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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jan 2017

What Poise.
We don't often catch Blackbird being so aggressive to other species.

Ref: E62_20161224_0753_179_FB5 Blackbird on ground warns away incoming Dunnock.jpg

30 Jan 2017

On a dead branch of a pollarded Willow tree with rather attractive fungus caught our eyes. It seems to be a called Turkeytail. This common fungus is atypically thin and quite small - 3 to 4cm across.

Ref: DF3_20161222_1252_015 Bracket Fungus Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) on dead Willow branch - natural view (crop).jpg

Bending the branch to improve the light and angle demonstrated that it was truly dead by snapping off. The main image is the top view of 3 'brackets', and the insert at top right shows the unexpectedly featureless white underside.

Ref: DF3_20161222_1253_027+1255_047 Bracket Fungus Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) on dead Willow branch - top view + insert of bottom view (montage).jpg

29 Jan 2017

A female Chaffinch adjusting her speed prior to touchdown.

Ref: D36_20161219_1449_017_FB4 Chaffinch female aerobraking to land on tree-stump.jpg

28 Jan 2017

We always enjoy these large birds delicately using the tip of their huge beaks to pick up a tiny morsel.

Ref: D36_20161219_1349_014_FB4 Rook selecting corn grain at tip of beak.jpg

This piece of pear top seems to fill the beak rather better than a corn grain.

Ref: D36_20161220_1510_041_FB4 Rook selecting trimmed pear top.jpg

27 Jan 2017

We are very fond of Collared Doves, here billing and cooing at the meadow site. Sometimes perching over the microphone we use to hear activity outside over the CCTV, the sound is loud but rather pleasing.

Ref: E62_20161217_1437_211_FB5 Collared Dove pair.jpg

26 Jan 2017

David and Goliath?
A brave Dunnock (left) brave enough to defend his patch against the much bigger male Blackbird

Ref: E62_20161217_0738_171_FB5 Dunnock and Blackbird male threatening each other.jpg

4 Rooks and 2 Jackdaws feeding together without apparent angst.
Jackdaws are the smaller birds centre and under the large beak of the Rook. The other rooks are mostly hidden by the rooks at the log.

Ref: E62_20161221_1536_292_FB5 4 Rooks and 2 Jackdaws sharing feeding site.jpg

25 Jan 2017

Our current 'local Buzzard' perched in the broken Ash tree to our south. The bird doesn't seem to have a favourite branch to perch on, choosing any of about 10 horizontal and stout branches.

Ref: DF3_20161216_1325_051 Buzzard perched in Ash tree.jpg

On this day we couldn't find 'our' Buzzard anywhere, but eventually found him several hundred metres away across the brook to the north. The Rook (black bird) was the only reason we noticed any birds at all of this distant crossbar.

Ref: DF3_20161218_1233_065 Buzzard and Rook at 11KV crossbar far to north.jpg

24 Jan 2017

This is a Stoat, but unfortunately spoiled by rain splashed onto the window of the camera box at this exposed site. We have 'improved' the blurred bits but with only limited success. We last saw a stoat in 2014, then 2007 and 2000.

Ref: E62_20161214_1435_156_FB5 Stoat (through wet camera window) (crop).jpg

Here is our pic from November 2000 of a Stoat killing and dragging away a decent sized Rabbit.
This was taken on an early Sony Digital camera with resolution of 0.75M Pixels (1024 x 768) that wrote the images to a 1.4MB floppy disk - about 6 images per disk at about 6 seconds a go. This predates USB or photo memory cards as more than prestige items. We are frequently staggered by how quickly digital imaging has advanced - 16 years from floppy disks to 128GB memory cards with about 10,000 times the capacity and about 100 times faster. Not to mention the cameras typically 30 times more pixels - though at the expense of quality in poor light. This old camera can still focus in light much dimmer than modern cameras can manage.

Ref: MVC1811X Stoat Killing Rabbit (19 Nov 2000).JPG

23 Jan 2017

Barely touched down, we see this winter colours male Chaffinch with his claw tips barely on the wood.

Ref: d36_20161208_0838_008_FB4 Chaffinch male landing on tree-stump.jpg

"Now what's there to eat?"

Ref: D36_20161213_1533_049_FB4 Rook landing on Tree-stump.jpg

22 Jan 2017

Outside the kitchen window these two Grey Squirrels spent several minutes fondling each other part way up the post, and then climbed to the top on each side of the post to continue to fondle and then mate.

Ref: D5C_20161214_0842_006+025+037+0844_071 2 Grey Squirrels fondling & mating (q) on bird table 01+07+12+32 of 33 (montage).jpg

A most definitely consensual act of love - Grey Squirrel style.

Ref: D5C_20161214_0843_042 Pair of Grey Squirrels fondling and mating (q) on bird table 17 of 33 (crop).jpg

21 Jan 2017

A Rook high in an Ash tree, master of all he surveys.

Ref: DF3_20161214_1423_233 Rook at top of Ash tree.jpg

20 Jan 2017

Best effort so far at catching a Black-headed gull landing and taking off.
This is a single sequence at about 7 fps (so here about 2 seconds of action) as this gull touches down, presumably to pick up an invertebrate, and take off again with the wings never coming close to the ground. This is probably a necessary technique when picking up items from water.
The first 3 frames (left) are accurately positioned, but we have then had to spread the images thereafter to make any sense. The bird was in contact with the ground for about half a second.

Ref: DF3_20161214_1401_202-216 Black-headed Gull touching down to pick food & immediate takeoff 01-15 of 15 (impression montage).jpg

19 Jan 2017

Our first good sighting of a Little Egret for months was in and around trees at the brook to the north.
Here is an elegant landing.

Ref: DF3_20161214_0928_079+086 Little Egret landing on branch 1+8 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

We didn't hear any call so possible disposing of a Little Egret pellet, similar to Owl Pellets but with different content. Or maybe just a morning yawn!

Ref: DF3_20161214_0932_109 Little Egret perched in tree with beak open (crop).jpg

Long legs used to provide 'spring' for the Little Egret lift-off.
Very close to accurately montaged.

Ref: DF3_20161214_0936_114-120 Little Egret launching into flight from tree branch 01-07 of 12 (approx montage).jpg

18 Jan 2017

A sunny hour or two provides warm sheltered spots for the Squirrels to sunbathe in.

Ref: DF3_20161214_1304_184 Grey Squirrel sunbathing on branch.jpg

The Grey squirrels have to keep their Drays in good order to survive the coming cold. This one has collected a bundle of leaves and a wad of polyester fibre shredded from bits of exposed pond liner matting to take up the nearby tree.

Ref: D36_20161213_1423_045_FB4 Grey Squirrel with mouth full of leaves and fibre.jpg

We have no idea what caused this alert position on top of the stone shortly after we have been along with the 'bait'.

Ref: E63_20161214_1433_130_FB1 Grey Squirrel standing vertical on top of stone.jpg

17 Jan 2017

Now that the hedges are bare tangles of branches, the birds in them glow in the sunshine. The Robins follow us as we pass by their territories.

Ref: df3_20161211_0914_071 Robin in sunlit bare hedge.jpg

The Straw bales abandoned a few years ago outside our border have started to collapse, but this doesn't bother the birds that probe it for food. It must be crawling with insects!

Ref: df3_20161211_0923_077 Great Tit probing Straw bales (crop).jpg

16 Jan 2017

This Buzzard is currently frequenting this area, and seems to particularly likes hazarding the 11kV electricity crossbars.
The left three images are accurately spaced selected frames. The three over and on the rather 'extended' bar have been spaced out.
The crossbar at this post is in fact 2 bars, one on either side of the post - look at the doubled lower right inverted 'V' shape. When we first saw this we couldn't understand how the bird could fly between the bars before we realised that the tail in the 4th image is partly obscured by one of the cables coincidentally aligned with the top of the nearer bar.

Ref: DF3_20161207_1410_091-113 Buzzard flying up to land on 11kV crossbar 03+06+08+15+21+25 of 25 (impression montage).jpg

15 Jan 2017

We sometimes buy a pack of out-of-season strawberries, so the wildlife gets the cut off tops!

Ref: D36_20161207_1518_100_FB4 Grey squirrel eating strawberry top.jpg

In this detail of a Grey Squirrels claw you can see a concave cup with series of pads around the edge (just right for gripping), the rudimentary 'thumb' they use to hold food while nibbling it, and a good set of sharp claws for digging into bark, and anyone they don't like.

Ref: D36_20161203_1503_063_FB4 Grey Squirrel with good front paw detail (paw detail crop).jpg

14 Jan 2017

You would think it would be easier to jump down rather than reach down, but then we are not Blue Tits, so how would we know.

Ref: E63_20161201_1417_014_FB1 Blue Tit reaching down vertically from top of stone for food at bottom.jpg

13 Jan 2017

Robin. Frost. Brrr

Ref: E62_20161205_0720_051_FB5 Robin in heavy frost.jpg

Days of frost at this site not melting even when the sun briefly appears. We seem to have returned to seeing just this one female Pheasant.

Ref: E62_20161201_1544_053_FB5 Pheasant female in frost.jpg

12 Jan 2017

We particularly like this portrait of a wood pigeon, feathers fluffed out for some interesting detail.

Ref: E60_20161203_1416_013_FB3 Wood Pigeon with fluffed up feathers.jpg

11 Jan 2017

A Black-headed Gull (in eclipse so we see only a black spot behind the eye) take-off, spread horizontally.

Ref: DF3_20161203_1457_032-036 Black-headed Gull (eclipse) taking off from Wheat crop 1-5 of 9 (horizontally stretched montage).jpg

The Black-headed Gull now picks up speed, and only a slight spread is required. The accurate shadows each belong to the bird 'behind'.

Ref: DF3_20161203_1457_037-040 Black-headed Gull (eclipse) taking off from Wheat crop 6-9 of 9 (slight horiz stretch montage).jpg

10 Jan 2017

Two views of the same male chaffinch exploring this conifer for food.

Ref: DF3_20161201_1109_005+008 Chaffinch male on conifer (montage).jpg

09 Jan 2017

This Black-headed Gull is taking off into a strong wind (from the right here). These first 7 images were mostly a vertical climb we have spread out horizontally. The background relates to one of the earlier of the frames.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1306_112-118 Black-headed Gull (eclipse) take-off 01-07 of 24 (horizontally spread montage).jpg

The unusually slow progress of the Black-headed Gull against the wind means that this has to be alternate frames which still didn't avoid some overlap. The background here is accurate.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1306_119-127 Black-headed Gull (eclipse) in flight 08+10+12+14+16 of 24 (accurate montage alternate frames).jpg

08 Jan 2017

As the early morning sun strikes the trees and streaks the leaf litter, a Rook arrives to check out the site for missed morsels under the leaves.

Ref: E64_20161128_0846_022_FB2 Rook in Leaf Litter (crop).jpg

07 Jan 2017

The switch from November to December brought 3 days of almost continuous freezing weather.
Does this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) wish his tail was more like a big fluffy Squirrel's, or is he keeping his tail warm against his body?

Ref: E62_20161129_1814_089_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating peel with tail wrapped over back.jpg

The weather is never too bad for a male Chaffinch to get tetchy.

Ref: E62_20161130_1536_159_FB5 Chaffinch male in afternoon frost threatening target out of frame.jpg

A Robin apparently calling before sunrise in this meadow site which, without any tree cover always gets hit by the more extreme of whatever the weather is doing.

Ref: E62_20161201_0712_212_FB5 Robin Singing in pre-dawn frost.jpg

06 Jan 2017

A Robin perched on the tip of this dead branch is glowing like a little beacon.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1317_145 Robin perched on tip of dead branch (crop).jpg

Blue Tits and Great Tits are systematically stripping all the buds they can manage. Here a Blue Tit stops his feeding frenzy for a quick preen.

Ref: DF3_20161130_1046_004-009 Blue Tit preening in bare hazel bush 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

05 Jan 2017

Wagtails often hunt over the concrete farm road finding food items we can't even see. We caught this one taking off - the left 3 images are horizontally spread but the right three are accurately positioned at about 7fps.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1304_093+098-102 Wagtail take-off from concrete road 1-6 of 6 (montage impression + last 3 accurate).jpg

04 Jan 2017

The 'local' Buzzard is sometimes standing somewhere in the crop when we first spot the bird.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1256_024 Buzzard standing on Wheat crop.jpg

The Buzzard was not pleased to see us and promptly launched low over the Wheat crop, rising just enough to get over the hedge before disappearing behind it.

Ref: DF3_20161129_1256_027-038 Buzzard flying over crop rising over hedge accelerating 01-12 of 12 (accurate montage about 7fps).jpg

03 Jan 2017

A several minute visit by a Tawny Owl in the first hours of darkness.

Ref: D01_20161129_1959_024-2003_030_FB6 Tawny Owl 9 minute visit (selected) 1+2+4+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

02 Jan 2017

Goldfinches are spending quite a lot of time feeding on Great Willow Herb seeds, but mostly where they see us coming and flee. Here is a little sequence through the living room window unintentionally in right to left order

Ref: DF1_20161127_1420_014+009+005 Goldfinch feeding on Great Willow Herb seeds (selected) 4+2+1 of 5 (montage).jpg

01 Jan 2017

We never expect to see Swans of any sort on our patch because of the lack of a long enough take-off strip to get airborne again. But this single Mute Swan made a lovely Flyby near the North East corner. It was hard to decide what to do with the 44 images - a 44 images sequence would reduce the bird to little more than a 'dot', and the bland blue sky provides no hint on how to align the images anyway. So here are our impressions.
We have the whole 44 frames 'on file' should anybody want to see them.

Ref: DF3_20161128_1025_046-0487 Mute Swan in flight 08-10 of 44 (impression montage).jpg

Ref: DF3_20161128_1025_055 Mute Swan in flight 17 of 44 (crop).jpg

This Mute Swan's huge feet and powerful legs can't retract into the feathers like the claws of smaller birds, but are nicely aligned with the air flow for minimum drag.

Ref: DF3_20161128_1025_069 Mute Swan in flight 31 of 44 (crop).jpg



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