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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The Robin doesn't argue with the arriving Grey Squirrel - just grabs a final beakful and leaves!
The Great Face-off?
This may be a regular event - we have seen similar confrontations several times.
In the morning the male pheasant has a preen at the site. There is nothing wrong with his eye - he is protecting it from damage with his nictitating membrane.
One or two sighting of Heron(s) in the last few days. This bird was atypical - the neck is usually either stretched out or more usually tightly folded so that the feathers hide the fold as a 'lump'.
Over our east hedge this Grey squirrel took one look at the photographer and made a bee-line for the safety of the hedge. It didn't come through the hedge so may have run away along the hedge line. This montage is accurately spaced at 7 fps.
The problem with accurate spacing is that you don't get much detail - so here are the last 3 images for you to appreciate the athleticism of the little creature.
A silly montage of most likely the same Squirrel in action (right image came first) and a quarter of an our later nibbling what is left of the food. We like the latest 'layering effect' of the fur.
This Ichneumon (a parasitic insect that used to be referred to as a 'Wasp') spent several minutes on this one Ivy flower, crawling all over it to feed.
Ivy always seems an unlikely plant to make flowers, but each year we get a good show at the end of the summer. The insects really appreciate this late bounty.
One of two Red Kites flew about for a couple of minutes, continuously harassed by Corvids before departing. This Jackdaw couldn't keep up with the much bigger bird.
Rooks are larger than Jackdaws and can just about keep up with a Red Kite.
The other Red Kite winged it's way by, eating it's 'lunch' as it went.
Did the corvids want to get rid of the bird, or to steal it's catch?
The bird on the left is suggestive of a juvenile, but without any real evidence. The bird on the right is just about to land. We have no idea what followed.
The Grey squirrel assumes some strange Yoga position as it hunts the eternal flea.
This Tawny Owl stayed for about 8 minutes. Standing at the left edge with the sense IR beam grazing it's breast, it only fired the camera a few times. The middle image shows the relaxed bird having a little preen, before getting down to the serious business of hunting. No images of the Owl at the ground level photo site it is facing, unfortunately.
From a 100m away this patch of Fungi appeared as a sort of mini forest of short white spikes that wasn't there the day before. This is what we found - perhaps 100 Shaggy Ink Cap Fungi 'fruiting' (that is the word used) over an area about 4 metres square.
Over a couple of days we saw all the stages of development over the area. Here is a montage of various 'fruiting bodies' in the patch over a couple of days in the order of the shapes.
About a third of the fruiting bodies were knocked down and/or partly eaten.
The ID book says that the fresh bodies are edible, but we didn't try any.
Here are some of the freshly emerged fungi.
This is the shrivelled final stage that gives the fungus it's name.
We have all of the stages as camera originals should they be wanted.
Down the Farm Road avenue of young Lombardy Poplar trees we have started seeing groups of fungi just around the tree plantings. They seem to be forming partial 'fairy rings' centred on the trees, though this may be more human 'pattern matching' than reality. This was our second discovery - next day two more trees had similar patches through not so apparently curved.
The 'Fairy Rings' around the young Lombardy Poplars along the farm road have now appeared around about 6 trees on either side of the road. Some of them are patches of about 10 fruiting bodies, while other have more making partial rings. This is a closeup with our ID- - a species which does form rings.
This Buzzard flew by, shrieking his head off, but soon vanished.
Rooks REALLY don't like Buzzards - its 70 to 1 here!
This Barn Owl made a couple of short visits, this landing shows the length of the feather-covered legs usually 'lost' against the body feathers.
We found a couple of Squashbugs - this is a Dock Bug Apparently the segmented Antennae of this species are so strong that the insect can use them to right itself if it gets inverted.
Another Dock Bug individual. Squashbugs are really hard to identify because of their variability, and appearing in both adult and various Larval forms.
Four days after the multiple Barn Owl visits this Tawny owl made a single short visit. The images from the post are very hazy so there was probably an early- hours mist. The time stamp on the ground level meadow camera indicates that the Owl's next stop was a pounce on some rodent at the photo site some 6 metres away. The owl did not return to the post, nor trigger any more pics here, so we have no idea whether it had caught anything.
Up and down our entrance track are dozen of partially eaten Corn Cobs that must be being purloined from the adjacent Maize crop. We set up a 'Trail Cam' on the most promising spot to find out which creature was doing it, but it didn't catch a 'smoking gun' image. Finally, in the evening through the conservatory window this Grey squirrel was seen arriving dragging this intact cob and proceeded to pick away at it until over half of the kernels had gone. She then carried the remains onto the top of the nearby gate and continued scoffing the remains.
A Squeaky Sweetie.
This is just before first light in the middle of nowhere!
In a stunning contrast in size, a few days later at the same woodland site this rain soaked badger made two visits an hour apart. This looks like a really large adult, not the least bothered by the click and flash of the camera.
A Wood Pigeon just starting it's lift off.
We have often commented on the 'teardrop' pupil of all of our local Wood Pigeons. This close-up shows the unusual form particularly well.
About 7 minutes after the first departure the Barn Owl returns triumphant with a rodent in the beak. The bird (as usual) moves the rodent under it's talons, but leaves it there for 9 minutes before finally swallowing it's prize. We suspect that during the absence from the post another rodent went 'down the hatch' and there wasn't room to swallow another yet!
This detail from the middle of the montage shows something you rarely see - both halves of an Owl's beak. Normally the bottom half of the beak is snuggled down in the feathers giving the characteristic top of beak pointing downwards appearance you see in almost every owl image.
Our first Barn Owl Sightings since 25 Feb 2017 (about 7 months) turned out to be an extended affair with 6 landings on the post. This landing and stay lasted for almost half an hour.
Some of the more interesting images from the first half-hour visit.
Four further visits brought back no prey, but provided a couple of portraits.
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