Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Dec 2015

There are not many Buzzard about at the moment, and the Corvids anyway reliably pester them until they go away! In the breeding season they predate the Rook eggs, and the Rookery is only a few hundred metres away.

Ref: DF3_20151116_1254_192 Corvid mobbing Buzzard (crop).jpg

30 Dec 2015

The muddy object in this Grey squirrels mouth is a Hazel Nut still in its shell. We have several Hazel (Cob) Nut trees, but the Squirrels leave us absolutely no crop for us to harvest! This nut looks like it has just been previously buried and now dug up for a snack.

Ref: E64_20151114_1004_102_FB2 Grey Squirrel with Hazel nut in shell in mouth.jpg

The problem with purchasing seed mixes is that we really have little idea what is in the sack beyond corn, Sunflower and Niger seeds. This Great Tit looks really pleased with this find!

Ref: E63_20151118_1040_078_FB1 Great Tit with unidentified large seed in beak.jpg

29 Dec 2015

A 'new' male Pheasant stepping into the frame - the wide neck ring means this is not the bird we have been seeing during the previous few weeks.

Ref: E63_20151115_1350_274_FB1 Pheasant male with details of claws (crop 1).jpg

A detail from the above of the legs and claws of the male Pheasant
The spike just below the feathers is used for fighting other males when they meet during the breeding season.

Ref: E63_20151115_1350_274_FB1 Pheasant male with details of claws (crop 2 claw detail).jpg

28 Dec 2015

Two frames taken 10 minutes apart left to right.
The squabble on the right may be just that, or a couple testing each other - even in humans loving can come confusingly near to fighting.

Ref: E62_20151113_0313_081+0323_083_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) leaping and squabbling (q) 10 minutes apart1+2 of 2 (adjusted montage).jpg

A capricious moment of a leaping fieldmouse (wood mouse) and a falling leaf. Our guess is that the falling leaf startled the mouse, rather than the mouse flipping up the leaf. The leaf is in beautiful condition for a 'discard'.

Ref: E64_20151112_1840_047_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping with falling leaf.jpg

27 Dec 2015

3 images of a (possibly just one individual) Robin maneuvering in the air over the perch. 3 moments over 100 minutes arranged for artistic effect.
Don't interpret this as a 'bird in flight accurate montage'!

Ref: E60_20151114_0854_086+0730_084+0713_083_FB3 Robin in flight over perch 3+2+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

A Robin preparing to land. We like the shadow of the legs on the underside of the wing.

Ref: E60_20151117_0732_044_FB3 Robin aerobraking over perch (adjusted crop).jpg

26 Dec 2015

The intense blue at the tail and head indicate that the normal blue colour is enhanced in some lighting and angles by an iridescent effect.

Ref: E63_20151109_1319_035_FB1 Bluetit with slightly iridescent blue feathers.jpg

We try to avoid 'tidying' up the autumn leaves and just sweep them away from the camera and sense beams. We rather like the colour contrast between bird and leaves.

Ref: E64_20151111_0847_167_FB2 Great Tit among autumn leaf litter.jpg

25 Dec 2015

After 5 years with no images of a Sparrowhawk on this post, we get 3 visits over 2 days. Here is one of the landing, for a 5 minute visit shortly before sunrise. How delicate the legs appear for such a powerful bird.

Ref: D01_20151113_0658_020_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 5 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

The first visit by the female Sparrowhawk missed the landing - it was already on the post when the camera turned on for the night's vigil at 4 p.m. during November.
BBC 'Autumnwatch' on 6th November 2015 features Chris Packham's 'best bird' is the male Sparrowhawk. This female is not as beautifully coloured as the male but still has power and elegance ... unless you are a 'Sparrow'.

Ref: D01_20151108_1601_008+1602_010_FB6 Sparrowhawk female on Meadow post 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

At Sunset another short visit (just 2 frames) caught this female Sparrowhawk landing against the darkening background.

Ref: D01_20151113_1611_033_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 1 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

24 Dec 2015

A pair of Carrion Crows often share the top of this conifer, though they vary their perches. Here the Right-hand bird opening it's wings and the strong southerly wind (from the right here) did the rest!

Ref: DF3_20151111_1059_014+017-022 Carrion crows on Conifer flying off 01+03-08 of 11 (accurate montage).jpg

Several small (10 or 20) bird well spaced flocks of Fieldfares are flying around the area. Here is a single bird in a strong wind from the right initially gliding with wings partly folded, and then spreading the wings for a few power strokes.
The Fieldfare version of 'Bounding flight' without losing much height with wings closed - you don't notice their height changing as they fly like you do with Woodpeckers who completely fold their wings.

Ref: DF3_20151111_1101_044-048 Fieldfare gliding then flapping flight overhead in strong wind 1-5 of 5 (approx accurate montage).jpg

23 Dec 2015

This female Great Spotted Woodpecker looks lovely and clean after her moult as she flies past the kitchen window.

Ref: E60_20151102_1302_025_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female in flight (crop).jpg

A portrait of one of the migrant black-billed Blackbirds that spend the winter here.

Ref: E63_20151031_1519_109_FB1 Blackbird male with black beak.jpg

22 Dec 2015

This Pheasant is obviously shaking out his feathers. We haven't heard any of the male's characteristic calls yet, but a couple of females also appear every day or so.

Ref: E63_20151029_0836_017_FB1 Pheasant male ruffling feathers (crop).jpg

21 Dec 2015

An inter-species encounter at the kitchen window perch.

Ref: E60_20151031_1313_065_FB3 Robin in flight + Greenfinch on perch challenging each other (adjusted crop).jpg

A Greenfinch flying in to the peanut feeder has just spotted a rival already in 'possession'.

Ref: E60_20151101_1235_086_FB3 Greenfinch in flight just spotted challenger below.jpg

20 Dec 2015

A regular morning sight - a Grey Squirrel commandeering the just peanut feeder just replaced in the morning.
If left out regularly at night Rats use it overnight.

Ref: E60_20151102_0814_003_FB3 Grey Squirrel visiting peanut feeder in mist.jpg

It's a Spud!     (Potato for you non-UK readers)
It's a Bulb!
No, it's a stone.
We saw this squirrel take about 6 moderate sized pebbles out of one of the few really tidy flowerbeds, and took them off in it's mouth in various directions to bury in the 'lawn' and other roughly cut grass. It must think it is a tuber that will soften in storage
Some unexpected hazards for the mower next year

Ref: DF3_20151101_1434_062 Grey Squirrel carrying large pebbles from patio & burying them in roughly cut grass.jpg

19 Dec 2015

A Brown rat is making occasional visits to the hedge and meadow sites. Here we see it possibly inspecting a leopard slug (with another small slug to the right) and suspect that one or both slugs ended up on the menu. Rat's tail amaze us - real and powerful 5th limbs.

Ref: E63_20151026_2241_094_FB1 Rat and Slugs.jpg

18 Dec 2015

We enjoy looking at cloud shapes, and can't resist likening this one to a poodle on hind legs facing left begging for a treat.

Ref: DF3_20151028_1542_003 Cloud suggesting begging Poodle facing left.jpg

The full moon (when occasionally visible though the mainly overcast clouds) has seemed uncommonly bright. Here just after sunrise (behind the camera of course) making a subtle image with streaks of colour in the veil of clouds.

Ref: DF3_20151029_0653_004 Moon at full just after sunrise (crop).jpg

17 Dec 2015

A Kestrel hovering above a hedge but not catching anything before wandering off to the east. The bird was stationary in the air and the images are spread out downwards

Ref: DF3_20151026_1229_010-013 Kestrel hunting in southerly wind 2-5 of 5 (hovering impression montage).jpg

16 Dec 2015

A dramatic arrival for this Barn owl
We decided not to remove the 'Red-eye' effect - it adds to the drama.

Ref: D01_20151026_2209_021_FB6 Barn Owl (no leg ring) 1 minute visit 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

A very short stop by a barn Owl was introduced by this almost perfectly symmetrical landing. Not a bad 'living' contender for a Totem Pole.

Ref: D01_20151026_0358_002_FB6 Barn Owl short visit 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

15 Dec 2015

Oooh - Mice, Voles, Rabbits, Peanut?
An apparently healthy fox comes through from the path behind this site sniffing the stone to help build it's picture of the site.

Ref: E63_20151024_2335_184_FB1 Fox hunting (crop).jpg

2 minutes later the fox appears to have moved to the rear and then turned anti-clockwise to continue the hunt leaving it's tail pushing against the stems.

Ref: E63_20151024_2337_185_FB1 Fox hunting (crop).jpg

14 Dec 2015

Autumn is good for spectacular sunsets.
We have not enhanced the colours.

Ref: DF3_20151024_1844_005 Sunset through clouds (crop).jpg

Note the bright spot above and left of the sun producing its own wide cone of up-light.
We have not enhanced the colours.

Ref: DF3_20151024_1844_003 Sunset through clouds (crop).jpg

13 Dec 2015

This sundog was unusually intense to the right of the sun, but barely perceptible to the left. Here shown with the sun ...

Ref: P34_20150928_1746_199 Sundog to right of sun.jpg

... and a close-up of the sundog along with the wispy clouds looking like a celestial wave breaking in the sky.

Ref: P34_20150928_1747_205 Sundog to right of sun (crop).jpg

Here for once you can actually see the haze of the green and blue in the spectrum that we can often 'see' but gets lost in the camera. This is the original camera frame reduced in size. If we try to show it at larger scale the colours are lost again.

Ref: DF3_20151025_1503_024 Sundog to right of sun with blue spectrum visible (orig).jpg

12 Dec 2015

Early morning rain has not discouraged this Magpie from looking over the site for last night's 'left overs', apparently equipped with an adequate 'raincoat' of feathers

Ref: E62_20151021_0800_077_FB5 Magpie in rain viewed from rear.jpg

11 Dec 2015

This female Kestrel spent over 2 hours hunting from the 11KV power crossbars and the wires. We were delighted that we were considered 'mostly harmless' through the 2 visits we made to our boundary to watch her. Here she is as we first saw her.

Ref: DF3_20151020_1107_020 Kestrel female on 11kv crossbar.jpg

We caught this long (maybe 150m) female Kestrel's flight over 58 frames at about 7 fps (slower near the end as the camera's buffering ran out) as she took off from one stretch of wire to land on a different wire to the west.

Ref: DF3_20151020_1322_038-043 Kestrel female flying between perching along 11KV wires 01-06 of 58 (slightly stretched montage).jpg

The female Kestrel dropped below the height of the wires as she flew along

Ref: DF3_20151020_1322_045-050 Kestrel female flying between perching along 11KV wires 08-013 of 58 (accurate montage).jpg

The Female Kestrel used her speed to glide upwards onto her chosen cable to continue her hunt.

Ref: DF3_20151020_1322_089-091+094 Kestrel female flying between perching along 11KV wires 52-54+57 of 58 (impression montage).jpg

10 Dec 2015

A fieldmouse (wood mouse) peeps around the edge of the stone in the twilight, well lit momentarily by the camera flash.

Ref: E63_20151015_1859_081_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) looking past edge of stone.jpg

09 Dec 2015

The great Tit on the perch looks like he is fed-up with the robin taking over the peanuts, and is ready (or at least pretending to be ready) to defend it's position.

Ref: E60_20151015_1555_023_FB3 Robin flying in to peanut feeder with Great Tit ready to defend.jpg

A little lunchtime confrontation about who gets access to the huge peanut feeder to the right.

Ref: E60_20151020_1240_033_FB3 Great Tit and Chaffinch male disputing ownership of perch (adjusted crop).jpg

08 Dec 2015

A less mature male Kestrel to the one hunting on the power lines is here regaining balance on the flimsy Oak twig he landed on at the edge of our meadow, and then starting to have a look around.
Read this montage right to left.

Ref: DF3_20151016_1220_018+019+032 Kestrel male landed in Oak tree 1+2+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

07 Dec 2015

A fully mature male Kestrel spent several minutes hunting from the 11KV power lines along the bridleway to the north. Here the bird stooped onto some unfortunate creature we couldn't see by the edge of the farm road.

Ref: DF3_20151010_1607_074+1608_075-082 Kestrel male in flight from 11KV cable 1-9 of 9 (accurate montage of birds in flight).jpg

A detail from the above showing the 'classic' plumage of the male Kestrel just like it looks in the ID books!

Ref: DF3_20151010_1608_077-080 Kestrel male in flight from 11KV cable 4-7 of 9 (accurate montage).jpg

The Kestrel returned to the high voltage cables for another hunt.

Ref: DF3_20151010_1608_150+151+153-156 Kestrel male landing on wires 1+2+4-7 of 7 (accurate montage last 3 shifted).jpg

06 Dec 2015

A Dunnock with claws ready for action attacks an equally belligerent but positionally disadvantaged male Chaffinch on the ground.

Ref: E63_20151012_1747_049_FB1 Chaffinch male on ground attacked by Dunnock in flight (crop).jpg

05 Dec 2015

Blue, Purple, Yellow, Green down the tail, Bright Blue on the wings. Magpie do well for 'Black and White' birds.
No - we haven't 'wound up' the colours - a little gamma to lighten the birds dark head was the only change.

Ref: E62_20151010_1639_155_FB5 Magpie with iridescent plumage (crop).jpg

04 Dec 2015

The decades old prostrate juniper under which the Weasel(s) lived has suddenly died (probably after invading the drain and getting it's roots damaged during unblocking).
Here a Weasel seems to have adopted the gap under a large plant half-barrel supported on a couple of long breeze blocks.

Ref: DF3_20151010_1143_017 Weasel (crop).jpg

03 Dec 2015

Squirrels are now in too much of a hurry to feed to bother much with squabbling.

Ref: E63_20151004_1804_350_FB1 2 Grey squirrels feeding on either side of stone (adjusted crop).jpg

Squirrels are now in too much of a hurry to feed to bother much with squabbling.

Ref: E64_20151006_1753_071_FB2 2 Grey squirrels feeding at log.jpg

02 Dec 2015

This Barn Owl (without any leg ring) occupied the post from just after midnight for about 4 and a half hours, counting 5 'landings' at the post. Landing 2 arrived with a rodent in the beak. Unfortunately the Owl consumed the rodent with back to camera (middle image) but then turned round and showed us what a satisfied smug and sleepy Owl looks like for about 15 minutes.

Ref: D01_20151005_0124_084+0125_085+0142_107_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) visit 2 - rodent in beak & eating it 1+2+14 of 18 (montage).jpg

This Barn Owl (without any leg ring) occupied the post from just after midnight for about 4 and a half hours, counting 5 'landings' at the post. Landings show a lot of variety, so here are landings 1, 3 and 4.

Ref: D01_20151005_0039_027+0152_120+0357_142_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) visit arrivals1+3+4 (montage).jpg

01 Dec 2015

According to numerous distribution maps this Wheatear has no business appearing in the UK midlands, and this is our first sighting. Thanks to email group members for identifying this bird for us.

Ref: df3_20150923_0808_190+193 wheatear juvenile (montage).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive