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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Apr 2017

Buzzard near our patch get routinely harassed by Rooks from the local Rookeries. This Buzzard (the lower bird) has unusually light plumage.

Ref: DF3_20170320_1458_250-254 Buzzard in flight harassed by Rook 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

A Buzzard flies by behind one of the Poplars lining the Farm Road

Ref: DF3_20170320_1032_166-176 Buzzard in flight 02-12 of 12 (accurate montage).jpg

Buzzard in flight (part of a larger montage).

Ref: DF3_20170320_1032_169-171 Buzzard in flight 05-07 of 12 (accurate montage).jpg

29 Apr 2017

We are not seeing many Hares so this one lolloping past us was an unexpected pleasure to share with you. The montages are 'slightly stretched' to avoid overlaps.

Ref: DF3_20170320_1029_019-024 Hare running over wheat crop 07-12 of 42 (montage stretched about 25 percent @ 7fps).jpg

We are not seeing many Hares so this one lolloping past us was an unexpected pleasure to share with you. The montages are 'slightly stretched' to avoid overlaps.

Ref: DF3_20170320_1029_041-043+048-050 Hare running over wheat crop (discontinuous) 25-30 of 42 (impression montage).jpg

We are not seeing many Hares so this one lolloping past us was an unexpected pleasure to share with you.

Ref: DF3_20170320_1029_051 Hare running over wheat crop (discontinuous) 31 of 42 (crop).jpg

28 Apr 2017

Penny plain, tuppence coloured.
This quote refers to the difference between the two plumages ...
"In the 19th Century, a fave kids' toy was a model theatre. The characters, props and scenery were sold as separately as printed sheets which you cut out and mounted on bits of wood. The sheets cost a penny if they were just printed in black outline, so that the user had to colour them in, or tuppence (two pence) if ready coloured for posh kids".

Ref: E64_20170316_1723_033_FB2 Pheasant male & Magpie.jpg

27 Apr 2017

A Rook arrives with a substantial twig to add to the pairs creation. We had always assumed that Rooks would collect already fallen wood (of which there seems to be thousands of pieces over the site) but observation reveals that they much prefer live wood broken off other trees, or in one case spotted, the same tree as the nest - demolish 'Home Tree'. Presumably the live wood is easier to weave in while already dead wood is brittle.

Ref: DF4_20170316_1209_139 Rook arriving with twig at nest with partner in cup (crop).jpg

The nest infrastructure complete, its time to line the nest. They are pulling up clumps of moss (of which there must be 'tons' on our site) to take to the nest. Here the pair of birds arrived simultaneously with beakful's of moss, and took it in turns to pack it into the nest cup.

Ref: DF4_20170317_1249_273 Rook pair arriving simultaneously with moss at nest (crop).jpg

26 Apr 2017

One of our regular night-time prowlers - a Badger checks out the site, giving us a good look at his/her powerful left paw

Ref: E63_20170321_0213_062_FB1 Badger (crop).jpg

One of our regular night-time prowlers - a Fox out for a prowl in the hours before midnight.

Ref: E63_20170314_2214_085_FB1 Fox.jpg

25 Apr 2017

A female Pheasant crouches next to the proud male. Unfortunately we didn't get a photo of the next stage :-(

Ref: E64_20170317_1702_076_FB2 Pheasant male approaching crouching female.jpg

Wattles extending above and below the head, and 'ear' tufts extended.
It must be good to be a male pheasant in the Spring once you have fought to collect a 'few wives'.

Ref: E64_20170319_0811_116_FB2 Pheasant male with view of wattles and feather tufts (crop).jpg

24 Apr 2017

A male Chaffinch in remarkably dark and intense plumage to show off to the 'girls'. Note that the beak is now completely covered and shiny with the blue coating.

Ref: DF3_20170315_1224_209 Chaffinch male in full colour.jpg

23 Apr 2017

The local buzzard on our south side makes a landing on the wooden railings some 300m from us that surround the underground waste tanks at the farm.

Ref: DF3_20170313_1107_054-065 Buzzard landing on wooden railings at Farm 01-)3+-6+08+12 of 13 (approx montage).jpg

A few minutes later the Buzzard flew right by us ...

Ref: DF3_20170313_1110_073-083 Buzzard in flight 01+06+09+11 of 11 (montage).jpg

... and then, against the strong wind (right to left in this image) looped round to make a slow and intricate landing in a distant oak tree at a nest we have noticed but thought was disused. We will be watching this nest keenly.

Ref: DF3_20170313_1111_110-143 Buzzard flying to nest in Oak tree S of farm 12+18+35+38+41+45 of 49 (accurate montage).jpg

22 Apr 2017

On the grass border outside our patch this blackbird was hunting in the soft mud under the grass, moving about in the characteristic 'kangaroo like' bounding motion they use. This was photographed at about 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20170313_1107_032-036 Blackbird female bounding over grass 03-07 of 20 (accurate montage).jpg

A few frames on, the bird is in mid-leap with an unusually good view of the claws

Ref: DF3_20170313_1107_042 Blackbird female bounding over grass 13 of 20 (crop).jpg

Finally she made for a hole in the hedge back through into our patch, and 'vanished'.

Ref: DF3_20170313_1107_045+046+048 Blackbird female bounding over grass 16+17+19 of 20 (slightly stretched montage).jpg

21 Apr 2017

A different and much darker plumaged male Pheasant has suddenly arrived. Here he is on the island in the main pond.
It could have flown there, but probably just walked over the Iris roots covering the surface to the rear of the island.

Ref: D5C_20170314_1359_041 Pheasant male (dark plumage) on main pond island.jpg

Our regular male Pheasant, feathers plumped out possibly from, or about to make, the characteristic leap and call that we see and hear over the site in the Spring

Ref: E62_20170315_1649_095_FB5 Pheasant male twisting left.jpg

20 Apr 2017

Sightings of Wren here are normally - woosh - that was the Wren. But this one sat preening on a twig long enough to grab a camera and fire off a few frames.

Ref: DF4_20170311_1355_007+002+008 Wren preening in hedge top (spread montage).jpg

The Collared Doves are undoubtedly breeding somewhere, but we have not found the nest(s) yet this year.

Ref: E64_20170311_1739_120_FB2 Collared Dove.jpg

19 Apr 2017

Cherry blossom everywhere. Spring has definitely arrived!

Ref: DF3_20170314_1051_181 Cherry Blossom twig (crop).jpg

Willow Catkins everywhere. Spring has definitely arrived!

Ref: DF3_20170315_1617_039 Willow catkins (crop).jpg

18 Apr 2017

This large Rook Nest is in one of our Silver Birch Trees (along with another in another tree more obscured) and the Rook is making a lot of noise as part of his defence strategy.

Ref: DF3_20170307_1541_045 Rook calling near nest in Silver Birch tree.jpg

"Would this lump of bark improve the decor of the nest?"

Ref: E64_20170306_1551_014_FB2 Rook picking up strip of bark in beak.jpg

17 Apr 2017

The pastures around us for the last 25 years (and probably much longer) are being ploughed up for use as arable farmland. Here is the classic 'Gulls following the plough'. We count about 200 gulls in this mob, counted in another photo where they have taken off and are more separated.

Ref: DF3_20170307_1554_067 200 Gulls and some corvids following plough (crop).jpg

The mass ploughing of the previous pastures inevitably changes the habits of the creatures that occupy the land. Buzzards and other large birds make the most of the freshly disturbed soil. Here the Buzzard is perched in a young hedge-line tree we have never seen him in before.

Ref: DF3_20170307_0848_239 Buzzard in small tree at edge of freshly ploughed field (crop).jpg

16 Apr 2017

A fungus in the semi-shade of the woodland edge about 13cm in diameter. 'Somebody' seems to have had a bite - and decided one bite was enough!

Ref: DF3_20170305_1534_059 Fungus (poss Melanoleuca strictipes) at edge of Woodland with single bite from cap.jpg

The Fungus is near this slab sometimes used by Song Thrushes as an anvil - the area is scattered with smashed snail shells. When we lifted the slab this white Mycelium (that's the underground bit of a fungus - usually much bigger than the bit you get to see) was revealed and it probably belongs to the 'fruiting body' on the right.

Ref: DF3_20170305_1536_070 Fungus (poss Melanoleuca strictipes) with mycelium showing under raised slab (orig).jpg

5 days later walking past we noticed that the fungus had broken off and was upside down, though apparently not then consumed.

Ref: DF3_20170310_1543_104 Fungus at edge of Woodland with single bite from cap upended by unknown creature.jpg

15 Apr 2017

The Buzzard cares little about our presence when at this hedge line. The bird arrived with some prey in it's left claw, tore off some of the meat and swallowed it.

Ref: DF3_20170305_1227_006+007+009+010 Buzzard lands on hedge top with prey eats some and flies on 01-04 of 10 (spread montage with variable scale).jpg

Possibly spotting something else tasty on the ground the bird made a near vertical lift off before dropping to the ground at a gap in the hedge just to the right. The remains of the bird's previous meal are still in the left claws.

Ref: DF3_20170305_1227_010+012+014+017 Buzzard lands on hedge top with prey eats some and flies on 04+05+07+10 of 10 (impression montage).jpg

14 Apr 2017

A Proud and stately male Pheasant.

Ref: E64_20170302_1559_044_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

This female pheasant is in the mud and sticking her beak into it? Making eggs must make you peckish.

Ref: E62_20170306_1725_029_FB5 Pheasant female standing in mud with muddy beak.jpg

13 Apr 2017

Mrs (one of three) and Mr Pheasant enjoying tea together.

Ref: E62_20170301_1622_022+1630_023_FB5 Pheasant female & male (montage).jpg

A 'Discussion Group' of Rooks. One of the traditional terms 'Parliament' - also used for other birds, just doesn't work for just 3 birds!

Ref: E62_20170301_1350_008_FB5 3 Rooks at feeding site.jpg

12 Apr 2017

A solitary Cherry blossom flower in the hedge at our NE corner. This Cherry hedge is entirely self propagated from a Cherry tree about 5 metres away. The other 200m of the outer hedge is similarly self propagated, but of Blackthorn.

Ref: DF3_20170303_1513_028 Cherry Blossom - first flower found in hedge at NE (crop).jpg

4 days after the first individual flower the Cherry blossom has got going properly.

Ref: DF3_20170307_1551_060+063 Cherry Blossom at NE corner hedge (differential focus) 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage for focus).jpg

11 Apr 2017

The end of a rainbow nicely aligning with a branch of Silver Birch.

Ref: D5C_20170304_1656_010 Rainbow through silver birch branches.jpg

In the sunshine against gathering storm clouds with white bark of this silver birch shines. The bark of all Silver Birches start off brown, and turn silver a few years on. So 'new' silver birches do not have silver trunks!

Ref: D5C_20170305_1308_011 Silver Birch tree sunlit against storm clouds.jpg

10 Apr 2017

This Tawny Owl makes a 'flying visit' to the kitchen window perch.

Ref: E60_20170306_1956_107_FB3 Tawny Owl landing (crop).jpg

09 Apr 2017

In the distance we watched this Rook harassing the Buzzard well beyond what seems to us to be it's territorial needs. Here the Buzzard suddenly 'turns the tables' and pursues the rook down to quite near the ground out of sight for us.

Ref: DF3_20170301_1120_062-066 Buzzard harassed by Rook attacks the Rook 1-5 of 6 (impression montage).jpg

08 Apr 2017

'Our' less regular Tawny owl with Blue-grey patches on the facial disc first visited the perch outside the Kitchen Window a couple of hours after sunset.

Ref: E60_20170227_1924_018_FB3 Tawny Owl landing (crop).jpg

30 minutes after landing at the kitchen window perch, the same Owl made an eyes shut landing on the more distant meadow post. Both were very short visits.

Ref: D01_20170227_1952_006_FB6 Tawny Owl single frame visit (crop).jpg

07 Apr 2017

The male Pheasant, with back to the strong wind, has his feathers ruffled.

Ref: E64_20170223_1534_023_FB2 Pheasant male facing camera with feathers symmetrically ruffled (crop).jpg

In the gathering gloom the male Pheasant sees what there might be to eat before finding a night Roost.
We didn't used to realise that our pheasants mostly spend the night several metres up in trees in our patch out of reach of the foxes, badgers, cats, stray dogs, all of whom would enjoy a mouthful :-(

Ref: E64_20170227_1706_070_FB2 Pheasant male at sunset.jpg

06 Apr 2017

We detect a trace of blue on the beak of this male Chaffinch as he starts to come into breeding condition.

Ref: D36_20170225_1315_051_FB4 Chaffinch male developing blue coating on beak.jpg

A storm bringing down 2 of the Rook nests has led to a flurry of re-building. Photographing Rooks carrying twigs has turned out to be quite tricky - by the time they are close enough they are muddled into the trees branches. This arriving bird with quite fine twigs hovered for a moment as the bird already on the nest moved out of the way.

Ref: DF3_20170226_0719_099 Rook taking twig to nest in Black Poplar hesitating while partner leaves nest 1 of 7 (crop).jpg

05 Apr 2017

A spread of white announced the arrival of this barn owl for a short visit.

Ref: D01_20170225_0259_016_FB6 Barn Owl (white front no ring) 2 minute visit 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

One of a pair of short visits by a Tawny Owl ended with this crouched stare into the distance.

Ref: D01_20170223_2001_013_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 minute visit 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

04 Apr 2017

Another short stay by this Barn Owl.
We once heard a Barn Owls head plumage described as the 'Spangled Assassin's hood' - you can see the effect particularly well at the lower right.

Ref: D01_20170221_2011_002-2013_005_FB6 Barn Owl (white front no ring) 3 minute visit 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

03 Apr 2017

Most of the really vivid colours in nature derive from the effects of iridescence an interaction between fine structure and the wavelength of light and vary widely according to the lighting, subject and viewer angles.
This chaotic image shows an incredibly bright iridescent Magpie tail.
We haven't altered the brightness or colour at all.

Ref: E62_20170222_1319_079_FB5 Magpie with iridescent tail landing in front of Rook.jpg

Another chaotic magpie image showing incredibly bright blue iridescent feather tips on this Magpie.
We haven't altered the brightness or colour at all.

Ref: E62_20170220_1214_008_FB5 Grey Squirrel chasing away Magpie.jpg

02 Apr 2017

Rook nest building is underway, and it seems that for the first time the trees around us are to be part of an 'extension Rookery'. At time of writing there seem to be 3 Rook nests in the Black Poplar trees (about 90 years old) nearest the house along the track, and 2 in adjacent Silver Birch trees (about 25 years old) in our patch. Carrion Crows have for several years used the top of a Leylandii for nesting (but impossible to photograph nowadays) but this is the first time we have seen Rooks nesting here.

Ref: DF3_20170220_0923_007 Rook carrying twig back to nest under construction in Silver Birch tree.jpg

Here is a new nest being built in a 25 year old Silver Birch tree.
Of the 5 nests started storm Doris destroyed 3 of the less complete ones a few days later. Reconstruction started once the wind has abated.

Ref: DF3_20170220_0925_018 Rook pair building new nest in Silver Birch tree.jpg

01 Apr 2017

This Rabbit running through the site is the first time we have recorded the front paws behind the back that can be seen quite regularly in Hares.
But The real puzzle for this 1st April is - does this rabbit have 3 ears?
The right 'ear' is a fold on the skin and fur at the back of the neck, but every time we see this image we can't help but see a 'third ear'

Ref: E62_20150722_1751_123_FB5 Rabbit youngster running by end of log.jpg

A strange 'rainbow' like effect close to the sun just hidden by the roof ridge of the house. Not a camera effect - we could both see these colours at this strength with the naked eye

Ref: DF3_20170220_0956_031 Coloured clouds with sun hidden by roof ridge (orig).jpg



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