Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Each of our two ground level sites has a different fox visiting most nights.
2 days later a sweet little fieldmouse (wood mouse) nervously checks the surroundings. With the fox turning up most nights it is not surprising its nervous.
Another 2 days got this lucky 'fit the frame' image. This is an unprocessed frame straight out of the camera, except for reducing the size.
This Ruddy Darter is an intermediate sized dragonfly that will perch on a stick hanging out over the water as seen in the second image.
Ruddy Darter dragonflies tend to perch on the tips of sticks and vegetation overhanging the water's edge, flying away and returning repeatedly.
This the a Brimstone butterfly (often the first butterfly of the year after over-wintering as adults) but this one will have emerged this year. It is difficult to see both sides of the wing together because when they perch they close their wings, making this in-flight photo unusual. This male is yellow - the females are white, but still have the orange spot.
This Magpie Moth was one of several hundred moths that spent the night in the moth trap.
This small mostly white moth is a Yellow-tail Moth - a new species for us.
This large & colourful male Southern Hawker dragonfly was quite accommodating for the few minutes before we released him to carry on guarding the main pond as his territory - i.e. looking for 'girls'.
A detail from another image of the head and thorax of a male Souther Hawker Dragonfly.
A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly finally appears. 10 years ago we had hundreds of these at once along the hedges enjoying the bramble flowers, but the numbers have gradually reduced to the odd sighting. We still have the bramble flowers - how little we understand of species dynamics.
Last year the dominant damselfly was the 'Azure' - this year hardly seen. Instead we have the 'Common Blue' which comes in a variety of colours! This female blends beautifully with the ripe grass stems.
A fox licking the peanut butter smeared stone. It seems that a lot of wildlife will sell it's soul for peanut butter!
A young fox still exploring its world has already found that this is a good place for a nighttime nibble. This image just before dark shows his eyes not quite fully dilated.
This year the Goldfinches never really left, and are now putting in more regular appearances
From the top of the track-side Lombardy poplar a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker launches itself downwards. Accurately spaced at 7 fps except for a frame missing between the 2 rightmost birds.
We have about 20 'Japanese Larches' (that completely confused us years ago by being deciduous) that make these small fir cones the Grey squirrels rip to pieces to get at the seeds.
We regularly find piles of pine cone fragments, often on the top of our photographic 'boxes'. Here a grey squirrel (always assumed to be the 'culprit') has a piece in the mouth as it seems to be dropping the remains of a cone.
Migrant Hawker Dragonflies are the dominant larger dragonflies on our patch at the moment. We netted this one for a few flights down our 'tunnel' before releasing it, and obtained this elegant moment of take-off.
This appears to be a juvenile Blackbird (left) begging food from Mother
At another site a week later we catch (presumably) another youngster begging from Dad.
An hour later at the same site Dad is obviously still busy collecting worms and other items for that ever open craw.
This Mallard Duck departs from us with sufficient lack of panic that we can got the odd image. This first one is horizontally stretched so you can enjoy the water splash and droplets.
These three are an accurate montage with water still dropping from her plumage.
Single frame shortly after midnight.
One of a number of foxes visiting these sites at night.
The Brown Hawker Dragonflies come out and hunt over the meadow as soon as the afternoon sun shows his face.
Hawker Dragonflies often hang in bushes where they are very difficult to find unless you see them land. Every time the camera lost position it was a struggle to find the insect again from only a couple of metres away.
A few days later a female migrant Hawker was disguising herself in a similar way.
Of a few hundred moths in the moth trap this moth called 'The Herald' stood out for its orange markings, and flew fairly well. This ivy flower is not open, but it is their 'summer' food - Willows and Poplars in the Spring.
Just one Hawk moth in the trap - a Poplar Hawk moth that did a few flights for us. But first we took some portraits on Black poplar leaves
A Poplar Hawk Moth in flight showing the colour patches that this exposes.
A Poplar Hawk Moth in flight showing the colour patches that this exposes.
Peacock butterflies have always (for us over 40 years) been a difficult subject for in-flight photographs because they are very dark despite the splashes of bright colour. This one was netted on Buddleia.
Peacock butterflies have always (for us over 40 years) been a difficult subject for in-flight photographs because they are very dark despite the splashes of bright colour. This one was netted on a teasel flower head - a fascinating plant to watch flower.
For an in-flight photograph of a female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly this image is ridiculously sharp.
A detail from the previous in-flight photo.
The small Gatekeeper butterflies seem to spend most of their time on Blackberry flowers. This flower head includes a Flower bud, a forming fruit, and a fairly exhausted open flower.
The same fox made 3 visits in the hour around midnight, or more likely never left. Note the absolutely wide open irises.
Around dawn the half light causes the foxes irises to be just partially closed.
This pair of images show the Iris mostly closed and mostly open in light and dark.
This might just be a prelude to a mating - or maybe just an optimistic attempt!
We had problems identifying this bird of prey seeing flying over the wheat and dropping into it just as a lorry stopped and obscured the view. We didn't see it again. One of our email members suggested a juvenile Hobby & subsequent sightings of a pair of adults suggests this is right (see 4 Oct 2012). We just keep an eye open for it going after our dragonflies - a favourite prey - before it migrates south in a mid-August.
Many Bluetits, juveniles and adult, have been feeding from an aphid infestation on thistles around the conservatory (yes, we are truly wildlife gardeners!). Here we see an aphid just a moment before it went 'down the hatch'
One of our foxes longing for a tasty duck as she swims quietly away!
Despite the breeding season ending, the Chaffinch males continue to 'beat each other up' at every opportunity.
The female has a deformed or long ago injured right foot. We have seen this many times in ducks and geese (then usually caused by limbs being tourniquetted by fishing line) and they seem to manage 'OK'
This male Brown Hawker Dragonfly has just launched into flight. The strange pod on the left is the seed head of a Flag Iris.
A few days later we caught this female Brown Hawker Dragonfly, but events transpired that prevented us photographing her in flight. She needed a chance to warm herself up for flight, so we hung her in the hedge. The blurred tips of the wings is her vibrating them to raise the temperature of her flight muscles
Another view, this time from the side, before she departed.
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive