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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This is a sequence of 4 images of a single event captured by 2 cameras.
The Tawny Owl spent about 5 minutes on the post top (mostly with back to camera) and the final frame we have of the owl sees the bird fixated on something down and to the right - the meadow camera trap.
We think this is what the Tawny Owl had heard - a fieldmouse (wood mouse). It is possible that the camera being tripped may have alerted the Owl, but they do mostly hunt by sound.
The Tawny owl dives down onto what is probably the same Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) and grabs it in the Owls left Claws (so on the right here). The image is very high contrast between full flash on white feathers under the wing, and the claws and mouse shaded by the body of the bird. We have done our best to make all the elements visible, at the expense of some cosmetic qualities.
Still not sure about the mouse?
Here is the foot with the back of the mouse extending left. The Mouse's tail touches the claws on the other foot.
This is a genuine single frame of a couple of fieldmice (wood mice) just after midnight.
The mouse near the camera has been selectively sharpened.
A male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly delicately resting on a grass seed head.
A male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly take-off from the grass seed head which is already starting to spring back up.
A male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly showing all 4 wings slightly spread, and a lovely shadow
Here on a Buddleia this Peacock Butterfly has it's proboscis clearly down the centre of one of the florets. The Proboscis is a figure of 8 cross-section which stops it getting in a tangle when it rolls it up.
The Peacock butterflies also feed en-masse on Teasel flowers. Here are 2 sharing either side of a single Teasel head.
2014 has been a good year for Peacock butterflies, with at least 20 feeding in the meadow on sunny days.
We caught this Buff-tip moth in our moth trap. While he warmed up we photographed him on a dead twig to show how good the camouflage is.
The enormously long antennae tell you that this is a Cricket rather than a Grasshopper. It is a pre-adult form (a Nymph) probably a few moults before adulthood.
A male Brown Hawker Dragonfly flying up the path we were standing on.
A male Brown Hawker Dragonfly flying by. We have approximately halved the overall width to give a better view of the insect
5 Marmalade Hoverflies visiting a single Thistle flower
This Gatekeeper butterfly pair are mating. They are also known as the Hedge Brown, but we prefer Gatekeeper - a name given them by a tendency to gather around gate posts. They landed here in coupled position after several false landings on other foliage.
When the Moorhen dominated the ponds they would not tolerate duck visits. But the new Moorhens are less 'established'. Moorhen parents and 2 chicks at the back and mother duck and 3 of her 7 (4 off to the right) ducklings nearer the camera.
A juvenile enjoying a good preen - preening for birds is instinctive.
OK kids - time to line up and go.
With the 2 juveniles mostly looking after themselves, the 2 parent Moorhen are enjoying some 'quality time' together. One is watching the other have a vigorous bath. In the order left to right, top to bottom, the 2nd and 3rd frames surprised us by the amount of turning of the bather's head as it shook itself with the yellow beak tip quite near vertical. We have never thought of moorhen as particularly flexible.
The first record in 25 years of a Hare on our land. They may have ventured here when we had just a barbed Wire fence - augmented subsequently to stop stray sheep. But Hares are nervous animals and might not like the camera noise and flash - this was the only pic we got at this camera trap.
This very nice juvenile Magpie shakes out the feathers for us to admire.
This female Banded Demoiselle damselfly is substantially smaller
than we are used to seeing. These
insects can only metamorphose to the same weight of insect they
reached as Nymphs - they don't grow as adults.
This montage at about 7 fps has been stretched horizontally to remove overlaps.
This buzzard really likes the crossbar on this particular post. This time rather than diving down it made a few wingbeats and then found a thermal to lift it into the clouds. About 7 fps, with the 3rd frame omitted., this is about 2 seconds.
This buzzard flew by atypically close and we grabbed the moment. This is the 1st and 3rd of the best, but NOT accurately spaced against the bland sky
This Spotted Cranefly is described as a common pest in gardens, but we think it is rather lovely.
A buzzard has taken to perching on the crossbar of this 11KV power pole. Here we were lucky to catch the whole dive down from crossbar to ground, disappearing behind the cut Oil-seed rape. This is an accurate montage at 7 fps, so about 3 seconds to make a wonderfully controlled descent. Frame 3 is skipped as the bird is initially moving too slowly for it to fit in.
Even at the full size we allow here (768 pixels high, 1024 pixels across) the bird shows little detail, so we have cut the montage into 2 side by side for a better view. There is so little wing adjustment needed to maintain speed and direction it may look like we just duplicated images, but this is completely genuine.
A pristine Comma Butterfly ('comma' is on the other side of the wing) perched on a frond of Hop Sedge around the Duck shaped pond.
A pristine Comma butterfly showing white 'comma' on the bottom of the wing and the bright orange top of wing.
This year we have a good number of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. Here one is feeding on a thistle flower, surrounded by 3 Red Soldier Beetles. While checking our IDs, we found the Beetles described as the 'Hogweed Bonking Beetle' - a name very appropriate to how we often see them!
A Marmalade Hoverfly, perhaps 15mm long.
One patch of Great Willow Herb plants gets speckled by dozens of these little jewels in the sunshine. They are tiny - about 5mm long (fifth of an inch) excluding antennae.
One of our adult Moorhen enjoying a couple of minutes bathing. Note how dry the feathers remain. The final splash saw the bird completely disappear underwater - the cameras continuous frames ran out before it popped back up!
A better view of a frame between the last two in the montage.
Hold it - Turn - Hold it - Turn - Hold it
Several Tawny Owl visits on consecutive days provided these samples. One individual left and centre visiting twice to sandwich midnight, and a different Tawny owl (darker facial disc) in the early hours of the next night.
Wood Pigeons are common but we think under-appreciated. The body contour feathers, along with the preening power, produce a wonderful velvet mat appearance all over the body.
Over 10 minutes this Grey Squirrel repulsed several attempts by the Magpies to access the freshly baited stone. Bottom left is our favourite, but the quality won't stand a larger image.
A small Tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on Blackberry flowers. There seems to have been a resurgence of this butterfly this year.
Near a sheet of corrugated iron (to attract snakes but this year abandoned even by the ants!) we find this blackberry (Bramble) flower we have not noticed before with larger and more complex stamens than normal. It seems to be an Elm-Leaf Blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius) that has somehow found it's way to our patch and is growing a healthy clump.
The two moorhen chick are growing fast - here they are spending a while on fallen Iris fronds.
The two moorhen chick are growing fast and still enjoying each others company. One here is stretching its right leg (there is nothing wrong with it) while the other is showing us his wing feathers 'in-pin' alongside the leg.
A young fox drawn to the side of the rock to lick off the last traces of peanut butter. The foxes fur is quite wet, probably from pushing through long grass.
The higher the sun is in the sky, the lower to the horizon a rainbow appears. When the sun is high enough the bow would be below the horizon and not appear.
A young Jackdaw on the left has just received another beakful of peanut fragments. The nuts take a while to wheedle in pieces, so it is unusual to catch the moment.
We have not so far seen Rooks feeding youngsters at the hi-res photo sites or at the peanut feeders (their beaks are just too large). But here in the orchard a 'trail camera' catches a young rook demanding to be fed by a less than enthusiastic parent.
A chaffinch singing from a tree only a few metres away at the South East corner of our patch. You can see the blue coating of his beak is gradually wearing away.
A pair of Ringlet Butterflies mating in the hedge by our access track.
Small Tortoiseshell butterflies 'courting'. We saw this behaviour again inside a blackberry tangle, but these were on the slate that keeps the rain off the camera window of a photo site. The brown fur beneath them includes some skin and is quite coarse - we think it might be from a badger skirmish we know nothing about.
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