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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A Hornet Hoverfly - undoubtedly Harmless but impressively large for a Hoverfly at about 20mm (nearly an inch) long.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
A Greenbottle on a thistle head.
Apparently Greenbottles (as opposed to Bluebottles) rarely enter houses.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
This Tawny Owl stayed for a few minutes in the small hours of Friday morning.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Cinnabar moth Caterpillar is feeding on it's favourite food plant the poisonous Ragwort.
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.
This juvenile Green Woodpecker spent a few minutes apparently waiting for a food delivery. The bird flew off before Mum or Dad arrived.
This young Dunnock has managed to catch a Cranefly that is about to go 'down the hatch'.
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.
Really bad daytime light and the need for daytime testing happened to get this sequence of a Wood Pigeon enjoying a 10 minute preen.
A couple of Carrion Crows nicely aligned for their portrait.
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.
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.
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.
A Rose of Sharon flower with a Bee collecting the pollen.
A selection from 5 separate landings by probably the same individual female Chaffinch are here accurately montaged into a representational landing sequence.
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.
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.
Tenors Screechers -
Genuine single un-fudged frame
The Common Blue Damselflies have arrived. This is a male.
The female Common Blue Damselfly comes in both 'Blue' and two 'Drab' forms. This is the female 'Blue' form.
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.
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.
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
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.
On the same Privet hedge we spotted this single Painted Lady Butterfly.
The Drinker Moth is a moderately large moth that flew rather nicely for us. Here are 3 flights.
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.
Speckled Wood butterflies like the edges of our woodland rather than the areas of full sun or shade.
A Mottled Beauty Moth in flight.
Two flights of a Light Emerald moth.
A Common Emerald Moth in flight.
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.
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.
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?
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
One of the local Badgers provided this 'Head and Shoulders' portrait.
Almost to the minute the same time previous night probably the same Badger gives us a good look at the front paw.
An early flowering Poppy we found in a sheltered patch near the Farm road entrance. The Insect is a Marmalade Hover-fly.
A group of Blackberry flowers. As the flowers age the tips of the anthers turn brown.
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.
Both sexes of the Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies are about. This is the male.
This is the female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly. Note the golden iridescence and complex egg laying machinery at the tail end.
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.
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 http://www.moorhen.me.uk/imgofday/arch 2014 aug.htm scrolling down to 28th August 2014.
The Clouded Border moth has quite high reflective patches in Ultra-violet light - see http://www.moorhen.me.uk/uv/moths_03.htm
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'.
A view of a Mullein Moth caterpillar showing less detail of the legs but highlighting the damage to the Great Mullein plant leaves.
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