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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
"The Ascent of
In the 'Still of the Night' at 2.15a.m. two (not a montage) little sweeties on the stone.
This female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was whizzing about near a blocked gate and finally perched long enough to get this respectable image.
A Common Darter Dragonfly was repeatedly returning to this bent over Hop Sedge providing the opportunity for an image of the landing.
The Common Darter Dragonfly finally decided to sun itself on this seed head.
Out in twilight (see the half-open irises) this Fox can undoubtedly smell the alluring odour of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) - and wants one!
This 4.52 a.m. image was the second of a set of three taken by this camera after using IR in the dark. The switch over moves a tiny filter at the lens inside the camera which make a tiny tap you can just about hear in the quiet of the indoors. But this Fox heard it after the first image, looked up to see what it was, and then continued on it's way concluding it was 'mostly harmless'.
Over the years we have mentioned that Buzzards don't perch on wires, assuming
that their weight and foot design make this uncomfortable. Well this buzzard,
some 200m away from us, spent a few minutes perched on the wire before flying
back to the brook.
So maybe ... Buzzards don't often perch on wires ...
We seem to have a larger variety and number of 'white' butterflies this year than normal. Watching little groups spiralling around looking for a mate has been a delight this year. The biggest insect at the lower left is a female Brimstone Butterfly.
This male Brimstone Butterfly was feeding on the Purple Loosestrife flowers and fluttering between the stems. Start bottom left and follow clockwise.
A Holly Blue Butterfly feasting on a Blackberry flower
A Cinnabar Caterpillar building it's body ready to make a lovely big Pupa and emerging as a startling black and red adult Moth.
A young Wren was chasing about the top of the hedge outside the living room window, when Mum or Dad arrived to give it a feed (right).
An adult Goldfinch was feeding its youngster high in a distant conifer. These frames over about a third of a second.
The 4 day plethora of Tawny Owl pics included just this one image of a
Tawny Owl landing outside the kitchen window about an hour before
The camera trigger here just takes the one frame at each beam break - the bird may have stayed for some time.
The 4 day plethora of Tawny Owl pics included one spending a couple of minutes on the post and then diving down onto site 5 (perhaps 10m away) and photographing itself as it landed.
Here is the Tawny Owl pounce in more detail. The bird's right Talon seems to have grabbed just a tuft of grass but the hidden left talon could have 'anything' in it, most likely one of the many Fieldmice (Wood Mice) that visit this site.
"Where are those fieldmice (wood mice) then?"
Over the 4 nights our 'Meadow Post' camera photographed Tawny Owls 133 times
(that's about 100 minutes elapsed) including 12 landings on the post, as
well as one image at the kitchen bird table and another pouncing on the ground
at the meadow camera! We think the bird(s) must have been having a wonderful
time considering that they have plenty of other hunting perches (other posts,
power and telephone poles, and of course tree branches). We think there are two
similar Owls visiting in these sequences, but the facial details are often difficult
to see and we have not tried to differentiate them.
As is typical of wildlife appearances, no more sightings for the next 6 days
First we have chosen 4 of the mid-stay images with some character. All of these images are at the same scale. The 3rd and 4th (from the right) are probably the same bird, but at least are similar sized birds. The 3rd image it seems to have settled itself down in the hole in the middle of the post, giving the squat appearance. The 4th is standing upright on the high edge of the post with feathers raised and looks, but isn't, twice the size!
Here is a montage of 3 of the 12 Tawny Owl landings on the post in just 4 days
Reminds us of a set of Totem Poles!
A couple of juvenile Robins tumble in mid-air with claws
Never too soon to learn how to fight :-(
A female Kestrel went hunting over the adjacent field.
From a hover (always awkward to represent in a montage) at the top right the female Kestrel suddenly dropped down to gain speed to fly to a new hunting spot.
Taking off after an unsuccessful dive to the fallow field, back in the air our female Kestrel twists in the air to change direction - well she might not have liked the look of the photographer. This is about 1 second of flight only slightly spread horizontally on the right to avoid overlaps.
Buzzards have returned to the trees at the Brook, and are hunting from them and the 11KV power line crossbars. We have seen 3 Buzzards at once in the area.
This bird landed in a willow tree at the brook.
Image 1 (left): The Talon are extended to grip the branch a few centimetres away.
Image 2 (middle): The landing was accompanied by a call - this is the 'noisy Buzzard'.
Image 3 (right): Is from a changed camera position were we could see the Buzzards eye peering between the leaves.
This buzzard appeared from our left and started to turn into the wind (blowing towards the post from our position), saw us and basically Panicked - claws down, twisting in flight and calling before accelerating into the distance. It is a shame that humans are so feared, but it is a good survival tactic.
It has never occurred to us that Hares are actually rather well camouflaged if they keep still on a fallow field. This pair were ambling over the recently harvested field and even presented like this get lost against the background.
This female Green Woodpecker was spotted through an upstairs window and
as she hopped along the concrete we got some frames that allow us to show the
bounding appearance. This montage shows the movement a bit
One of our guide book describes the motion as 'clumsy' but it works fine and that is all that matters to the bird. It not dissimilar to the motion of Magpies on a flat surface, but the Green Woodpecker uses a two legged hop rather than the Magpies one leg, other leg and then a period in the air.
This is the second frame from the right of the montage, showing the feet operating in synchrony.
This is a juvenile Green Woodpecker keeping a wary distance from us as we walked down the concrete track. This form of locomotion is more like a 'jump and glide'. The landing was hidden from us by the hedge appearing at the right.
A few steps forwarding revealed the juvenile Green Woodpecker's landing point.
Multiple visit nights by the this Tawny Owl give us the chance to present this little montage of the most interesting 'landings' on the meadow post.
The Tawny Owl made this visit to the bird table and perch outside the kitchen window - much closer than the Owl post so offering a more detailed image.
The early hours of one night brought 4 separate visits by Tawny owl(s)
over a period of a bit over 3 hours, lasting 4 to 8 minutes each visit. Here are
3 of the four landings arranged in what we think is an attractive layout.
Don't read a single 'landing sequence' into them.
On this visit to the post the Tawny owl has already caught some partially eviscerated rodent it is holding in it's left claw. The prey is partly hidden down the hole in the centre of the log (mainly dug out by Woodpeckers).
Two and a half hours after the last sighting at the pole one of our 'trail cams' caught this unexpected view of a Tawny Owl at the end of the 'Orchard'. The camera in this instance was triggered by a 2 hourly timer to take three images a few seconds apart. This is the second such image - in the third the bird had gone - we were very lucky to see the bird at all. It was probably on the ground after seeing a Rodent and diving on it, or maybe looking for worms and beetles.
A Red Kite made quite a low pass over, and we caught this detailed moment.
A morning walk down the Bridleway to our North was rewarded by a couple of Buzzards moving around the area. This one was standing still on a power line crossbar, calling for all he was worth. The positions of the bird and infrastructure are all 'for effect'
The bird decided to join his family in the air and we caught this moment in flight still calling in flight.
The other of the two buzzards flying (silently) up to perch in the Willow tree to the left. As luck would have it, the bird picked the far side of the tree and effectively disappeared for us before landing.
Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were at one time in our hedges in hundreds, but we now see them mainly in the 'meadow' and its surrounds in ones and twos. But a lovely splash of colour!
This is the female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly, with iridescent brown-green body.
We sometimes see a lot of 'small' Aircraft flying over (especially at weekends)
and usually try to get a photo with the registration number. This low WW2
Lancaster Bomber was an impressive sight. A search of the WWW suggests that this
one is the best preserved there is, and is repainted in various liveries to
celebrate famous but no-longer airworthy craft. This one has a legend of
'Thumper' - a Rabbit from the Walt Disney film 'Bambi' as we show you in the
insert from another frame. In yet another image (not shown) the pilot has
spotted us through his open cockpit window.
If you have an interest in aircraft or think you might have been photographed by us have a look at our experimental site at http://moorhen.ddns.net which has over 1000 images on file..
Instead of the normal one or two clumps this year we have a at least 30 single Oxford Ragwort plants spread through the rank grass. This poisonous plant is the food plant of Cinnabar caterpillars which retain the poison to become poisonous themselves. As usual we will attempt to stop these plants making too much seed - Ragwort is very poisonous to cattle who graze near a boarder.
Paraphrasing the guide book .. 'eats Ragwort leaves and flowers' is illustrated by this caterpillar inside the decimated flower head
A Brown Long-eared Bat photographs itself over the tree-stump at about 2.30a.m.
We don't actively take bat photos any more after threats of prosecution over the use of flash (many times weaker than the bat got unintentionally 'wacked' with here) but there is no point in throwing away accidental photo unrelated to any roost.
Tawny Owls move around on the post top quite a lot if they stay for more than a minute or two - this one spent 14 minutes staring intently down in various directions. This was the second and longer of 2 visits on the same night.
We didn't know we had House Sparrows on the site this year (whether breeding here we just don't know) but saw a couple of youngsters being fed on the 'table' outside the study. Here the adult (right) was picking up corn and feeding it apparently 'unprocessed' direct to the youngster. The other youngster (mostly hidden by the adult) was quite happy to pick it up and eat it without any help!
Next day no corn was left & the adult was collecting peanut pieces from the feeder hanging from the table, and then flying up to deliver it to the youngster. The youngster almost 'mugs' the parent for its share and the adult (left) has trouble staying on the edge of the table.
Twee Grey Squirrel of the week.
Actually since the farmer has just harvested his oil-seed rape crop from the adjacent fields the Squirrels have mostly deserted our site in favour of the easy pickings from the spilled pods. A temporary respite until the easy feeding is used up!
A Badger stops by for a 2 a.m. lick of the peanut butter impregnated stone.
This camera site isn't really set up for creatures the height of this Roe Deer, but is welcome anyway.
This male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly shows its body detail well, but the dark background tends to hide the band on the wings that give it its name.
This Banded Demoiselle posed long enough for this portrait that show the band
on the wings very clearly.
We first spotted a male Banded Demoiselle on 16th July 2016 we but couldn't get a photo at the time.
This Heron circled a couple of times just to our south-east.
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