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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Apr 2012

One of the female Mallard ducks has made a nest in the Daffodils on an island. This image from the bank shows her head to the left (eye peeping between 2 fronds). We found her by knowing Mallard ducks like to nest there, and will leave her alone - the island is 'off limits' for a few weeks!

Ref: DF1_20120405_1216_001 Mallard duck female on nest within Daffodils on Round Pond island (crop).jpg

We bought the least expensive Thermal camera we could find to help us find nests. This is the thermal image (rather wider angle than the cropped natural image) of a concealed Mallard duck nest from maybe 8 metres away, highlighting her presence very well.

Ref: IR1_20120406_1804_007 Mallard duck female on nest within Daffodils on Round Pond island (Thermal - air temp 10C) (orig).jpg

29 Apr 2012

This is a detail of the lovely catkins that form on Black poplar trees. They fall long before the leaves emerge. Black Poplar are either male or female - ours and possibly all that are left are males - the females are said to smell badly at times of the year and were not planted. We propagated ours by cuttings from fallen branches, although this is a low branch on a tree planted about 1938.

Ref: DF1_20120406_0728_042 Black Poplar Catkins (crop).jpg

28 Apr 2012

We are surrounded by robins - this one sat on a branch a few metres away and sang to us (or more likely the other robins!)

Ref: DF1_20120407_1744_109 Robin Singing from Ash tree branch 08 of 15 (crop).jpg

27 Apr 2012

As we arrived at the pond the female mallard duck hauled out on the bank to have a good preen, while he continued to have what seemed like a wonderful time 'in the bath'.

Ref: DF1_20120324_1249_133 Mallard duck male (gouged beak) bathing in Round Pond (selected) 08 of 16 (crop).jpg


Ref: DF1_20120324_1249_143 Mallard duck male (gouged beak) bathing in Round Pond (selected) 14 of 16 (crop).jpg

She took no notice of all the splashing about, quietly working through her down, contour and flight feathers

Ref: DF1_20120324_1249_151 Mallard duck female preening on bank of Round Pond (crop).jpg

26 Apr 2012

We haven't identified this Bumble Bee, but love the dusting of pollen from the willow catkin.

Ref: DF1_20120323_1611_063 unident Bumble Bee on willow catkin (crop).jpg

This is a male Brimstone Butterfly fueling up from one of a number of Winter flowering Viburnum.

Ref: DF1_20120324_1536_226 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Viburnum (crop).jpg

25 Apr 2012

A pair of Mallard flying in to a pond to the right as a reasonably accurate montage at 7 fps. You can see she was overtaking him - quite normal - she says where they go!

Ref: DF1_20120325_0821_283-286 Mallard Duck pair flying together 1-4 of 4 (approx montage).jpg

We have often commented on the quiet co-existence of pheasants with rooks & jackdaws. Several times now we have seen the same with the mallard ducks. Far more Mallard activity this year - no moorhen are about to harass them!

Ref: SG2_20120319_1754_050_SC2 Mallard duck pair feeding in the middle of 4 Rooks and 3 (of 4) Jackdaws (crop).jpg

24 Apr 2012

One of our Tree Sparrows elegantly descending to the perch

Ref: D3B_20120316_1246_045_FB3 Tree sparrow dropping down to perch (adjusted crop).jpg

This House Sparrow was first spotted having an altercation with a Tit near the hole in the roof used by the Starlings. We hope this declining species will nest somewhere here.

Ref: DF1_20120327_1105_029 House Sparrow after leaving area of roof nest hole (crop).jpg

23 Apr 2012

Long-tailed tits are very nervous birds and its a challenge to photograph them when we are 'out and about', as here.

Ref: DF1_20120326_0942_152+153 Long-tailed Tit taking off from branch 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

22 Apr 2012

The cherry blossom is all over the plot. We find it difficult to capture the feeling 'in the mass' so here is a little detail to delight.

Ref: DF1_20120327_1048_004 Twig of Cherry Blossom (crop 2).jpg

21 Apr 2012

4 days later the Tawny owl visited again, this time around 1 a.m., photographing itself twice, first landing and then jumping down onto the perch with it's back to us. The 2 images are montaged together.

Ref: D3B_20120322_0055_117+118_FB3 Tawny Owl Landing on Peanut feeder then moving to perch (adjusted position montage).jpg

20 Apr 2012

We spotted this lovely Tawny owl land on the top of the peanut feeder on an IR CCTV (Infra-red lit Closed Circuit TV 'security' camera) but it missed the IR trigger beam so a creep through the dark to the camera allowed several manually triggered photos.

Ref: D3B_20120318_2131_153+2134_164+2030_151_FB3 Tawny Owl on top of Peanut feeder 2+8+1 of 9 (montage).jpg

Ref: D3B_20120318_2133_159_FB3 Tawny Owl on top of Peanut feeder 6 of 9 (crop).jpg

19 Apr 2012

The dry ground allows the log to get rolled about by the bigger birds and animals. Here one end is as high as you can get it - so that is the end this mouse decides to clamber up!

Ref: D5C_20120316_2001_073_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) reaching up to high end of log (crop).jpg

18 Apr 2012

Surprise of the week was this Snipe making a perhaps 30 minute visit to the grass around. and banks of, the main pond.
How do you preen with a beak half of your body length?
Very nicely apparently.

Ref: DC1_20120316_1004_253 Snipe Preening (crop).jpg

Worms are definitely on the menu! This is 3 successive frames as it manoeuvred a worm down its long beak

Ref: DF1_20120316_0954_035-37 Snipe manoeuvring worm down beak 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

17 Apr 2012

Surprise of the week was this Snipe making a perhaps 30 minute visit to the grass around. and banks of, the main pond.
Here is a selection of images, all through window glass for fear of disturbing the visitor.

Ref: DC1_20120316_0958_124 Snipe probing grass by edge of main pond (crop).jpg

This pair of montaged images shows that the bird uses all of the beak when it needs to.

Ref: DC1_20120316_0959_160+167 Snipe probing soil at edge of main pond 3+4 of 8 (montage at same position).jpg

16 Apr 2012

A female Mallard duck showing the signs of her 'boyfriend's affections' on the nape of her neck where he has gripped her while having his 'evil' ways with her.

Ref: DF1_20120318_1609_238 Mallard duck female in flight (damaged nape feathers).jpg

Perhaps the 'culprit' of the females feather loss - an accurate montage of a male mallard climbing steeply from take-off. This was probably at 7fps.

Ref: DF1_20120320_1530_069-071 Mallard duck male gaining height in flight (accurate montage).jpg

15 Apr 2012

Spring has brought out the daffodils - little 'sunshines' on the island of 'Round Pond'

Ref: DF1_20120319_1542_023 daffodils on Round Pond island (crop).jpg

Our 20 year old boundary barbed wire and net fences are mostly overgrown with self-set Blackthorn, but one corner has self-set with a 5 metre length around the corner post of what is probably wild cherry. The Cherry wins the race to first flowering every year.

Ref: P10_20120320_1251_080 Blossom (probably Cherry) on fence at NE corner (crop).jpg

14 Apr 2012

The Chaffinch and Robin seem to share about the same level of aggression and are often seen squabbling over access to the feeding sites.

Ref: D45_20120309_1653_054_FB1 Chaffinch male in flight threatening Robin on stone (crop).jpg

13 Apr 2012

2 frames and 10 minutes apart this pair of mallard ducks (almost) made a perfect pairing face to face. We often see them from a distance like this, but one will always have triggered the camera before the other arrive, so we don't get the joint photo

Ref: D5C_20120310_1647_116+1658_118_FB2 Mallard pair 10 minutes apart (montage).jpg

Through the kitchen window, a female mallard duck head down in the mud feeding (what else) as the male watches the world - and her.

Ref: FJ1_20120308_1029_021 Mallard duck female dabbling in mud as male guards.jpg

12 Apr 2012

Whoosh - 11 of 30 images at 7 fps (frames per second)accurately montaged.
This male Mallard duck is aerobraking to drop into a pond - you can see that he about halved his speed in the course of the 1.5 seconds this shows. This sequence stops several metres above the ground and pond.

Ref: DF1_20120314_1616_085-095 Mallard duck male aerobraking from sky down through trees 7fps 14-24 of 30 (accurate montage).jpg

A closer view of the last 5 from above

Ref: DF1_20120314_1616_091-095 Mallard duck male aerobraking from sky down through trees 7fps 20-24 of 30 (accurate montage).jpg

A really close view of the 5th from the right of the 11 image montage.

Ref: DF1_20120314_1616_089 Mallard duck male aerobraking from sky down through trees 7fps 18 of 30 (crop).jpg

11 Apr 2012

Each day we place food at various sites as 'bait'. At some times of the year the Rooks and sometimes jackdaws turn up around our standard time and squabble over access.
First a Rook arriving at the top of a baited post top - the images would have overlapped so are spread horizontally.

Ref: D01_20120311_1642_198-200 Rook landing on meadow post 1-3 of 6 (montage @ 7fps acc Ver spread Hor).jpg

Displaced! A succession of these change-overs take place until all the easy pickings have gone.

Ref: D01_20120311_1642_209 2 Rooks skirmishing over top of meadow post (crop).jpg

10 Apr 2012

The Barn owl spends a few minutes on this post early evening perhaps twice a week. It stayed unusually long this time - 12 minutes and stayed frozen in this position long enough to get this nice portrait by diffuse moonlight.
Technical: 600mm lens & 1.4x converter, F5.6, 8 Seconds, ISO 6400, pre-focussed in daytime & through window glass.

Ref: D01_20120308_2008_063 Barn owl on meadow post for 12 mins.jpg

09 Apr 2012

We have started seeing 2 male Great Spotted Woodpeckers at once, often squabbling if they see each other.

Ref: D3B_20120305_1351_026_FB3 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker males skirmishing (crop).jpg

This is one of them exploring the crevices of a post in the meadow.

Ref: D01_20120302_1327_010 Great Spotted Woodpecker male on side of meadow post.jpg

08 Apr 2012

The male Kestrel has started to make the odd visit in the day, but is usually immediately seen off by one of the many aggressive Rooks. But he also sometimes appears just as it is getting dark and the corvids (crows & like) have gone but he can still see well enough. He likes the top of our nearest concrete mains power pole, and stays for a few minutes.

Ref: D01_20120306_1752_059+065+068+071 Kestrel male on top of concrete power pole 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

07 Apr 2012

A chance grouping of 5 starlings on the perch next to one of the peanut feeders. It is interesting to see the number of different breast feather variations.

Ref: D3B_20120301_1356_033_FB3 5 Starlings at kitchen peanut feeder (crop).jpg

06 Apr 2012

Togetherness, Mallard duck style ...
This is the standard position we see this pair taking day after day - her feeding and him 'guarding' - well keeping her close anyway!

Ref: D5C_20120305_1640_015_FB2 Mallard duck male guarding feeding female (crop).jpg

05 Apr 2012

A Mallard duck female circling the plot waiting for the 2-legs (us!) to 'vanish'

Ref: DF1_20120305_1628_169 Mallard duck female in flight (crop).jpg

04 Apr 2012

One of the buzzards flew over us viewed through the branches of a Black poplar tree on our access track.

Ref: DF1_20120305_1231_051 Buzzard in flight viewed through black poplar branches 1 of 5 (crop 2).jpg

One of the 5 buzzards we sometimes see together climbing in the thermals flew by against the trees, giving the opportunity for an accurately spaced montage at about 7 fps. So this is about 1 second of flight.

Ref: DF1_20120306_1049_138-144 Buzzard flying against trees to NW 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage 2).jpg

Within the same minute a Rook challenged the buzzard which looked up at the rook with some disdain before flying on.

Ref: DF1_20120306_1049_159-161 Rook harassing buzzard in flight @ 5 fps 2-4 of 5 (montage).jpg

03 Apr 2012

The Magpie looks so innocent, but Magpies really are the local garbage collectors - the only bird or animal in our experience that will carry off an already dead mouse. Note the top half of the legs covered by little cylinders of rich brown feathers

Ref: D45_20120307_1620_127_FB1 Magpie facing camera.jpg

02 Apr 2012

3 stages of the Springtime development of the blue coating on male Chaffinches' beaks. 3 different birds showing the coating growing from the base of the beak to the tip and edges.
Here the blue coating well clear of the edges & tip.

Ref: D35_20120223_1436_016_FB4 Chaffinch male showing blue coating developing on beak (crop and insert).jpg

The blue coating has almost reached the tip of the beak.

Ref: D45_20120224_1654_071_FB1 Chaffinch male showing blue coating developing on beak (crop).jpg

The intense blue coating covers this bird's whole beak.

Ref: D35_20120226_1012_057_FB4 Chaffinch male showing blue coating developed on beak (crop and insert).jpg

01 Apr 2012

Over about an hour the mice stripped this raw corn cob of all its kernels. But we have no idea what is going on here - an untouched single frame for 'April Fools Days' but genuine.

Ref: D45_20120224_2011_092_FB1 3 fieldmice (wood mice) in leaping melee around corn cob (crop).jpg



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