Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A female Chaffinch making a nice aerobraking manoeuvre as she approaches the tree stump.
A female Chaffinch gives the camera a slightly quizzical look?
The local male pheasant produces a good portrait at his first visit this year to a high-resolution camera site.
Starlings are undoubtedly wonderful sights in huge wheeling flocks, but the individual bird is a startling sight on its own.
The 'local' Buzzard made a low-level flight over the crops complete with fresh tractor ruts from the most recent of the endless sprayings. Along the bottom edge the strings of molehills are most likely from a female. We understand that female moles burrow in straight lines while the males zig-zag in the hope of intercepting a female's burrow!
Another 'dice with death as the buzzard lands on the 11kV crossbar. Our neighbouring farmer told us many years ago that he saw a bird 'flash into nothing' between an earlier incarnation of these high voltage wires. Many years ago we found an immaculate drake mallard lying dead below the 240V power pole on our patch, and can only think it was electrocuted at the much lower voltage, not leaving any visible burns - this perfect bird dead in our hands has made an indelible impression on us.
A Goldfinch tucking into next year buds.
Notice the wet speckles on this Wood Pigeon's back as it's immaculate plumage shrugs off the wet.
We know that Rooks start nest building early in the new year, but surely 18 November is a bit too early?
mouthful beakful. We leave strips of bark
along the IR beam to help get images in focus, and they are gradually
It looks like Magpies are the 'guilty' party.
We don't know where this Squirrel found such dry bedding in the acres of drenched ground, but here it goes up to the dray for a little extra comfort, or perhaps life saving warmth.
This is the female (left) and male Bullfinch sharing an Ash tree near the house to eat the seeds. They were never quite close enough together in the tree for a single frame containing both, but this montage should give you the idea.
A Magpie in as compact a pose as can be managed, with a lovely shimmer of iridescent colours down the tail and on the wing tips.
On the RIGHT of this pair of owl images (the Tawny at the left from 3 weeks before as a size comparison) is a juvenile Little Owl. We last saw a Little Owl in Jan 2013 and have no record of ever having seen a juvenile before.
The green Carrot top being consumed by the Grey Squirrel in preference to what is left of the root part. The brown 'sludge' is the ever popular saltless peanut butter.
This buzzard spent a few minutes on this perch in the Ash tree, and then suddenly launched downwards ...
... to land on the ground at the edge of the Wheat crop. The end of the flight suggests that it was pouncing on an unfortunate rodent. Raptors with prey in the Talons usually just stand like this, squeezing the life out of their catch with no need to look down at it.
Birds landing on perches are difficult to represent because the landing speed is so controlled that everything overlaps. This is one way of representing this Buzzard landing.
Here the Buzzard lands in a different part of the Ash tree, here just duplicating the landing perch to maintain a feel of flow.
Still folding wings as the Tawny Owl looks back at the nearby ground level photo-sight where possibly the Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are scampering for safety.
Tawny owl landings about 3 hours apart showing us the top and bottoms of what we think is the same Tawny owl - the less regular bird with wider streak between the eyes.
Ah - in the twilight a couple of Rooks confirm their mutual attraction, said to last a lifetime.
Each year we delight in the return of the Bullfinches. This year the patch of ground weeds (near an unused gate) where we usually see them feeding just didn't produce anything but a bit of grass, but we spotted this male on a bush by the main pond, feasting himself on the desiccated seeds of stinging nettles. That's the first time we have noticed Nettle seeds being eaten, and had not thought of them as a 'resource'.
Next day we spotted a female Bullfinch in a similar place, but her chosen comestible was desiccated blackberry fruits of which there is no shortage. Dried fruit mixed with seeds - yummy!
A slightly Kooky Magpie.
And we have been 'blaming' the squirrels for scattering the bark strips around
the site. Caught a week or two ago hiding itself behind the strip, the culprit
is here brazenly no longer in hiding.
"And what can you do to stop me?"
. The damaged look of the right eye is just the nictitating membrane (sort of extra eyelid) protecting the eye while it does something that might injure it.
"Where's my 2 a.m. Mouse?"
The Wren is said to be the UK's most common bird, but they move about so fast it is not easy to get a good view. In the marginal plants at the Duck-shaped pond this Wren made a VERY short stopover on this desiccated weed stem before 'vanishing'.
The second of two similar events a couple of weeks apart - a Robin grabbing some peanut butter as first priority before it has even landed. Nine minutes later a Squirrel had 'taken over' the site - perhaps the Robin's tactics make a lot of sense!
Nine minutes after the Robin grabbed his share 'on the wing' a Grey squirrel has taken over the site. Perhaps the Robin's tactics make a lot of sense!
Our appearance caused this buzzard perched on a distant hedge (that we had not spotted until it took off) to fly across the field, here against a partly 'turned' autumn hedge.
The Buzzard landed in the broken limbed Ash tree to our South, and spent several minutes eyeing over the territory (mostly sprouting wheat crop).
A few minutes later (without any prompting from us) it took off and started flying over the fields, coming quite close to us for this unusually nicely lit portrait.
An unusual single frame with all the 3 different bird species all alertly looking to the right for reasons we can only imagine.
On the grass margin to the farm land, we spotted this single Shaggy Ink Cap fungus not previously seen since October 2005. Returning to the site the moment we ID'd this a few days on, and wanting to photo the 'black cap' stage, we found it had shrivelled to nothing.
Looking through our archive for 'Shaggy' we found this previously unpublished image of a Shaggy Mushroom squatting in the leaf litter in September 2008.
After sunset these little sweeties explore the site for things to eat. On the right a corn grain must be a major snack for this tiny creature.
We rarely see Worm casts in these photos, and it is likely that this is the first time that this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) has seen one.
This Tawny Owl has started making regular visits - several a week and one 3 times in a single night. Here we also caught the bird pouncing on some rodent by the log innocently cleaning up the food only to become food for the Owl.
'How do I look when landing?'
A Tawny Owl landing on the post an hour either side of midnight gives us flattering views of the tops and bottoms of the wings.
A little montage over 20 minutes of our two main Tit species on the stone.
A Red Kite spent about a minute passing over the area, continuously harassed by this rook.
A Red kite flyby - the attendant rook is out of frame.
Here the Red Kite turns it's head to keep an eye on the Rook!
On the surrounding farm's land we spotted these 12 Grey Partridges wandering down the gap between crop and Hedge. They were not pleased to see us and wandered away over the green grass before ambling through the hedge.
2 of the Grey Partridges out on the wheat crop.
The sprouting wheat crop has brought back the Hares. Here there are 2 - one quietly nibbling the delicious fresh wheat sprouts (lower left) while the other, for reasons we didn't spot, was accelerating it's way over the crop. The gull was an unexpected incidental.
A second or two later the Hare seems to have reached full speed. The frame rate is a bit irregular due to continuous auto-focussing.
A Tawny Owl has restarted regular visits, sometimes a few days between visits and sometimes 3 a night! Unpredictability is the watchword of opportunistic hunters. Here the Tawny Owl gives us a spectacular landing with eyes firmly shut.
The first Tawny Owl visit this week spent a few minutes on the post, had a little preen of his right foot, and next image was gone.
We see this Cat passing the front door (on CCTV) several times a week, but it doesn't often visit our high resolution camera sites. Pet owners may never see their moggies irises open like this in the dark.
A few days later over 2 nights these Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are accurately montaged. Undoubtedly what the domestic cats make night-time visits here trying to catch!
This cloud of midges caught our eyes backlit by the sunshine blocked out by the Ash tree. Not being desirous of swallowing some, we walked round!
A detail from the above from of the larger insects just above the hedge height to the right of the post.
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive