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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
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.
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.
The song thrush had taken up station to sing deep in a willow tree behind a small holding-pond.
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.
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.
Glowing in the early evening light, this male Green Woodpecker hiked himself onto the top giving us a good view
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?
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.
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.
This Biplane made a very low pass over the fields to our West against the sun. We rather like the antique photo effect!
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.
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.
A male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly basking in the sun from a Hazel leaf.
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.
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.
We find hares magical. They seem to like the edge of the corn crop, but disappear into the crop if disturbed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This small (typically 2cm across flowers) add sparks of fire to the shingle area outside the front door and around the side gate
It my turn now!
A complete chase-off sequence captured through the kitchen window.
Top Left > Top Right > Bottom Left > Bottom Right.
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 :-(
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.
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.
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.
Hey - look at me - I've got my first Red Breast feather!
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.
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.
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.
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.
A baby rabbit feasting in the buttercups and clover as darkness falls.
The human un-shelled pea season is upon us. We put out the empty pods which rapidly vanish - this one into a baby rabbit.
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!
Finally aligning beaks, the mother (right) puts her own beak right inside that of the hungry youngster
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.
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
The juvenile Magpie has not even finished landing and he is demanding food from a parent out of crop to the right.
So its nice to get this confirmation of Brood feeding as this Dunnock stops off at the tree-stump with a loaded beak.
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.
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!
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).
Much more detailed views of the teneral male Beautiful Demoiselle perched in a hedge
You see the beautiful blue sheen of the body of this male Beautiful Demoiselle.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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!
Grey squirrel Yoga?
Brock (a traditional name for a badger) appears at the hedge site bang on midnight.
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.
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.
Surely a moment of recognition of the camera or humans, but we kept still and the fox continued its amble towards us.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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