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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jul 2015

A Pair of Mallard Ducks sitting at the duck-shaped pond decided to leave as we approached. The female launched first, but the camera was aimed at the male who waited a second or so before following.

Ref: DF3_20150529_1502_005+007+009 Mallard Duck pair taking off from bank of Duck pond 03+05+07 of 24 (accurate montage alternate frames).jpg

The camera followed the male Mallard duck giving this opportunity for a longer montage. The frame rate was about 7 fps but this is alternate frames and it is just chance and the flap rate that means the bird has his wings down in each frame, showing us his luscious speculum.

Ref: DF3_20150529_1502_010+12+14+16+18 Mallard Duck pair taking off from bank of Duck pond 08+10+12+14+16 of 24 (accurate montage alternate frames).jpg

30 Jul 2015

The Wren nest by the living room window getting a visit every couple of minutes or so in the early morning. Here a parent is taking in what looks like 2 Craneflies crammed into that tiny beak.

Ref: DF2_20150530_0639_090 Wren taking insects to nest 7 of 8 (crop 1).jpg

A Wren stopping off in the hedge top for a moment, with another mix of food types for the youngsters.

Ref: DF3_20150603_1745_150 Wren in hedge top with assorted food items in break (crop).jpg

Smorgasbord, Wren style.
The Wren's tiny beak seems to have managed to catch a small moth, two small grubs and something with long legs to take to the nest.

Ref: DF2_20150603_0615_498 Wren parent(s) taking food to nest above living room window (selected) (crop).jpg

29 Jul 2015

A Heron is occasionally visiting the Duck-shaped pond. Here the bird is on the bank and taking off. The bird upper right should be roughly where the head of the middle image is, so we have moved it to make an 'impression'.

Ref: D01_20150531_1306_013+16+17_FB6 Heron spending a few minutes on bank of Duck pond and takeoff 2-4 of 5 (impression montage).jpg

28 Jul 2015

A juvenile Robin appeared at this site 2 days before this (i.e. 24 May 2015) but this is the first good image. The bird has shed its baby down, and has assumed the quiet 'do not attack me' colours of the juvenile.

Ref: E63_20150526_0707_066_FB1 Robin Juvenile (2 days after 1st sighting) (crop).jpg

In the hedges near this photo site the Hawthorn is flowering like mad this year. We seem to have varieties that flower in White and another less common in Pink. If you trace them back to their roots they are always on separate plants even though the plants are tangled in the hedge.

Ref: DF3_20150526_0853_030 White and pink Hawthorn Flowers (May) on different plants (crop).jpg

27 Jul 2015

A Little Egret flying along the line of the 11kV power lines gave us this opportunity for a flight study. These 3 consecutive frames at 7fps are at about half the true spacing in order to enjoy some detail on the bird. The original montage is adjacent.

Ref: DF3_20150524_1316_475-477 Little Egret in flight against trees 2-4 of 7 (horizontally contracted montage).jpg

While walking down the road verge this Little Egret made a delightful flight along the 11kV power line. This is an accurate montage at 7fps from which we extracted 3 images for the closer look adjacent.

Ref: DF3_20150524_1316_474-479 Little Egret in flight against trees 1-6 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

26 Jul 2015

After a brief hover this Kestrel flew off to the left just under the height of the wires (accurate montage at7 fps).

Ref: DF3_20150524_1308_441-447 Kestrel in flight against trees 01-07 of 11 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

The Kestrel landed on a branch of the Black Poplar tree at the end of our track to the main road. We walked quietly down the track and 3 minutes later caught this moment before she decided to move on.

Ref: DF3_20150524_1311_453 Kestrel hunting from branch of Black Poplar tree at track entrance 1 of 7 (crop).jpg

She landed on the crossbar of the nearest 11kV post and ignored cars and lorries streaming past during the lunch-time peak, so perhaps she just didn't notice us on the other side of the road. We got this pic from perhaps 15m away before she decided to fly off at speed to the South East and vanish.

Ref: DF3_20150524_1320_539 Kestrel on 11kV crossbar by Farm entrance photographed from verge across road (crop 1).jpg

25 Jul 2015

What looks like a young Hare outside the Kitchen window. This year Hares have appeared in our patch rather than on the farm's land. What did we do that was right?

Ref: D5C_20150525_1623_002 Hare juvenile outside kitchen window.jpg

24 Jul 2015

Scale it up, and this Grey squirrel looks like something out of a horror movie.

Ref: D36_20150527_0605_074_FB4 Grey Squirrel leaping onto tree-stump top (crop).jpg

Some real Grey squirrel aggression here - we wouldn't want that aggressive creature right behind us!

Ref: E64_20150527_1755_115_FB2 Grey Squirrels aggressively chasing away another.jpg

What do you mean - how could I be an aggressive pest?

Ref: E64_20150526_1805_060_FB2 Grey Squirrel juvenile.jpg

23 Jul 2015

We have been trying to catch Wrens taking food to the youngsters in the nest outside the living room window, but they no longer stop off on the hedge, and are hardly visible as they fly in. We did catch this one stretching upwards and moving about excitedly, but never worked out what was going on.
It is possibly only the female is now feeding the youngsters. Male wrens go off and try their 'luck' with other females once they have a nest going.

Ref: DF3_20150523_1402_016 Wren perched in hedge (crop).jpg

By our heating Oil tank (We are about a mile from the nearest gas main) this young rabbit looked so appealing we just had to take its photo nearly hidden in the long grass.

Ref: D5C_20150523_1837_079 Rabbit youngster in long grass outside window.jpg

22 Jul 2015

This is two Stock Doves apparently messing about in the early evening. It was raining - you can see the water drops flying about.

Ref: E64_20150519_1842_132_FB2 2 Stock Doves at log in rain (crop).jpg

Stock doves in daylight seem to have all-black eyes, but in fact the Iris is very dark brown you can only see in the right lighting, or with a little help post-processing a photo. This is a camera resolution crop of the head in the adjacent image lightened enough to see the brown ring of the iris.

Ref: E64_20150519_1842_132_FB2 2 Stock Doves at log in rain - crop and enhancement to show dark brown Iris.jpg

21 Jul 2015

The Bluetits feeding the youngsters in the nest over the utility room are getting ever more frantic delivering food. Here you can unusually make out the whole of the next meal still distressingly thrashing about.

Ref: DF3_20150522_1103_493 Bluetit on wires with adult insect in beak.jpg

This Great Spotted Woodpecker isn't exactly looking his best!

Ref: E60_20150520_1513_057_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker male in incredibly bedraggled state.jpg

20 Jul 2015

A Strong Sundog to the right of the sun showing in just this small fast moving patch of cloud. Ignoring the slow movement of the sun in the sky we have aligned the two images of the cloud so you can see how the sundog colours are fixed in the heavens (relative to the sun) and the cloud sort of moves through the position where the sundog will show. The brightness of the parts of the cloud change substantially as it moves through the critical area.

Ref: DF3_20150521_1805_060+069 Sundog cloud moving through colours 1+2 of 2 (montage with cloud aligned).jpg

19 Jul 2015

This is an accurately spaced montage of a Common Gull gliding by into a headwind taken at 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20150518_1741_065-070 Common Gull flying into headwind 1-6 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

A selection of 4 images (in the proper order but not consecutive) of a Collared Dove flying by, arranged for effect.

Ref: DF3_20150518_1747_083+086+090+092 Collared Dove in Flight (selected) 1-4 of 4 (impression montage).jpg

18 Jul 2015

This year's 'truce' seems to be at an end now that parents are frantically feeding their every-demanding chicks.

Ref: E63_20150515_1947_055_FB1 Robin in flight attacking Chaffinch female on ground (crop).jpg

4 days and a few minutes later we were surprised to find this almost identical event again at the right edge of the frame.

Ref: E63_20150519_2017_178_FB1 Robin in flight attacking Chaffinch female on ground (crop).jpg

17 Jul 2015

Red Campion is everywhere at the moment. A walk down the side of the crop to the brook has us discover a 10 metre or so wide strip of wild flowers along the edge of the crop to the brook. We understand farmers get paid for 'set aside' land and this would be a good place to pick commercially and for the wildlife.

Ref: DF3_20150517_0708_234 Red Campion on set-aside near brook.jpg

Clumps of Forget-Me-Nots are all over the place - little drifts of a positive but soft blue.

Ref: DF3_20150517_1124_100 Forget-me-not clump (crop).jpg

16 Jul 2015

Back in the Yew tree this Grey Squirrel was looking so twee as it was probably destroying this years catkins :-(

Ref: DF3_20150516_1735_153 Grey Squirrel in Yew tree.jpg

Animal grooming stills mostly look rather awkward, but this Grey Squirrel was performing a little Flea removal with a degree of elegance.

Ref: D36_20150507_1808_039_FB4 Grey Squirrel Grooming.jpg

15 Jul 2015

Our appearance displeased this Hare who made a speedy exit along the edge of the crop. We took 23 consecutive images at about 5fps. Join the two images together to see the action

Ref: DF3_20150517_0718_244-254 Hare running over short grass by crop 01-11 of 23 (accurate montage).jpg

A continuation of the montage of our Hare running along the crop edge

Ref: DF3_20150517_0718_255-0719_265 Hare running over short grass by crop 12-22 of 23 (accurate montage).jpg

A closer look at a section from the first 11 images. All the individual images are available in this quality on request, but at 24MB the pair you will have to download them from a URL we can send you.

Ref: DF3_20150517_0718_248-250 Hare running over short grass by crop 05-07 of 23 (accurate montage).jpg

14 Jul 2015

Delight of the week was a couple of Hares wandering just outside the house. Despite one cut already, the grass is very shaggy at the moment while it is too wet to cut without a struggle. Perhaps long grass feels like 'home'.

Ref: DF3_20150516_1456_109 Hare outside study window & near house (crop).jpg

Here a Hare was right outside the study full height doors

Ref: DF3_20150516_1513_124 Hare outside study window & near house (crop).jpg

A better view of the Hare's large feet and heavily built rear legs.

Ref: DF3_20150516_1513_137 Hare outside study window & near house (crop).jpg

13 Jul 2015

A montage of a Bluetit perching on the vertical edge of the wall before squeezing the way into the nest.

Ref: DF3_20150517_0658_189+193 Bluetit carrying insect into nest hole & then exiting 01+05 of 17 (accurate montage).jpg

Here you see the exit - a sort of leap towards the open and spread your wings when you have the room - they never perch anywhere on the exit.

Ref: DF3_20150517_0658_205+209 Bluetit carrying insect into nest hole & then exiting 12+16 of 17 (tweaked montaged).jpg

Part of the household duties of Bluetit nests is being lavatory attendant to their heap of steaming chicks. Actually the 'Fecal Sacs' are fairly clean until they drop them and they burst!

Ref: DF3_20150517_0730_366 Bluetit removing fecal sac from nest hole over utility room.jpg

12 Jul 2015

Our first Odanata of the season was this Hairy Dragonfly (the proper common name) distinguishable by the 'fur' on the body clearly visible on this detail crop.

Ref: DF3_20150516_0900_254 Hairy Dragonfly female showing underside & hair detail - 1st Odonata of 2015 (crop 2).jpg

The Hairy Dragonfly moved around in the hedge, and provide this more conventional view of the top of the insect. The body length is about 7cm. Dragonflies are big impressive insects but completely harmless to humans.

Ref: DF3_20150516_0901_260 Hairy Dragonfly female - 1st Odonata of 2015 (crop).jpg

This an about 5 cm long insect is an Ichneumon.
We have always called them 'Ichneumon Flies' but recent usage seems to favour 'Ichneumon Wasp'. We found this description on a web site that described them nicely and highlights the Fly / Wasp dilemma all in the first line from
The Sabre Wasp is a type of insect called an Ichneumon Fly. Ichneumons have a wasp waist, and often, long, flexible antennae. The apparently fearsome-looking sting at the end of the female wasp's abdomen in the picture above, is actually an ovipositor, rather than a sting. These insects are harmless to humans. The adults feed on nectar from flowers and aphid honeydew.
The description fails to mention that the eggs are laid inside other creatures that the young parasitises and eat alive from inside.

Ref: DF3_20150517_0952_007 Ichneumon (Rhyssa persuasoria).jpg

11 Jul 2015

A female Mallard Duck and two males appeared near the 11kV power lines with much flurry and quacking. They disappeared behind the hedges, and a few minutes later 1 pair landed next to the crop without angst.

Ref: DF3_20150515_1757_171+174+177 Mallard duck female & 2 males in competitive flight 1+4+7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

10 Jul 2015

A female blackbird makes an elegant landing, raising the tail a second or so after touchdown.

Ref: E63_20150511_1823_023_FB1 Blackbird female just landed on stone.jpg

09 Jul 2015

This male Mallard duck was managing a thorough preen in an atypically elegant way.

Ref: D5C_20150510_1344_071 Mallard Duck male preening (crop).jpg

Behind the preening male Mallard duck on the bank of the pond was 'his' female' duck busy up-ending in the water about as inelegantly as you can get!

Ref: D5C_20150510_1324_035 Mallard duck female up-ending.jpg

08 Jul 2015

A favourite butterfly is the Orange-Tip, and here is one using its underwing camouflage to great effect. We had trouble find it even though we saw it land only a few metres away. This is the male with the upper wing tip bright orange, but folded out of sight. You can just make out an orange tinge near the back top of the upper wing, but the disguise is near complete.

Ref: P10_20150515_1248_498 Orange-tip Butterfly male perched with wings closed showing underwing pattern (crop).jpg

This attractive flower Bugle has found it own way to the slope of the predominantly clay mound that is the spoil heap from digging the Round Pond.

Ref: DF3_20150509_1553_052 Bugle on Round pond spoil heap.jpg

07 Jul 2015

We have seen one or two Blackcaps fleetingly feeding around the pond, but this the first decent photo of one, a male, this year.

Ref: E62_20150513_1935_137_FB5 Blackcap male (crop).jpg

06 Jul 2015

'The Voice' (a UK TV singing 'talent' show we DON'T watch) wildlife style.
Taken in the same minute these two Song Thrushes, perhaps 30m apart, seemed to be competing for the most impressive song - for us in stereo!

Ref: DF3_20150513_1735_050 Song Thrush singing from top of concrete post (crop).jpg

The competing Song Thrush prefers this branch of an Ash tree.

Ref: DF3_20150513_1736_070 Song Thrush singing from ash tree branch (crop).jpg

05 Jul 2015

Food for the Starling chicks - in this case it looks like a worm plus a fly.

Ref: DF3_20150512_0933_073 Starling with worm and winged insect in beak.jpg

The Starling flew to the top of a nearby drain vent, and then glided and aerobraked to the hole into the loft a minute or so later. At least two families are nesting in the loft

Ref: DF3_20150512_0934_083-086+088 Starling flying to hole under roof with food in beak 1-4+6 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

04 Jul 2015

Never too early for a fight with the neighbours?
This photo of 2 male Blackbirds squabbling over territory was taken by the automatic Owl camera just before it's 'switch off' at 6 a.m. (BST) during May (the software adjusts itself each month).

Ref: D01_20150512_0553_006_FB6 2 Blackbird males fighting on top of meadow post (crop).jpg

03 Jul 2015

Each year a hole above the roof of the utility/boiler ('furnace' in USA) room gets used by nesting bluetits. They are obviously now feeding the youngsters as evidenced by the small grub in the birds beak. This bird routinely uses this TV aerial about 3 metres above the nest hole as a stopping off point.

Ref: DF3_20150512_1210_156 Bluetit with small green grub in beak on aerial rod about to fly to nest over utility room (crop).jpg

For perhaps 40 minutes in the morning the sun shines into the gap between wall and gutter pipe to see the Bluetit nest hole. Here the bird was caught exiting.
The bird in flight shadow shows her head & beak shadowed on the wall by her, but her body and legs have their shadow on the wall behind the pipe.

Ref: DF3_20150513_0724_132+133 Bluetit flying from nest hole in wall over utility room 3+4 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

02 Jul 2015

A Jackdaw stops off on the tree stump with about as much nest lining material as can be crammed in the beak.

Ref: D36_20150510_0708_113_FB4 Jackdaw with beak full of nesting material (crop 2).jpg

01 Jul 2015

What seems to be the same Tawny Owl as last week made a single minute or two visit to the post in the meadow.

Ref: D01_20150510_0016_002_FB6 Tawny Owl short visit 1 of 2.jpg

22 hours after a Tawny Owl visited the post in the meadow, this Tawny Owl visited the perch outside the kitchen Window. Markings indicate that this is a different Tawny Owl to the one on the post. We don't know whether they are a pair, or even which sex each might be.

Ref: E60_20150510_2219_087_FB3 Tawny Owl about to land on perch (crop).jpg



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