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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Fieldmice (Wood Mice) apparently understand that rabbits are not a threat to them.
Fieldmice (Wood Mice) apparently understand that rabbits are not a threat to them. This chance moment caught the fieldmouse (wood mouse) leaping by the oblivious rabbit.
Now the Dragonflies are about, so is the Hobby - a specialist Dragonfly predator. We love the gentle twist of this unbroken sequence. With no clouds to accurately space the images they are undoubtedly much too close.
A better view of the second image from montage of the hobby in flight.
A Common Darter (on the menu for the Hobby!) flying close to the water. Horizontally spread for clarity.
Now there's what we find a spectacular sight - Magpie with feathers spread out to enjoy patterning and colours on the 'black and white' bird.
Enjoy the spread of tail feather as this juvenile blackbird regains balance after landing.
A male Blackbird with a black beak. We have seen a few of these in the last couple of years as they arrive around August-September.
Whee! - are there style marks for leg positions during the fieldmouse (wood mouse) leaping championships like there are in Ski Jumping?
"Mine - all Mine!"
After a couple of years mostly free of domestic cats, this Black cat has started regular hunting here. In this case a successful catch of a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) we would rather have been caught by an Owl or Fox.
Out in the sunshine this Southern Hawker seemed at the time to be making a sharp turn in flight as appears here. But we were surprised when building this montage that all 3 images overlaid one another when aligned against the background. So it was in fact turning in a hover - probably against the North-West breeze that has been dominating the last few days. So we considered 3 separated frames but decided to show you what we thought we saw!
A Common Darter Dragonfly landing on a pondweed encrusted twig. The right hand image is moved right - it was making a more vertical landing than appears here.
A pair of large White Butterflies mating on some dead foliage.
The male Brown Argus is a small Butterfly here enjoying some nectar from a clover flower.
Another view of the same Brown Argus butterfly, this time with his wings more open and you can see his blacked curved proboscis searching out the sweetness.
We have stopped deliberately photographing bats at night with
flash, but if they fly through a static beam break in the middle
of a wood we are not going to waste the image.
This might be a Natterer's Bat, but we are not known for our skill in these matters!
This stretch of concrete is a frequent haunt of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies, and the just cut back hedge provides some well lit perching places in the morning. This is a male.
Another view of the same male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly on the same perch.
A couple of hours later a female Migrant Hawker dragonfly was hunting back and forth over the warm concrete, and we got this unexpectedly sharp image as she glided by.
After a fortnights absence this Tawny Owl spent about 15 minutes surveying the world from the top of the post in the 'wee small hours'. These are sequenced for effect rather than time ordered.
A somewhat atypical Southern Hawker Dragonfly that was patrolling this pond from mostly in the shade, turning as each end of his flight took him out into the sunshine. Except in very hot weather (which this wasn't) dragonflies here normally stick to the sunny patches. This first is 1 second of flight. The visual impression of 'instant' change of direction reflects the reality!
The Southern Hawker Dragonfly making another quick turn - all this in half a second.
This Southern Hawker Dragonfly landed in a hedge close to us where we grabbed this image before it flew on.
This is the Common Darter dragonfly, perched above a Hop sedge cluster of seed heads. Look at the subtle colouration.
We love the colour of Dock seed heads, and we suspect that Migrant Hawker Dragonflies may be attracted to brown to perch on, being a good camouflage colour for them.
Next day we saw this female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly land on the now spent flower of the Buddleia.
For a couple of weeks this Buzzard spent a lot of time perched on the Crossbars of the 11KV overhead cable. On this afternoon the bird flew from this nearer crossbar down into the stubble of the recently harvested Oil-seed.
The bird stayed on the stubble for about a minute, not obviously catching anything (but we may have missed it), and then took off back towards the high voltage poles.
The bird landed on the crossbar of the pole next one down (say 100m further from us) but his head was hidden by the nearer wire. When paying more attention the head came up and we got this shot 8 minutes later. We never see Buzzards perching even on the heavy gauge cables - we guess that the birds are just too heavy and feet too big to comfortably grip a cable.
There are now many sites where we find scattered remains of snail shells broken on slabs of stone, drain covers and corrugated iron. We must have quite a few young Song Thrushes - and possibly now not so many slugs and snails!
Mother Mallard is now shepherding around 6 of her original 8 youngsters. Here they are plunging to feed on weed and corn while mother stands motionless on the bank. The 2 moorhen juveniles are partly hidden bottom right - too many ducks to chase away!
3 Hours later we happened to be at the right place to see the Mallard family being marched back to the pond on the other side of the brook where they must be spending most of their time.
Nothing half-hearted here between these squabbling fieldmice (wood mice).
This may LOOK like one of our montages of a single mouse, but this was 3 very similar looking individuals leaving the site with some urgency.
After the fighting and running - some time for affection.
The Rabbit may be the farmer scourge, but we can't help but admire the mobile ears independently 'focussing' on sounds from different directions.
When we walk down the meadow path little flakes of sky (thank you Magritte for popularising the notion) flutter away from us, never reaching higher than about a metre from the ground. Only the male Common Blue butterfly has the blue top to the wings.
The female Common Blue butterfly has brown tops to her wings with a 'dashing' orange border the male does without. As you can see the species is very fond of feeding on ground level clover flowers that spring up after mowing.
"Clang - Clang - Clang"
"What on earths that" we said.
Through a gap in the trees we saw this Song Thrush beating a snail against the corrugated iron (placed to attract amphibians and snakes). Of well over 60 frames taken these 2 seem to catch the moment. On the left the top of the arc before swinging the snail down onto the metal, and 50 frames later (so maybe 10 seconds later) the now destroyed shell and the bird extracting the 'good bit'.
When the bird has gone we found the remains of the shell middle right, and a few fragments on the edge of the corrugated iron.
Ouch - Ouch - Ouch.
By tactic or accident the right hand squirrel is on it's back making good use of the claws for defence. This is no love-in but a serious
We don't really know which Squirrel is winning - the upright one is more stable but the one on its back has 4 sets of claws plus teeth it can use :-(
The Muntjac Deer Fawn at the 'woodland' site.
1 minute later it has walked around and now mother can be seen in attendance.
The Muntjac Fawn looks rather wet, and this detail from the above shows the Fawn's chin splattered with Duckweed. We did see it slip into the water of the main pond on the CCTV one night, but can't definitely tie up the dates.
A Muntjac Deer, otherwise mostly out of frame, gives us an unusually clear view of the divided rear hoof. The Hoof prints Muntjac Deer leave in soft ground are very distinctive
This young fox we call 'Scarface' for a now fading minor injury on the fox's muzzle. This fox made about 6 visit over 4 days
This is an older animal than 'Scarface', and has more scars and a nick out of the right ear. This is the only pic of it - maybe the flash puts it off. The eyes are not as glossy, and it fits the 'cunning old fox' saying.
Hundreds of Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) images this week (mostly not very interesting as usual) they have started their huge show-off leaps again.
Showing off done - time for a little affection
A Sparrowhawk made this (assumed) landing on the perch - the Talons don't look like they are preparing to grab something.
A rather pretty, if parasitic, fly on Ragwort flowers.
Oh dear - we find flies pretty :-(
A painted Lady Butterfly feeding on a Teasel flower head.
"We didn't see one of those last year" we said.
We looked in our database and we found that it has been not 1 but 4 years - last recorded in 2009.
Our pond side Dragonfly perch was knocked downward by some
visitor - maybe a bird trying to land on it - and we reinstalled
it (i.e. pushed in into a fresh bit of pond side mud). Almost
immediately this male Common Darter Dragonfly changed his lookout
post to make use of the new facility.
If you have a pond, try it yourself - a stick 45cm to 60cm long stuck in the edge sloping up over the water. It will mostly likely be adopted quickly by any Darter Dragonfly that visits your pond. If you don't have a pond - make even a tiny one!
The young Bluetits often hang from thistle and other flowers to
feed on them. This one was enjoying itself outside the
conservatory, and we caught the moment of departure complete with
a right claw full of thistle down it carries away.
"Great seed dispersal" the plant might say, if it could think.
A 'lucky' couple of frames (where luck = 100s of frames trying!) of a migrant male Migrant Hawker flying by above us. The spacing is arbitrary.
Another Migrant hawker sucking the juices from a prey item on the wing as they usually do, discarding the husk and wings when done.
Following the Tawny owl catching a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) the Tawny Owl visited in the 'early hours' of the following 2 nights, but without any repeat of the mouse catching moment in front of the camera ground level camera. The whole area is alive with mice and voles so it has plenty of choice. The second visit was actually a series of arrivals and departures over about an hour, taking 44 frames of which we like these the best ...
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