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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The sun came out for an hour or two, and a few squirrels could be seen
finding wind sheltered but sunny corners for a sunbathe.
At the top right corner is the now totally destroyed 'Barn owl Box' we expect to fall without our help any time soon.
In the wet weather we see lots of Muntjac Deer Slots (Hoof prints), but this one in a soggy mole hill is particularly deep and well defined. At the bottom you can clearly see the split in the double hoof and the detail of the outline.
In the early hours the Tabby cat takes a prowl through the plot. If it is keeping the Rats away it is a little less unwelcome than it might otherwise be.
Pheasants spend most of their life on terra-firma, but can occasionally be seen on post, bird tables, backs of garden benches etc. Here as he lands on the tree stump the beakful of food seems to be higher priority than getting stable.
About a week later 2 visits by the male Pheasant an hour apart, both made too early to catch the daily delivery of food.
One of the Grey squirrels has built this Drey really high up in a
perhaps 90 year old Black Poplar. It is about two-thirds along a
fairly thin branch (shown edge on here) and flails around quite
wildly in the high winds. We have been expecting it to be brought
down by the storms but it seems very well constructed, and we
think must be being maintained by an occupant. Here you see two
frames taken from the same position a few seconds apart in a
strong but not gale force wind.
We do hope the squirrel inside doesn't suffer from motion sickness! Perhaps a few seasick pills in with the peanuts ;-)
6 days later the CCTV announced a movement detection on the
track, and lo there was the whole branch and drey lying right across the track.
The Drey was definitely no longer intact but fortunately 'squirrel free'.
In action movies you see the hero picking up a whole mature tree-trunks - even this single dehydrated branch required two of us to drag it off the concrete. Even more silly is metre wide polystyrene boulders being thrown at the 'baddies' when the average human can barely even lift a large paving slab!
Two consecutive images of this Song Thrush prompted us to offer this montage. Fans of the ABBA pop-group will recognise the style!
This Tawny Owl made a very atypically long visit of nearly an hour.
The bird only took up 2 foot position - facing the camera and then side-on view.
For a long time the bird didn't seem to be hunting - maybe digesting a
catch made before visiting the post.
Here are six views ordered to give you an idea of his nearly 180 degree head turn in just one direction. The bird looked away as well, but back of heads lack the eyes humans need to catch the interest.
Half way through the stay the bird started paying more attention to the ground, as in this unusual moment showing us the top of the head as well as the facial disc.
Tawny Owl on Meadow Post
Animated GIF of 5 frames at 1.5 second intervals - you need to use a browser that will 'animate' such files.
Tawny Owl on Meadow post
Animated GIF of 6 frames at 1.5 second intervals.
This patch under the hedge doesn't get as waterlogged as the more open areas, so the mud on the male Pheasant's beak is rather more clumped than the liquid mess that some of the grass paths have become.
Enjoy the subtle green of the feathers over the head of this male Pheasant as he pokes through the mud looking for something more to eat.
This Jackdaw look particularly villainous as it lands head-on to camera with almost perfect symmetry.
Is this Jackdaw directing the traffic?
"This tomato slice is MINE!"
The tiny opposing 'thumbs' of this Grey Squirrel make this look altogether 'too human'.
A Tawny Owl visited this perch for a couple of minutes at about 3 a.m.
A little judicious cropping of a peanut feeder obscuring the bird's left wing makes a pleasing memento of the visit that is also almost as ferociously sharp as those claws.
An arriving Great Tit persuades the Bluetit to depart using a gravity assist!
A Dunnock caught at the moment of launch.
Legs bent into a crouch ready to spring upwards.
Wings fully up ready to power downwards.
This is the appearance of classic English ploughing - a tractor slogging through the heavy soil with a line of gulls picking off the hapless insects and worms rudely brought to the surface.
Here the farmer is going round the outside edges of his work where the plough is too long to work the soil close to the hedges.
The plough is actually very long. The blades at the back are lifted here to leave the required
uncultivated strip to the hedge (required not to damage the roots of the hedge).
Notice that there are two sets of blades above and below the red 'spine' of the plough. The blades on each side are 'mirror images' each other so that as the plough wends it's way back and forth the whole set of blades are turned over at each end so that the soil is turned the same way regardless of which direction the plough is moving.
Fields to our North are being ploughed this year, and flocks of gulls arrive for the bounty uncovered by the blades. This Black Headed Gull is moulting his black head back to what will become the single dots behind the eyes for the Eclipse (winter) plumage
This pair of Black Headed Gulls (the upper in partial eclipse and the lower in full eclipse) made this graceful sweep past. The spacing between each pair of images has been contracted, but the positions represent reality.
A Black-Headed Gull in Eclipse flying by (close spaced for detail).
These two pheasants have appeared together quite often at this site in the last few days. The male on the right has an unusual posture that suggests he is displaying to her.
3 days later here are the same 2 pheasant still enjoying each others
The smear in the background over the females head is caused by the window on the camera box being licked by an amorous or aggressive male blackbird or chaffinch. These birds see a 'mate' or 'rival' reflected in the glass, leaving the glass smudged with mud and saliva to mess up the images until our next visit and a cleaning!
Around dawn this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) seems to be surrounded by rabbits in an arc gazing at the mouse as if in judgement. It looks quite creepy to us even though the rabbits pose no threat to the mouse.
We slightly suspected seeing this animal in a trail cam test 2 weeks previously. Now at the ground level sight nearest the test site this one passage through the site of what appears to be a Polecat. In the background on either side of the tree you can just see a Rabbit making a speedy exit!
A portrait of the first pair of Pheasants seen this season. The male (on the left in all his glory) seems to be gazing enraptured at the subtle toned female.
The female Pheasant on her own 10 minutes later with her back and rail sparkling from being out in the rain.
Flocks of Starling and Fieldfares plunder the hedges for Hawthorn and Blackthorn berries. Here a couple of starlings are plucking off all but the last two berries visible in this image.
Fieldfares are nervous birds and tend to depart when we appear, but often inexplicably flying over us as they go. In this photo we count 3 Fieldfares with a berry in the beak, but there may be more.
A small group of Fieldfares flew by and while concentrating on keeping the bird starting at middle left in focus and in frame 2 other birds crossed it's path. Spacing is possibly half the true spacings but there is nothing to align for accuracy.
A portrait of a pristine Fieldfare perhaps 10 metres above us in a Black Poplar tree, the only one of a small group that stayed on it's own for several minutes.
A Levitating male Pheasant lifts several leaves with the turbulence.
More of the original image suggests that the pheasant was making a response to the threat of an arriving Grey Squirrel.
Over about an hour we see this Grey squirrel picking up a piece of apple, nibbling lumps from it and finally leaving it freshly nibbled on the ground. Meanwhile the Squirrel has cleaned up the recently left corn on the top of the stone.
A Grey Squirrel wrestling with a windfall apple, probably trying to find a soft patch to nibble.
To us this really looks like some sort of mating attempt as the Grey Squirrel on the right doesn't seem to be trying to defend herself or flee.
"Anyone fancy a mud and Banana Sandwich?
All these dry leaves in the rain sheltered patch under the conifer must make wonderful warm and dry bedding for the Drey.
On a gloomy November afternoon a chance shaft of sunlight struck the church and some adjacent trees with brief but glorious show.
An unusually 'crisp' image of the moon soon to set in the west after the sunrise. The 'terminator (where the light edge changes to shadow) provides the most detail as astronomers have long known.
The Broad neck ringed pheasant at the hedge bottom site ...
... is interrupted a few minutes later by another male pheasant. We expect some sort of fight ensued - notice that the side-on pheasant is in the air jumping forwards. We have only seen the pheasant with the broad neck ring since this event.
"I don't want the boring old seed on the top - I want this tasty thing just under the edge of this stone."
At this time of year we enjoy eating sweet chestnuts. We have the trees, and some produce the nuts, but the Squirrels take them away before they are ready for us to harvest. So ours come from Tesco or Ocado! The crumbs we leave in the husks make a meal for small creatures.
A Bluetit in flight and a male Chaffinch in a single shot.
These birds could easily injure one another, so this has to be a lover's display between these two Rooks. Pairs are already 'jousting' for nest spaces in the rookery to our North West.
A lovely soft (rotten!) apple is just the job for this Rook.
On a cold day this Grey squirrel has found a warm sunny spot to enjoy some sunshine. They probably need sunlight to make vitamin D just like us humans. And anyway - its nice to be warm!
This Dunnock finds a sheltered and reasonably safe place to enjoy a short spell of warm sunshine. It is on the remains of a Mallard duck nest box never used as intended by any bird that we know of. It is now on 'Duck' pond island where we moved it after the lack of success at the main pond. By chance you can see it in just the first two images at http://www.moorhen.me.uk/2006_left/2006_left.htm
This Magpie is out in the rain in the days early light, tastefully spangled with water drops.
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