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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Nov 2017

The strong Westerly wind is blowing the Windsock of our distant neighbour nearly horizontal. The birds were finding it difficult to make progress against the gale. Against strong winds birds tend to 'hug' the ground, as with this buzzard here low over the crop and here rising just enough to clear the hedge and rails.

Ref: DF3_20171021_1338_034-038 Buzzard flying low to ground into wind with windsock visible 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

Not quite crossing in mid-air, this Robin and Dunnock apparently about to collide makes a fun visual image. The shadows in the original image indicate that the Dunnock is about a third of a metre (1 foot) in front of the Robin.

Ref: E62_20171022_1020_230_FB5 Robin and Dunnock crossing in flight (crop).jpg

29 Nov 2017

While cleaning out camera box this largish spider literally crawled out of the woodwork. Here it is coaxed onto a gloved hand.
We took some 'prettier' pics of it on the leaf litter, but it is surprisingly difficult to see it.

Ref: D72_20171020_1258_009 Spider (5cm overall length) found in camera box for FB2 (crop).jpg

28 Nov 2017

We have 5 male pheasant and 2 females around the area at the moment, but they have split up into a single male (shown here) and 4 males. The two females are hardly ever seen.

Ref: D5C_20171022_0943_007 Pheasant male on grass by main pond.jpg

"Why did the Pheasant cross the road?"
To get back into the shelter of 'our' patch.
Note the limited foot contact with the road as he bounds along. This montage is about double the width of the actual spacings at 7fps.

Ref: DF3_20171022_1046_072-075+084-085 Pheasant male running across farm road 1-6 of 6 (horizontally spread montage).jpg

"Little and Large?"
We didn't even notice the female Chaffinch just to the left of the female Pheasant's head when we first looked at the uncropped image!

Ref: E64_20171022_0759_220_FB2 Chaffinch female close to head of pheasant female.jpg

27 Nov 2017

The sky had a definite orange tinge from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, but our focus was on this lovely Red Kite and we didn't notice until we looked at the images later.

Ref: DF3_20171016_1201_015-022+024-025 Red Kite gliding over tree 09-16+18-19 of 19 (approx montage).jpg

The sky had a definite orange tinge from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, but our focus was on this lovely Red Kite and we didn't notice until we looked at the images later.

Ref: DF3_20171016_1201_026-032 Red Kite banking in flight 1-7 of 7 (impression montage @ 7fps).jpg

This single image seemed to us to capture the endless harassment Red Kites get from the Rooks - usually 3 to 10 rooks (sometimes FAR more) chasing the bird with one or two brave or particularly fit birds doing threatening swoops.
The orange tinge to the sky is from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia

Ref: DF3_20171016_1202_071 Red Kite harassed by Rook in flight with sky hazy from Hurricane Ophelia 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

26 Nov 2017

The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia arrived at various times across the UK. For us it was mid-day to late afternoon on Monday 16th Oct. Mid afternoon. It got really dark as the whole sky took on an orange tinge. You could look at the sun without it even feeling bright. We have chosen this image because it most looks how we remember it. We looked hard for sunspots but couldn't find any, and the NASA site confirms that there were none - its a 'Solar Minimum' of the 11/22 year cycle.

Ref: D72_20171016_1535_018+020 Dim Orange sun caused by high dust from remnant of Hurricane Ophelia 1+2 of 2 (montage for focus).jpg

Against the here clearly orange sky from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, here is a good view of the orange tail-top and the sharp hooked tip of the bill.

Ref: DF3_20171016_1202_096 Red Kite in flight with sky hazy from Hurricane Ophelia.jpg

25 Nov 2017

What's this in the dark then - a (probably young) male Sparrowhawk. It is still quite dark so we guess this bird is REALLY hungry to be out hunting half an hour before sunrise.

Ref: D01_20171017_0703_012+0704_013_FB6 Sparrowhawk male short visit to meadow post 30m before sunrise 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

24 Nov 2017

All is NOT well for the Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) near the lower right corner.
We will never know who 'won' this battle for life.

Ref: E64_20171012_2334_041_FB2 Cat domestic black leaping at mouse (crop 2).jpg

A couple of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) in the hours before dawn, practising spectacular leaps. Such ability might be very useful in escaping from the local Cat.

Ref: E62_20171016_0508_315_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) tumbling in mid-air (crop 1).jpg

23 Nov 2017

Within a quarter of an hour the female pheasant shared the site with a Magpie, got chased into the air by an aggressive Grey squirrel, and then in turn threatened a Grey Squirrel, probably a different individual to the one that attacked.

Ref: E63_20171013_1607_110+1608_111+1621_114_FB1 Pheasant female with Magpie + Attacked by & later threatens Squirrel (montage).jpg

22 Nov 2017

In just 15 minutes the camera took images of 3 different Great Tits on the top of the rock. Note the different patterns of the black patch on the breast.
When you see the 'same' bird on your feeder all day you can be sure it is several different birds.

Ref: E63_20171013_1519_083+1532_091+1534_092_FB1 3 Great Tit individuals visiting in 15 minutes 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

21 Nov 2017

The number of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at all the sites is increasing. We expect the Owls (plus foxes and the local cat) will soon reduce the numbers :-(

Ref: E62_20171017_1922_146+1926_147_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) on ground + one mid-leap (montage).jpg

Rocket launch, Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) style.

Ref: E63_20171017_1852_125_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping from ground.jpg

20 Nov 2017

This group of about 400 Starlings made a short but interesting series of swirling patterns against the late afternoon sky.

Ref: DF3_20171015_1631_031+035+036+040 400 starlings flying in changing formations 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

19 Nov 2017

The Robin doesn't argue with the arriving Grey Squirrel - just grabs a final beakful and leaves!

Ref: D36_20171014_1605_038_FB4 Grey Squirrel climbing tree stump and startling away Robin.jpg

18 Nov 2017

The Great Face-off?
This may be a regular event - we have seen similar confrontations several times.

Ref: E63_20171010_1617_113_FB1 Grey Squirrel and Pheasant female face-off.jpg

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.

Ref: E63_20171011_0737_174_FB1 Pheasant male preening breast (crop).jpg

17 Nov 2017

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'.

Ref: DF3_20171008_1013_138-142 Heron with neck in S-shape banking towards camera 1-5 of 6 (approx montage).jpg

16 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20171008_1006_109-114 Grey Squirrel bounding over east boundary grass 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20171008_1006_112-114 Grey Squirrel bounding over east boundary grass 4-6 of 6 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

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.

Ref: E64_20171009_1714_039+1657_036_FB2 Grey Squirrel with ruffled fur & landing after leap (montage).jpg

15 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20171006_1251_184 Ivy Flower with Ichneumon pimpla hypochondriaca.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20171006_1249_175 Ivy Flower with Wasp flying in (crop).jpg

14 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20171006_1243_035-037 Red Kite in flight harassed by Jackdaw 1-3 of 5 (impression montage).jpg

Rooks are larger than Jackdaws and can just about keep up with a Red Kite.

Ref: DF3_20171006_1244_157-162 Red Kite in flight Harassed by Rook 1-6 of 6 (impression montage).jpg

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?

Ref: DF3_20171006_1243_106 Red Kite in flight eating prey in Talons accompanied by 2 of 3 corvids 4 of 6 (crop).jpg

13 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D36_20171007_1617_071_FB4 Magpie landing on tree stump next to another (poss a juvenile).jpg

The Grey squirrel assumes some strange Yoga position as it hunts the eternal flea.

Ref: D36_20171008_1242_081_FB4 Grey Squirrel grooming.jpg

12 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D01_20171008_0422_006+0426_008+0429_011_FB6 Tawny Owl 8 minute visit (selected) 1+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

11 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20171003_0900_033 Shaggy Ink Cap Fungus patch about 4m diameter (crop).jpg

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.

  1. Ovoid
  2. Cylindrical
  3. Conical
  4. Bell shapes (2 stages shown here)
  5. The 'Ink Cap'

Ref: P10_20171002_1225_062 Shaggy Ink Cap Fungus development stages (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: P10_20171002_1225_062 Shaggy Ink Cap Fungus (stage 1 - ovoid shape) (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: P10_20171003_0958_102 Shaggy Ink Cap Fungus (stage 5 - cap shape) (crop).jpg

10 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D72_20170930_0839_004 Fungi Fairy Ring around young Lombardy poplar by farm road (2nd tree).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20171005_0747_003 Fungi forming patch (probably Marasmius oreades) near young Lombardy Poplar (crop).jpg

09 Nov 2017

This Buzzard flew by, shrieking his head off, but soon vanished.

Ref: DF3_20170930_1236_009-013 Buzzard calling in flight 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

Rooks REALLY don't like Buzzards - its 70 to 1 here!

Ref: D72_20171005_1549_022 70 Rooks disturbed by single Buzzard (bottom centre).jpg

08 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D01_20171002_0405_009_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 3 minute visit then single frame 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

07 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20170924_1218_191 Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus).jpg

Another Dock Bug individual. Squashbugs are really hard to identify because of their variability, and appearing in both adult and various Larval forms.

Ref: DF3_20170924_1219_199 Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus).jpg

06 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D01_20170926_0346_004+0348_006+0349_008+E62_0352_085_FB5_FB6 Tawny Owl 4 minute visit 1-3 of 3 + Pounce on ground (montage).jpg

05 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: DF3_20170927_1729_008+024+031+1737_051 Grey Squirrel eating kernels from freshly plucked corn cob 1+3-5 of 6 (montage).jpg

04 Nov 2017

A Squeaky Sweetie.
This is just before first light in the middle of nowhere!

Ref: E64_20170924_0504_102_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) stretching upwards.jpg

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.

Ref: E64_20170928_0426_123_FB2 Badger soaked in rain 2 visits 1 hour apart 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

03 Nov 2017

A Wood Pigeon just starting it's lift off.

Ref: E62_20170924_1851_030_FB5 Wood Pigeon taking off.jpg

We have often commented on the 'teardrop' pupil of all of our local Wood Pigeons. This close-up shows the unusual form particularly well.

Ref: DF3_20170924_1537_007 Wood Pigeon on nest in front garden (crop 2 Iris detail).jpg

02 Nov 2017

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!

Ref: D01_20170922_2225_038+2226_039+2233_048_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 9m visit with rodent (selected) 1+2+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20170922_2226_039_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 9m visit with rodent (selected) 2 of 6 (crop detail for beak).jpg

01 Nov 2017

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.

Ref: D01_20170922_2153_001+2208_022+2155_004_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 28m visit (1st sighting for months) 01+12+02 of 17 (montage).jpg

Some of the more interesting images from the first half-hour visit.

Ref: D01_20170922_2156_005-2218_035_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 28m visit (1st sighting for months) 03+07+09+16 of 17 (montage).jpg

Four further visits brought back no prey, but provided a couple of portraits.

Ref: D01_20170922_2345_059+2312+053_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 4 short visits 3m+single+5m+single (selected) 6+3 of 6 (montage).jpg



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