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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 May 2016

A Jackdaw eyeing over a corn-on-the-cob before probably pecking some bit the human's teeth missed.

Ref: E63_20160423_1811_160_FB1 Corn-on-the-cob intact core with Jackdaw.jpg

This is probably the same half corn-cob on a stick a day later after a Grey Squirrel took it away for 'dismantling'. Note the bitten through stick - the corns we buy have 1 stick right through so some really strong little jaws have been at work!

Ref: DF3_20160424_1610_003 Corn-on-the-cob shredded remains (crop).jpg

30 May 2016

We have been watching Dunnocks for years, but this is the first year we have observed the female Cloaca being offered to the male along with the females excited wings trembling.

Ref: DF3_20160423_1738_125 Dunnock pair with female (right) inviting male to mate (crop).jpg

We have been watching Dunnocks for years, but this is the first year we have observed the female Cloaca being offered to the male along with the females excited wings trembling. In this case a different pair over 50 metres away from the first pair, this time caught by a camera trap.

Ref: E63_20160422_1355_069_FB1 Dunnock pair with female inviting mating.jpg

29 May 2016

One of the resident male Blackbirds singing his little heart out.

Ref: DF3_20160423_1302_112 Blackbird male singing from tree branch.jpg

A male Blackbird scratching his throat with his left foot. The wide-open beak may be just one of those things animals (Humans included) do when performing awkward manoeuvrers. The dull looking eye is the Nictitating membrane protecting the eye from accidents.

Ref: D36_20160427_0511_054_FB4 Blackbird male with beak wide open & preening throat with left claw (crop).jpg

28 May 2016

The setting sun gives the male Pheasant a wonderful glowing crown.

Ref: E64_20160420_1958_085_FB2 Pheasant pair at sunset (adjusted crop).jpg

27 May 2016

A male Chaffinch in glorious breeding colour, crest (such as it is) raised.

Ref: E63_20160418_1930_039_FB1 Chaffinch male in breeding colour with crest raised.jpg

26 May 2016

Grey Squirrels may be flea infested 'Tree Rats', but it is not for the lack of trying to keep well groomed. Here it is licking along it's tail.

Ref: E60_20160420_0719_025_FB3 Grey Squirrel grooming tail.jpg

This grey Squirrel seems to be concerned about something off to our left. We will undoubtedly forever be in ignorance of what!

Ref: E64_20160420_1802_077_FB2 Grey squirrel reacting to something off-frame to left.jpg

25 May 2016

This Green-veined White Butterfly is an occasional visitor here, and is very early considering the land elevation.

Ref: DF3_20160420_1439_015 Green-veined White Butterfly.jpg

The Large White Butterfly - Scourge of cabbage growers - also likes Oilseed Rape with which we are 75% surrounded.
It is the stuff that colours fields bright yellow - pretty from a distance, not so good to be surrounded by for weeks of rather acrid stink.

Ref: DF3_20160420_1621_043 Large White Butterfly.jpg

24 May 2016

This Robin (unfortunately in the shadow of the house) spent a couple of minutes biting lumps off this (still wiggling) worm and swallowing the pieces

Ref: D5C_20160419_1613_029+035+041 Robin eating large worm in bitten off sections 02+05+08 of 10 (montage).jpg

23 May 2016

As we stepped out of the front door (facing west) we were immediately struck by this huge precision edged cloud along the horizon. On arriving at the North boundary we found this vast long band stretching in the north almost from west to east. Not wanting to risk missing the effect by walking back to get a more wide-angle lens, this is a montage of 4 adjacent frames taken at a 50mm lens setting and joined up later. We estimate it is only 30 degrees short of 180 degrees.

Ref: DF3_20160418_0700_097-100 Northern sharp edged cloud band starting 0700 18Apr2016 1-4 of 8 (accurate montage about 150 deg).jpg

A little section in more details - the white cloud at this stage seemed to exactly align with the dark. As the cloud moved overhead the straight line illusion was lost.

Ref: DF3_20160418_0701_101 Northern sharp edged cloud band starting 0700 18Apr2016 5 of 8 - edge detail (crop).jpg

So what was it?
As the weather forecast suggested it gradually moved over the sky to give us an endless grey day. A screen dump of a weather map show a cold front on the way, but rarely so graphically represented by a hard line in the real world.

Ref: Northern sharp edged cloud band starting 0700 18Apr2016 7 of 8 (crop).gif

22 May 2016

A peacock Butterfly contrasting itself with the brilliant yellow of a cultivated Daffodil. The butterfly is in good condition considering that it will have spent the winter somewhere safe while waiting for the Spring!

Ref: DF3_20160414_1319_033 Peacock Butterfly perched on outside of Daffodil.jpg

A lovely patch of (we hope) genuine English Bluebells pop up each year in an ancient ditch.
Bluebells are notoriously bright in Ultra-Violet (UV) light and always look too pink in photographs. We have done our best here to correct the colours.
For a view in the UV spectrum start at for the highlights which include plants and insects. None of the insects are harmed - see the technical notes attached to the section.

Ref: DF3_20160417_0916_083 Bluebells in ditch to west of access track (crop with colour correction).jpg

21 May 2016

Bluetit taking some soft lining back to the nest.

Ref: DF3_20160414_1311_030 Bluetit with soft nesting material in beak 3 of 3 (crop 2).jpg

20 May 2016

"Time for my morning Yoga"
This Grey squirrel cracks us up each time we see it. He is grooming himself where the large peanut feeder spends some of the day, so he is presumably planning to get 'first dibs' when it arrives.
The various limbs are identified in the images title.

Ref: D5C_20160420_0720_010 Grey Squirrel grooming (back right paw on cheek and front right paw in air) (crop).jpg

This Grey squirrel looks really smug at finding the peanut feeder full. We think he has just moved the eye into the full sunlight and screwed it up in defence just like a human does.

Ref: E60_20160410_1028_164_FB3 Grey Squirrel dazzled by leaving shadow of peanut feeder (crop).jpg

19 May 2016

The Grey Squirrel looks keen on attacking the male Pheasant, but the bird looks more than ready to deliver some beak, claws and spurs in return!

Ref: E64_20160411_1550_018_FB2 Pheasant male (Blonde) attacked by Grey Squirrel.jpg

18 May 2016

We found this Peacock butterfly (left) feeding on some Blackthorn flowers. This is the only frame we got because movement for a 'better angle' scared it away. Turning round the mind said 'oh there it is' before realising that the newly found item was a leaf we think is remarkably like the butterfly. Although this butterfly's marking are primarily intended to startle predators, it is worth remembering that what humans may think of as poor camouflage may actually be quite effective.

Ref: DF3_20160413_1042_036+1044_037 Peacock Butterfly on Blackthorn flower + matching Red leaf on Blackberry stem (montage).jpg

17 May 2016

Not the most spectacular images of a ring around the sun, but we don't very often see this. Not a 'lens effect' except the white dot lower left of the sun, and some of the darker splodges probably dirt of the sensor - a problem you get at very small apertures like photographing the sun and in the kit used to photograph insects in flight.

Ref: P10_20160410_1214_854 Complete coloured ring around sun (crop).jpg

A strange cloud looms over some normal cumulus, possibly a lenticular ice cloud partly hidden by the lower formation giving this 'halo' effect.

Ref: DF3_20160407_1504_012 Halo effect above cumulous cloud (orig).jpg

16 May 2016

This Wren appeared on the branch for an unusually long time before moving on - perhaps a whole 5 seconds. The bird's feet staying still until take-off so we have 'elongated' the twig to provide this little montage.

Ref: DF3_20160410_0926_015+018-020 Wren in Willow tree west of main pond 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

15 May 2016

Now that's what we call collecting nesting material! The Blackbird's aerodynamics must be terrible when flying with that lot at the front!

Ref: D36_20160413_0751_062_FB4 Blackbird female with mass of nesting material in beak (crop).jpg

14 May 2016

Montage of the launch phase to the nest perhaps another 1 metre further up on the right.

Ref: DF3_20160408_1432_212+215 Robin carrying dry leaf to nest 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

The Robin taking in a bit of structural reinforcement.

Ref: DF3_20160408_1430_136 Robin with twig in beak.jpg

This Robin has a slightly distorted sense of scale with this length of twig we think!

Ref: DF3_20160408_1431_200 Robin with long twig in beak.jpg

The Robin makes a little coquettish goodbye!

Ref: DF3_20160408_1435_248 Robin with assorted leaves in beak (crop).jpg

13 May 2016

We have a 'traditional' site where Snakes-head Fritillaries have survived (if not thrived) for the last 25 years. Each year we have to wait and see whether we get the conventional mottled purple (left) or the more subtle mottled cream and white varieties. This year we got both. Look carefully at the white flower to see the mottling. The single or double flower seems to be a random variation.

Ref: DF3_20160407_1502_002+006 Snakes-head Fritillary (normal colour + white montage).jpg

One of this years better developed clumps of Primroses at the base of a tree in the Orchard.

Ref: DF3_20160411_1534_015 Primrose clump in orchard.jpg

12 May 2016

A single 2 in 1 Tawny Owl event this week. Starting with the camera at the kitchen Window first as the bird landed, stayed a minute or two (unexpectedly triggering this single-shot camera electronics again for the 'poised' image). The Owl then flew directly to the Owl post in the meadow where it stayed for another couple of minutes. This whole sequence lasts about 5 minutes.
The different Owl sizes reflect the pixel size on the two cameras - the first with the bird only a few metres away through moderate telephoto lens, the second from 30m away through a gigantic 500mm lens and long distance flash.

Ref: E60_20160406_2221_139_FB3-D01_20160406_2226_014_FB6 Tawny Owl lands on perch then moving to meadow post 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

11 May 2016

This male Mallard Duck made a tidy takeoff as Marie walked up the path to the Duck-shaped pond. All 5 frames are spread horizontally at about 7fps. In the first 3 you can see how he dips down to give himself a launching spring. This is less than 1 second of action.

Ref: DF3_20160405_1541_049+051-054 Mallard Duck male takeoff from bank of Duck pond 1+3-6 of 6 (horizontally spread montage).jpg

A closer view of the next to last frame of the montage.

Ref: DF3_20160405_1542_053 Mallard Duck male takeoff from bank of Duck pond 5 of 6 (crop).jpg

Your cameraman let the bird get our of frame but picked him up again about 1.5 seconds later and caught this rising sequence accurately portrayed at the same 7 fps. His beak just overlaps most of the next images rump with surprising consistency.

Ref: DF3_20160405_1542_064 Mallard Duck male ascending past trees 2-7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

10 May 2016

The 'Robtit' - a chance juxtaposition of Robin and Great Tit perhaps singing an Abba song together? Note how even the legs alternate in the lineup.

Ref: E64_20160401_1746_072_FB2 Robin and Great Tit aligned.jpg

09 May 2016

Grey Squirrel showing his not so sweet nature to a Rook that may just have been trying to land.

Ref: E62_20160401_1638_075_FB5 Grey squirrel attacking Rook (crop).jpg

A moment of dynamic paw and tail flailing from this Grey Squirrel.

Ref: E62_20160403_1606_166_FB5 Grey Squirrel leaping towards camera.jpg

08 May 2016

As we emerged into view of this male Kestrel it spent a few seconds sizing us up before deciding it was time to depart. Note that in the next to last image the bird is looking back to see what we are up to!

Ref: DF3_20160403_1531_007-012 Kestrel male taking off from disused telephone pole 1-6 of 8 (approximate montage).jpg

07 May 2016

First seen a few days ago, on this warmish day there we a few over-wintered Comma Butterflies re-fuelling from the May blossom. They will be keen to find a mate to lays the eggs for this Autumns generation

Ref: DF3_20160402_1228_057 Comma Butterfly on May blossom.jpg

The first Swallow of the year for us, 10 days earlier than last year.

Ref: DF3_20160405_1547_067 Swallow in flight (first sighting in 2016) (crop 2).jpg

06 May 2016

Very few views of the Little Egret this year. We enjoyed this one flying over the Rookery. Note that the Rooks do not consider the Egret a threat - if this was a Buzzard they would rise en-masse to mob it!

Ref: DF3_20160401_1016_014-020 Little Egret in flight over Rookery 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

05 May 2016

Consecutive images at the end of the garden from a covert (trail-cam) camera show a fox obviously suspicious of something happening behind, and deciding to 'canter' off. We suspect the disturbance was one of us at the house 50m away

Ref: SW2_20160329_0940_076+0941_077_SC2 Fox visiting end of orchard 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

We put out frozen cherries from our stock for both human and animal consumption. This one seems to have pleased this Grey Squirrel.

Ref: E64_20160329_1615_173_FB2 Grey squirrel leaping away with cherry in mouth.jpg

04 May 2016

This male Great Spotted Woodpecker spent a minute or so pecking at the bark of the Ash tree on the main pond island. The movement is a bit too quick to catch in sequential frames, so this montage is only an accurate illustration taken from 3 pecks. In the right hand frame note how the impact has disturbed the previously sleek feathers on the back of the head.

Ref: DF1_20160328_1152_012+005+010 Great Spotted Woodpecker pecking trunk of Ash tree on main pond island 4+1+3 of 6 (montage).jpg

A few minutes later the Great Spotted Woodpecker departed. Judging from the direction of exit he may have been heading for the peanut feeder about 20 metres to the left where we often see him.

Ref: DF1_20160328_1158_029 Great Spotted Woodpecker male leaving Ash tree on main pond island (crop).jpg

03 May 2016

Several female Mallard Ducks visit the main pond at this time of year for a high-speed feed and preen before returning to their nests. The bird will be moving oil from her 'Preen Gland' near the base of the tail and spreading it as waterproofing over all of her feathers. Just look at the neck flexibility you have to have if you don't have hands.

Ref: D5C_20160327_1637_006-1638_030 Mallard Duck female preening at edge of pond 2+4+6+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

02 May 2016

The newly arrived conventionally coloured male pheasant against the setting sun.

Ref: E64_20160325_1701_133_FB2 Pheasant male (normal dark back) near sunset (crop).jpg

01 May 2016

A Bluetit glowing blue on every available patch!
No colour faking - honest!

Ref: E63_20160325_1537_172_FB1 Bluetit with iridescent blue head + wing edge + tail (crop).jpg

In the morning dew, a pair of Robin's check out the site around dawn.

Ref: E62_20160330_0602_192_FB5 Robin pair at log (adjusted crop).jpg



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