Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Nov 2014

The next frames (adding nothing to the action) reveals no fly - it went in the beak of this Black-headed gull!

Ref: DF2_20140922_1249_619 Black-headed Gull catching insect in flight 1 of 6 (crop).jpg

In this montage the fly is still visible just above the left wing of the middle image of the Black-headed gull and it is visible in the beak of the bottom frame. For once we actually got the whole thing!

Ref: DF2_20140922_1249_641-643 Black-headed Gull catching insect in flight 1-3 of 5 (montage).jpg

29 Nov 2014

With the air full of various insects, especially the juicy Craneflies (Daddy Long legs for the uninitiated) we discovered that Black-headed gull can catch & eat them in flight.
This bird almost stopped horizontal motion as it swung up to catch the insect, so the vertical positions of the bird are arbitrary, but the horizontal positions are approximately right. We were fortunate that the wing positions of the last 3 images almost fit together like a jigsaw for a nice compact presentation!

Ref: DF2_20140919_1552_635-638 Black Headed Gull catching crane-fly in flight 3-6 of 8 (top to bottom montage @ 5fps).jpg

Another Cranefly goes down the throat of an ever hungry Black-headed gull. The third image just shows one of the wings hanging out of the beak - enlarged at the bottom right.

Ref: DF2_20140919_1553_748-750 Black Headed Gull catching crane-fly in flight 1-3 of 5 (downwards montage @5ps with insert).jpg

28 Nov 2014

Seeing this ladybird at the beginning of autumn reminded us that after a flurry in the spring, we saw very few in the summer. This is our regular 7-spot species, and relief at seeing very few Harlequin invaders this year.

Ref: DF2_20140919_1546_531 7-spot ladybird.jpg

In the last warm days of summer this pair of Speckled Wood butterflies fluttered around each other in a pool of woodland light. We love watching this, and sometimes try to capture the feeling as here.

Ref: DF2_20140923_0959_023-030 2 Speckled Wood Butterflies courting in shaft of sunlight 1+2+3-6 (accurate montage).jpg

27 Nov 2014

We photographed this Hobby flying by, but it was only later when the images were on our PC that we saw to our astonishment that this hunting bird caught an insect in front of us.
Read the montage left to right in 3 descending rows:-
    Image 1: The insect is about 3 bird lengths to the right of the bird.
    Image 2: The gap is down to 1 body length and the talons are swinging forward.
    Image 3: The catch!
    Image 7: Transfer to the beak.
    Image 12: All done and the talons start their way back to 'retracted'.
The whole sequence lasts just over 2 seconds.

Ref: DF2_20140918_1245_049-060 Hobby catching Dragonfly in flight 03-14 of 14 (montage @5fps).jpg

Here are images 3 and 7 in more detail.
Don't get confused by the numbering - the 12 image montage starts at Frame 3 (Image 1) of the 14 image sequence we have on file.

Ref: DF2_20140918_1245_051+055 Hobby catching Dragonfly in flight 05+09 of 14 (montage).jpg

26 Nov 2014

Wow - a close to full frame Sparrowhawk at the kitchen window just as it landed on the peanut feeder perch and took its own portrait

Ref: E60_20140916_1104_039_FB3 Sparrowhawk landing on perch (adjusted crop 2).jpg

25 Nov 2014

We noticed that many of the gulls were jinking about in flight, and wondered why, so spent several hundred frames trying to catch the behaviour. This one event really surprised us - chasing and catching a small insect in the tip of it's beak, then opening the gape and letting the breeze of flight blow it in.
Subsequent photos show that this is not typical - gulls catch crane-flies and similar in an open beak - perhaps this was a bee that it needed to subdue first.
Read this montage left to right - that black dot really is the insect which is in the beak tip in the second and third image and is in the gape in the last.

Ref: DF2_20140915_1528_157-160 Black Headed Gull in eclipse catching fly in flight & swallowing 5fps 2-5 of 9 (montage).jpg

This montage from the same set of originals is at the camera's resolution. Look carefully to see what we described above.

Ref: DF2_20140915_1528_157-160 Black Headed Gull in eclipse catching fly in flight & swallowing 5fps 2-5 of 9 (detailed montage).jpg

24 Nov 2014

A Comma butterfly showing the dark bottom of the wing with the white 'comma', and a glimpse of the vivid orange top surface.

Ref: DF2_20140913_1235_574 Comma Butterfly showing both top and bottom of wings (crop).jpg

23 Nov 2014

Nobody wants to be stung by a Hornet, but if you don't interfere with them they generally return the compliment. This one seems to be feeding on the wood of the roof of a dilapidated shed by scraping at the loose wood fragments in water damaged chipboard.

Ref: DF2_20140912_1043_123 Hornet feeding on water damaged chipboard (crop).jpg

Another image of the Hornet showing the fascinating face with weird shaped compound eyes and the 3 'simple eyes', formally called Ocelli, as dots between the main compound eyes. The Ocelli have small lenses (unlike compound eyes) and are thought to help in flight stability.

Ref: DF2_20140912_1043_113 Hornet feeding on water damaged chipboard (crop).jpg

Since seeing the first hornet on the Chipboard we have seen several Hornets around the site. This one landed on the Duckweed and from the other side of the pond we could see it was drinking.

Ref: DF2_20140918_1522_509 Hornet appearing to drink on surface on pond.jpg

22 Nov 2014

A Buzzard occasionally visits the 11kV crossbar where we can just about get interesting images of it. Here was a flight down to below the hedge. It didn't re-appear in the several minutes we waited. We have split the fight into 2 sequences so the bird appears more than just a speck.

Ref: DF2_20140908_1245_196+1246_197-204 Buzzard flying down from 11kv Crossbar 01-09 of 17 (accurate montage).jpg

Ref: DF2_20140908_1246_205-212 Buzzard flying down from 11kv Crossbar 10-17 of 17 (accurate montage).jpg

21 Nov 2014

The Greenfinches have only just re-appeared for the Autumn, and already they are squabbling. Who turned away first we wonder. Genuine single frame.

Ref: E60_20140909_1509_062_FB3 2 Greenfinches in-flight squabble (crop 1).jpg

20 Nov 2014

We picked up this Cricket on a path before it got trodden on, and photographed it 'in the hand' - for scale this is the base of an adult's thumb. The Antenna rising upwards continues for about another frame height - we didn't want to lose the detail of the insects body by shrinking it.

Ref: DF2_20140910_1547_074 Roesels Bush-Cricket on thumb joint (crop 2).jpg

We put the insect in the longer grass, and then struggled to get a good image! One antenna goes up and left, the other is bent down to the right.

Ref: DF2_20140910_1548_090 Roesels Bush-Cricket in rough grass (crop).jpg

To our horror it then leapt off towards the pond, and jumped right in. We grabbed a hat to scoop it out, but it was managing perfectly fine on the dense weed, so we left it in peace.

Ref: DF2_20140910_1549_092 Roesels Bush-Cricket on pond weeds (crop).jpg

19 Nov 2014

About 7 seconds of action of a surprise encounter with a fox has taken several hours of decision making and 'argument' to produce this set of impressions. We surprised the fox over a hedge with the fox trotting along the field edge. The moment the fox spotted the human it went into a fast run, and once past settled to lope.
This was the moment of horror as the Fox spotted the human.

Ref: DF2_20140909_1100_555 Fox in daylight spotting cameraman and then running @ 5fps 08 of 34 (crop).jpg

These two montages are an un-broken run accurately montaged at 5 frames per second as the fox ran over disused track onto the grass.

Ref: DF2_20140909_1100_565-568 Fox in daylight spotting cameraman and then running @ 5fps 18-21 of 34 (accurate montage).jpg

Ref: DF2_20140909_1100_569-572 Fox in daylight spotting cameraman and then running @ 5fps 22-25 of 34 (accurate montage).jpg

Our favourite image of the fox, all 4 paws well clear of the ground, just before it disappeared behind the hedge again.

Ref: DF2_20140909_1100_578 Fox in daylight spotting cameraman and then running @ 5fps 31 of 34 (crop).jpg

18 Nov 2014

Several Red Admiral butterflies were sunning themselves on the orchard apple and plum trees. The rotting & fermenting fallen fruit attracts a variety of butterflies to feed and sometimes get a little 'drunk'!

Ref: DF2_20140908_1327_493 Red Admiral butterfly basking on tree bark (crop 1).jpg

A detail from the above.

Ref: DF2_20140908_1327_493 Red Admiral butterfly basking on tree bark (crop 2).jpg

2 Red Admiral butterflies resting on some weed seed heads tangled in some the branches of a young plum tree. Although they show well here we hadn't noticed the one on the right until the one on the left landed next to it. Black is usually a very good camouflage, except in snow!

Ref: DF2_20140908_1329_519 2 Red admiral Butterflies on seed down (crop).jpg

17 Nov 2014

Most Grey squirrels have fairly uniform fur on their tails - mostly grey with streaks & areas of black and brown. But this individual has a lovely white brown and black mottled tail that from some angles gives the impression of rings down the length.

Ref: E64_20140905_1858_034_FB2 Grey Squirrel with multi-ringed & mottled tail (crop).jpg

16 Nov 2014

"Boys will be Boys"
.. says the girl chaffinch peeping round the side of the stone beneath the fracas.

Ref: E63_20140906_1844_206_FB1 2 Chaffinches leaping from ground for squabble with female watching below (crop).jpg

15 Nov 2014

After a few days absence, a Tawny Owl made a 5 minute visit. This is the middle 3 photos of 5, arranged for effect rather than by time.

Ref: D01_20140907_0242_025+0244_027+0243_026_FB6 Tawny Owl visit for 5 minutes (montage).jpg

14 Nov 2014

This Grey Heron was stealthily working its way along the hedge obviously hunting in the base. The walk and actions were too erratic for an accurate time-lapse montage, so here is an impression. The whole sequence covers almost 20 minutes.

Ref: DF2_20140903_1237_201-1254_276 Heron hunting along bottom of Bridleway hedge to north (selected) (impression montage).jpg

Finally getting too close to the road entrance another 20m or so to the left, the Heron finally departed on the wing but staying close to the ground, finally flying over the hedge and vanishing from our site without re-appearing.

Ref: DF2_20140903_1254_277-285 Heron flying below hedge height along Bridleway to North 1+3+5+7+9 of 9 (accurate montage alternate frames) @ 7fps).jpg

13 Nov 2014

A chance single tiny purple Buddleia flower in a patch growing through brambles by the garage attracted this pristine Small Tortoiseshell butterfly for a feed. This insect will hibernate for the winter and re-appear in the Spring to breed.

Ref: DF2_20140902_1215_100 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on last purple buddleia flower (adjusted crop).jpg

A pristine male Brimstone butterfly at this time of year means the first of the autumn emergence. It will spend the winter in some protected spot (shed, loft, woodpile) and emerge next year to find a girl to mate with to make another generation of yellow shimmering.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1236_004 Brimstone Butterfly male (1st of new emergence).jpg

12 Nov 2014

Hawker Dragonflies can basically fly in any direction they want. This Southern Hawker one was dropping down at about 45 degrees under perfect control. Accurate montage at 7 fps

Ref: DF2_20140901_1615_002-005 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in flight @ 7fps 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg

This male Southern Hawker dragonfly seemed at the time to be stationary, but over the 22 frames of which this is the first and last, he rose about 1 body length during the 3 seconds.

Ref: DF2_20140901_1618_051+072 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in slow rising hover over pond @ 7fps 01+22 of 22 (accurate montage).jpg

11 Nov 2014

This juvenile Green Woodpecker stopped on the post top, jumped around a bit on it for a couple of minutes, and then flew off. See how the breast is a mix of down and speckled feathers.

Ref: D01_20140902_0739_006+0740_020+024+026 Green Woodpecker juvenile visiting meadow post (selected) 1-4 of 4 (flipped montage).jpg

10 Nov 2014

Sparrowhawk sightings are usually brief affairs as they speed from one hunting area to another, catching their prey by surprise. They fly fast - this is about a third of a second of flight and the correct spacing between the bird images should be about 3 times body length. Sparrowhawk always show what we call the 'mad yellow eye'.

Ref: DF2_20140831_1624_693-695 Sparrowhawk in flight @ 7fps 1-3 of 8 (half-width montage).jpg

09 Nov 2014

Who would be a Kestrel.
This one is being chased by about 30 Jackdaws!

Ref: DF2_20140831_1013_023 Kestrel male pursued by 30 Jackdaws (crop).jpg

Several Jackdaws pursued the Kestrel as he made his escape. (This is a single frame - not a montage)

Ref: DF2_20140831_1013_057 Kestrel male pursued by 5 Jackdaws 3 of 7 (crop).jpg

08 Nov 2014

A Rook took exception to this buzzard invading his 100 acres!
The buzzard below turns right over to defend himself with his talons.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1816_323-327 Buzzard turning over to attack 1 of 2 Mobbing Rooks 04-08 of 10 (montage).jpg

Several minutes later a buzzard made this close flyover. These are too closely spaced - we have no reference to montage accurately so haven't even guessed.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1826_553-555 Buzzard flying towards camera & then turning 16-18 of 19 (close montage).jpg

07 Nov 2014

A Hobby in hot pursuit of dragonflies flew around the site. This is an accurately montage sequence.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1805_215-220 Hobby flying by 07-12 of 14 (accurate montage).jpg

This is the first 3 images from the montage to provide more detail of the bird.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1805_215-217 Hobby flying by 07-09 of 14 (accurate montage).jpg

06 Nov 2014

3 moments from a buzzard flying past, spaced about 1 second apart arbitrarily spaced.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1748_115+120+129 Buzzard in flight 08+13+22 of 31 (arbitrary montage).jpg

We normally try to avoid showing you images where birds are blinking or have their eyes protected by the inner eyelids - the nictating (aka nictitating) membrane - because it gives the wrong impression. But a sequence at 7 frames per second of this buzzard in flight had just one frame with the membrane over the eye as it blinked, so we are showing you how it looks like a diseased eye but is not.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1748_116+117 Buzzard in flight 09+10 of 31 (montage showing single frame Nictating membrane blink @7fps).jpg

Our favourite single frame of the Buzzard flyby.

Ref: DF2_20140828_1748_118 Buzzard in flight 11 of 31 (crop).jpg

05 Nov 2014

This Grey Squirrel sports the 'punk' fur look in the rain. Looks really uncomfortable but the lure of the freshly filled peanut feeder is irresistible!

Ref: D5C_20140826_1025_011 Grey Squirrel with wet fur in spikes in the rain.jpg

04 Nov 2014

A young Rabbit that really doesn't need to practice looking sweet.

Ref: E64_20140828_0702_121_FB2 Rabbit youngster.jpg

03 Nov 2014

Some years a Rat appears for a week or two. Lets hope this one stays in it's proper place - OUTSIDE!

Ref: E63_20140827_2235_322_FB1 Rat Carrying piece of apple.jpg

Even Rats can look Twee!

Ref: E63_20140827_2239_324_FB1 Twee Rat carrying small piece of apple.jpg

02 Nov 2014

This male Southern Hawker dragonfly landed on this leaf of a Sweet chestnut (not that we get a crop - the Grey squirrels take them all before they are ripe) and was unusually tolerant of us moving around him. He looks absolutely pristine and likely emerged from the nearby Duck-shaped pond.

Ref: DF2_20140823_1249_409 Southern Hawker dragonfly male perched on tip of Sweet Chestnut leaf (crop).jpg

This male Southern Hawker dragonfly landed on this leaf of a Sweet chestnut and was unusually tolerant of us moving around him. He looks absolutely pristine and likely emerged from the nearby Duck-shaped pond.

Ref: DF2_20140823_1251_433 Southern Hawker dragonfly male perched on tip of Sweet Chestnut leaf (crop).jpg

01 Nov 2014

This juvenile Chaffinch seems to have mastered both landing and doing so along the sense beam line so she is in focus!

Ref: D36_20140824_1008_114_FB4 Chaffinch juvenile aerobraking to land on tree stump (crop 1).jpg

A squabble at the peanut feeder - the Great Tit knows when it is beaten!

Ref: E60_20140826_0728_054_FB3 Chaffinch male attacking Great Tit (crop).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive