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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
An un-forecast sunny morning brought out a number of 'old friends' we hadn't seen for many days. This female Kestrel graced the skies for a minute or two and we have montaged 2 fly-bys. Images were taken about 150mS apart but the featureless sky prevents alignment using real spacing so both are 'artistic interpretations' undoubtedly much more closely spaced than they should be.
We knew nothing of this short midnight visit by a Tawny Owl until 5 days later when we imported the images. The wings look close to fully stretched and measure 70cm tip to tip.
3 minutes later this might be preparation for departure. There were just these 2 frames.
Morning and evening of the same day, this site produced these three images of a grey squirrel (among several others) that we couldn't resist turning into a spread. Note the sky colour changing.
Great tits (and Bluetits) have been consuming the buds on anything they can reach, but we haven't been very successful at getting photographs. However, this Great Tit in a Virburnum (winter flowering shrub) is a lovely contrast of colours.
A few pairs of mallard ducks visit our ponds but these are NOT town park ducks and flee immediately at the sight of a human. This unusual juxtaposition of a pair of birds flying close together took our fancy.
A foggy morning created lots of water drops in our North-East corner. We can't resist trying to get these 'miniature' inverted worlds. Here are our 3 favourites.
Here the shape of the drop provides a surface reflection of twigs out of shot as well as the imaged landscape.
Even out of season (this is a stale nut from Christmas) a grey squirrel knows to grab the nuts and hide them!
The Green Woodpecker made an extended appearance probing the soft ground for insects and worms. He spent most of the time almost hidden, but he appeared for a few seconds in the sunshine with his beak caked in mud. Here he was bounding over the grass path in their characteristic way, so you can see the foot even if it is a bit movement blurred.
A few fleeting sightings of Long-tailed tits has been augmented by this bird spending several minutes outside the living room window, affording good views but through double glazing and perpetually shaded by the house. The pink patch of feathers is a lovely highlight on an otherwise black and white bird.
The first flowers of Spring are always a delight.
First an individual Snowdrop flower as might be seen by a mouse looking up at it.
Primroses already look at the sky, so here a humans eye view.
Perky little Great Tit delicately selects a fragment of a corn grain.
Not much food left as midnight nears, but enough for a nibble.
At the same site 6 days earlier, we have no idea why this fieldmouse (wood mouse) made 5 high speed passes left to right across the site over 12 minutes. Here are 4 of the passes as a pair of montages.
An unusual juxtaposition of two visitors a few minutes apart. Can you imagine more contrasting eyes and faces?
An adult moorhen, multi-coloured beak, big green feet, sharp claws, smart black and brown plumage, with wonderful poise. Experience suggests it is ready to start breeding.
After landing on the perch this Tawny owl stayed at the same position on the perch through the 10 minute stay blocking the IR trigger beam. The owl completely ignored the camera flash (which is offset up and right about 1 metre from the camera) so here the bird has probably detected the photographers movement in the dark through the window and peered at it, but must have concluded 'harmless' because it stayed.
Lovely surprise of this night was the arrival of this Tawny Owl who triggered this photo with this arrival (more to follow).
A flock of gulls flew over, with this one near the end coming very low and suggesting this little montage taken about 150mS apart. They should probably be further apart, but the bland blue sky provides nothing to register the frames, so we just went for artistic effect.
We can't resist a Robin singing at dawn (even if we can't include the sound)!
On the evening of the next day at the end of the same little log we think this mouse was starting to leap onto the log. Whatever it is actually up to, an unusual position to catch.
Foxes have been regular visits at stealthy camera sites, but this
one has at last started making visits to the good quality cameras.
Here it is visiting the camera near the boundary hedges, though
rather inelegantly cropped by the top of the camera frame.
Only 2 minutes before a mouse was making a rapid exit - it probably heard the fox coming in through the boundary hedge.
Foxes have been regular visits at stealthy camera sites, but this one has at last started making visits to the good quality cameras. On this day this one visited the 'woodland' site.
On a overcast evening a female blackbird seems to be almost attacking the freshly replenished buffet.
A couple of days later our 'resident' fieldfare knows when and where the grub can be found on the other side of the site!
Some of these mice really know how to look twee!
'Spring' is in the Air
Why the mice leap up to jump down about 1 metre we just don't know, but we often get mice partially out of frame doing this. Here for once one is in frame if a bit out of focus.
Through 3 weeks of freezing weather & afterwards we had not seen our usual pair of kestrels, and we fear they have succumbed or moved away. But a new much darker female spent an hour or so in our little patch particularly liking the top of old fruit trees but mostly this 5m concrete post.
She left the post, perched in a few trees and returned and we were ready to catch the moment of arrival.
Squirrels seem to go 'ape' for apple peel - we have picked a couple from a dozen or images of them eating or carrying off bits of apple.
Another site, another squirrel, another apple!
There is a flock of at least 200 mixed Fieldfares and Redwings feeding in the area. Here in an ash tree on our border is a mix with an unusual number of Redwings - we count 11 Redwings and 14 Fieldfares, though a couple of birds are sufficiently obscured as make it difficult to be sure. Anyway, we are more used to the ratio of Redwings to Fieldfares being more like 1:10, so this is a delight. We find that Redwings are generally less skittish than Fieldfares so maybe our presence slewed the ratio.
A day apart the foot positions of this single individual are uncannily similar. And this was the only image on each of the days so it must make a simular approach and break the IR beam at the same time.
'Heads or Tails?'
Between the 2 visits above these fieldmice (wood mice) came out to eat what's left.
Unusually lit rook picking up skylight and flashlight to make a lovely contrast in the feathers. The skin on the beak base is as ever bizarre. This was not a one-off - we got a similar image about the same time on the following day.
Above and below
At the end of 2 successive days, views of birds while looking up and looking down.
These 2 whopping great gulls flying together were underlit by the setting sun. We never saw their backs, but our first guess was different generation Great Black-backed Gulls which we have had confirmed as 'most likely'.
A nice little montage of visitors to the hedge bottom over 20 minutes. The Tree Sparrow (2nd from left) has a leg ring off which we could read a couple of digits - if we find out more we will add it here.
3 - 2 - 1
3 fieldmice (wood mice) at once at this site - something not seen for some months in the freezing weather, though we probably see many different individuals sequentially.
2 in the prelude to a little whoopee?
1 fieldmouse (wood mouse) tackling a corn grain using both paws to hold it while biting off pieces.
We couldn't resist contrasting these two single frames (i.e. the two mice are like this in the original) of the same place 7 hours apart after rain. Can the fox still smell the mice we wonder?
The grey squirrel is currently a daily visitor to the tree stump, and apple seems to be the favourite - here a bit of apple peel is the beasties selection.
4 days later (in a new year but we are sure the squirrel doesn't know or care) it is more ambitious and has a quarter of an apple in it's mouth!
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