Return to moorhen home page


Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Sep 2017

Our first confirmed sighting this year of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly was this male flying overhead and landing in this venerable Pear tree a few metres away. Inspecting the image on screen we note that the 7th segment (4th 'blobs' up from the bottom) is bi-coloured sky blue at the bottom and green at the top.


Ref: DF3_20170813_0928_074 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male perched on pear tree (segment 7 dual coloured spot) (crop).jpg

3 Hours later over the Duck-shaped pond this male Souther Hawker Dragonfly was hawking and hovering over the water. These 3 images are about 140mS apart


Ref: DF3_20170813_1231_100+104+108 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male hovering over Duck shaped pond 1+5+9 of 9 (montage).jpg

29 Sep 2017

At the edge of the path through the meadow as an awful old piece of corrugated iron out in the full sun that we hope might attract reptiles and snakes. So we look under it most days. There are a couple of Ant nests under it, and this one is right at the front edge. When the metal was lowered this time it shifted a bit and exposed about 200 Larvae previously under the metal. In less than 2 minutes hundreds of Ants surged up from below and transported all of them underground to safety in a rescue operation human's would be proud of. The concept of the 'Hive Brain' seems so alien to us.


Ref: DF3_20170813_0923_065+0924_067+070 Ants relocating 200 exposed larvae in less than 2 minutes 1+2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

28 Sep 2017

We think of Rabbits as primarily feeding on grass, but this one seems to enjoy a damson fruit, gone by the next frame.


Ref: E63_20170814_1939_029_FB1 Rabbit Eating Damson.jpg

One normally thinks of rabbits nibbling the grass, but here a youngster picks a stem to bite off and then consume lengthways all the way up to and including the seed head.


Ref: D5C_20170813_1728_002-1729_008 Rabbit selecting and eating grass stem and seeds 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

27 Sep 2017

This is apples as they 'used to be' - small and bitter Crab Apples in one of the more overgrown hedges.


Ref: DF3_20170811_1100_030 Crab Apple (fixed scale).jpg

With the house we inherited 2 adjacent Oak trees at the edge of the orchard. Whether by accident or design they are the two different common species - this is the 'English Oak' which has it's Acorns on the end of stalks


Ref: DF3_20170805_1800_069 Oak English Acorns (approx fixed scale).jpg

With the house we inherited 2 adjacent Oak trees at the edge of the orchard. Whether by accident or design they are the two different common species - this is the Sessile Oak with the Acorns growing directly from the 'old' twigs.


Ref: DF3_20170807_1337_073 Oak Sessile Acorns (fixed scale).jpg

26 Sep 2017

Late summer starts the fruiting season - Blackberries fruits ripen in relays over the coming weeks.


Ref: DF3_20170811_0807_011 Blackberries (fixed scale).jpg

Late summer starts the fruiting season - Here Blackthorn fruit, called Sloes, are often swallowed whole by Fieldfares and Redwings.


Ref: DF3_20170811_1045_007 Blackthorn berries - Sloes (fixed scale).jpg

Hrose Chestnut trees produce the gorgeous brown Conkers, but here they are still in their spiky green jacket.


Ref: DF3_20170811_1048_010 Horse Chestnut Conkers (fixed scale).jpg

Damsons are small and bitter plums that make tasty Jam.


Ref: DF3_20170811_1048_013 Damson fruits (fixed Scale).jpg

25 Sep 2017

Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Woody Nightshade flowers and first berries forming.


Ref: DF3_20170805_0804_005 Woody Nightshade flowers and unripe berries (fixed scale).jpg

Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Hawthorn berries adored by small birds.


Ref: DF3_20170805_0806_010 Hawthorn berries (fixed scale).jpg

This is a cultivated 'hedging' rose. Wild Rose Hips are smaller.


Ref: DF3_20170805_0807_013 Rose Hips (fixed scale).jpg

Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Elderberry explodes from the hedges


Ref: DF3_20170810_1354_014 Elderberry berries (orig).jpg

24 Sep 2017

Tawny Owls are back, and to us this looks like a bird we have not seen before with light facial disc, and a very light 'fork' at the top of the face. The downy feathers under the wing as it lands suggest that this may be one of this years brood. Whoopee!


Ref: D01_20170810_2247_014-2303_034_FB6 Tawny Owl (pale facial disc) 17 minute visit 01+02+08+10 of 10 (mirrored montage).jpg

23 Sep 2017

We never got a 'proper' image of this Cricket, but this 'I can't see you so you cant see me' type image highlights the enormous length of Crickets Antennae which reach to the top of this image crop's frame.
    Crickets have this type of long Antennae.
    Grasshoppers have quite short Antennae.
An old (1954) SF film called 'Them' about radiation mutated giant ants is rather fun, and takes some efforts to get the science terms right even in the otherwise dubious premise. The experts on ants are properly called Mrymecologists, and during a battle with a gigantic ant one first shouts 'Shoot the Antennae' and when one has been damaged comes out with 'Shoot the other Antenna - he is helpless without them'.
Can you think of any other film taking the trouble to get the Latin plural-singulars correct?
The 'correctness' does not apply to the sexual innuendo on the expert's (also an expert) daughter. The film also has a very early uncredited appearance of the sadly missed Leonard Nimoy working with Telex machines (yes we remember them) in a military information centre.


Ref: DF3_20170806_1023_042 Cricket (possibly a Conehead) on other side of grass stem (crop).jpg

This grabbed image of a Green Lacewing on a grass stem seems to be known for it's black markings on the head. Green Lacewing is the generic common name for several related species.


Ref: DF3_20170810_1518_026 Green Lacewing (Chrysopa perla) about 15mm long.jpg

22 Sep 2017

Some loud Buzzard cries over the CCTV system prompted a speedy exit from the back door to catch this wonderful creature quite low right overhead. It was so close that the wing tips on the left image are out of frame.


Ref: DF3_20170806_1012_001+002 Buzzard in flight 1+2 of 3 (close spaced montage).jpg

Here is the Buzzard beak open as it cries, not too pleased to be surprised by the sudden appearance of a human.


Ref: DF3_20170806_1012_028-033 Buzzard flyby calling 1-6 of 6 (closed spaced montage @7fps).jpg

21 Sep 2017

The patch of land that spent a few years under a rotting heap of straw bales is providing a good hunting ground for many species. You can't 'sneak up' on the patch, so only human-tolerant birds get their pics taken there. Here one of the female Blackbirds gave us a suspicious look and then carried on probing the loose soil. We see her many days that we walk by this patch on the track perhaps 20m away.


Ref: DF3_20170806_0847_012 Blackbird female feeding in loose soil where straw bales removed.jpg

Successive frames at 7 fps show the withdrawal of the beak from another probing, bringing up a splash of fragments of soil beneath her beak.


Ref: DF3_20170806_0849_050+051 Blackbird female probing soil 1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

20 Sep 2017

An attractive moth seen both day and night is the Magpie Moth, here stopping in the hazy sunlight


Ref: DF3_20170804_1743_210 Magpie Moth on Blackberry leaf.jpg

The Duck-shaped pond hosts numerous small white Moths that flutter about just over the water and then usually perch annoyingly out of view in the marginal vegetation. There are a variety of these China-mark Moths, of which this is the Small China-mark Moth staying for a moment in a less than ideal hiding spot.


Ref: DF3_20170810_1521_039 Small China-mark moth.jpg

19 Sep 2017

Here one of this years new Green Woodpeckers is 'almost' an adult. We think this is a female because the red stripe under the eye that would indicate a male is missing. The stripe doesn't appear in Juveniles and the guide books don't clarify at what stage it should appear.


Ref: D01_20170805_1055_007-1056_035_FB6 Green Woodpecker adolescent 3 minute visit to Meadow Post 2-4+6-8 of 8 (montage).jpg

18 Sep 2017

Following weeks of only glimpses of badgers on a 'Trail-cam' we catch this single frame of Brock looking over the hedge bottom site in the small hours of the morning.


Ref: E63_20170801_0146_077_FB1 Badger (crop).jpg

17 Sep 2017

A Peacock Butterfly on the Buddleia flowers that grow up through the tangled Blackberries each year.


Ref: DF3_20170801_1616_004 Peacock Butterfly on Buddleia by side of garage.jpg

16 Sep 2017

The only Hawker or Darter Dragonflies we are seeing at the moment are a couple of male Migrant Hawker Dragonflies hawking high over the meadow. To get a decent sized view of the insect this half-a-second montage has closed the gaps between the frames which at 7 fps should be spaced at about 3 body lengths.


Ref: DF3_20170801_1248_144-147 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight 1-4 of 4 (close spaced montage).jpg

A male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was making circles over the meadow giving a chance to get this sequence (again at 7 fps) on a pre-focussed camera (auto-focus is too slow).
Read this montage strictly right to left ignoring height. No wonder it is so hard to follow them - this montage is less than 1 second of flight.


Ref: DF3_20170801_1624_041-046 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @ 7fps right to left).jpg

15 Sep 2017

On warm parts of days we get to see several Common Blue Damselflies in among the taller plants in the meadow. This is a mature male.


Ref: DF3_20170731_1058_009 Common Blue Damselfly male.jpg

14 Sep 2017

High above the 'sea' of wheat this Rook spent a minute or two pecking at something clamped between his claws and the cable. Here we see the bird is extracting seeds from a Wheat head. The stem is still attached.


Ref: DF3_20170731_0916_007 Rook on 11kV cable holding wheat head against wire and pecking out seeds.jpg

A Rook makes a short visit to the tree-stump, but nothing to eat here so probably back to raiding the almost ripe wheat.


Ref: D36_20170731_1810_017_FB4 Rook on tree-stump.jpg

13 Sep 2017

Adult Robins are very aggressive birds, and here is a juvenile already venting his ire on a poor innocent chaffinch.


Ref: E63_20170801_1814_123_FB1 Robin juvenile threatening Chaffinch.jpg

A Robin on the ground threatens another flying over, while ignoring the female Chaffinches on either side.
Robins look lovely but are aggressive little birds.


Ref: E63_20170729_1828_283_FB1 Robin adult on ground threatening juvenile overhead with 2 chaffinches.jpg

12 Sep 2017

This Red Admiral Butterfly was feeding from this leaning Teasel, showing us in successive frames the proboscis deep in a floret and then moving to another.
Working up this little mirror-image montage was accompanied by the track 'The Red Admiral Butterfly' on the CD 'James Galway and the Chieftains' (also available on YouTube)


Ref: DF3_20170731_1101_010+011 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on Teasel (montage as mirrored pair).jpg

A meadow Brown Butterfly extracting nectar from one of the many florets on this Oxeye Daisy.


Ref: DF3_20170727_1612_001 Meadow Brown Butterfly feeding on Oxeye Daisy.jpg

11 Sep 2017

A swallow flyby showing how these birds spend a lot of their flight time in 'streamlined' mode. All these positions in just over a second - their world must go at a different speed to ours!


Ref: DF3_20170727_1308_031-039 Swallow in flight 01-09 of 10 (close spaced montage @ 7fps).jpg

The first three (right to left) frames from the above at the accurate spacing for 7 frames per second.


Ref: DF3_20170727_1308_031-033 Swallow in flight 01-03 of 10 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

10 Sep 2017

Why is this male Blackbird loading his beak with wiggly worms? He must be feeding a second brood somewhere on our patch.


Ref: D36_20170726_0841_080_FB4 Blackbird male with worm(s) in beak landing on tree-stump.jpg

At another site on the same day the female Blackbird has found some dried fruit to gorge.


Ref: E62_20170726_1634_113_FB5 Blackbird female with beak full of dried fruit.jpg

09 Sep 2017

This plant parasite, apparently specific to Roses bushes, is this Robin's Pin-cushion. It is really rather pretty, though we doubt that an avid rose grower would agree.


Ref: DF3_20170725_1548_053 Robins Pin-cushion on wild rose in meadow (crop).jpg

The same Robin's Pincushion as it has developed over 10 days.


Ref: DF3_20170804_1610_014 Robins Pin-cushion on Rose bush.jpg

08 Sep 2017

We first noticed these deformities in a huge Willow tree that dwarfs the 'back garden' - about 20 variable shaped clumps varying from about 5cm to 20 cm across. This is a group of 3 smaller ones of which we have a clear view.


Ref: DF3_20170723_1727_128 Willow tree left of Frog Pond with numerous Witches Broom parasite deformities (orig).jpg

A web search for this deformity in the Willow tree comes up with the term 'Witches Broom' which seems to be a parasitic bacterium which causes growths from the twigs and is able to cause growths that appear metres across in a variety of different species of tree. Here is more detail of an unobscured one.


Ref: DF3_20170723_1728_130 Willow tree left of Frog Pond with numerous Witches Broom parasite deformities (crop).jpg

Wondering how Witches Broom developed we searched our archive of fixed perspective landscape images we take which includes this tree. 2016 summer images perhaps show just a trace of this deformity, the following winter image none at all, but by the end of May 2017 there are traces which become much pronounced by early July 2017. Dates are left to right as shown in the file name. The single images were taken 23 July 2017.


Ref: D10_xxxxxxxx_xxxx_xxx weekly field eastr 11Sep2016+02Mar2017+24May2017+05Jul2017 Witches Broom stages (montage).jpg

07 Sep 2017

Iris leaves don't 'wet' - they are 'hydrophobic'. After heavy rain we found this interesting pattern of water drops on one of the many horizontal bent over leaves where you can see the magnifying effect of the water drops on the texture of the leaves.
Early 'microscopes' consisted of squinting through a water drop in a holder, later replaced by glass spheres used the same way, before the development of early forms of ground and polished glass lenses allowing both microscopes and telescopes.


Ref: DF3_20170722_1022_101 Water droplets not wetting Yellow Flag Iris leaves (crop 2).jpg

By the margin of the Iris dominated main pond quite a lot of Water Mint grows, and this Meadow Brown Butterfly has arrived to feed on the flowers.


Ref: DF3_20170723_1229_063 Meadow Brown Butterfly feeding on Water Mint.jpg

06 Sep 2017

The Buzzard then turned towards the camera and from detail in the cloud edge we constructed this accurate montage. The first 5 images (from the left) are at about 7fps, but the remainder are alternate frames to avoid too much overlap.


Ref: DF3_20170721_1632_022-038 Buzzard in flight turning toward camera 01-05+07+09+11+13+15+17 of 18 (accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

The Buzzard reversed direction and flew back past us. This is 3 selected frames closely spaced.


Ref: DF3_20170721_1632_050+054_056 Buzzard in flight 1+5+7 of 7 (close spaced montage).jpg

This buzzard is a treat - calling our attention with the characteristic plaintive cries.


Ref: DF3_20170721_1632_017 Buzzard calling in flight.jpg

05 Sep 2017

A few Peacock butterflies are appearing - most of the butterflies share our proliferation of flowering teasels. The underside of the wings nearest to us is in fact very dark, but the sunlight is showing us the pattern on the top of same wings shining through.


Ref: DF3_20170722_1240_013 Peacock Butterfly feeding from Teasel (crop 2).jpg

We seem to have more than usual Red Admiral Butterflies this year, increasing the chance of 2 on the same teasel at once, even if for only a few seconds. The insect on the right is pristine, but the other seems to have been around for longer and had time to get caught in the beak of a bird, escaping by leaving a bit of it's wing in the beak.


Ref: DF3_20170727_1257_025 2 Red Admiral Butterflies on either side of Teasel.jpg

This large White Butterfly is another of the multitude of visitors to the generous teasel flowers.


Ref: DF3_20170721_1620_011 Large White Butterfly feeding on lower ring of Teasel florets (crop).jpg

04 Sep 2017

Its is not often that you can ID the species of an insectivorous bird's catch, but there she clearly has a Plume Moth in her beak - what seem to be the 'Large white Plume Moth' judging by colour and size.
Click Here to see this pretty insect in flight.


Ref: E62_20170717_1927_015_FB5 Blackbird female with Plume Moth in beak (orig).jpg

This male Blackbird has selected the top of a Tesco Strawberry. The Grey Squirrels must be too busy 'stealing' wheat from the farmer's crop to have left this long enough for another visitor to get his share.


Ref: E63_20170719_1554_193_FB1 Blackbird male with strawberry top in beak.jpg

03 Sep 2017

One of our neighbours is making a special effort to help House Sparrows breed. Whether this is one or their successes, or one of ours, we have no idea. But the parents seem to like feeding their youngsters here, and they are welcome.


Ref: E65_20170718_0927_008 House Sparrow with 3 youngsters (crop).jpg

The House Sparrows often feed their youngsters with peanut fragments, but also feed them with other items we have not managed to spot around the bottom of this gate.


Ref: DF3_20170718_1206_002 House Sparrow adult and juvenile on wooden gate top.jpg

02 Sep 2017

A Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on a freshly flowering (un-divided ring of flowers so far) Teasel. In the Left hand image the butterfly has it's proboscis deep inside one of these tall florets. At the right a floret has pulled out of the Teasel head as the Butterfly extracts the feeding tube, something we have seen several times before but never had the camera focussed to catch the moment before the insect flicks it away.


Ref: DF3_20170717_1005_030+1004_016 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on teasel proboscis deep in floret & dislodging one (montage).jpg

A Newly emerged male Brimstone butterfly is feeding on this Teasel in flower for some days - the ring of flowers has split to grow up and down - this is on the lower ring


Ref: DF3_20170717_1545_185 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on lower ring of Teasel flowers (crop).jpg

01 Sep 2017

A male Bullfinch eating the clover flowers.


Ref: E62_20170714_0645_036_FB5 Bullfinch male feeding on clover flowers (crop).jpg

A male Chaffinch looking for seeds down on the ground.


Ref: E62_20170716_0718_137_FB5 Chaffinch male in Clover.jpg

We always think it shame that some bird pairs get so aggressive towards each other immediately the breeding season ends. The 'worst' offenders are Robins and these Chaffinches - both successful species, so who are we to criticise.


Ref: E63_20170715_1810_114_FB1 Chaffinch male on ground threatening female flying over.jpg

 


 

Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive