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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2016

Black-headed Gulls (in eclipse so no black head) were swooping about and jinking in mid-air, obviously catching insects 'on the wing'. This bird has just caught something which went down the throat in about 300mS.
Read this bottom right moving upwards

Ref: DF3_20160913_1102_073-075 Black-headed Gull in eclipse swallowing insect caught in flight 1-3 of 3 (close spaced montage).jpg

Black-headed Gulls (in eclipse so no black head) were swooping about and jinking in mid-air, obviously catching insects 'on the wing'. This bird has just caught something which went down the throat in a fraction of a second.
Read this bottom left moving upwards

Ref: DF3_20160913_1126_202-204 Black-headed Gull in eclipse with insect caught in beak & swallowing it 1-3 of 4 (close montage).jpg

30 Oct 2016

The high humidity overnight turned the local spider webs into jewellery better than that used to adorn a starlets neck.
Natural appearance without use of a water sprayer.

Ref: DF3_20160911_0858_201 Spider Web on dead Thistle plant heavy with dew (crop 2).jpg

The high humidity overnight turned many plants into shimmering lace.
Natural appearance without use of a water sprayer.

Ref: DF3_20160911_0906_207 Asparagus fern with Spider webs all soaked in dew (crop).jpg

As the sun warmed the freshly harrowed soil following the harvest, we saw this strange effect of mist rising from the soil but instead of being blown away by the very light breeze (from right to left here) was in the lee of the hedge and hardly moved until 10 or 20 metres from the hedge.

Ref: DF3_20160911_0851_189 Mist over fresh ploughed land in sunshine and in lee of hedge (crop).jpg

29 Oct 2016

The Tale of the Fox starts unexpectedly with this huge harvester making a sweep down the slope of this field.

Ref: DF3_20160909_1116_074 Harvesting crop in field to South West (orig).jpg

Suddenly this Fox streaked in apparent panic out the field being harvested and ran at what looked like full speed along the line of the boundary hedge for perhaps 200m. This is an accurate montage at about 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20160909_1117_075-079 Fox startled by harvester running along hedge line 01-05 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

To our surprise the Fox did not carry on through the hedge and out of sight, but turned 90 degrees toward us and carried his high-speed run along the hedge we were standing next to. It was impossible to keep the Fox in focus as it hurtled towards us, so here are a couple of frames that give you the idea.

Ref: DF3_20160909_1117_101+113 Startled fox running up field edge straight towards camera (montage).jpg

Perhaps 10m from us the Fox veered off to the left and the photographer was trying so hard to keep the fox 'in frame' that he didn't realise it was now over-filling the frame. The gorgeous creature disappeared through the hedge into our orchard and vanished.

Ref: DF3_20160909_1117_137-137 Startled fox running right past camera 3-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

28 Oct 2016

Before 9 a.m. on a mid-September morning some warm early sunshine brought out variety of insects into a east facing hedge.
This female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly has been flying about and obligingly landed where we could photograph her.

Ref: DF3_20160909_0841_025 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female perched in hedge.jpg

Before 9 a.m. on a mid-September morning some warm early sunshine brought out variety of insects into a east facing hedge.
A Comma Butterfly with it's proboscis is wheedling out juice from the ripe blackberry it is perched upon. You can just make out the white 'comma' as a semicircle on the lower (dark) side of the wing nearest to us.

Ref: DF3_20160909_0857_047 Comma Butterfly sipping juice from ripe blackberry fruit (crop 1).jpg

Before 9 a.m. on a mid-September morning some warm early sunshine brought out variety of insects into a east facing hedge.
A Small White Butterfly (that is the common species name) is tackling a Blackberry flower.

Ref: DF3_20160909_0858_059 Small White Butterfly feeding on Blackberry flower.jpg

At 9 a.m. on a mid-September morning some warm early sunshine brought out variety of insects into a east facing hedge.
A Red Admiral Butterfly with it's proboscis (just left of the more obvious leg resting on the fruit) deep down in the not-quite ripe Blackberry berry.

Ref: DF3_20160909_0900_068 Red Admiral Butterfly sipping juice from ripe blackberry fruit.jpg

27 Oct 2016

This Fox visiting the feeding site has it's attention split between the food fragments in front of it, and the possibly much more rewarding movement out of image to the left.

Ref: E63_20160829_1932_047_FB1 Fox hunting.jpg

26 Oct 2016

Our occasional sighting of Muntjac Deer are usually of solitary animals. So this image of 2 males apparently having a trial of strength on the bank of Round pond is a first for us. The water is behind the animal at the top and it likely that it was pushed down the bank and into the water. 3 images left to right a few seconds apart.

Ref: SW1_20160907_2237_106-108_SC1 2 Muntjac Deer males fighting face to face at edge of Round Pond 1-3 of 3 (left to right montage).jpg

25 Oct 2016

A Dunnock twisting in the air as it approaches the bird table perch below.

Ref: E60_20160906_0836_013_FB3 Dunnock twisting in flight (crop 1).jpg

A male Chaffinch, this one with still a trace of blue coating on his beak remaining, flutters over the stone.

Ref: E63_20160904_0633_298_FB1 Chaffinch male fluttering over stone.jpg

24 Oct 2016

A Red Kite appeared out of nowhere and glided majestically past but we soon 'lost' it behind a hedge. This is at about 10 frames/sec accurately positioned

Ref: D72_20160908_1545_020-027 Red Kite in flight against clouds @ 10fps 1-8 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

The Red Kite appeared with a Corvid 'snapping at its heels' as it chased away the Kite

Ref: D72_20160908_1550_051-055 Corvid harassing Red Kite in flight @ 10fps 1-5 of 6 (horizontally stretched montage).jpg

23 Oct 2016

Fruit 'plate' - Squirrel style

Ref: E63_20160906_1812_118_FB1 Grey squirrel using slice of fruit as a feeding plate.jpg

"Look Mum, No hands!"
Well, no paws on one side anyway

Ref: D01_20160907_1904_009_FB6 Grey Squirrel with left paws both grooming.jpg

Does this Magpie want the pepper top to eat, or has it selected it as something 'bright' in the way magpies are known to collect shiny objects?

Ref: D36_20160906_1848_035_FB4 Magpie holding pepper top in beak.jpg

22 Oct 2016

An almost pristine Red Admiral Butterfly warming itself nicely centred on a leaf in the sunshine. Ahh!

Ref: DF3_20160901_1810_022 Red Admiral Butterfly on leaf.jpg

A male Chaffinch at the woodland site, this one without any trace of blue left on the beak, clambers over a fallen Blackberry twig. You can see the Blackberry juice leaking from the base of his beak.

Ref: E64_20160902_1615_047_FB2 Chaffinch male on log among Blackberry debris.jpg

21 Oct 2016

4 visits by at least two Tawny Owl individuals in a single night offered this set of images for this montage.

Ref: D01_20160904_0259_010+0409_018+2235_030_FB6 Tawny Owl selection from 4 visits over 2 nights (montage).jpg

20 Oct 2016

After weeks of absence a Tawny Owl individual made a 19 minute visit. Here is the flamboyant landing and the last two minutes of the suddenly agitated bird moving around on the top after 15 minutes of almost totally static images.

Ref: D01_20160902_0323_011-0341_035_FB6 Tawny Owl 19 minute visit (selected) 1+5-7 of 7 (montage).jpg

In the evening before the 19 minute stay a different Tawny Owl made a short visit. First the bird flew to the thin post (top left) that holds the IR sense beam sender (pale square with dark middle). We don't know whether the bird perched on the sender or the top of the post (out of frame at the top left). The bird then swooped down through the beam (lower left) flying to the photographic target post (the landing missed while the camera flash was re-charging) where it stayed for a couple of minutes.
Everything on the left is wildly out of focus because it is metres behind the target perch, but we think interesting enough to show you anyway.

Ref: D01_20160901_2044_006-2046_008_FB6 Tawny Owl landing on IR sender pole then flying to meadow post 1-3 of 4 (exposure adjusted accurate montage).jpg

19 Oct 2016

An attractive portrait of what seems to be the one female Pheasant visiting at the moment.

Ref: E63_20160828_1653_302_FB1 Pheasant female.jpg

One version of female Pheasant and Grey Squirrel 'sharing' the photo site.

Ref: E63_20160830_1828_106_FB1 Pheasant female and Grey Squirrel.jpg

Same time next day, not such a amicable interaction.
Here the female Pheasant is facing us with her head out of frame to the right as the Grey Squirrel is jumping onto her back at the root of her tail.

Ref: E63_20160831_1823_184_FB1 Grey Squirrel leaping onto back of pheasant female (crop).jpg

"What Me - attack an innocent girl pheasant?"

Ref: E63_20160831_1816_180_FB1 Grey Squirrel eating Strawberry top.jpg

18 Oct 2016

A female Common darter sunning herself on an Iris frond.

Ref: DF3_20160829_1230_037 Common Darter Dragonfly female on Iris frond.jpg

A male Ruddy Darter Dragonfly perched on a desiccated blackberry stem. We seem to have an unusually high number of this species this year.

Ref: DF3_20160829_1233_042 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male on Blackberry stem.jpg

17 Oct 2016

Our only opportunity to photograph Swallows feeding their youngsters so far this year. Read this sequence as pairs of birds left to right with the adult (always to the right) flying in and then dropping away.

Ref: DF3_20160827_1112_272-275 Swallow parent feeding juvenile perched on electricity cables 2-5 of 6 (left to right montage).jpg

16 Oct 2016

A pristine Red Admiral Butterfly sipping Water Mint nectar through it's built-in straw.

Ref: DF3_20160826_1341_031 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on Water Mint flowers.jpg

15 Oct 2016

A male Southern Hawker Dragonfly hovering in front of the cameraman for a couple of seconds, drifting slowly to the left. We have picked 4 frames from the sequence that allow accurate positioning without overlaps.

Ref: DF3_20160830_1058_146-157 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male hovering 01+06+10+12 of 14 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Another hover by the same insect.
Note how the legs are completely folded up - something you DON'T see when we photograph Dragonflies in our flight tunnel where they are in free flight but too soon after launch for the 'undercarriage' to have been raised.

Ref: DF3_20160830_1058_163 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male hovering 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

14 Oct 2016

A mid-morning flight for this male Southern Hawker Dragonfly moving through the position of sharp focus for just this one frame as he spends the whole day patrolling his patch around the main pond.

Ref: DF3_20160826_1051_017 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in flight (crop 2).jpg

A female Southern Hawker Dragonfly on the Iris fronds on the main pond. Our second sighting this year of this activity but we never seem to get a good view!

Ref: DF3_20160829_1216_004 Southern Hawker Dragonfly female ovipositing (egg laying) on Iris fronds 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

13 Oct 2016

"Lovely Jubbly!"
This Grey Squirrel has probably started eating while still clinging to the side!
In memory of our friend Ivan for whom this was one of his favourite sayings.

Ref: D36_20160831_1902_066_FB4 Grey Squirrel arriving at freshly baited tree-stump top.jpg

12 Oct 2016

A Southern Hawker Dragonfly ovipositing (laying eggs) on Iris fronds in the main pond. She spent about 10 minutes laying all around the pond, but almost every stop was out of view or so shaded that neither we nor the camera could see a thing. Finally she reached the front of the pond pausing for a few seconds that you see here. She first had her ovipositor (tail end) out of sight on the left of the frond, and then on the right as you see here, before flying off into the distance after about 10 seconds and we didn't see her again.

Ref: DF3_20160824_1748_006 Southern Hawker Dragonfly female laying eggs on Iris fronds in main pond 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

If you have a pond and push an angled stick onto the top that overhangs the water, Darter Dragonflies will often choose it for a look-out post. We used this Willow stick and despite already spouting (as willows do) this male Ruddy Darter likes the perch.

Ref: DF3_20160821_1327_028 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male.jpg

11 Oct 2016

A Speckled Wood Butterfly on a blackberry leaf in a tiny shaft of sunlight

Ref: DF3_20160823_1022_066 Speckled Wood Butterfly.jpg

Atypically choosing this long flowering yellow Buddleia while the white variety is still in flower, a Red Admiral Butterfly feeds and shows the underside of the wings.

Ref: E65_20160823_1342_024 Red Admiral Butterfly on Yellow Buddleia.jpg

Atypically choosing this long flowering yellow Buddleia while the white variety is still in flower, a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly glows even against the orangey flowers.

Ref: E65_20160823_1342_031 Tortoiseshell Butterfly on Yellow Buddleia.jpg

10 Oct 2016

A not-so-friendly encounter between two Grey Squirrels.

Ref: E64_20160821_1750_156_FB2 Grey Squirrel chasing away another.jpg

These windfall apples are really bitter, but the Squirrels seems to like them enough to carry them away.

Ref: E64_20160823_1907_045_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying slice of Windfall apple.jpg

09 Oct 2016

Robins have been flying low over the ground level sites providing some clear images in flight, this one with the bird's shadow on the stone.

Ref: E63_20160820_1938_235_FB1 Robin in flight banking around stone (crop).jpg

Robins have been flying low over the ground level sites providing some clear images in flight - this time a juvenile flying over an apparently unconcerned female Chaffinch.

Ref: E64_20160819_0659_051_FB2 Robin juvenile flying over Chaffinch female (adjusted crop).jpg

08 Oct 2016

A glorious splash of colour as this male Chaffinch launches from the ground. The normally hidden green rump (not as prominent here as we sometimes see) always seems to us to be unexpected.

Ref: E63_20160822_1909_039_FB1 Chaffinch male in flight (crop 2).jpg

Here a Dunnock flies lower over the ground with head level with ground but whole underbody facing the camera.

Ref: E64_20160821_0705_144_FB2 Dunnock in flight close to ground (crop).jpg

07 Oct 2016

This Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was hanging from a broken grass seed head, and unexpectedly took off as the camera took the first frame. Dragonflies have no known sense of hearing - their world is almost entirely visual. Anyway, one thinks of dragonflies as very light - even the biggest in the UK only just makes it over 1 gram (see Weights of Insects) But even so this grass head swung back to vertical as the Dragonfly let go of it.

Ref: DF3_20160815_1022_001+002 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male taking off from hanging grass seed head 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

06 Oct 2016

What a bundle of unleashed fury.

Ref: E64_20160814_1751_141_FB2 2 Grey Squirrels squabbling.jpg

This rabbit is probably only about a 30cm (a foot) in the air but we have no idea why, nor remember, such airborne antics from a Rabbit before.

Ref: E64_20160814_2052_183_FB2 Rabbit leaping at least 30cm over log (crop).jpg

05 Oct 2016

Seeing this image made us realise that you rarely see a Robin's tail nicely spread like this.

Ref: E62_20160814_1932_298_FB5 Robin on log with tail feathers spread.jpg

04 Oct 2016

These three images are of the same fox out hunting before sunset at the hedge bottom, just after midnight in the meadow, and after Sunrise back at the hedge bottom. We have scaled the images on the different camera kits to be the same size. Look at the animals Irises in the 3 lighting conditions (the flash is too fast for the eye to respond until after the photo). We don't know what the animal caught, but you can't criticise the persistence!

Ref: E63_20160813_1901_198_FB1+E64_20160813_0013_102_FB2+20160814_0630_231_FB1 Fox hunting before sunset + midnight + after next sunrise 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

03 Oct 2016

We are always trying to catch Swifts, Swallows and Martins in the act of catching an insect, but this year there has been a worrying lack of opportunities. But here the kitchen window camera catches a Robin making such an attempt. We often see birds make sudden diversions that we assume are to catch some food item, but have never actually seen the target before.

Ref: E60_20160811_1630_008_FB3 Great Tit juvenile in flight trying to catch (q) tiny insect (crop 2).jpg

02 Oct 2016

We seem to have a lot of Brimstone Butterflies this year. This one is feeding on the flowers of a Teasel. Teasel heads start with a ring of flowers somewhere about half way up the head, which splits into 2 rings, each moving away from the other until it runs out of head at the top or bottom after a week or so. Here the insect is on the lower ring.

Ref: DF3_20160812_1244_025 Brimstone butterfly male feeding on lower ring of teasel head.jpg

Only the female Holly Blue Butterfly has this dark edge on the top of the wings - the male has barely a trace.

Ref: DF3_20160813_1255_006 Holly Blue Butterfly female showing top of wings (crop).jpg

01 Oct 2016

Lower left is a male Common Darter Dragonfly watching over 'his' pond from a convenient perch. Top right a male Southern Hawker Dragonfly patrolling his patch in his own manner - endless flight over and around the pond. He kept flying close to the Darter, who occasionally reacted but returned each time to his perch.
You don't often see Darters and Hawkers in the same image - these are the same distance from the camera so you can compare sizes.

Ref: DF3_20160812_1354_056-058 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male flying past Common Darter Dragonfly male on perch 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

A Ruddy Darter Dragonfly glowing gorgeously in the sunshine as he guards his territory

Ref: DF3_20160816_1412_123 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male on desiccated stem.jpg



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