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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2017

A Hornet Hoverfly - undoubtedly Harmless but impressively large for a Hoverfly at about 20mm (nearly an inch) long.

Ref: DF3_20170716_1000_012 Hornet Hoverfly (volucella zonaria) on Blackberry leaf.jpg

We have 2 types of 'wild rose', a pink variety which flowers first, and then this white petalled type here adorned with a couple of nicely symmetrical Marmalade Hover-flies typically 12mm (under half an inch) in length.

Ref: DF3_20170717_0949_004 2 Marmalade Hover-flies on white wild rose flower.jpg

30 Aug 2017

While photographing the Great Spotted Woodpecker (right) this juvenile Green Woodpecker arrived at the top of the same post. The GSW hopped down on to the mains feed joiner while the Green Woodpecker spent a few seconds on the post, but returned to the top once the way was clear.
This was our first chance to compare any different Woodpecker species. The Green Woodpecker has a more substantial build than the Great Spotted Woodpecker - hence the 'deference' by the latter?

Ref: DF3_20170714_1101_035-062 Green Woodpecker immature climbs post disturbing perched Great Spotted Woodpecker male 05+07+12+16 of 16 (montage).jpg

The camera caught the flight of the Green Woodpecker from down the side of the post up to the top, and then a 'shuffle round the edge' as Woodpeckers usually do.

Ref: DF3_20170714_1101_035-037+051 Green Woodpecker immature flies from side of post to top 05-07+11 of 16 (Impression montage).jpg

29 Aug 2017

All along the edges of the crop the wildlife is making the most of the temporary bonanza of acres of nearly ripe corn. We mainly see Grey squirrels nibbling at the seed heads, but we expect that Rodents, Deer and Rabbits all have their fill. The Grey Squirrels are not even bothering to chew up the mostly eaten corn-cob centres - why bother with acres of easy stuff about.

Ref: DF3_20170710_1001_004 Wheat crop edges grazed by wildlife.jpg

We have a few times spotted corvids carrying what looked like short sticks, and have finally resolved the puzzle by catching this Rook flying overhead with a Wheat crop seed head, presumably to consume elsewhere.

Ref: DF3_20170714_1051_009 Rook in flight carrying wheat seed head in beak.jpg

28 Aug 2017

A Greenbottle on a thistle head.
Apparently Greenbottles (as opposed to Bluebottles) rarely enter houses.

Ref: DF3_20170713_1657_012 Greenbottle Fly on Thistle head (crop 1).jpg

Here is a tighter crop of the Greenbottle showing all the tiny hairs and the worn back edge of the wings from brushing them on foliage.

Ref: DF3_20170713_1657_012 Greenbottle Fly on Thistle head (crop 2).jpg

27 Aug 2017

A Burnished Brass Moth daytime feeding - we have always thought of them as exclusively night fliers. This one was feeding on a Buddleia flower head by the side of the garage, and suddenly took off to fly into the shaded side of the Hawthorn hedge on the other side of the concrete track.

Ref: DF3_20170712_1622_023 Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) on Buddleia flowers (crop).jpg

Here in the dark of the dark hedge the Burnished Brass Moth was really hard to re-locate. The two 'burnished' areas look more like shiny verdigris than brass, but what you see depends on the angle of light and 'eye'.

Ref: DF3_20170712_1623_028 Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) in Hawthorn hedge (crop).jpg

A Gatekeeper Butterfly on the dead grass ground cover next to one of the many young thistles that mean that sandals will NOT do if you walk over the rough grass.

Ref: DF3_20170712_1228_012 Gatekeeper Butterfly by thistle.jpg

26 Aug 2017

This Tawny Owl stayed for a few minutes in the small hours of Friday morning.

Ref: D01_20170714_0210_002+003+0212_005_FB6 Tawny Owl 4 minute visit 1-3 of 4 (montage).jpg

This 7 minute visit by the Tawny Owl was a very active affair as you can see from this selection of positions. But as usual the feet don't move!

Ref: D01_20170709_2328_006-2331_009_FB6 Tawny Owl 7 minute visit 3-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

25 Aug 2017

Many birds are moulting now, including those like Duck that lose flight so go somewhere 'safe' on a large body of water, and the many small birds and Corvids (crows) that can not surrender flight and do the job piecemeal. This Magpie (in the Crow family) looks a bit of a mess with some feathers missing, but you can see a tail feather re-growing at the base of the tail, wrapped in its protective and nourishing sheath. In the UK we call this 'In Pin' but elsewhere it is known as 'Blood feather' as the growing feather is still connected to the Blood supply.

Ref: E62_20170703_1808_016_FB5 Magpie moulting with tail feather showing in pin (blood feather).jpg

24 Aug 2017

Convolvulus flowers brighten up the ground at this time of year.
In about 1992 we had dug out 'Round Pond' but not yet lined or filled it, and it erupted with a carpet of thousands of these flowers right down to the bottom about 2 metres deep. We conclude that the soil must be 'saturated' with long-lived seeds awaiting their chance.

Ref: DF3_20170705_1112_165 Convolvulus flower with Hover-fly (crop 2).jpg

23 Aug 2017

Next to each other on this Buddleia flower head a Small Tortoiseshell and Comma Butterflies quietly share the food for several minutes. Note the white 'comma' on the underside of the Comma Butterfly on the right that gives it it's name.

Ref: DF3_20170705_1353_190 Tortoiseshell butterfly and Comma Butterfly sharing Buddleia flowers.jpg

A Large Skipper Butterfly enjoying nectar from a thistle flower. The Proboscis looks to be as long as the insect's body - it rolls it up to stow between feeds - it is NOT like a tongue.

Ref: DF3_20170702_1240_025 Large Skipper Butterfly - proboscis as long as body + Ichneumon (poss pimpla hypochondriaca) (crop).jpg

22 Aug 2017

Now we have no livestock in the fields around us, we let (the poisonous) Ragwort flowers grow (but still destroy most of the tops before the seeds form). This has hugely benefited the Cinnabar moths of which these are the Caterpillars.

Ref: DF3_20170701_1426_074 Cinnabar caterpillars on Ragwort Flowers.jpg

This Cinnabar moth Caterpillar is feeding on it's favourite food plant the poisonous Ragwort.

Ref: DF3_20170702_1027_120 Cinnabar caterpillar on Ragwort Flower.jpg

21 Aug 2017

After many weeks of absence buzzards have reappeared to the north. Perhaps 400m away the Buzzard hovered momentarily in the wind before descending out of view. The descent is accurate at 7fps but the first few frames are more spaced out than reality.

Ref: DF3_20170704_1753_072-083 Buzzard hovering then descending to North East 1-12 of 12 (impression montage @ 7fps).jpg

20 Aug 2017

This juvenile Green Woodpecker spent a few minutes apparently waiting for a food delivery. The bird flew off before Mum or Dad arrived.

Ref: DF3_20170701_1054_029-1056_055 Green Woodpecker juvenile waiting to be fed on concrete track 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

This young Dunnock has managed to catch a Cranefly that is about to go 'down the hatch'.

Ref: DF3_20170704_1801_152 Dunnock youngster with cranefly in beak.jpg

19 Aug 2017

Crossed into this field of wheat this solitary feather immediately caught the eye, suspended as if by magic on the tips of the crop. The asymmetric shape on either side of the shaft tells that this is a flight feather, almost certainly from a moulting Rook. Since seeing this one, we are spotting similar feathers all over the place.

Ref: DF3_20170630_0858_003 Feather delicately balanced on top of corn crop.jpg

18 Aug 2017

Really bad daytime light and the need for daytime testing happened to get this sequence of a Wood Pigeon enjoying a 10 minute preen.

Ref: D01_20170628_1206_027-1216_041_FB6 Wood Pigeon preening on Meadow Post 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

A couple of Carrion Crows nicely aligned for their portrait.

Ref: E62_20170626_1808_012_FB5 2 Carrion Crows aligned.jpg

17 Aug 2017

A Badger making a speeding pass, here with both front right and left rear legs raised. We have never studied what 'gaits' a Badger can do and a preliminary search finds very little beyond that rear paws often land over the imprints from the paws at the front.

Ref: E64_20170623_0244_027_FB2 Badger running through site.jpg

At the other end of the size and power scale from the badger, this Solitary Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) of the week is a little sweetie exploring a Fir Cone.

Ref: E63_20170627_0554_038_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) exploring Fir cone.jpg

16 Aug 2017

An unusual good show of Tortoiseshell butterflies over the meadow includes this one with the proboscis down in a lump of moist soil, probably extracting useful minerals that it doesn't get from it's 'fuel' diet of nectar.

Ref: DF3_20170624_1525_022 Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeding from clump of moist soil.jpg

A Rose of Sharon flower with a Bee collecting the pollen.

Ref: DF3_20170625_1748_053 Rose of Sharon flower with Bee.jpg

15 Aug 2017

A selection from 5 separate landings by probably the same individual female Chaffinch are here accurately montaged into a representational landing sequence.

Ref: D36_20170622_1909_023+20170623_0847_034+0555_029_FB4 Chaffinch female landings on tree-stump 1+4+2 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

14 Aug 2017

Over the night 24-25 June Tawny Owl(s) made 6 visits to the meadow post for varying periods. One of the middle visits resulted in an attack at the meadow camera site. This first montage represents the hunting from the post and arrival.

Ref: D01_20170624_2247_013+E62_20170624_2248_118_FB6+FB5 Tawny Owl on meadow post makes ground attack 06+07 of 12 (montage).jpg

This detailed image of the Tawny Owl attack shows the soil splashing up but no sign of prey in the Talons, though some poor mite may be pushed into the lose soil.

Ref: E62_20170624_2248_118_FB5 Tawny Owl on meadow post makes ground attack 07 of 12 (crop).jpg

13 Aug 2017

The 3  Tenors Screechers - "FOOD".
Genuine single un-fudged frame

Ref: E64_20170618_1918_162_FB2 3 Magpie youngsters all begging (crop).jpg

12 Aug 2017

The Common Blue Damselflies have arrived. This is a male.

Ref: DF3_20170617_0833_073 Common Blue Damselfly male mature on thistle leaf.jpg

The female Common Blue Damselfly comes in both 'Blue' and two 'Drab' forms. This is the female 'Blue' form.

Ref: D72_20170615_1012_004 Common Blue Damselfly female blue form.jpg

The female Common Blue damselfly comes in both a single 'Blue' form and in two 'Drab' forms that gradually change with maturity. This is the drab form of the mature female Common Blue damselfly.

Ref: DF3_20170617_0835_078 Common Blue Damselfly female mature drab form on Hop Sedge leaf.jpg

The female Common Blue damselfly comes in both a single 'Blue' form and in two 'Drab' forms that gradually change with maturity. This is the drab form of the immature female Common Blue damselfly.
It's unusual to spot damselflies unless they move, but this one was on a sprout from a bit low boundary hedge but the light was too poor for a decent photo. It was quite cold and the insect looked somnolent. On a whim next morning a check showed that she was still there, and here she is decently lit.

Ref: DF3_20170623_0850_004 Common Blue damselfly female drab form overnighted on leaf above hedge.jpg

11 Aug 2017

Here is one of about 20 pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies feeding on a Privet flower at the Road entrance to the local farm. Being surrounded by many fluttering butterflies was something not experienced since the 1990s at freshly growing Blackberry hedges.
Seeing Privet as a good nectar source when permitted to flower will change the way we manage the 10m or so along our concrete track.

Ref: DF3_20170617_0818_048 Tortoiseshell Butterfly on Privet flowers at north of farm entrance.jpg

On the same Privet hedge we spotted this single Painted Lady Butterfly.

Ref: DF3_20170617_0821_065 Painted Lady Butterfly on Privet Flowers (at Farm Entrance).jpg

10 Aug 2017

The Drinker Moth is a moderately large moth that flew rather nicely for us. Here are 3 flights.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1135_233+237+1149_279+1309_318_FT1 Drinker moth male in 3 flight + Fox & Cubs flowers (montage).jpg

Out in the sunshine our meadow has an atypically large number of this attractive Ringlet butterfly. In flight the wing blur gives the impression is of a dark purple, and every year takes us by surprise when we see it perched or caught 'motionless' as here.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1331_369+1328_354+1314_337_FT1 Ringlet Butterfly in 2 flights + Blackberry flowers (montage)jpg.jpg

Speckled Wood butterflies like the edges of our woodland rather than the areas of full sun or shade.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1540_489+1543_507_FT1 Speckled Wood Butterfly in 2 flights + Blackberry flowers (montage).jpg

09 Aug 2017

A Mottled Beauty Moth in flight.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1047_108+1301_309_FT1 Mottled Beauty moth (Alcis repandata repandata) in flight + Privit flowers (montage).jpg

Two flights of a Light Emerald moth.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1105_155+1106_159+1309_320_FT1 Light Emerald moth in 2 flights + Hawthorn twig (montage)jpg.jpg

A Common Emerald Moth in flight.

Ref: DA1_20170618_1153_295+1311_324_FT1 Common Emerald Moth in flight + Grass seed head (montage).jpg

08 Aug 2017

At the top of our remaining concrete power pole on a really hot day, this Wood Pigeon in the full sun is panting at perhaps 4 times a second, throat fluttering to move air over the moist tongue. Birds don't have 'sweat glands' so cooling options are limited.

Ref: D72_20170618_1741_007+008 Wood Pigeon panting several times per second on top of concrete power pole 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

07 Aug 2017

The top of this feeder (we have 2 in this style that we alternate) is made of quite heavy coated steel. The squirrels have perfected the art of dislodging the top (which eventually falls into the nettles at the post bottom) and then dives head-first into the unfettered peanut stock. They stuff themselves at the feeder before carrying some in paws and cheeks to eat elsewhere.

Ref: D5C_20170613_1732_020+1735_040+057+060 Grey squirrel removing peanut feeder top to gorge on contents 1+2+4+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

The Grey squirrel preening ritual has become a daily occurrence.
The behaviour we don't manage to capture on camera is the Squirrel eating some of the things it finds in it's fur.
Flea Pie anybody?

Ref: D5C_20170608_1414_012-034+1415_037 Grey Squirrel Grooming 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

06 Aug 2017

In 2016 the summer months passed without sightings of any Owls at all. But this year several visits a week are normal - in this week there were 5 visits by Tawny Owls just to this post - the bird could spend hours here at night perched in the trees and we would never know. Here a set of 3 consecutive landings

Ref: D01_20170612_2210_002+2359_005+20170614_0042_017_FB6 Tawny Owl landings on meadow post (montage).jpg

05 Aug 2017

One of the local Badgers provided this 'Head and Shoulders' portrait.

Ref: E62_20170613_0115_055_FB5 Badger.jpg

Almost to the minute the same time previous night probably the same Badger gives us a good look at the front paw.

Ref: E62_20170612_0119_276_FB5 Badger (crop).jpg

04 Aug 2017

An early flowering Poppy we found in a sheltered patch near the Farm road entrance. The Insect is a Marmalade Hover-fly.

Ref: DF3_20170611_0728_043 Poppy Flower + Marmalade Hover-fly by fence at farm entrance (crop).jpg

A group of Blackberry flowers. As the flowers age the tips of the anthers turn brown.

Ref: DF3_20170611_0935_066 Blackberry flowers.jpg

In a series of cracks in the track sprout these tiny yellow flowers with the unlikely sounding name Black Medick.
The Black refers to the seed pods that form later.
Medick is obvious and can use various spellings.
The plant has a long list of alternate names (courtesy of Wikipedia):-
    nonesuch, black nonesuch, black medic clover, hop clover, hop medic,
    black clover, black hay, blackweed, English trefoil, hop trefoil, and yellow trefoil.
The Latin species name Medicago lupulina refers to wolves (Lupines) and we find it odd that wolf doesn't appear in any of the long list of common names.

Ref: DF3_20170613_1230_051 Black Medick (Medicago lupulina) (crop).jpg

03 Aug 2017

Both sexes of the Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies are about. This is the male.

Ref: DF3_20170610_1251_026 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

This is the female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly. Note the golden iridescence and complex egg laying machinery at the tail end.

Ref: DF3_20170610_1252_030 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female.jpg

02 Aug 2017

A Male Brimstone Butterfly feeding on a Blackberry flower. The lower image shows that the proboscis can be raised very high (just above the antennae) to manoeuvre it into the flower.

Ref: DF3_20170610_1231_006+009 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Blackberry flower 1+2 of 2 (montage 2).jpg

A Clouded Border Moth, long before dark, choosing this vicious looking Blackberry stem as a convenient perch.
We photographed a Clouded Border moth in flight in 2014 as a moth-trap catch - see 2014 aug.htm scrolling down to 28th August 2014.
The Clouded Border moth has quite high reflective patches in Ultra-violet light - see

Ref: DF3_20170612_1802_008 Clouded Border moth on Blackberry stem.jpg

01 Aug 2017

In a Pot by the back door a self set Great Mullein plant has attracted the attention of at least 5 of these Mullein Moth caterpillars (seems appropriate). The Adult moth looks like a 'piece of twig' we have probably seen but have never photographed. The Caterpillar has this warning colouration - 'Eat me at your Peril'
The caterpillar is facing right - the 3 legs each side at the right are the 3 standard 3 legs per side of insects - the rest are called 'Prolegs'.

Ref: DF3_20170608_1607_001 Mullein Moth Caterpillar about 4cm long on Great Mullein plant (crop).jpg

A view of a Mullein Moth caterpillar showing less detail of the legs but highlighting the damage to the Great Mullein plant leaves.

Ref: DF3_20170608_1609_016 Mullein Moth Caterpillar about 4cm long on Great Mullein plant.jpg



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