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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2015

In the hot midday sun a couple of Black-headed gulls went wheeling overhead with the high sun shining through their feathers. Here is an impressions arbitrarily placed against the bland sky.

Ref: DF3_20150630_1234_272-275 Black-headed Gull in flight 1-4 of 4 (impression montage).jpg

The air was full of tiny fragments of fluff that allowed us to accurately position these 4 images - a sort of 'join up the dots' exercise! We have left in the white specks.

Ref: DF3_20150630_1234_279-282 Black-headed Gull in flight 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg

30 Aug 2015

The song thrush had taken up station to sing deep in a willow tree behind a small holding-pond.

Ref: DF3_20150627_0706_057 Song Thrush singing from branch of Willow Tree.jpg

The Song Thrush in his accustomed place on the tip of the highest tree in the garden, singing for all he was worth. While finalising this text 5 July he was high in this favourite conifer caroling away.

Ref: DF3_20150629_0646_029+031+038-040 Song Thrush singing from top of Lodgepole Pine 1+3-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

29 Aug 2015

A Great Spotted Woodpecker flyby from the brook to the North back over our patch. These birds use 'bounding flight' to save energy - a flap or two and then bullet through the air until it is time for another flap. In the real world you can see them rising and falling slightly in height, but without any cloud or other references we can't even get the spacing right, so here are 10 consecutive images strung together to show the idea over about 2 seconds.

Ref: DF3_20150625_1730_021-030 Great Spotted woodpecker in bounding flight 01-10 of 10 (closed spaced montage @ 5fps).jpg

Glowing in the early evening light, this male Green Woodpecker hiked himself onto the top giving us a good view

Ref: D01_20150701_1959_030 Green Woodpecker male on meadow post (crop).jpg

28 Aug 2015

We adore this lovely little flower, here accompanied by it's already dieing leaves in 'autumn colours'.
We tried to find a proper verb to mean 'leaves going orange/red when finished with', but with an unexpected lack of success. Any suggestions?

Ref: DF3_20150626_1617_053 Herb Robert flower with leaves fading to red (crop).jpg

27 Aug 2015

This glider appeared in a Thermal. Taking a frame about every 2 seconds we hoped to produce an accurate montage. But it would have been as wide as a desk so we have contracted the gaps and simply softened the cloud discontinuities. The Green arrow is the first exposure, moving counter clockwise.

Ref: DF3_20150624_1239_264-277 Glider G-CKDO circling in thermal about 2 second intervals 01-13 of 14 (tight impression montage).jpg

Having a go at a second sequence of the glider climbing a thermal, the airliner suddenly entered the frame and the camera was run at full speed. This is an accurate montage of the relative positions of the 2 aircraft probably at about 2/3 second intervals.

Ref: DF3_20150624_1240_281-293 Glider G-CKDO and Airliner visually crossing 1+2+6+10+13 of 13 (accurate montage).jpg

This Biplane made a very low pass over the fields to our West against the sun. We rather like the antique photo effect!

Ref: DF3_20150621_1753_407 Biplane G-AMHF very low over pasture (crop).jpg

26 Aug 2015

A Red Kite made a nice flyby against some attractive clouds that also allowed us to make this accurate montage. About 1.5 seconds of flight here.

Ref: DF3_20150624_1231_251-259 Red Kite flying against textured cloud 1-9 of 9 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

25 Aug 2015

The Banded Demoiselles have arrived. This male makes an attractive colour contrast with the yellow buttercup. The Buttercup is just a perch - the insect is a hunter not interested in pollen or nectar.

Ref: DF3_20150618_1242_020 Banded Demoiselle damselfly male on Buttercup.jpg

A male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly basking in the sun from a Hazel leaf.

Ref: DF3_20150623_1450_174 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male on Hazel leaf.jpg

We have often caught this moth in the moth trap, but startled this one in a hedge and saw it re-land underneath this leaf. A foreshortened view.

Ref: DF3_20150624_1216_229 Magpie Moth hiding under hedge leaf.jpg

24 Aug 2015

This female Kestrel has returned after a few weeks absence - we do hope she is hunting for what should be half-grown youngster(s) in the nest. We often see her on these power system crossbars, and here she is flying up from the rear. The sequence is accurate except for moving the landed bird left by about 1 bird width.

Ref: DF3_20150623_1449_153-159 Kestrel female landing on 11kv Crossbar 1-3+5+7 of 8 (accurate montage with landed bird shifted).jpg

23 Aug 2015

We find hares magical. They seem to like the edge of the corn crop, but disappear into the crop if disturbed.

Ref: DF3_20150621_1738_276 Hare at edge of corn crop (crop 1).jpg

From the other side of a hedge (just our heads showing) we didn't seem to be considered an immediate threat, and this Hare ran down the grass/bare soil by the crop at just the right speed to get a close to accurate montage. We have slightly stretched the gap between 2nd and 3rd from the right to avoid overlap - all the rest are accurate. The white foreground is the concrete farm road.

Ref: DF3_20150621_1738_289-293 Hare running along edge of crop 01-05 of 12 (accurate montage @5fps with minor adjustment).jpg

22 Aug 2015

Rain suddenly started pouring down from innocent looking clouds. We started a stampede indoor but were stopped by the sudden appearance of a few swifts hunting through the heavy rain. The camera & lens are classed as shower resistant so we spent a minute or two getting some images. The elongated light streaks are the rain streaking by the bird.

Ref: DF3_20150620_1636_109-112 Swift hunting in heavy rain 1-4 of 4 (impression montage 4).jpg

This Swift obviously caught an insect in flight (3rd image from the left) but an exhaustive search of the original files didn't find it - probably just too small. The set of images was at about 5 frames/second but rather irregular due to repeated re-focussing by the camera.

Ref: DF3_20150621_1737_248-253 Swift hunting 2-7 of 7 (accurate montage @variable 5fps).jpg

21 Aug 2015

Lilies are structured (or designed themselves, or whatever you want to believe) so that only the right size of bee can get in (strong enough to push up the upper petal, but small enough to fit) to pollinate the plants. Yellow Flag Iris behaves very similarly to this (probable) cultivar.

Ref: DF3_20150618_1226_001 Bee feeding in White Iris Flower.jpg

This small (typically 2cm across flowers) add sparks of fire to the shingle area outside the front door and around the side gate

Ref: DF3_20150618_1238_012 Orange Hawkweed (aka Fox-and-Cubs) flower heads on 20cm stalk in shingle path (crop).jpg

20 Aug 2015

It my turn now!
A complete chase-off sequence captured through the kitchen window.
Top Left > Top Right > Bottom Left > Bottom Right.

Ref: D5C_20150618_1617_012+16+17+19 Grey Squirrels squabbling over access to peanut feeder 1-4 of 4 (montage Top left-TR-BL-BR).jpg

19 Aug 2015

What looks to us like an adult Magpie (left) has passed an unripe cherry complete with stalk to it's juvenile.
In case you can't make it out (we struggled) the orange cherry is in the beak of the youngster facing towards the camera with the top beak tip making a 'V' black cutout in the round cherry. Once you have seen it you will wonder why we bother to mention it :-(

Ref: D36_20150619_0602_047_FB4 Adult Magpie feeding juvenile with early fall Cherry and stalk (crop).jpg

Look over a hedge we saw this little domestic scene of a young Carrion Crow begging for supper, and getting a delivery of what looks like something we had just left for the wildlife at one of the camera sites.

Ref: DF3_20150621_1745_363+366 Carrion Crow feeding begging youngster on grass verge 1+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

18 Aug 2015

Robin are very territorial, and this one is having a go at the poor innocent juvenile Bluetit who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time! The original full frame needed selective sharpening to make the action clear, but it is a single moment as seen here.

Ref: E63_20150617_1919_126_FB1 Robin attacking Bluetit youngster in flight (crop).jpg

Whiffling down though the air to the peanut feeder a little to the right, this Robin is maneuvering itself and starting to lower the landing gear.

Ref: E60_20150611_0707_100_FB3 Robin adjusting flight to land at peanut feeder (crop 2).jpg

Hey - look at me - I've got my first Red Breast feather!

Ref: E63_20150618_0700_158_FB1 Robin Juvenile with first red breast feather.jpg

17 Aug 2015

As the Green Alkanet along the track side finished flowering the Tree Bumblebees have moved into the centre of our site and this one is enjoying one of thousands of white Clover flowers.

Ref: DF3_20150615_1523_028 Tree Bumblebee on White Clover flower.jpg

We have had a few sightings of Speckled Wood butterflies at the woodland edge, but this is the first time we had an opportunity for a decent photo.

Ref: DF3_20150616_1023_063 Speckled Wood butterfly.jpg

The first Banded Demoiselle Damselfly this year, this one a male, has appeared at the duck shaped pond on the Hop Sedge. You can just see the complicated little clasper at the tail tip that must match the females thorax for them to mate.

Ref: DF3_20150617_1209_102 Banded Demoiselle damselfly male (1st of 2015).jpg

16 Aug 2015

This year this Collared Dove is making regular visits to the tree stump. These images were all taken well before midday and montaged for the pleasure of seeing the bird.

Ref: D36_20150616_0919_049+20150618_0626_109+20150616_0921_050_FB4 Collared Dove landing on Tree-stump (impression montage).jpg

15 Aug 2015

A baby rabbit feasting in the buttercups and clover as darkness falls.

Ref: E62_20150612_2045_127_FB5 Rabbit baby feeding on wet grass & clover with closed buttercups.jpg

The human un-shelled pea season is upon us. We put out the empty pods which rapidly vanish - this one into a baby rabbit.

Ref: E62_20150617_2041_132_FB5 Rabbit eating empty Pea pod.jpg

14 Aug 2015

This Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile (left) had us 'in stitches' as it decided that the head of a Pampas grass was a good place to wait to be fed. It could barely keep it's balance on the swaying and bouncing weak material, and the arrival of it's mother doubled the problem and arranged a sort of bobbing ballet of birds. Its a wonder we got any photos at all!

Ref: DF2_20150612_0803_016 Great spotted Woodpecker juvenile being fed by mother on pampas Grass head (crop).jpg

Finally aligning beaks, the mother (right) puts her own beak right inside that of the hungry youngster

Ref: DF2_20150612_0803_022 Great spotted Woodpecker juvenile being fed by mother on pampas Grass head (crop 2).jpg

Once mother had gone the juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker decided to try it's hand at eating a frond from the Pampas grass. Once it had managed to pull off a lump it didn't know what to do next, and eventually dropped the fragment. The specks above the bird are midges flittering around above the bird.

Ref: DF2_20150612_0812_109+110+142 Great spotted Woodpecker juvenile on pampas Grass head pulling off fibres (montage).jpg

13 Aug 2015

A couple of Magpie youngsters making it very clear to the adult on the right that they want - F O O D - N O W
Our first sighting of Magpie youngsters this year is in a frame a few minutes previous

Ref: E62_20150609_1922_082_FB5 2 Magpie juveniles and adult (crop).jpg

The juvenile Magpie has not even finished landing and he is demanding food from a parent out of crop to the right.

Ref: E62_20150618_0528_142_FB5 Magpie juvenile begging even while landing (crop 2).jpg

12 Aug 2015

So its nice to get this confirmation of Brood feeding as this Dunnock stops off at the tree-stump with a loaded beak.

Ref: D36_20150610_0926_052_FB4 Dunnock with Cranefly (q) in beak.jpg

We thought that the Starlings in the loft had finished, but a few sightings from an upstairs window, plus the screeching of young birds just audible through the ceiling confirm that this bird nervously waiting on the roof ridge has a later nest with chicks to feed.

Ref: DF3_20150618_0723_130 Starling taking insect to hole in eaves.jpg

11 Aug 2015

Before he starts his moult and loses the glorious green head, a portrait of this male Mallard Duck in his glory.
He is accompanying a female whose dark brown head and eye we can just see above and right of his white neck ring.
If this bird was rare people would travel miles to see one!

Ref: E64_20150604_1918_038_FB2 Mallard Duck male with female just visible behind neck.jpg

10 Aug 2015

This immature (teneral) male Beautiful Demoiselle was flitting about in the hedges. The left and centre images were two perching places on the edge of the same Hazel leaf. The right was a flyby just over the same leaf (note that the legs are folded which takes a few wing-beats to accomplish).

Ref: DF3_20150604_1341_163+164+1345_229 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male teneral on Hazel leaf and in flight 1+2+8 of 8 (impression montage).jpg

Much more detailed views of the teneral male Beautiful Demoiselle perched in a hedge

Ref: DF3_20150605_1516_385 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male teneral.jpg

You see the beautiful blue sheen of the body of this male Beautiful Demoiselle.

Ref: DF3_20150605_1228_375 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male teneral.jpg

09 Aug 2015

A first for us here is seeing both male and female Broad Bodies Chaser Dragonflies at the same time on one pond. This is the male which you can see he has already damaged a wing. Our experience is that this sort of damage is most usually from being caught by brambles or wild rose thorns. Dragonflies seem to be able to fly fine with half their wing surface missing from encounters with thorns and bird beaks.
He is perched on a Yellow Flag Iris flower but he is not interested in nectar - he is a hunter using the flower only as the highest nearby perch.
The blue back is a powder that gradually gets rubbed off. It is very bright in UV light - see our UV section on the web site if interested.

Ref: DF3_20150604_1358_318 Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly male on Yellow Flag Iris flower (crop).jpg

A first for us here is seeing both male and female Broad Bodies Chaser Dragonflies at the same time on one pond. This is the female some 5 metres from the male.

Ref: DF3_20150604_1254_004 Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly female.jpg

08 Aug 2015

The continuing feeding of the Wren chicks seems to have been going on 'forever'. There don't take the food into the nest now - just stand outside the entrance and it gets taken. We just can't see what is going on in the very dark corner. Here we have 2 visits 5 minutes apart in the sunshine with different mixes of food.

Ref: DF2_20150606_0656_195+0701_220 Wren with insects & spider (q) + numerous insects & grub in beak (montage).jpg

07 Aug 2015

Tree Bumble Bees are gradually introducing themselves to the UK. We are finding dozens on a stretch of Green Alkanet along our farm track. This individual would fly for us but she always took off flying backwards. The left and right images are about 150mS apart from the same flight, and we have slipped in another flight between them to make a satisfactory montage. We would have 'photoshopped' the insects box on the right for something more natural if we could have done it convincingly, but in the end 'truth' won out. Nobody got stung - we handle our guests with kindness.

Ref: DA1_20150607_1620_427+1621_430+1620_426_FT1 Tree Bumble Bee (q) in flight backwards away from launch (montage).jpg

06 Aug 2015

This White Ermine moth is one of the species is one of the species responsible for leaving 'silk' all over hedges. These two images were separate flights montaged for effect.

Ref: DA1_20150607_1340_162+153+1315_077_FT1 White Ermine Moth in flight (2 flights) + grass seed head (montage).jpg

A very common moth here is the 'Burnished Brass'.
Of the several caught in the moth trap this one would fly for us, but the shiny brass effect doesn't show well in flight. Here are 3 images from 3 flights montaged for effect. The top left image was at the top of the camera frame.

Ref: DA1_20150607_1347_190+1348_193+1349+199_FT1 Burnished Brass Moth in flight (3 separate flights) (montage).jpg

05 Aug 2015

We believe this 'Tree Bumblebee' to be new species here for us, and is a 'self introduction to the UK over the past 10 years. No bee like this appears in any of our now venerable insect ID books. Along the track edge in sunshine is a strip of 'Green Alkanet' with pretty blue flowers that was hosting about 50 similar bees - the most bees we have seen on this patch for years. Hurrah!
We didn't recognise them at the time but took some photos as they fed on the tiny flowers, just measured as 1cm across, and showing a bit lighter here than as viewed by the eye because the exposure is adjusted for the dark Bee body.

Ref: DF3_20150603_1815_180 Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) (1 of about 50 - 1st ID) feeding on Green Alkanet Flowers (crop).jpg

A Tree Bumblebee flying to a Green Alkanet flower. The partly shaded flower at top left more represents the flower's colour than those in full sunlight overexposed to properly image the bee.

Ref: DF3_20150603_1816_190 Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) (1 of about 50 - 1st ID) feeding on Green Alkanet Flowers (crop).jpg

04 Aug 2015

'Our' Mallard pair, fresh from a pond judging by the Duckweed stuck to both of them, with him 'guarding' her as she feeds.
A June 2015 BBC 'Springwatch' program expressed surprise that Shoveller ducks (a bit like these but with much wider bills) leave the female alone while she sits on the eggs so his vivid colour doesn't draw attention to her, but she joins him during her hour or so a day feeding and preening. We have been seeing this for years with our Mallard Ducks.

Ref: E62_20150530_1826_130_FB5 Mallard Duck male guarding feeding female.jpg

Genuine single frame of this nonchalant Male Mallard duck as a Grey Squirrel leaps at it with his claws exposed. We have NO IDEA what happened next!

Ref: E64_20150530_1815_124_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacking Mallard Duck male (crop).jpg

Grey squirrel Yoga?
Modern Dance?
Awkward landing?

Ref: E64_20150530_1827_128_FB2 Grey Squirrel in twisted position.jpg

03 Aug 2015

Brock (a traditional name for a badger) appears at the hedge site bang on midnight.

Ref: E63_20150529_0000_049_FB1 Badger visiting and moving stone 2 of 3 (crop 1).jpg

Two and a half hours later on the next night this Badger (we think the same one) appeared at the woodland site with wet fur. Maybe a hunt in a pond, but the lack of Duckweed suggests just pushing through a lot of long wet grass.

Ref: E64_20150530_0226_102_FB2 Badger (crop 1).jpg

02 Aug 2015

Looking over our boundary hedge showed us a Fox ambling away from us along the crop margin. Instead of spotting us and galloping away the animal turned and walked towards the hedge (top left and right) and then started ambling back towards us, wandering left and right along the weed-killed margin. We think It suddenly spotted the humans next to bottom on the left, but continued it's amble, finally turning towards the hedge and walking through it.

Ref: DF3_20150601_0709_025-0711_061 Fox by crop turning & walking towards camera before going through hedge 01+02+04+06+08+09+11-13 of 15 (mostly acc montage).jpg

Surely a moment of recognition of the camera or humans, but we kept still and the fox continued its amble towards us.

Ref: DF3_20150601_0710_051 Fox by crop turning & walking towards camera before going through hedge 09 of 15 (crop).jpg

The Fox appeared on the other side of the hedge, from where it crossed over the farm road (top of image) and disappeared into the crop.

Ref: DF3_20150601_0711_073 Fox by crop turning & walking towards camera before going through hedge 15 of 15 (crop).jpg

01 Aug 2015

Looking over the farm hedge this Red-Legged partridge was startled into flight. This first image caught the bird flying over the untidy 'turning' area of the farm road which is loose tarmac lumps.

Ref: DF3_20150529_1506_053 Red-legged partridge flying over grass and landing on farm road 01 of 11 (crop 2).jpg

The short flight and rather clumsy landing as one sequence. The hazy green sections are overgrowth from the hedge that the low angle and being only part way up the mound resulted in. This also confused the camera's continuous auto-focus into making the images rather irregular as it tried to make sense of the focus point information. The stuttering final stop is genuine.

Ref: DF3_20150529_1506_066-073 Red-legged partridge flying over grass and landing on farm road 03-10 of 11 (accurate montage variable rate about 5 fps).jpg

'Plucked' (sorry) from the montage is a better view of the landing, a sort of bounce along affair that is shown accurately here. Landing on the hard concrete is not the Red-Legged partridge best landing surface.

Ref: DF3_20150529_1506_070-073 Red-legged partridge flying over grass and landing on farm road 07-10 of 11 (accurate montage variable rate about 5 fps).jpg



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