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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
4 hours after midnight, Brock the badger stomps through the site.
Badgers frequently barge the camera triggering sensors out of alignment so we get no more pics until we fix them next day, but this individual seems to be less blundering than most.
The male Chaffinch on the left has his blue beak ready for breeding, but the similar bird behind is still a week or two behind.
A quarter of an hour apart this male and then female Chaffinch landed on the tree stump. You can see the males blue beak coating (left bird) is already getting rubbed off at the edges. The female beak does not change.
Worms are very stretchy - you can see that this one has been pulled taut as this female Blackbird collects her mid-morning meal. Ugh!
The birds tend to keep clear the patches where we leave food. As well as picking up our offerings, the birds make the most of the exposed soil to probe for morsels. Here a male Blackbird digs in the soft soil. He might even find a tasty worm!
Teasel seed head provide seeds right through to Spring. This Goldfinch has just extracted a seed from the spiky remains on the ground.
A Visit by what we think of as the 'local' Tawny owl.
After the landing (left) we get a illustration of the rotation of an Owls neck - 270 degrees from multiple sources (all possibly referencing the same original). While this sounds like the bird can almost 'look behind' it, it is actually (360-270) / 2 = 45 degrees short of completely backwards each way. The eyes are so big they can barely move them in their sockets', so to remove the 'blind spot' compare the middle and right images to see that this Owl also twists it's body to increase the amount of turn.
The strong South Easterly wind has forced this Tawny Owl to loop round close to the house to make an 'into the wind' landing on the perch. So, back to camera, enjoy the spread of feathers!
A beautiful Robin perched on the tree-stump.
Some of the normally Grey/white feathers are tinged with brown tips, something we haven't noticed before. Could just be mud.
Winter is a hard time for small birds. Spring has not yet provided a new supply of food, but the bird must feed to keep warm and make a start on the breeding season. When we appear anywhere now, Robins rush about excitedly in the expectation of a hand-out.
Peaceful co-existence - for a few months of breeding season anyway
Though an upstairs window was this sight of a pair of Muntjac Deer quietly feeding together on the path East-West across the meadow.
Next day walking at the edge of the meadow this male Muntjac Deer and the photographer had a moment of joint assessment before the Deer decided it was time to vanish into the overgrown edge of the path
Our RSPB record sheets we keep in Winter shows that it is some weeks since we saw any Fieldfares. This one (unusually) seemed to be on its own, high in a Black Poplar tree. Fieldfares are best know for eating berries, but the mud on this bird's beak tells us that this one has been probing the ground.
One of the 'normal' coloured male Pheasants out in the drizzle with his back glistening with tiny drops of water.
We think of Pheasant as 'pristine' birds, but this one has a mud-encrusted beak and claws.
At about 1 hourly intervals blackbirds photographed themselves at this site. At first we thought the males (top and bottom) were the same bird, but closer examination shows the primary feather tips of the top bird show a white outlining not present on the bottom bird, and there are differences in the shape of the eye-ring.
Just about to photograph this bird perched on the lower branch, it suddenly leapt upward onto the branch perhaps half a metre above.
A good show of Cherry buds frame this Carrion Crow.
We don't think male Pheasants attack Grey squirrels unbidden, but will sometimes defend themselves vigorously if attacked by one.
A Comparison of two of the male Pheasants in identical crops.
They seem to be similar sizes with similarly magnificent tails.
We hope they don't injure one another squabbling over the girls.
One of the female Pheasants on alert about something. Pheasants seem to live in a permanent state of Alert.
Facing away from a lurid dawn, this Little Egret flew by us, lit by the pink of the sky.
One of the Carrion crows on one of the favourite perches at the South East
corner of our patch takes off from a bent-down branch.
The last 5 images (on the left) are accurately spaced at 7 fps.
We are so pleased to have back the Tree Sparrows, and think this moment of
'togetherness' (in dreadful light for long-range photos) really catches the moment.
Genuine single exposure - not a montage.
Two images of the same Robin, accurately montaged 10 minutes apart.
The left-right symmetry is close to perfect (this is NOT an optical flip).
This Barn Owl touches down and stays for 3 minutes, perched on what seems to be his favoured leg. In the cold weather they tend to pull one leg into the feathers rather more urgently than in the summer. Brrr!
A Female Muntjac Deer flees at our distant appearance, running down the crop edge and through a gap in the hedge.
The Muntjac Deer sometimes appear near the house as it is getting dark, here the male is foraging on the edge of the main pond and IN the more overgrown parts.
Four regular 'Mound visitors' species captured over 50 hours, all where they were at the time.
A peaceful moment catches the dominant male pheasant with unusual colouration quietly stepping over what looks like a log, but is actually a piece of bark from the dead tree behind.
One of the 'normal' male Pheasants stomps proudly past the camera. His tail is nowhere near as glorious as the dominant bird's.
The 'Round Pond' is the only large enough open water to be really effected by the wind, and we often see interesting patterns formed in the surface duckweed. You can see the surrounding trees and sky reflected in the lightly covered water.
Tawny Owl visits the Kitchen window perch for a spectacular landing and few
minutes stay during which the bird seems to stare continuously at the camera
(or perhaps it's reflection in the window).
The tips of the wing on our left were out of the original frame.
2 days later, after a visit to the meadow post, the Tawny Owl flies straight
to the kitchen window perch but stays for only a few moments.
The posture for the landing remarkably matches that from the previous visit.
Hello Reynard, staring intently at the ground.
The rump looks like it is starting to develop the 'greying' symptoms of Mange.
The morning of Friday 2 Feb 2018 (Candlemass & Groundhog Day) saw the first of several sightings of Owls. The first was this Tawny Owl landing at the kitchen window bird table
30 minutes later the Tawny Owl visiting the meadow post for a few minutes.
8 minutes after the Tawny Owl left a Barn Owl turned up and stayed for a whole 2 hours. During the entire stay he/she only moved the single claw on the top of the post just once, and that just to turn around. What patience! About one-third of the pics taken seemed to show the Owl asleep!
6 minutes later probably the same Barn Owl visited for just this one frame, possibly digesting it's latest catch.
This Grey Squirrel stands on the stone for 'his' portrait.
A Carrot top now at the mercy of a Grey squirrel.
Another Flea bites the dust?
The evening before the 'super blood blue moon' (apparently the first such triple combination for 150 years) all we could see of the moon was this ghostly apparition.
The morning of the 'super blood blue moon' (30 Jan 2018) was completely clouded over at Moonset around sunrise, but the following evening Moonrise viewed through the same trees over the Duck-shaped pond was quite attractive. It is not heavily light polluted here, so the surroundings appear completely black
The Tree Sparrows are Back!
Outside the 'study' window we were charmed to catch 5 Long-tailed Tits all crammed into this one caged peanut feeder. Beautiful and subtle birds.
As this sight along the farm hedge came into view, this Buzzard some 50m down the hedge took off with what we think is a Wood Pigeon in its talons, landing perhaps another 50 metres further away. Impossible to accurately montage, this provides a impression of the 20 seconds of the flight and landing.
For a week or two a month either side of the Winter Solstice the sun penetrates the trees at around sunset with the current layout of this site. Here a Magpie triggers the camera.
For a week or two a month either side of the Winter Solstice the sun penetrates the trees at around sunset with the current layout of this site. Here a Rook triggers the camera.
Probably the same Tawny Owl visits the meadow post in two different directions in the same night.
An hour after the second image we get a first ever image of ANY owl at the
hedge bottom site - a Tawny Owl pouncing on some prey behind the stone.
We have poured over the original image for ages, looking into the shadows and really can't work out more detail than you see here. The bird is flying in from the left with tail sticking out to the left, with head down and hidden behind the outstretched wings. What looks like what might be the prey is poking up through the feathers of the right wing, but we don't know what it is and whether or not it escaped. It really is dark so unlikely in this unlit area to be a daytime bird on the ground.
Early morning and evening of the same day sees the Badger (left) and Fox visiting the same place at the woodland site. We understand that male Fox genitals enlarge at this time of year ready for breeding - we think we see this here.
We adore our foxes, but really think this one arriving at the site in the rain shows a real sense of menace. The wise prompt exit by the Robin undoubtedly triggers the photo of this fox which is some 3 metres behind the camera's infra-red trigger beam and focus line.
A Bullfinch in a bush near the main pond was quartering it for buds. Oh well - the bush makes plenty to overcome this decimation .
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