Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jan 2012

For a couple of days the main pond was visited by just this one male Mallard Duck with 2 females. While the females are building themselves up the male 'guards' them - i.e. tries to keep them for himself come Spring!

Ref: DC1_20111223_1240_031 Mallard male guarding 2 females feeding (crop).jpg

30 Jan 2012

Looking UP we see the characteristic bare branches of Winter against a still blue sky. The lowering sun lit up the bare silver birches. But birch bark only goes white after a few years so you get this lovely brown shading near the top of the tree.

Ref: DF1_20120102_1501_098 Silver birch in evening sunlight against blue sky (crop).jpg

Looking DOWN we see the first signs of Spring. Snowdrops are making an appearance in a shaded but sheltered corner of the main pond bank. If you look at the tallest spike you can see the cross-over of two as yet unfurled petals.

Ref: DF1_20120102_1324_069 Snowdrops 2012 Seq (crop).jpg

29 Jan 2012

Corn grain eaten like we would tackle of whole corn cob.

Ref: D45_20120101_1624_142_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating corn grain from paws (crop).jpg

Ref: D45_20120101_1702_155_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating corn grain from paws (crop).jpg

28 Jan 2012

In the dark, two fieldmice (wood mice) mingle their whiskers in the hollow gouged under the end of the stone by numerous denizens looking for food.

Ref: D45_20120102_1755_051_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) nuzzling.jpg

A bank vole looking under the side of the stone to see what the mice might have missed.

Ref: D45_20120103_1634_086_FB1 Bank Vole against red apple.jpg

27 Jan 2012

A Plunging Dunnock caught crisply in focus for once.

Ref: D45_20111226_1614_049_FB1 Dunnock diving to ground (crop).jpg

Only 6 minutes after the last recorded bird visit the evening gloom attracts out the first fieldmice (wood mice).

Ref: D45_20111226_1622_054_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nibbling squashed wild plum.jpg

26 Jan 2012

A little romance in the offing, like the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet?

Ref: D45_20111227_1733_113_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) looking at each other (crop).jpg

A little whisker mingling at the top!

Ref: D45_20111227_1631_095_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) mingling whiskers (crop 1).jpg

25 Jan 2012

What a sweetie - a young fieldmouse (wood mouse) poised on a small red crab apple.

Ref: D45_20111229_0106_173_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) standing on apple.jpg

24 Jan 2012

3 creatures selecting their favourites from the menu.
A favourite food of the Fieldmice (Wood Mice): Corn grains

Ref: D5C_20111227_0352_032_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating corn grain on log.jpg

A favourite food of the Grey Squirrel: Hazelnuts

Ref: D5C_20111227_1519_051_FB2 Grey Squirrel with Hazelnut.jpg

A favourite food of the Magpie: cooked food waste - here a small potato (when there isn't a tasty mouse available)

Ref: D5C_20111228_0752_081_FB2 Magpie with small potato.jpg

23 Jan 2012

Up in the branches this Bluetit is wheedling seeds from the Birches

Ref: DF1_20111227_1035_130+133 Bluetit feeding on Birch tree seeds 5+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

22 Jan 2012

This male Pheasant makes an unexpectedly elegant landing on the kitchen window perch. These 2 frames taken within the same minute.

Ref: D3B_20111215_0846_003+004_FB3 Pheasant male landing on peanut feeder perch 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

21 Jan 2012

During cold weather birds can get very aggressive around the feeders.

Ref: D3B_20111217_1231_095_FB3 Greenfinch chasing off Dunnock (below out of crop) (crop).jpg

Ref: D3B_20111218_0900_112_FB3 Robin in flight threatening Bluetit on perch (crop).jpg

20 Jan 2012

4 Successive frames saw this chaffinch flying fairly close by the male Great Spotted Woodpecker within just 3 minutes. We are sure it was trying harass it away.

Ref: D3B_20111216_1420_072-1422_075_FB3 Chaffinch female 4 flybys by Great Spotted Woodpecker male in 3 mins 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

19 Jan 2012

Its no good - we think the powerful Rook on the left looks 'sweet'. We must be spending too much time looking at birds!

Ref: D45_20111217_1502_141_FB1 2 Rooks (crop 1).jpg

Ref: D45_20111217_1502_141_FB1 2 Rooks (crop 2).jpg

18 Jan 2012

This juvenile heron took about 7 minutes to catch this insect (no idea what it is). It stood still for about 5 minutes in relaxed pose (sometimes on one leg) and then suddenly took an interest, speared something in the long grass, and tossed it back into the gape (very poor image not included)

Ref: D01_20111208_0944_145+152 Heron waiting & catching ground insect in long grass (selected) 4+11 of 20 (montage).jpg

17 Jan 2012

This Tawny owl made this nice landing on the perch (which we saw on CCTV as well) but stayed for only a few seconds before flying off.
The time stamp for this image is a few minutes fast.

Ref: D3B_20111210_2132_151_FB3 Tawny Owl landing on Perch (crop 1).jpg

A minute or two later it (or another - we have in the past seen 2 Tawny owls at once here) Tawny Owl landed on the Meadow post and we got a few portraits by the light of the full moon (the same day that it was finishing being eclipsed as it rose). The exposure was at 6400 ISO for 'a few' seconds.

Ref: D01_20111210_2126_200 Tawny Owl on meadow post by light of full moon (crop).jpg

16 Jan 2012

Just run your eye over the variety of brown black and white feather patterns!

Ref: D45_20111209_1525_065_FB1 Pheasant male (crop).jpg

15 Jan 2012

We see foxes every night on the end of orchard IR stealth cam, but this is the first sighting for weeks at a high quality site, and what a lovely youngster.

Ref: D5C_20111209_0239_032_FB2 Young Fox (crop 1).jpg

14 Jan 2012

A cold but sunny and still middle of day unexpectedly had this buzzard flying right over us in the characteristic circle and climb indicating it had found a 'thermal'. Of course it is a local temperature difference that creates the thermal, rather than warmth.

Ref: DF1_20111209_1205_017 Buzzard in unexpected thermal over our plot on cold still sunny midday.jpg

A few days later another raptor, a Sparrowhawk with a more smash-and-grab technique, triggered the camera at a peanut feeder. We have no idea of the outcome - the Great Spotted Woodpecker is banking hard with head at the left and already wings folded so probably had enough speed to escape.

Ref: D3B_20111214_1549_069_FB3 Sparrowhawk attacking Great Spotted Woodpecker (crop 2).jpg

13 Jan 2012

During a short snow shower (try saying that a few times!) the camera caught this moment as this bad tempered chaffinch male told the Great Tit it "wasn't welcome".

Ref: D45_20111213_1522_089_FB1 Chaffinch male attacking Great Tit during snow shower (crop).jpg

12 Jan 2012

Greenfinches reappeared after a summer and autumn absence, and are really aggressive towards each other and any other creature that gets in their way. Here a Great Tit flees the wrath of the Greenfinch.

Ref: D3B_20111206_1305_094_FB3 Greenfinch Threatening Great Tit (crop).jpg

11 Jan 2012

Destructive though they are, Grey Squirrels really are a delight to the eye. Here one has picked up a rather stale half-chestnut to give it benefit of the teeth.

Ref: D5C_20111205_1504_014_FB2 Grey Squirrel with chestnut in muddy paws.jpg

10 Jan 2012

The original frame shows a skirmish between two Great tits, but this crop is more satisfying by omitting the very blurred second bird also in flight.

Ref: D45_20111204_1409_189_FB1 Great Tit chasing off another (crop to avoid 2nd bird).jpg

09 Jan 2012

Many small birds chase away members of their own or other species to get access to food. Here a Chaffinch is chasing off a Bluetit.

Ref: d45_20111203_1551_123_fb1 chaffinch chasing off bluetit (crop).jpg

08 Jan 2012

Several Fieldfares spent some time drinking at the back of the main pond. This is the same bird over a couple of seconds . Most birds, like this one, drink by submerging the beak, closing it, and then tipping the water back into the throat.

Ref: DF1_20111201_1204_093+099 Fieldfare drinking at back of main pond filling beak & tilting head backwards 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

07 Jan 2012

This is an original frame of a Sundog that lasted about 1 minute as this little patch of cloud moved through the right position. It started as an abnormally bright white cloud, moved through the static sky positions for the colour bands, and then reverted to a normal looking hazy cloud.

Ref: P34_20111205_1218_423 Intense sundog (orig).jpg

There was a total eclipse of the moon on Saturday 10th 2011 but by the time the moon rose in the UK it was almost over. Here are a couple of images taken at dusk (4.20 p.m.) using a hand-held camera as the moon appeared above the haze at the horizon. The first image gives the impression including the dark landscape.

Ref: P34_20111210_1620_451 End of total eclipse of moon at moonrise (crop).jpg

The image shows more how the moon appeared to the eye which can adapt to the huge contrast far better than a camera. The earth's shadow was creeping off at the top right.

Ref: P34_20111210_1622_472 End of total eclipse of moon at moonrise (crop).jpg

06 Jan 2012

The Grey squirrels are stuffing themselves with nuts and other goodies.

Ref: D5C_20111129_1510_033_FB2 Grey Squirrel with 2 (q) peanut butter smeared hazelnuts in mouth.jpg

What the Grey squirrels don't want to eat now, they take away and hide.

Ref: D5C_20111130_1454_064_FB2 Grey Squirrel leaping away with hazelnut (crop).jpg

05 Jan 2012

Goldfinches seem to be many peoples favourite small birds, and are certainly high on our list. This bird (and a few of his friends nearby) wheedle seeds out of teasel heads for many months.

Ref: DF1_20111130_0959_087 Goldfinch on Teasel head (crop).jpg

Ref: DF1_20111130_0959_115 Goldfinch on Teasel head (crop).jpg

04 Jan 2012

The various members of the Thrush family have profitably feasted on the hawthorn berries (haws) in hedges and trees. Here is a Fieldfare part way through swallowing a Haw.

Ref: D01_20111125_1318_018 Fieldfare picking and swallowing Hawthorn Berry 05 of 10 (crop).jpg

This is the female blackbird that 'owns' the back garden manoeuvring a Hawthorn berry (Haw) down with her tongue.

Ref: DF1_20111130_1233_160+163 Blackbird female swallowing Hawthorn Berry 2+5 of 7 (montage).jpg

03 Jan 2012

Although this heron has been mostly catching worms in the meadow, here it has caught a fieldmouse (wood mouse) incautiously out in daylight. It caught it at the edge of long grass along with a lot of dead grass, shook it about obviously still very much alive, turned it round (last frame we show), then crushed it in the beak and swallowed it. The last few images might upset some of you, so we have stopped before it becomes more graphic. They are available on request as usual.

Ref: D01_20111130_1251_197+204+_1252_219 Heron catching & swallowing live fieldmouse (wood mouse) 28+35+50 of 64 (mixed scale montage).jpg

02 Jan 2012

This juvenile Heron that regularly visited our meadow area mostly took earthworms from in and around fresh mole-hills. It could catch one every few minutes when it puts it's mind to it. It picks them up in the beak tip, and then throws them back into the gape. These two images are about 0.2 seconds apart, and in the next one (another 0.2 seconds on, not shown) the beak was closed again. This explains why its hard to see what's happening using only the eye.

Ref: D01_20111130_1245_073+074 Heron tossing earthworm from tip of beak into open gape 2+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

01 Jan 2012

More Owls as a New-Year treat.
We hear tawny owls calling less than kilometre to our south, and at least one is making regular visits to either the Kitchen window perch or the tree stump. Here a bird landed to make a lovely portrait.

Ref: D35_20111120_1906_074_FB4 Tawny Owl landing on tree stump (crop).jpg

This is one of many taken through the kitchen window to maneuvering the normally static camera about by guesswork in the dark. It has landed on top of a large peanut feeder which is just a convenient perch for the owl, rather than a souce of food.

Ref: D3B_20111117_1931_047_FB3 Tawny Owl on Peanut feeder (crop).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive