Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The Ringed barn Owl has returned after months of absence, making a few minutes visit and moving around on the post top more than we are used to seeing.
A Woody Nightshade with blossoms suggesting to us Japanese lanterns.
Looks delightful, but all parts of this plant are poisonous.
This tiny moth only about a quarter of an inch long is on a Verbascum stem. This is a 'Micro-moth' of which there are over 1000 species in the UK along with almost that many normal (macro) sized moths.
A little friendly moment here we think between two fieldmice (wood mice) at around midnight.
Just after midnight 3 days later a rather sweet series of Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) assignations over the log.
The Hobby appeared again and gave us the chance of some more portraits. This is close to an accurate montage at 6 fps based on hazy clouds that don't show in this crop.
3 images of the Hobby in flight picked from a sequence.
Images about 2/3 seconds apart closely spaced. The blurred small birds were the House Martins that happened to be hunting higher in the sky.
Our first House Martin sighting this year. The spacing is a third of the true flight speed at about 5fps.
An unusual view (for us) of a Swallow showing the beautiful shimmer from the top of the wings.
A Swift in flight climbing gracefully.
Sparrowhawk visits are normally ' whoosh by and gone'. But out on the disused farm track this one circled quite slowly a couple of times and gave us a chance for some photos.
A single frame of the Sparrowhawk as it winged overhead
The Sparrowhawk flying into the a diagonal wind from the bird's front right. Based on the clouds this is an accurate montage.
The summer invasion of young rabbits is upon us, all looking so innocent. This one has to be named 'Buttercup'.
Silly one to show you, but the chance symmetry of the Robin between the ears of the Rabbit tickled our fancy.
We have not seen many Tortoiseshell butterflies this year, but it was all we COULD find in the middle of this day. Here is a montage of two flights arranged to show both sides of the wings.
Perseverance sometimes brings its own 'luck' - here we caught this moment of a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly just failing to catch an insect. Read the montage left to right, all of this taking about half a second:-
The Dragonflies have arrived, and so predictably does the Hobby - a dragonfly catching specialist.
This male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly is one of the smaller Hawker Dragonflies (though still impressive perching on your hand) and is a delight to watch hunting.
The Migrant Hawker Dragonfly is only interested in the flower as somewhere to perch while hunting over the pond!
This is a male Southern Hawker viewed from below (i.e. flying vertically upwards). They often perch in a sun-warmed Blackberry hedge to warm up before starting their patrols over the ponds.
The Southern Hawker Dragonfly nearly head on to camera. The maneuverability of these insects is amazing.
This tiny (1.3cm long) very attractive Green Carpet Moth on our screen appears 3 or 4 times life size!
A new sighting for us is this Pebble Prominent moth. This is two views of the same moth in different collecting boxes. In the second it was fluttering wings to warm up the flight muscles and we hoped for a launch, but it was content to out-stare us. Upon release it flew fine into a bush to wait in safety for the next night.
The Blood-vein Moth doesn't really have a vein in the wing which
is 'dead' tissue pumped up and then de-hydrated during the final
emergence as a moth. But it is none the less striking for that.
Read this sequence right to left.
The 2nd and 3rd images where taken about 150mS apart and accurately placed. The first image was another flight positioned for effect.
Here is the another Blood-vein individual. This one wouldn't fly until we released it, when it flew away just fine!
One of the more distinctive moths is this Magpie moth, also to be found hiding in hedges in the day. This is the view of the moth from the underside.
Here you see the top of the Magpie moth - the markings are similar to those on the bottom of the wings, but the yellow streak only appears on the top.
Our first image of a Song Thrush for some time is this unusual moment of one of this year wild cherries looking like it will choke the bird, but is obviously completely normal fare.
90 minutes later at the same site what looks like the same Song Thrush with more traditional fare - a snail to smash open on the stone.
We found this smashed snail shell on the ground by the stone. Evidence found at the scene of the Song Thrush's 'crime'.
The male Brimstone butterfly feeding on a Teasel flower head.
A Common Blue butterfly giving us a look at the top and bottom surfaces of all 4 wings.
The markings on the bottom of the wings of the Common Blue butterfly are very intricate, and vary somewhat between the sexes.
A Holly Blue butterfly resting on a leaf.
This Bluetit had what looked like a wonderful time for a few
minutes bathing in a Plant pot saucer kept fresh and including a
variety of stones at one end that small birds can adjust their
depth. Here the bird is flapping like mad producing a spray
reaching several inches around.
In case you are 'lost' the birds beak is at the left just above the water.
A better view of the Bluetit shaking itself dry.
A long flight well above the horizon and gradually losing height brought this Heron down to the pond across the brook. You can see the legs moving relative to the tail as landing becomes more imminent.
A female Blackbird not appreciating the arrival of a Dunnock.
A slightly startled looking Rabbit on his hind legs
We are seeing vastly more than usual numbers of Wrens this year all
over the site. This one photographed through the conservatory windows
had a good bath in a large plant saucer arranged with stones to provide a good
footing for little birds, and one minute later moved to the edge of slabs
under another window (the windows reach the ground) and proceeded to
enjoy a dust bath.
If we tried this we would end up in a sticky muddy mess!
A Southern Hawker Dragonfly has at last made an appearance - as usual over the main pond. At 7 fps we caught this moment as this male was rising almost vertically.
Proboscis maneuvering to a new flower on this nearly spent Teasel, a painted Lady Butterfly replenishes the overnight fast.
Not that common here (no rows of Brassicas for the 'girls' to lay on), is this Large White butterfly on one of the remaining thistle flowers.
A Holly Blue butterfly in a ramshackle bit of hedge. The inset shows the insect fluttering - the only time we could see the top of the wing beyond the edges. Only an occasional visitor here - once or twice some years, not at all others
A Fox looking for Supper ...
The preferred entrance is from the path on the other side of this hedge, and the way though has been trodden flat.
A wonderful bit of luck with the flyover of this Buzzard. Here are two close spaced celebration of the single flight.
We had hoped to use the vague cloud edges to make this an accurate montage, but just couldn't work out which edges were which, so made another 'impression' of the Buzzard flyover
After a few weeks absence the Tawny Owl landed back to camera and stayed that way for 30 minutes, went away for 20 minutes, then returned for just 3 minutes for which this was the moment of re-arrival. The vegetation to the right is green teasel heads with their characteristic rings of florets.
We don't often see a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the ground level sites. This is a juvenile learning where to find food it likes, and where not. Judging by the red stain under the beak the bird may have been sampling fruits or berries from the site
A rather 'worn' Red admiral Butterfly could nevertheless fly well.
Here are images from 2 flights of a Comma Butterfly merged into
an almost believable pair.
We take 3 frames in quick succession in this setup in the hope of at least one having something in it. Sometimes we get 2 successive frames we know are only about 200mS part and even we find it hard to believe the maneuverability.
A Ringlet Butterfly is a subtly beautiful creature we see a few
of in most years.
tiny slit of wing was missing & it really spoilt the effect, so 'photoshopped' a small 'repair'.
Our first sighting of a Painted Lady Butterfly this year, and in fact our first record at all since a large influx in 2009.
This male Brimstone Butterfly made several flights for us, but his tendency to fly very fast upwards made portraits difficult. Here we montage 2 flights to make an impression. The cut at the top was not an artistic choice!
We have always found Peacock butterflies really hard to photograph well - they always look brighter in real life than in a photo (film or digital). Certainly the bottom of the wing is very dark. Here is an in-flight impression, both images showing the colourful top side of the wings, and the almost black bottom
A plain Wave moth, we think, dwarfed by even this quite small teasel flower head.
Another regular visitor is the Peppered moth - a study in the beauty of Black and White. An average sized moth, but stands out as we empty the moth trap.
While he rests between flights in a collecting box, we enjoyed this unusually good view of the male Peppered Moth's antennae he uses to 'sniff out' the girls.
An 'underwing' moth - a type of moth with bright colours on the rear wing which are hidden when at rest by the forewing. The scheme is assumed to startle any attacker by the sudden flash of colour. We don't remember seeing this species before
The Large Yellow Underwing Moth is a regular visitor but usually a reluctant flyer. But this one made a few flights for us & here we montage moments from 2 flights.
A Lesser Yellow Underwing moth in flight
The Poplar Hawk Moth is a BIG moth (wingspan about 70mm) that we see most years. Normally reluctant flyers, this one made a few decent flights of which this is the 'best' (from a photos point of view anyway).
This is a Snout Moth (exact species not certain) with subtle but interesting wing pattern and scalloped edges.
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive