Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
An affectionate encounter between 2 Grey Squirrels. You have to trust your partner to let 'him' put those sharp claws on the top of your head!
Next day, to within a few minutes, what we think is the same pair of Grey Squirrels are quietly feeding together.
The Drey must be one thing a Grey Squirrel must keep in good order to survive the winter. We found one (shown last week) laying on a path, but many must suffer damage or destruction in the high winds and we never see them. This mouthful looks too coarse for bedding, so is probably for restoration or reinforcement.
The lovely light-backed male Pheasant visits the bottom of the hedge in the morning ...
... while one of his 'Harem' strides through at the end of the same day.
This Barn owl graced us twice with a 10 minute gap, unusually landing in opposite directions, having no 'into-the-wind' preference on this nearly windless night.
From the second visit the Barn Owl landed towards the camera and spent over half and hour looking and listening. Here is a little selection.
We think that for the first time ever we have seen one Owl displace another
already on a perch. Here a Barn Owl flies in and spends 13 minutes looking
around. It suddenly takes off (level flight to the right rather than a dive onto
prey) and about 2 seconds later is replaced by this Tawny Owl flying in from the
dark on the left. The Tawny stayed for about 4 minutes.
You get a good idea of the similar sizes but different postures of the two species.
Our knowledge of the timing comes from a very poor CCTV recording.
A Polecat speeding through the Woodland site. We normally see this creature once or twice a year.
A Fox out on the hunt a couple of hours before sunrise.
This male Pheasant looks really on alert, looming on claw-tip by the Grey Squirrel who seems more interested in the food caught under the stone. The Pheasant really looks quite 'athletic' compared to the normal view suggesting a rather stolid countenance.
An elegant female Pheasant steps through the sense beam so taking her portrait.
All female Pheasants seem to have an elegance about them.
Apart from differences in plumage colour, we can tell our females apart by the different red colouration around the eyes. This is fairly consistent to the left and right of a particular bird, but very variable between the birds, over the short term anyway.
Mrs and Mr Chaffinch just about 3 minutes apart as the sun sets.
Did you know that both sun and Moon move their own similar visual diameters in close to 2 minutes? Here you can see that the suns (rather blurred) disc is moving down and to the right shows about this amount of movement.
Not yet quite settled on the ground, this male Chaffinch is looking over today's offering.
Eyes shut for the touchdown of this Barn Owl followed by a busy search of the area without a single movement of the claws
The Buzzard continues to rip apart the already dead Rabbit.
The Buzzard continues to rip apart the already dead Rabbit.
4 more pics of the Buzzard eating the dead Rabbit:-
TL: The hazy eye is just the nictitating membrane - the bird is 'blinking'.
TR: The bird has a fragment of meat in the tip of the beak.
BL: The bird is tearing back the skin. Raptors have strong muscles at the back of the neck that enables them to do this.
BR: The beak is wet with blood
We dragged the carcass back to the centre of the camera frame, and you can see a lot of the Rabbit has gone. The magpies are taking advantage of the lack of any 'competition' to make the most of what is left before the Buzzard returned.
Finding a dead Rabbit on a path as we occasionally do, we moved it to just outside the trigger beam at the woodland site in the expectation of a fox dragging it away overnight. The magpies have the first pecks, but a quarter of an hour later this Buzzard landed right on top of the Rabbit Carcass.
Here the bird had been picking off pieces for about 45 minutes.
The Buzzard spent about 2.5 hours feeding on the coney till an hour
after sunset as you see here.
Birds remove fur like they do feathers from bird prey - by plucking it out and it has made quite a pile.
The Rabbit got dragged about the site - here is mostly out of frame at the right, and we don't know how much has been eaten.
Just before midnight, a local fox prowls through.
A Magpie in the frost, undoubtedly pleased to find some easy 'fill-belly'.
Note the subtle grey and black outline to the flight feathers when viewed from beneath.
The cold weather means that it is time to dig up some of the buried nuts!
You can see the hole where the Squirrel has dug out it's meal.
About 2 metres from the living room window there is a low hedge into which we post cut off teasel stems to attract bird to feast on the seeds where we can get to see them. Here a Goldfinch spent a few minutes extracting seeds from the now dry months old seed head.
Read this left to right - beak in the seed pocket, pluck out the seed, and down the hatch, all in about a third of a second.
A dainty female Pheasant looking coyly at the camera.
A few seriously windy days catch this female Pheasant with a selection of her contour feathers lifted inelegantly by the Westerly wind from behind.
In contrast here is the male looking superb.
What an apparently ridiculous amount of detail in the head and the feathers including an iridescent green sheen over the rump.
This Tawny Owl came to visit and stayed for 20 minutes.
A neighbour (that's 1 quarter of a mile away) tells us that they have a Tawny Owl in one of their barns - and it makes quite a mess!
Inclement weather has created an influx of Pheasants roosting in the trees in the centre of the woodland, and appearing at the cameras looking for something to eat.
Inclement weather has created an influx of Pheasants roosting in the trees in the centre of the woodland. This unusually light coloured bird is very striking. He has been the dominant male for a couple of years, but we think the presence of other males indicates he may no longer be 'at the top of the pecking order'.
Inclement weather has created an influx of Pheasants roosting in the trees in the centre of the woodland. Here are 2 of the female pheasants - the difference between the plumages is NOT a lighting effect.
Return to image of the day
Older page of archive