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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This seem to be our male Yellowhammer definitely NOT pleased to see the Dunnock that seems to have just landed! Note the lovely brown rump of the Yellowhammer.
As dusk falls a Song Thrush stands among the closing buttercups
An early morning outing disturbed this Hare that Lolloped down the bank of the farm track. This is alternate frames so the Hare was not that bothered by us.
Another Moth trap regular - the Buff Ermine moth. These two images are from separate flights, montaged for effect
This Yellow Shell moth is a day flying moth shown with a small sample of Orange Hawkweed
A regular in the Moth trap - the Burnished Brass moth.
The polished metal look only works with lighting and angles right. and rarely appears in photographs in flight. This was the only frame of the session to show some of the wing as 'burnished'.
The insect is flying upwards showing us the top of the wing.
This is a clouded border moth. Here you see the bottom of the wing.
We found this male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly at the North boundary where we had been finding Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies a couples of weeks before.
In a patch of sunshine in the woodland where we have been seeing them for year, we found a few freshly emerged Speckled Wood butterflies (even if this one already has a bird peck).
Ringlet Butterflies have just emerged and were fluttering around the flowers of a privet hedge.
We have seen this flower for the last couple of years, and the stunning colour is not exaggerated. It's most common name seems to be Fox-and-Cubs (related to fur colours?) but it is also know as 'Orange Hawkweed' which for us fits the plant much better. These flowers are about 2.5cm (1 inch) diameter.
This flower is called Herb Robert along with its seed case. The flower is about 1.3 cm diameter (about half an inch). We didn't arrange this layout - this is what grew 'naturally'.
This flower was growing in the old garden when we arrived, and has propagated itself
into various sunny spots every since. The bark at the left is an old natural wood post.
It is a native of Africa - we can't imagine why it likes it in the UK!
In the minutes before midnight this fieldmouse (wood mouse) walks along the log through a sea of buttercups.
FEED ME NOW!
The parent Dunnock on the ground lower right doesn't seem to be enthusing at the prospect of the ever-open beak
A male Large Skipper Butterfly, sex identified by the black streak on the wing which is some sort of olfactory device.
Years ago we saw these Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in hundreds down our young Hawthorn hedges. Nowadays we are delighted to see even one, and here it is feeding on some just opened Privet flowers.
A stroll down the disused track at 7 a.m. found us and this Muntjac deer equally surprised by this encounter. At first he didn't notice us and ambled left toward the Oil-seed rape crop. Notice the horns 'In Velvet' and the little white 'fang' at the mouth with his tongue hanging out. You can clearly see the tiny hooves which always seem to us to be too small for the animals bulk. In wet weather we often see deep slots made by them in the clay.
He suddenly noticed us standing still watching him, pause a moment, but ambled on his way.
When he had disappeared behind the crop we hurried up to see where he went. This was not welcomed by the deer who ran down the weed-killed boarder of the crop and vanished into the crop on the left.
Moorhen with chicks build several 'Brood Platforms' around their territory to keep the chicks dry and safe. They can build them remarkably fast - this bird spent 7 hours doing nearly nothing else in view of the house windows. The whole family (parents + 2 chicks) spent Saturday-Sunday night on it and have used it on-and-off ever since.
A closer view of the industrious bird while the sun lifted the view. This fits in between the first and second images in the montage
4 days later the platform has grown a bit and a parent is busy doing a bit of 'bed making'. A chick on the right is watching.
2 days on, with 2 surviving chicks doing nicely, it is time for another clutch. Here they are mating on the bank of the main pond at 6 a.m. These industrious bird just keep breeding until the weather packs up!
We do like this moorhen with a Daisy 'in' its plumage. Here you get an unusually good look at the huge feet they use for walking about on pond weed. The green specks on the plumage are Duckweed carried from one of the ponds
This Jackdaw is particularly aggressive / confident / stupid / Testosterone driven
(you choose!) and launches itself at anything in its way including the
normally dominant Grey Squirrels.
Here the Jackdaw is trying to chase away a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker who may have wished it had launched half a second earlier!
This is an accurate montage (based on cloud pattern) of a heron flapping its way overhead in a strong crosswind. Even we are surprised by the offsets of a each frame but checked carefully. This is about two thirds of a second of flight.
The first frame of the Heron flying over as a more detailed view.
The trouble with making interesting montages is that when the animals do it for real you have to say 'THIS IS A GENUINE SINGLE IMAGE'! We have the whole approach and departure in the 14 frame sequence but this single frame seems to catch the feel of the whole incident.
A young Great Spotted Woodpecker (red top to head) being fed by it's Dad (Red nape to neck). We could have filled many pages with images like this - begging, approaching, lining up (and sometimes missing!) beak in beak, withdrawing - of these two birds in multiple feeding sessions.
This is the beak of a rook showing something we have not noticed before - the off-white beak is a coating over a basically black beak, where the coating here has been abraded or chipped away.
A single visit by a Red Kite, as usual pursued by one or more Rooks, flew around the area in a zig-zag over the fields and then finally looped right over us at the North hedge, and vanished behind our trees.
There are between 1000 and 1600 pairs of Red Kites in the whole UK (depending on who you listen to) so we feel quite privileged to see even one at all visiting our little patch several times a year.
We have not seen a Red-legged Partridge on these new kerb stones before. The camera could only just see over the hedge so it was probably providing a good masking of the human from the nervous bird only about 15 metres away.
About 100 juvenile starlings can be seen moving in a flock all over the area. Here they are perched on the 11KV cables over some Bullocks in one of the fields to our south. Perhaps the flies that accompany cattle can be simply picked out of the air - NOT.
The 100 juvenile starling (and a few adults) flying over the Oil-seed rape crop and then diving down into it en-mass to feed.
We think a family group of Starlings invading the peanut feeder. Their fine pointed beak are able to break the nuts and extract pieces once the parents have shown them how. The two on the right looks like two teenagers shouting at each other - which is what in effect they are.
Our 2 regular full-sized pigeons (i.e. excluding the smaller Collared Dove) tolerating each other. On the left is the Stock Dove with all Black eye. On the right is the Wood Pigeon with yellow Iris and always keyhole shaped pupil we see in other photos of Wood Pigeons, but not in drawings in older ID books. Maybe it is a recent evolution (but worldwide?), or the artist in our old books thought they had a rogue specimen and painted the Iris as round. Can anybody tell us?
We 'see' an owl perhaps once a week at the moment, so were pleased to see 2 species of Owl in one night. Only 40 minutes apart, a several minutes stay by the Tawny Owl, and a single frame of one of the Barn owls. We see the different stances - Tawny owl sort of hanging from the edge and the Barn Owl standing vertically on the top.
An unusually quiet Monday on the farm track allowed the 6 Hares to tear around like mad things. The 6th in this frame is mostly hidden by a tree just out of crop on the right.
One hare had a comparatively un-panicked run down the concrete track, and then jumped down to the grass and headed off into the crop.
This a montage of the hare running comparatively slowly. The montage is almost accurate (very slight adjustments to avoid overlaps) at probably about 7 fps, so about 1 second of action here.
Parent birds are everywhere looking harassed, and sometimes very tatty. This Tree Sparrow is in decent condition as it picks between the 2 demanding gapes to stuff in whatever it has for them.
We can reasonably call ourselves the 'Moorhen'
On Friday 6 June this lone moorhen chick paddled without panic into the Hop Sedge when it saw the photographer grabbing a few excited frames. We have not seen any Moorhen chicks for some years.
Later in the day we saw 5 chicks and 2 adults in the open water, making a hasty exit under 'orders' from the parents.
Moorhen can build a 'brood platform' like this in a few hours, and use it to keep the chicks dry when resting and overnight. This one appeared overnight at the edge of the Duck-shaped pond island. We are fairly sure the nest itself is on the island.
This regular night flying moth here is the Elephant Hawk-moth. Despite the name it is about two-third the linear size of the Poplar Hawk-moth. We haven't 'wound up' the colour - this is what they really look like and it amazes us afresh every year
This is the Poplar Hawk-moth showing off the orange patches you don't see in the resting insect - the insect hides them by moving the rear wings so that they stick out in front of the forewings in an atypical position. See how the wings bend under the stress of flight.
If looks could kill ...
Pigeons and jackdaws actually tolerate each other well, but the apparent expression on the Jackdaw cracks us up each time we see this image.
What a mess!
Apparently Great Spotted Woodpeckers stop collecting faecal sacs about halfway through the feeding weeks, and the nest hole then fills with guano and becomes disgusting by humans standards. This bird looks like it needs a really good bath!
Probably a 'pair' of Great Spotted Woodpeckers from the lack of angst. Even this peanut feeder with smaller holes barely lasts a couple of days! Outside the study window a male and female fight over access to another peanut feeder - obviously one each from two families.
Before we actually saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker we imagined from the name and noise they make that they would be a much bigger bird. Here you can see the size relative to the much larger Jackdaw.
It looks like this Wren is carrying 4 insects at once to one of the nests in the Ivy outside our living room window.
As the feeding intensity increases the Wrens now mostly fly straight to the nest, but sometimes one stops in the top of the hedge first giving us a chance to catch a few more frames. These 4 images represent about half a second.
A Grey Squirrel squabble on the ground shows the claws out really meaning to do some damage to the opponent.
"Ouch" - these Grey Squirrel squabbles are fun to watch but obviously its not 'fun' for them.
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