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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
We don't often catch Blackbird being so aggressive to other species.
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.
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.
A female Chaffinch adjusting her speed prior to touchdown.
We always enjoy these large birds delicately using the tip of their huge beaks to pick up a tiny morsel.
This piece of pear top seems to fill the beak rather better than a corn grain.
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.
David and Goliath?
A brave Dunnock (left) brave enough to defend his patch against the much bigger male Blackbird
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Barely touched down, we see this winter colours male Chaffinch with his claw tips barely on the wood.
"Now what's there to eat?"
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.
A most definitely consensual act of love - Grey Squirrel style.
A Rook high in an Ash tree, master of all he surveys.
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.
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.
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!
Long legs used to provide 'spring' for the Little Egret lift-off.
Very close to accurately montaged.
A sunny hour or two provides warm sheltered spots for the Squirrels to sunbathe in.
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.
We have no idea what caused this alert position on top of the stone shortly after we have been along with the 'bait'.
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.
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!
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.
We sometimes buy a pack of out-of-season strawberries, so the wildlife gets the cut off tops!
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.
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.
Robin. Frost. Brrr
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.
We particularly like this portrait of a wood pigeon, feathers fluffed out for some interesting detail.
A Black-headed Gull (in eclipse so we see only a black spot behind the eye) take-off, spread horizontally.
The Black-headed Gull now picks up speed, and only a slight spread is required. The accurate shadows each belong to the bird 'behind'.
Two views of the same male chaffinch exploring this conifer for food.
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.
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.
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.
The switch from November to December brought 3 days of almost continuous
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?
The weather is never too bad for a male Chaffinch to get tetchy.
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.
A Robin perched on the tip of this dead branch is glowing like a little beacon.
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.
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.
The 'local' Buzzard is sometimes standing somewhere in the crop when we first spot the bird.
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.
A several minute visit by a Tawny Owl in the first hours of darkness.
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
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.
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.
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