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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This Cinabar this caterpillar was waving itself about. A knowledgable visitor tells us they tend to do this when they are hosting the larva of a parasitic fly.
2 minutes later, without at the time making any connection, we took this image of such a parasitic fly nearby. These flies feed on nectar, but lay their eggs inside various (it seems mostly moth) caterpillars which the subsequent larvae eat from the inside. Yuck! We can't be sure of a connection, but we will be watching.
Several days of no kestrels was followed by 'our' young male ('Kevin') almost now in all male feathers. He spent the best of half an hour preening on the conifer tip, here enjoying an extravagant stretch.
It seems he spotted something tasty behind the tree and dived down out of sight.
2 minutes later he suddenly appeared on the top of a disused telephone pole 50 metres from the tree, and spent a few minutes cleaning and scratching himself before flying straight back to the tree-top perch. He stayed about 15 minutes before making this leisurely departure.
Pheasant are better flyers than we like to think. Here this male has just landed on the tree-stump top and gives us an edge-on view of the separate primary feathers streaking down against the underside of his wing.
Even a little bit of rain brings out the slugs and snails (NOT a montage). The 'orange tower' that the slug has climbed is a segment of spoiled apple.
This red kite made a nice if distant flyby. This is an arbitrary montage of 3 images. We unusually have the top of the bird as it banked, but this time no wing tags to report the colours/numbers of. Some of you tell us of dozens of kites at once, but we are delighted with just the odd one for now.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile fixing his beady eye on a hazel nut a few metres from the bottom of the pole in the next images.
This is probably the same Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker using a long abandoned decrepit telephone pole to wedge Hazel nuts and hammer away at them to get at the kernel. Enjoy these moments ...
The bird spotted us and took his nut away to come back later.
(Poor quality hurried shot not suitable for printing)
The Magpies never seem to miss an opportunity, and the early Hazel nuts are no exception.
Its not every Great Tit that tries strawberry - it had been untouched for an hour (including other Great Tits) before this one had a go - it had gone next frame.
Couldn't resist this elegant if aggressive female blackbird. Whatever was to the right was out of frame.
An influx of rabbits from the now ploughed meadows has done nothing to dampen their ardour. This rabbit was weeding a flowerbed for us, cramming grass into her mouth long after it seemed to be full.
One of our Hazel bushes thrashing about and there was a Grey Squirrel grabbing the unripe nuts and carrying them off to eat. He saw us, sneered suitably, and parked himself on the bark of an adjacent oak tree to eat his prize. We picked some of the nuts before it had the lot, but couple of days later under this tree was found a pile of about 10 more bitten open hazel nuts
Evening next day here is probably the same individual using the tree stump to chew up another nut.
A moulting juvenile Robin impatiently waiting for the rest of it's new breast feathers to come out red.
For a few days we have seen adult blackbirds carrying off bits of food instead of eating them on the spot, and now we see this strange apparition. An expert tell us the distressed tail is probably the result of 'feather mite' infestation from the nest - the next moult will restore healthy feathers.
3 days later we catch possibly the same juvenile Blackbird again, this time begging from an adult who was flying off.
We really enjoy Grasshoppers, although a combination aging ears and a generally noisier environment means that we can rarely hear their stridulation. This as a Lesser Marsh Grasshopper. Its just about invisible unless you see it land.
The same Lesser Marsh Grasshopper moved onto some meadow 'weeds'
A muggy night 2-3 August 2011 got us up in time to see Bats on
the CCTV at about 04:30 - too dark to photograph them because you
can't see them at all. By about 04:50 the lightening sky lured us
out with the camera set up for Bats, and found 2 species flying
around the house.
We think the smaller of the species are Natterer's Bats - three moments of one bat at about 5 frames/sec timed from bottom upwards.
This is a Brown Long-eared bat zooming past an upper floor window leaving his shadow on the wall.
A common Darter Dragonfly using an angled perch hanging over the edge of a pond.
Such perches often encourage dragonflies to perch, fly off for a few seconds, and then return to exactly the same place. This makes it possible to catch the approach and landing. These images are irregularly timed (frames 1, 2 & 5 from a set of 6) that give the right impression.
The chaffinches are still feeling very territorial, here chasing robin from the tree-stump top
A much better view of the agro from the chaffinch
Almost certainly a different chaffinch at a site 70 metres away eating the pip from a piece of apple - we don't remember catching this moment before.
We are including hazel nuts too small to be worth cracking open in the nightly offerings - none have been left by the morning, and now we see who takes them away!
Two nights running we have caught moments of real aggression between two mice at this site.
How these two fieldmice (wood mice) can be fighting mid-leap each head to other tail we really don't know.
This wren popped up for a moment with an insect in its beak, and flew off into the back of the overgrown lilies at the back of the main pond. We have spotted them around the back over a couple of weeks and are fairly sure they are now feeding chicks on a nest.
Along the bridleway we were delighted to see 6 Mistle thrushes (a new species this year for us) on the high voltage wires. This one stayed after 4 of them had left, and provided this opportunity for a take-off shot. The montage is accurate except that the left-most bird's feet should be right where the launching birds feet are.
We surprised this moulting juvenile male kestrel (and him us) on the top of a quite new but now disused telephone pole on our South boundary. He watched us for a few seconds, realised we were not going away, and decided to quietly leave himself. You get a good view of his crazy mix of juvenile and adult tail feathers.
A couple of hours later he was back on the post, this time having a preen that lasted about 30 minutes in the lowering sunlight. Here is a little impression 'photo booth' style. This was taken using a fixed tripod and long-lens setup though and open window about 50m from the pole.
This Brown Hawker Dragonfly female was having great time feeding on midges - you can see one here hanging out of the bottom of her mouth.
In the morning around 9 a.m. our moulting juvenile male Kestrel caught a rodent somewhere and flew right by us with it. We expected him to vanish into the distance, but the just moled field had a half metre high lump of clay about 50m from us which it landed on, battled a bit with the prey, and finally ate it. Here is our impression.
Blackcaps are new here this year. This female was in the top of a 3m high conifer well used as a singing post by many birds.
After many months of mostly placid behaviour, the fieldmice (wood mice) have started leaping about at the moved site. We judge this to be mating show-off behaviour triggered by a bit of rain improving the food supply.
2 minutes later - after the showing off, the reward?
"I can't push this with the weight of you standing on it"
Here are a pair of Gatekeeper butterflies mating on un-dispersed thistle down - looks lovely and comfy!
This pair didn't have it all their own way - another individual (probably a male) fluttered around them but they ignored him.
When its warm enough with some sunshine, we get to see several species of butterfly mating, often first spotted in awkward flight while coupled. Here a pair of Common Blue butterflies on some thistle seed heads.
An early small cherry just seems to be too much for the teeth and jaw to cut through. The cherry was still there undamaged long after the mouse left.
Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) practicing diving without the water? His nest-mate on the ground may have provided a soft landing!
An elegant young Dunnock about to land on the stone.
This Peacock butterfly was repeatedly irritated by the hover-flies and kept flicking it's wings when they got close.
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