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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DB1_20110814_1438_044 Cinnabar moth caterpillar on Ragwort leaf waving head end about (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DB1_20110814_1440_061 Tachina fera (q) parasitic fly on knapweed flower (crop).jpg

29 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D01_20110817_1222_074 Kestrel male maturing on Conifer top stretching himself (crop @576).jpg

It seems he spotted something tasty behind the tree and dived down out of sight.

Ref: D01_20110817_1234_136-139 Kestrel male maturing diving from Conifer top at SE corner 1-4 of 4 (acc montage).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20110817_1254_310-313 Kestrel male maturing take off from Conifer top at SE corner 1-4 of 5 (approx montage).jpg

28 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D35_20110815_1800_011_FB4 Pheasant male on tree-stump top (crop).jpg

27 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D35_20110804_2305_019_FB4 3 snails and leopard slug.jpg

26 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110809_1245_039+043+046 Red Kite flyby (arbitrary montage).jpg

25 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D45_20110807_1809_268_FB1 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile looking at Hazelnuts on the ground.jpg

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 ...

Ref: DF1_20110809_1423_124 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile with Hazelnut in beak (crop).jpg

Ref: DF1_20110809_1512_179-180 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile taking Hazelnut to post to hammer open 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

The bird spotted us and took his nut away to come back later.
(Poor quality hurried shot not suitable for printing)

Ref: DF1_20110809_1425_175-177 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile flying from post with Hazelnut in beak 1-3 of 4 (approx montage @ 7fps).jpg

24 Sep 2011

The Magpies never seem to miss an opportunity, and the early Hazel nuts are no exception.

Ref: D45_20110808_1936_027_FB1 Magpie with pair of hazelnuts in beak (crop).jpg

23 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D45_20110811_1904_312_FB1 Great Tit standing pecking at Strawberry fragment (crop).jpg

22 Sep 2011

Couldn't resist this elegant if aggressive female blackbird. Whatever was to the right was out of frame.

Ref: D5C_20110810_2033_098_FB2 Blackbird female in aggressive posture.jpg

21 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110810_0707_015 Rabbit collecting dead grass for bedding (crop).jpg

20 Sep 2011

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

Ref: DF1_20110728_1610_181+1612_187+191+197 Grey Squirrel taking Hazelnut onto oak tree trunk to eat it 1-3+5 of 6 (montage).jpg

Evening next day here is probably the same individual using the tree stump to chew up another nut.

Ref: D35_20110729_1837_027_FB4 Grey Squirrel about to tackle green Hazel nut.jpg

19 Sep 2011

A moulting juvenile Robin impatiently waiting for the rest of it's new breast feathers to come out red.

Ref: D35_20110730_2055_060_FB4 Juvenile robin moulting to adult colours.jpg

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.

Ref: D45_20110804_0542_217_FB1 Blackbird juvenile (crop inc right edge of frame).jpg

3 days later we catch possibly the same juvenile Blackbird again, this time begging from an adult who was flying off.

Ref: D45_20110807_1806_266_FB1 Blackbird juvenile begging.jpg

18 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DB1_20110730_1510_002 Lesser Marsh Grasshopper on vertical grass blade (crop).jpg

The same Lesser Marsh Grasshopper moved onto some meadow 'weeds'

Ref: DB1_20110730_1513_004 Lesser Marsh Grasshopper (crop).jpg

17 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DB1_20110803_0454_097-099 Natterers bat in flight (about 5 fps) 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

This is a Brown Long-eared bat zooming past an upper floor window leaving his shadow on the wall.

Ref: DB1_20110803_0458_147 Brown Long-eared Bat in flight (crop).jpg

16 Sep 2011

A common Darter Dragonfly using an angled perch hanging over the edge of a pond.

Ref: DF1_20110731_1244_230 Common Darter Dragonfly (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DF1_20110731_1245_302+303+306 Common Darter Dragonfly coming in to land on tip of stick 1+2+5 of 6 (irregularly timed montage).jpg

15 Sep 2011

The chaffinches are still feeling very territorial, here chasing robin from the tree-stump top

Ref: D35_20110802_0542_006_FB4 Chaffinch male chasing robin from tree-stump top (crop 1).jpg

A much better view of the agro from the chaffinch

Ref: D35_20110802_0542_006_FB4 Chaffinch male chasing robin from tree-stump top (crop 2).jpg

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.

Ref: D45_20110801_1942_025_FB1 Chaffinch male with apple pip taken from core of cut apple.jpg

14 Sep 2011

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!

Ref: D45_20110802_0022_052_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) running off with Hazelnut.jpg


Ref: D45_20110803_0105_122_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) possibly leaping on to food.jpg

13 Sep 2011

Two nights running we have caught moments of real aggression between two mice at this site.

Ref: D45_20110803_0107_123_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) squabbling (crop).jpg

How these two fieldmice (wood mice) can be fighting mid-leap each head to other tail we really don't know.

Ref: D45_20110804_0244_208_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) squabbling in mid leap (crop).jpg

12 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DC1_20110731_0707_006 Wren with insect in beak perching momentarily on dead broken pampas grass (crop).jpg

11 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110723_1021_018-022 Mistle Thrush taking off from wire along bridleway to North 1-5 of 5 (montage @7fps).jpg

10 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110724_1751_227+229 Kestrel juvenile male taking off from disused telephone pole top 1+3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20110724_1932_171-1939_293 Kestrel Juvenile male preening on top of disused telephone pole 09+12+15+27 of 27 (montage).jpg

09 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110728_1806_086 Brown Hawker Dragonfly female in flight with midge in mouth (crop).jpg

08 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110724_0908_117+139+157 Kestrel juvenile male flying by with rodent in talons then landing to eat it 02+07+12 of 13 (montage).jpg

07 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DF1_20110725_1702_056 Blackcap female on conifer top (crop).jpg

06 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D45_20110725_2337_030_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping over another (crop).jpg

2 minutes later - after the showing off, the reward?

Ref: D45_20110725_2339_031_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nuzzling rump of another.jpg

"I can't push this with the weight of you standing on it"

Ref: D45_20110726_0029_035_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaning on stone with another on top.jpg

05 Sep 2011

Here are a pair of Gatekeeper butterflies mating on un-dispersed thistle down - looks lovely and comfy!

Ref: DF1_20110727_1340_097 Gatekeeper Butterflies mating on thistle down (crop).jpg

This pair didn't have it all their own way - another individual (probably a male) fluttered around them but they ignored him.

Ref: DF1_20110727_1340_106 Gatekeeper Butterflies mating on thistle down with another fluttering round the pair.jpg

04 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: DB1_20110728_1107_046 Common Blue butterfly pair mating in Thistle seed head (female at top) (crop).jpg

03 Sep 2011

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.

Ref: D45_20110723_0231_053_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) trying to bite whole (small) cherry.jpg

Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) practicing diving without the water? His nest-mate on the ground may have provided a soft landing!

Ref: D45_20110724_2143_166_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping possibly about to land on another.jpg

02 Sep 2011

An elegant young Dunnock about to land on the stone.

Ref: D45_20110718_0605_146_FB1 Dunnock juvenile about to land (crop).jpg

01 Sep 2011

This Peacock butterfly was repeatedly irritated by the hover-flies and kept flicking it's wings when they got close.

Ref: DF1_20110722_1012_042 Peacock Butterfly and 4 hover-flies on Perennial Sow-thistle (crop).jpg



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