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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2011

Some hazy sunshine brought out this male Southern Hawker dragonfly. The insect hovered long enough to get the camera on him for 9 frames, of which we have selected 4 for a little montage of various wing positions.

Ref: DF1_20110915_1314_169-171+173 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male hovering over duck pond 1-3+5 of 9 (montage).jpg

30 Oct 2011

There is lots of natural food for the wildlife now, so we collect odd bits and offer it at the photo sites. Here is a beautiful Bluetit as it flies down for a sample.

Ref: D45_20110911_1830_009_FB1 Bluetit flying down to berries on ground (crop 2).jpg

29 Oct 2011

These 2 squabbling fieldmice (wood mice) remind us of Sumo wrestlers, or the avatars in 'Wii Sports Resort' fencing game, both trying to push their opponent out of the ring or off the edge!

Ref: D35_20110912_2322_050_FB4 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) squabbling with one being pushed off tree stump (crop).jpg

By chance, 3 days later (and on the other side) a mouse demonstrating base jumping without parachute.

Ref: D35_20110915_2123_193_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) falling from tree-stump.jpg

28 Oct 2011

Recently fieldmice (wood mice) leaping in this vertical position have appeared at one of other edge of the frame, making a decent crop awkward.

Ref: D45_20110901_2219_396_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping into left edge of frame over another (crop).jpg

"Sitting on the 'bleachers' watching the world go by."
At another site a couple of hours earlier a more relaxed pair of fieldmice (wood mice) watching we know not what.

Ref: D5C_20110901_2018_150_FB2 2 fieldmice (wood mice) side by side on log with backs to us (crop).jpg

27 Oct 2011

We found this beautiful Shieldbug in the conservatory and parked it on a arm of a garden chair to take it's pic. Its body is about 15mm long

Ref: P10_20110901_1121_329 Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes) (crop).jpg

26 Oct 2011

A female Blackbird launching into flight from the ground, and just coming into frame. This makes a nice change from the more normal 'head out of frame' that leads to so many 'if-only' discarded pictures,

Ref: D45_20110903_1930_139_FB1 Female blackbird taking off into frame (crop).jpg

25 Oct 2011

The Lookout? "Midnight, and all's well"
It reminds us of the classic pose of a Meercat, but in miniature.

Ref: D5C_20110903_0009_030_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) on hind legs.jpg

Another means of obtaining a high view, but we think this is more about joie-de-vie than viewing the surroundings .

Ref: D45_20110902_2236_063_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping (crop).jpg

24 Oct 2011

Whenever the wind is strong the rooks and other corvids can be seen obviously playing or showing off in the updrafts over the fields, and here at the top of the local Lombardy Poplar tree. The top bare twig isn't really stiff enough for their weight but that doesn't stop them trying to land on it. Here we think the bird was using the beak as an extra grip. Despite several tries it never got a stable perch.

Ref: DF1_20110905_0654_318 Rook repeatedly landing & leaving thin twig at top of Lombardy Poplar in strong wind (crop).jpg

More of the top of the tree, and two birds gently sparring and playing in the wind. The bird is on the same twig but here not bent by the bird's weight.

Ref: DF1_20110905_0656_343 Rooks playing in wind at top of Lombardy Poplar (crop).jpg

23 Oct 2011

The Corvids (Crows etc.) have largely abandoned feeding at the 'Meadow post', there temporarily being plentiful natural food available from the freshly cultivated farmland. So the Grey Squirrel now has little competition when it turns up to excavate the crevices full of peanut butter and ground nuts. It leaves the easier to reach corn at the top untouched though a lot of it get knocked down where the pheasants can reach it easily.

Ref: D01_20110830_1803_032 Grey Squirrel reaching down from top of meadow post to food in crevice (crop).jpg

This montage shows a Green Woodpecker juvenile standing on the meadow post, noticing movement at the house window, and deciding to depart.

Ref: D01_20110831_0921_064+066 Green Woodpecker juvenile taking off from meadow post 3+5 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

22 Oct 2011

Eat at the snack bar
A corn-grain makes a little feast for this fieldmouse (wood mouse)

Ref: D45_20110906_2008_174_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating food in paws.jpg

Take Away
We don't see voles anywhere near as often as mice, and even rarer them carrying off food. So this one carrying off a whole small (domesticated cherry sized) wild plum by gripping the stone really caught our attention.

Ref: D5C_20110906_0544_029_FB2 Vole carrying whole mini-plum by gripping stone in mouth (crop).jpg

21 Oct 2011

The continuing process of turning the fields of the farm around us to arable has attracted an assortment of gulls to add to the local rooks and jackdaws. This one flew over us and we enjoy the texture and shape - gulls always seems to us to be flying sculptures.

Ref: DF1_20110905_1338_015 Great Black-backed gull against white cloud (adjusted crop).jpg

Next day the land is still being picked over by Black-headed gulls and rooks

Ref: DF1_20110906_1639_071 Black-headed gulls and Rooks on freshly turned soil (crop).jpg

5 minutes later part of a flock of about 100 Black-headed gulls moving to another field pouring across the sky and making this gull-against-sky and gull-against-tree almost abstract study.

Ref: DF1_20110906_1644_085 Black-headed Gulls against sky and tree (crop).jpg

Watching the meadows being ploughed and worked for arable has been something of a machine eye-opener. The largest tractor in use and the cultivator (see details in the Ref field) seem to have a fan base that includes 1:32 scale models of the tractor and attachments to fit it.
U-tube hosts several videos of this tractor and Sumo attachment being driven in front of a crowd of spectators jumping about with excitement. Humans are an amazingly varied bunch!
We have several more images & details should they be of interest

Ref: DF1_20110905_1742_061 John Deere 8345RT tractor 6-cyl diesel 9 litres with Sumo Trio 4-5 trailed cultivator & other (crop).jpg

20 Oct 2011

There is a family of 4 Buzzard in a copse 600m to our East. The young birds seem to be given sparring lessons by the parents. Here the bird below was hovering in a strong wind blowing from the left and had a passing skirmish with the bird flying above. The bottom bird held its position relative to the trees, so we have spread out the montage to the left. All in half a second!

Ref: DF1_20110828_1815_045-048 Hovering buzzard skirmishing with another flying over 1-4 of 5 (interpretation montage).jpg

19 Oct 2011

We collect pine cones fallen on the grass paths, and move them to the photo sites. Here a Great spotted woodpecker 'just' juvenile (only a few red feathers left on top of her head) has picked one up and will fly off with it ...

Ref: D45_20110829_1740_008_FB1 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile taking away Pine cone (crop 2).jpg

We know this because 15 minutes later we spotted this bird on the pole near site one having a peck at the pine cone, and within the same minute a hazelnut. Yes, there are 2 holes, and she chose different holes for the two items. We have montaged 2 of the images together (trying our best to match the exposures). We are sure it is the same bird as the ground level image from examining the head detail in the originals..

Ref: DF1_20110829_1754_005+010 Great Spotted juvenile woodpecker with pine cone then hazel nut in cracks of pole (montage).jpg

18 Oct 2011

A bit of sunshine brings out a few dragonflies. This one is perched on the pond island on fallen sedge - the colours of the insect match that of the foliage rendering them very hard to see until they move or you see them land.

Ref: DF1_20110901_1224_082 Common Darter Dragonfly female on fallen Hop Sedge (crop).jpg

As the sun went behind cloud this male southern hawker dragonfly ceased his patrolling and literally hung himself up inside a pond-side bush. We could only find him because we saw him fly in.

Ref: DF1_20110902_1214_022 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male inside bush hanging from twig (crop).jpg

17 Oct 2011

We had no idea the pheasants would tackle nuts in shells. The nut disappeared but we don't know whether the pheasant could have cracked it open.

Ref: D5C_20110901_1740_135_FB2 Pheasant male with Hazelnut in beak (crop).jpg

16 Oct 2011

On either side of midnight a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and Bank vole both at the same place to enjoy the plum pulp. These are at exactly the same scale.

Ref: D45_20110824_2319_306_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) licking pulp from small plum.jpg

Ref: D45_20110825_0026_333_FB1 Bank Vole licking pulp from small plum.jpg

15 Oct 2011

Fieldmice (Wood Mice) can be delightfully affectionate to one another. It all seems very quick to us, but they live at a different pace.
"Are you Awake?"

Ref: D45_20110822_2254_072_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) with amorous intent (q) (crop).jpg

About the same time next night, we think two different mice

Ref: D45_20110823_2231_184_FB1 2 fieldmice (wood mice) whisker to whisker (close crop @768).jpg

14 Oct 2011

At times of plenty fieldmice (wood mice) have the energy to spare to leap about in extravagant ways, sometimes to impress the potential mates

Ref: D45_20110822_2136_061_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping while facing camera (crop 2).jpg

Ref: D45_20110822_2248_071_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping with another underneath scrambling over pine cone.jpg

We don't often see Voles leaping, but this one is leaping towards camera (hence shadow on stone) and may have been startled the arrival of the Dunnock behind the stone.

Ref: D45_20110823_0649_117_FB1 Leaping vole in front of stone and Dunnock behind (crop).jpg

13 Oct 2011

Fieldmice (Wood Mice) have been all over the place last & this week and a bit of rain (about 12mm = half inch) has brought out the slugs and snails as well.

Ref: D35_20110823_2130_056_FB4 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating food in paws over leopard slug (crop @576).jpg

Ref: D35_20110826_2206_021_FB4 Leopard slug + snail + fieldmouse (wood mouse) on tree-stump top.jpg

"What's this?" - it's weeks since it rained and this young fieldmouse (wood mouse) has probably not seen a snail before.

Ref: D5C_20110826_2335_025_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) looking at snail.jpg

12 Oct 2011

Rabbits are so twee when young ...

Ref: D45_20110824_2007_272_FB1 Baby rabbit with small plums (crop).jpg

But when Rabbits reach this size they are responsible for a lots of damage to young trees - hence the sea of plastic you see at new woodland and hedge plantings protecting the bark of saplings.

Ref: D45_20110814_2012_218_FB1 Rabbit head on to camera with mouth slightly open.jpg

11 Oct 2011

At the extreme right of the frame this Grey Squirrel feeds messily at the freshly baited site, taking up the 'classic' pose' whilst while bits of Hazelnut husk & shell go flying as it bites it's way to the kernel.

Ref: D5C_20110823_1759_046_FB2 Grey Squirrel feeding on ground.jpg

The first Horse chestnut Conkers are falling, and the Grey squirrel is busy collecting and hiding them.

Ref: D35_20110819_1804_012_FB4 Grey Squirrel with horse chestnut still in husk (crop 2).jpg

10 Oct 2011

An angled stick at the main pond attracted this mating pair of Common Darters. The male at the top clasps the female by the 'neck' - only the claspers of the same species will fit! They can fly about in tandem like this, and lay by the pair dipping the females tail into the water. Different dragonfly species lay in range of ways and places.

Ref: DF1_20110821_1434_086 Pair of Common darter dragonflies coupled on twig at Dragon pond (crop).jpg

A male Ruddy Darter kept bothering the pair - he probably thought the female was 'suitable' for his amorous attentions - we all know what lads are like! Each time the pair landed on the stick along he would come and disturb them.

Ref: DF1_20110821_1436_102 Mating pair of Common Darter dragonflies harassed by Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male 2 of 8 (crop).jpg

Ref: DF1_20110821_1437_122+123 Mating Common Darter dragonflies harassed by Ruddy Darter male 7+8 of 8 (montage for focus).jpg

09 Oct 2011

This Hobby made a flyover and opportunity for some photos. They mostly hunt dragonflies so will be having a hard time this year.

Ref: DF1_20110819_1110_241 Hobby flying overhead 5 of 7 (crop).jpg

A visit by the young male kestrel was swiftly curtailed by a couple of rooks. The following morning he was perched on a telephone pole footrest hunting in peace.

Ref: DF1_20110819_0900_017 Rook persuing young male kestrel (crop).jpg

08 Oct 2011

We still have several blue butterflies on the plot whenever the sun comes out. Here a Common Blue male feeding on a nearly finished clover flower.

Ref: DF1_20110819_1243_363 Common Blue butterfly male feeding on clover flower.jpg

The dominant meadow flower at the moment is the Purple Loosestrife. Here a male Common Blue butterfly sips up some nectar

Ref: DF1_20110824_1215_045 Common Blue butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flower.jpg

07 Oct 2011

These two mating flies arrived on the sloping stick to attract dragonflies. ID was difficult even with help, and are absent from all but one of our books. Wikipedia & some other web sites came to the rescue - the general consensus is the primitive Crane-fly Ptychoptera contaminata which has no common name.
If you can provide a positive ID please let us know.

Ref: DF1_20110824_1223_061 Ptychoptera contaminata (probably) flies mating on stick (crop).jpg

06 Oct 2011

An unusual and rare plant is the parasitic Greater Dodder loaned to us to take photographs in Ultra Violet which turned out, like most things, not very interesting. See our UV Section. The plant starts off seeding in the ground, but then taps into the stems of nettles and eventually gives up its own roots.

Ref: d12_20110821_1016_005 greater dodder flowers on common (stinging) nettle (crop).jpg

05 Oct 2011

Here is a Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs on a sodden branch left by the edge of the main pond for a couple of years. If you want wildlife, untidiness can be a virtue! We noticed the insects unusual behaviour through the window and stampeded out into the drizzle to see these few minutes for a first time.

Ref: DF1_20110823_1559_060+062 Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs on wet rotten wood by pond side (montage for focus).jpg

We watched entranced (and wet) for several minutes as the Southern Hawker Dragonfly placed eggs in various spots. Here you get a good view of her egg laying equipment.

Ref: DF1_20110823_1559_070 Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs on wet rotten wood by pond side (crop).jpg

04 Oct 2011

A pair of Wood Pigeons watched us approach and finally decided that we were close enough. About 7 fps but the frames are separated by about 50% extra gap to stop them overlapping

Ref: DF1_20110802_1759_076-79 2 Wood Pigeons taking off from high voltage wires 1-4 of 4 (montage extra horizontal space).jpg

03 Oct 2011

Wonderful dramatic show of clouds, but it didn't produce any rain for our parched plot.

Ref: P34_20110805_1743_645 Dark cloud across sun with upward streamers of light (crop).jpg

02 Oct 2011

The bottom of hedge ground level camera caught this image at the right edge of the frame. This one has to have been jumping down from climbing high in the hedge to find berries

Ref: D45_20110814_2112_220_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) jumping down from hedge 1m above (q).jpg

Next day, at about the same time, we have a sort of 'what happened next' moment. We have no idea whether it is the same mouse.

Ref: D45_20110815_2050_061_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) about to land after 1 metre drop (crop).jpg


Ref: D45_20110814_0216_135_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) in vertical leap with tail tip on ground (crop).jpg

01 Oct 2011

We had hoped that the characteristic purple centre flower of 'Wild Carrot' (also known as 'birds nest' plant) might show something interesting in Ultra Violet light, but were disappointed all of the petals on both sides dark in UV
See A survey of British Wildlife in Ultra Violet (UV) Light
This natural light image includes detail showing the centre flower which takes a different form as well as colour to the white flowers.

Ref: D12_20110814_1619_012 Wild Carrot centre flower detail (crop with detail insert).jpg



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