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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Mar 2017

A couple of minutes after a short visit, the Barn Owl arrives back with what looks like a vole for his 3 a.m. meal. The next frame 45 seconds later shows no sign of the vole - presumably now warming the inside of the Owl.

Ref: D01_20170219_0309_021_FB6 Barn owl (white front no ring) 3 minute visit arriving with Rodent in beak 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

After swallowing the Rodent, the Barn owl departed but made a swift return followed by a 41 minute stay.

Ref: D01_20170219_0316_025-0355_076_FB6 Barn owl (white front no ring) 41 minute visit 01-03+05+17+20 of 21 (montage 2).jpg

30 Mar 2017

We at first assumed that this was a overshot landing, but CCTV tells us the bird managed to land on one edge without triggering a picture (so a little IR beam realignment required), and this was the bird on the hunt.

Ref: D01_20170219_0244_015_FB6 Barn owl (white front no ring) using wings to balance on edge of post (crop).jpg

Just after dark the next day (with the IR beam now accurately over the top of the post) the Barn Owl made another exuberant landing.

Ref: D01_20170220_1804_002_FB6 Barn Owl (white front no ring) 3 minute visit 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

29 Mar 2017

This female pheasant doesn't know what to do about the sudden appearance of 2 humans on the disused farm track. She ran erratically a few paces as you see here, and stopped at the right hand side, before setting off left at speed and looped back the way she came to disappear behind the collapsing straw stack.

Ref: DF3_20170213_1340_003-008 Pheasant female running erratically over grass and stopping 1-6 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

28 Mar 2017

Grey Squirrels are wary of Pheasants despite the later not being obviously equipped with weapons. We suspect that one spiking with the pheasant's rear leg spur (where the squirrel may not be quite sure what hurt it) makes the Squirrel wary of further encounters.

Ref: E63_20170209_1619_064_FB1 Pheasant male chasing away Grey Squirrel (crop).jpg

27 Mar 2017

The male Blackbird (above) seems to be attacking the female reacting on the ground. But we may be mistaking this for some sort of 'look how well I'll defend you' from the male.

Ref: E62_20170209_1557_054_FB5 Blackbird male and female squabbling (crop).jpg

26 Mar 2017

Snow does nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Robins for a little territorial squabble.

Ref: E60_20170210_1257_025_FB3 2 Robins skirmishing in flight in snow over perch.jpg

Elegance on mud!

Ref: E62_20170209_0720_002_FB5 Robin taking off from mud.jpg

25 Mar 2017

This year the Dunnocks are almost as tolerant/demanding of humans as the Robins.

Ref: DF3_20170211_1231_023 Dunnock perched on Blackberry stem.jpg

This year the Dunnocks are almost as tolerant/demanding of humans as the Robins.

Ref: DF3_20170211_1231_024 Dunnock perched on Blackberry stem.jpg

24 Mar 2017

Houses in the countryside have to 'control' invading mice. We make live traps the primary means, but a few Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are either too big for them or have had a close escape. So a few snapper traps are needed. We put out the sad remains for the local foxes and corvids. So here we have
Another mouse that sadly avoided the live traps.
And another magpie not the least bit sorry.

Ref: D36_20170209_0726_003_FB4 Magpie collecting dead mouse.jpg

23 Mar 2017

A Barn Owl is back after nearly a years absence. The landing into the East wind (towards camera) so we can neither see whether it is the ringed individual, nor even if it has a white breast. But a very welcome return nevertheless.

Ref: D01_20170213_2018_078+2023_084+2027_090_FB6 Barn Owl 10 minute visit - first since 25may2016 (selected) 1+3+6 of 6 (mirrored montage).jpg

This Barn Owl came in to land on the post along the sense beam line, so triggered before it reached the area of sharp focus. This is a white breasted bird with no leg ring - quite likely one we have seen in previous years.

Ref: D01_20170216_0458_027_FB6 Barn Owl (white breast + no ring) aborting landing and flying on (crop).jpg

22 Mar 2017

An opportunity to show you the sizes of Corvids we normally see, plus a male Blackbird for scale.

Ref: D01_20170210_1337_013-1522_016_FB6 Carrion Crow + Rook + Jackdaw + Blackbird male on meadow post in snow (identical scale montage).jpg

21 Mar 2017

This Buzzard spent at least 15 minutes on the post. The strong Easterly wind (towards camera) means most birds are landing with back to camera at the moment, as here.

Ref: D01_20170213_1620_005+1621_019+1623_026_FB6 Buzzard quarter hour visit to meadow post at sunset (selected) 1-3 of 8 (montage).jpg

20 Mar 2017

"Eat it or bury it?"
This Grey squirrel is laying in provisions ...

Ref: E64_20170206_1548_047_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying away one eighth of an apple.jpg

... before sorting out the bedding for the Drey and the weather gets colder and wetter.
Contrary to popular belief Grey Squirrels do not 'Hibernate' - coming out to forage or eat cached food in any reasonably warm weather or when an good opportunity arises (like your's truly laying out food for the wildlife).

Ref: E64_20170207_1629_089_FB2 Grey Squirrel collecting dry leaves for Drey.jpg

19 Mar 2017

When we arrived here the bird was already on the ground near the 'favourite' pole, and then flew 100m or so to a similar pole carrying some sort of rodent. A Rook took exception and made a couple of passes as the Buzzard shrieked at it (right image as the Rook had passed), but soon the buzzard was left in peace to eat his lunch. All this action is about 200m away where the bird completely ignores us.

Ref: DF3_20170206_1218_036+043+1219_069 Buzzard landing on power pole with Rodent prey then harassed by Rook (selected) 1+3+5 of 6 (mirrored montage).jpg

18 Mar 2017

A Magpie reaching for a piece of food.
Magpies stomp over the ground really well, but even so we were surprised at the length of his stride - the right leg is almost at the right edge of the frame while the claws of the left leg reach right under the head.

Ref: E63_20170203_1405_108_FB1 Magpie picking up food item in beak with huge stride length.jpg

17 Mar 2017

This Tawny owl visit did not trigger the camera automatically but was spotted on the CCTV and triggered manually in (from a human's point of view) total darkness.

Ref: E60_20170203_2154_042+040_FB3 Tawny owl at kitchen window for several minutes (manual trigger without sight) 2+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

16 Mar 2017

The less regular Tawny Owl (the individual with the blue-grey eyelids and moustache) at his preferred choice of perch at the kitchen window.
The Owl broke the trigger beam on landing, folded the wings that allowed the camera to reset, and then triggered the camera again when opening wings to drop down. Rodents occupy the 'ground floor' between this perch and the house and expect that one of them became the bird's next meal. The bottom of the leaving bird was out of frame at the bottom of the original image, so this construct is the best we can do.

Ref: E60_20170206_2203_011+2211_012_FB3 Tawny Owl 9 minute visit (landing and takeoff) 1+2 of 2 (adjusted montage).jpg

15 Mar 2017

The early winter single 'local' Buzzard has been joined by another and they seem to have neatly divided the territory around us. This is the more recently arrived Buzzard on a northern 11KV crossbar. The bird took off into the wind before twisting round and flying off north.

Ref: DF3_20170204_1549_031-035 Buzzard defecating before flying from 11kV crossbar 02-06 of 12 (impression montage).jpg

14 Mar 2017

We now have several patches of Snowdrops - this one under trees at the shaded west end of the main pond, is self spreading round the corner to the north and other patches have appeared without help in unexpected corners.

Ref: DF3_20170203_1303_015 Snowdrops 2017 Seq (crop).jpg

We have a few bushes of Viburnum around the site, which provide our first relief from unmitigated brown as well as wonderful perfume.

Ref: DF3_20170204_1102_051 Viburnum burkwoodii on north bank of main pond (crop).jpg

13 Mar 2017

20 minutes after a very short touchdown the same Tawny Owl, arrives back at high speed (seen on CCTV recording and reflecting the increased stall speed) from the left for a 10 minute stay, unexpectedly carrying a Fieldfare in the Talons.
The Owl stood still for a few minutes, presumably waiting for the poor bird to expire while squeezed in the talons, before ripping it to pieces to eat it. At 10:35 p.m. it is far too dark for Fieldfares to be out feeding, so we are advised that this one probably chose a not very safe place to roost. To choose our post as it's butcher's table suggests that the Fieldfare was snatched from one of our trees in the main woodland area.

Ref: D01_20170205_2236_005-2244_015_FB6 Tawny Owl landing on Tree stump with Fieldfare in Talons and dismembering it 01+05+08+09+11 of 13 (montage).jpg

Early next morning we found the aftermath ...
Testing the IR beam trigger shows us the remains on the top of the post. These had gone by the time we had seen the pics and went out to look for signs. We found feathers scattered around the post and a few heaped at the bottom of the post on the South side shown here.

Ref: D01_20170206_0656_017_FB6+DF3_20170206_0934_015 Tawny Owl landing on Tree stump with Fieldfare in Talons and dismembering it- aftermath (montage).jpg

12 Mar 2017

These two consecutive images just 3 minutes apart took us by surprise when we realised that they are different individuals - the red around the eye is only present in the 'top' bird and the marking within the body feathers are subtly different.

Ref: E64_20170130_0800_006+0803_007_FB2 2 Pheasant females 3 minutes apart (montage).jpg

Our now 'resident' male Pheasant here shows us that the white edges to his crown are actually a row of tufted feathers.

Ref: E64_20170201_1543_084_FB2 Pheasant male showing tufted white feathers along edge of crown (adjusted crop).jpg

11 Mar 2017

A couple of excited Fieldmice (Wood Mice) mingling whiskers.
The mouse on the right has a truncated and healed tail - quite a common injury

Ref: E62_20170131_2101_095_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) mingling Whiskers on sodden mud.jpg

10 Mar 2017

Is it the Robin unusually 'lighting up' the hedges this year, or is it our perception of them? This little guy was over our access concrete track, obviously excited by the prospect of a hand-out from 'bottomless' corn pocket.

Ref: DF3_20170201_1301_001 Robin on lichen covered Hawthorn twig with berry over concrete track (adjusted crop 2).jpg

09 Mar 2017

A Male Muntjac Deer around dawn re-arranging the leaf litter in the hope of finding some food underneath.

Ref: E64_20170127_0703_156_FB2 Muntjac Deer male (crop).jpg

Muntjac Deer are small - about the same size as a medium domestic dog. These images at the same scale give you an idea of the size.

Ref: E64_20170127_0300_155+0703_156_FB2 Muntjac Deer male + Rabbit for size comparison (montage).jpg

08 Mar 2017

Pheasant tails really are very impressive. We are sure the 'girls' like them even if they don't know it is a sign of the male birds health and vigour

Ref: E64_20170126_1512_112_FB2 Pheasant male emphasising length of tail.jpg

We ASSUME this female pheasant has been startled and is making a vertical take-off with such force that all the dry leaves around are lifted by the draught from the wings.

Ref: E64_20170129_0819_287_FB2 Pheasant female leaping upwards (q) making flurry of leaves (uncropped).jpg

07 Mar 2017

Bird tongues are said to be rather immobile compared to humans, and the easiest way to get this food item from tip to gullet is to toss it down! We see this behaviour in many species of birds.

Ref: E63_20170127_1404_217_FB1 Blackbird female tossing food down her beak.jpg

06 Mar 2017

This Tawny Owl visited that bird table outside the kitchen window an hour before midnight. The bird tripped the IR sense beam with it's right wing (our left). On the CCTV recording we see that the bird stayed for about 10 minutes before flying off to our right unfortunately without breaking the beam for a take-off pic.

Ref: E60_20170127_2304_032_FB3 Tawny Owl landing for 10 minute stay (seen on CCTV) (crop).jpg

05 Mar 2017

Everybody knows that Grey squirrels cache large items of food (mainly nuts) to eat another day. But this Squirrel was making repeated visits to the corn scattered bird table to collect some grain in his mouth and then leap down to bury it in the grass a few metres away. Here is one of the sequences all photographed in the same minute.
Can we expect a fine crop of corn here next year?

Ref: D5C_20170126_1234_003+008+011 Grey Squirrel collecting corn from table and burying it in grass 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Molehills are well used by the local bird populations as loose soil to explore for food. Here is a female Blackbird picking out corn grain scattered a few minutes before.

Ref: DF3_20170126_1220_005+007+008 Blackbird female picking corn out of Mole hill 2-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

04 Mar 2017

A few sightings of individual badgers in Infra-Red light at the mound in the last few weeks, here becomes a proper portrait as a badger breaks the sense beam at the woodland site in the early hour of the morning.

Ref: E64_20170124_0312_077_FB2 Badger (crop).jpg

15 minutes earlier the camera caught a badger head-on to camera and the rump of another at the frames edge.

Ref: E64_20170124_0257_076_FB2 2 Badgers (crop).jpg

03 Mar 2017

This Redwing has found a sheltered patch in the woodland, but is nevertheless obviously plumped up against the cold, and has frost on it's tail. Brrr. We normally see Redwings as a small fraction of birds among Fieldfare flocks, similar in size and habits.

Ref: E64_20170120_0805_043_FB2 Redwing in woodland leaf litter with frost on tail.jpg

We used to wonder why Fieldfares had their name, as we only ever saw them eating berries in trees or pecking at windfall apples. But more recently we only see them on the fields of over-wintering wheat crop.

Ref: DF3_20170122_1241_005 Fieldfare on Grass verge.jpg

02 Mar 2017

Two-thirds through January & quite suddenly the Robins, normally solitary during the early part of winter, have dropped some of their aggression towards the opposite sex enough to see pairs quite often. We never see Robins 'canoodling' - mating and nesting seems to be a brief period of an armed truce!

Ref: E63_20170121_1606_226+E64_20170120_0747_037_FB1+FB2 Robins suddenly starting to pair (montage).jpg

A Robin perched on the nearly disintegrated strip of bark.

Ref: E64_20170121_1211_111_FB2 Robin on bark strip amongst leaf litter.jpg

01 Mar 2017

It is easy to miss Greylag Geese flying overhead because they are almost silent. Canada Geese calls can be heard before they come into sight, and swans powerful wings whistle if they get close. So spotting these before they got to us from behind allowed this nearly vertical above image. We particularly like the 4 birds at the bottom of the image managing to overlap but not hide any heads.

Ref: DF3_20170121_1026_077 7 Greylag Geese flying overhead 2 of 4 (adjusted crop).jpg



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