that we glimpsed a female, so we so hope they are breeding somewhere on our patch.
Now the female mallard ducks are mostly incubating eggs or shepherding chicks, the males hang about in mournful little groups, or as here, alone & feeling lonely.
Incubating females leave their nests only for a hurried feed. Here she is dabbling, feet paddling like mad and pushing up a ridge of water ahead of her.
This bluetit looks really tatty because of a strong wind blowing up the head feathers from behind. He has an insect for the chicks. We have LOTS of tit nest boxes and can't say where this one went.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker and Starling continue their animosity.
Young starlings are in abundance. This family has at least 3 youngsters being fed at feeders, in bushes & on the ground.
Looks like a piece of peanut being stuffed down the ever-open craw, but it is more usually insects and worms. Avoid putting out whole peanuts in Spring/early summer - it is said that chicks can choke on them. But the adults find peanut feeders useful as a quick feed for themselves giving them more time to hunt for live prey for the youngsters.
2 young mice adventure out for supper
Leaping from where to where we have little idea ...
A couple of young Robins - always demanding more food.
Following an unusually good showing of Holly Blue butterflies in April, we now have the Common Blue butterfly - here the male which actually does have a blue top to the wings (unlike the females brown).
We don't ever remember such a good numbers or duration of Orange-tip butterflies. Now the Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) has finished this now slightly tatty individual is feeding mainly on the Ground Elder.
Our first Dragonfly (as opposed to Damselfly) sighting this year is a Broad-Bodied Chaser female (actually seen briefly on 9 May 2011). We think this is the first sighting in Buckinghamshire this year
A few minutes earlier 'grabbing' an image before going back to the house for the 'macro' kit, we caught this view of the abdomen's translucence.
The Long-tailed tits continue to catch tiny caterpillars and 'show them to us' outside the living room window. This one looks like it has just spotted the camera. We have no idea where the nest is.
We have a few sheet of corrugated iron laying on the ground to attract snakes and lizards where they can warm up. Lifting this one exposed a small grass snake. Look for the forked tongue caught in just this one frame of several!
Also under the corrugated iron sheet was this Bee-Fly which came out rather reluctantly, hovering very low to the ground giving us opportunities to capture this unusual view of it hovering over the ground with a lovely shadow.
Day Shift:A single frame catching the Chaffinch pair together at the site for once.
Night Shift:Write your own caption!
A midnight fox can probably smell the remains of the food put out, now mostly taken by the birds and mice, and the tempting smell of the mice themselves if only it can catch one out.
Strong North winds have brought a number of birds close over our patch giving us the chance of some in-flight portraits. This Heron did a particularly nice turn over the house.
Green Woodpeckers are more commonly seen on the ground probing the soil for things to eat. So you don't usually see the tongue in action as here.
On the ground they use an almost kangaroo hop style of gait as they move about looking for a likely spot to sink that powerful bill into the ground.
This year we have managed to photograph an unusual variety of birds collecting insects for their young.
Why is the starling flying away from the hole leading to the nest
in the loft?
Well he turned up, found his 'wife' already inside, flew off and perched on a nearby pipe, the lady departed and he then went in with this food
The first damselflies of the year have made their appearance
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