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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A 3 weeks ago we brought you the male Holly Blue butterfly. Here is the subtly different female with different top of the wing but similar underwing
A couple of first sighting of moths here. First the rather drab 'Muslin Ermine' moth (called just the 'Muslin Moth' in some ID books) has surprisingly white legs - its not a lighting effect.
This (not a new species) is the White Ermine caught the same night.
This Chocolate-tip moth is a new sighting for us, but was a reluctant flier.
So here he is so he looks like the photo in the ID book!
Not an everyday moment - this Buzzard has killed or scavenged a young rabbit (hanging upside down in the buzzard's talons) and is being hassled by a carrion crow who wants to steal his prize.
The crow never did really bother the buzzard who disappeared into the haze we have processed away here. Horizontal spacing of the pairs of birds is about 50% over natural so they don't overlap.
Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nibbling some tiny morsel of food held in it's paws. The Lilac coloured flower is Ground Ivy.
Here at the edge of the original frame we have what might be a sweet moment.
We don't normally treat animals as object of comedy, but sometimes
an image suggests a silly title. Here is a selection.
Accurate montage to handle focus differential. Thanks to George P for the title
Squirrel poised for the opening chord on his woodland piano.
Upstairs, downstairs and Basement - in need of some renovation.
"The waitress service here is awful."
The Bank vole is becoming something of a 'regular'
And here again 3 days and 4 minutes later!
A pair of moorhen that nested on the main pond hatched & are rearing 4 chicks, taking them round our 3 main ponds - we never know where we will find them. Here one of the parents is feeding a chick.
Red kites are very occasional visitors & always a delight to see. Experts tell us this is one of last years chicks, so not yet mature. Don't read anything into the spacing of the 3 frames placed for pleasing effect.
Another view of the same bird as it flew a little closer.
The male kestrel has been flying over our patch low enough for a few images.
And this next day.
A pair of orange tip butterflies spent a couple of minutes fluttering round each other (very hard to photo) and then the female landed on the grass path and the male made his intentions excitably clear. Here one moment from the action - they flew off together & we lost sight of them in the undergrowth.
About 1 a.m. a self photographed Tawny Owl landing on top of the ceramic feeder. We miss many of these arrivals - the trigger beam senses a break at the bottom centre in this crop so it can easily fly in without triggering it.
4 days later an arrival missed but the departure has triggered a photo if somewhat behind optimum focus.
A nest on a Pond island was the source of 13 duckings. These photos taken around lunch time, the whole family had disappeared by evening and we have had no more sightings. This is quite normal - the mother takes them off to the brook 200m away and a larger (spring fed) pond beyond.
At the North East corner, on mostly shaded side, a lovely cherry tree in blossom has on the trunk some beautiful lichens, here lit by the evening sun.
We have had rabbits around us for the last 20 years, but can't remember seeing one obviously dust bathing, here in ash. Photographed by a 'trail camera' over a few seconds.
Not an everyday occurrence - for us probably once in our lifetime
- is to see, let alone photograph, a pair of Little Owls mating.
Before dawn the male was already on the top of our concrete mains electricity poll as we left the bedroom. Grabbing a photo then, about 3 minutes later the light was already improving as the female flew up to him, and they preened a bit, looked at each other it an uncomfortable knowing way, and he then fluttered onto her back and spent about a minute getting worked up and doing his thing. He jumped down and she immediately flew off, followed a few seconds later by him.
Surprisingly to us, the male appears to be the bird with the damaged left eye we haven't seen for ages & had assumed unable to hunt.
We have 3 little owl boxes but don't see evidence that they are using any of them!
A somewhat forced version of the top middle image to give you a better look at the pair - dawn is behind them making exposure very difficult. The male on the left has an injured left (right as viewed) eye.
An unusually aggressive looking Jackdaw lands on the perch looking ready for a fight with anything.
Partridges occasionally take off near where we are walking, but we never have time to tell whether Grey or Red-Legged variety. We sometimes see red-legged on the track outside the house, but these grey seem to prefer a less man-made environment.
Chiffchaffs seem to be new addition to our menagerie. Note the dried out ground here - the ground is forming cracks along the paths we don't normally see until mid-summer. The last worthwhile rain was 2mm on 1 March - almost 60 days now.
7-spot ladybirds still dominate - haven't seen a Harlequin yet this year that we can remember. Here it is adding a little spot of red to the beautiful apple blossom.
Another intricate blossom in purest white petals and black Anthers.
The Goldfinches have been ripping the reedmace to pieces for a couple of weeks to take away for nest lining. We love the 'umbrella' stuck to the birds head.
This one kept on going long after there was no hope of it getting any more into the beak.
Female Blackbird quite near her nest with a beakful of dry detritus for the nest ...
... hidden in Ivy high on a South facing wall.
As chance, or maybe the nibbling rabbits would have it, our original mix of mostly purple Snakes-head Fritillary flowers is reduced to only a couple of clumps of all white. Here are 3 ever closer views ...
A male kestrel has been hunting out of camera range but did a nice flyby to confirm how beautiful has was ...
A female Orange-tip butterfly (which doesn't have the orange tips so obvious in the male) on some of our Lady's smock (Cuckoo flower) flowers they like so much.
Requests from email recipients for more pics of English Spring Primroses, as opposed to the less subtle cultivars, encouraged us to provide these.
These on the north facing bank of a mound of clay from digging one of the ponds.
The Weasel graced us with a short visit outside the (closed) conservatory door. Here he has emerged from under a not very well laid concrete slab to have a look round. The front feet are on a lump of 'something'.
Deciding it was safe (dirty windows may be a good thing!) he came out of the shadows for a look about and we can see it in his glorious chestnut colour.
We have been spotted, so it ran for cover!
In the left corner the Dunnock, in the right corner the Robin. These are normally only brief skirmishes
A little domestic tranquility on the tree-stump top.
Farm work along our boundary has changed the pattern of badger visit. Just this one visits to the 'Woodland' site - the powerful claws always impress us.
Herons have only made one or two visits here this year because of the limited of frog / toad / newt activity. But they still make flybys and we couldn't resist this accurate montage (probably about 7fps) flying 'over' the steeple of the mile distant local landmark Hanslope Church tower.
A male Kestrel is about intermittently, hunting the grass along the remains of the hedge line using the high voltage wires as a hunting perch. The top image was the bird was starting the dive. We lost the next 2 frames (focus fell off) and we then picked up the start of a long dive with almost no change to wing or body positions.
Jackdaw carrying soft stuff for a nest somewhere, possibly a nest we have since spotted high in a 100 year old Black Poplar.
At a very different scale the Reedmace continues to be a big hit - here a greenfinch getting into a complete mess stuffing as much as it could into her beak.
Caught in a sheltered corner on a sunny but cold day this is the first time we have photographed a female Orange-tip butterfly flight before. What does she lack - the orange tip! You are seeing her slightly from the rear with her head lower left. The pretty flower is called 'Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower)' - it seeds freely and our site is every increasingly awash with it!
Here she is standing on more of the same flower.
And this a male in all his glory, seeing the bottom of the wings (what you see when the wings are folded vertical). The green and white tracery on both sexes is really beautiful, but somehow set off even better by the orange coloured tip.
The Holly Blue butterfly is a rare visitor - only seen a handful of times in 20 years. We managed to catch this one and photograph him in flight. The light blue with dots is what you see when the wings are folded, and the deep blue when open.
We don't feel the previous image does justice to the blue top of the wing, so here is another view.
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