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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This female Sparrowhawk flies right to left with a medium sized bird in
her Talons and some of it's downy feathers stuck to the bottom of her beak. She
turns in the air and flies back a bit further away where we got a better view of
the prey - colour and size suggest a female Blackbird.
The 3 images are rescaled and exposure normalised to make a decent triplet.
This patch of yellow flowers outside our south hedge turns out to be one of the several types of St John's Wort.
At the time we didn't notice the little black dots along edge of the Sepals (the green bits at the bottom of the flowers) that help us make a tentative ID of the St John's Wort species (there are several types).
There seems to have been a really good 'crop' of Green Woodpeckers this year. Ant hills are dotted all over the meadow and we just let them be - Ants are one of Green Woodpecker's 'favourite' foods. This juvenile stayed on the post for about 7 minutes, most of it staring upwards, as you see here, for reasons we don't know.
A closer view (photographically anyway) of another moment in the bird's vigil.
This Dandelion 'Clock' was about a third dispersed from the side we are viewing, and the geometrical appearance caught our eyes.
While working up the Dandelion Clock image we realised that we had never given any thought to how these wind-dispersing seed heads work. The seed at the bottom of the 'parachute' is attached to the centre ball (which looks amazingly like a tiny golf ball) by the pin-prick size joins you can see as a speck in each dip. Ain't nature a marvel!
A single patch of small but vivid yellow flowers outside our south hedge seems to be Yellow Meadow Vetchling.
Details of Yellow Meadow Vetchling flowers complete with the ever present Hover-fly (which seem atypically numerous this year).
This is NOT a montage but a genuine 5 badgers at once paying an approaching midnight visit to the edge of Round pond. We have lightened the left and top to make the pic clearer as the UV 'flash' fades with distance. Given that the nearest Sett we know of is about 400m (1/4 mile) away we are bit surprised to still see a tight group.
A Fox wandering over the end of the orchard in the twilight.
"Interesting things always happen half off the edge of the frame" (Roy & Marie
As the daylight draws to an end this fox is really keen to get into the Rabbit hole!
Occasional sightings of male Banded Demoiselle Damselflies continue mostly on Yellow Flag Iris fronds. You are looking through 4 wings.
A male Common Blue Damselfly sunning himself on a grass stem. The 'Blue' is that of a mature male. Really almost Cyan.
What we identify as the Larva of Harlequin Ladybird. The white spines all over the head really look very strange.
A few minutes long Tawny owl visit. After the landing the bird was almost 'frozen' in place watching the grass on the adjacent path.
This Tawny Owl visit to the meadow post has a surprise in store - the Owl has a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) in it's Talons which we nearly missed. See if you can spot the Mouse here before looking at the next frame.
A poor little mouse can be seen as just the head looking right just to the right of centre in this detail crop. Hunting birds normally eat what they catch near where they catch it, so maybe this one has Owlets to Feed.
A substantial clump of Scarlet Pimpernel flowers.
They don't seem as red as we remember them from childhood, nor as red as the normally subdued watercolour paintings in the 1971 edition of W Keble Martin's wonderful 'The Concise British Flora in Colour'. A 1979 'Spotters Guide' also shows them vividly red, but a 2006 Collins Guide photo shows the same subdued tint that we see here.
Sun bleached? Genetic change? Missing nutrients in Arable farming? A doctoral study waiting to be done?
This Red Admiral butterfly made a couple of nice flights for us, here showing only the bottom of the wings.
The Red Admiral butterfly here shows the wings from the top.
A Red Admiral Butterfly on an Ox-eye daisy flower ...
... but not feeding. Here you see details of the curled up Proboscis.
Standing quietly in shade behind the closed farm gate this young Fox nevertheless detected our presence in the early morning, went on alert, and after a few seconds jumped through the hedge a couple of metres to the right.
A really attractive regular visitor is this Buff Ermine Moth.
A meadow Brown Butterfly shows us the bottom (left) and top (right) of its wings. The differing colours flicker in flight and can be momentarily confusing.
First sighting of a Ringlet Butterfly this year.
The top and bottom of the wings have completely different appearances as this montage of the same insect shows.
This Yellow Shell Moth has been given a green cast by sunlight shining through
the Laurel leaf above it.
We considered 'colour correcting' the image, but this is what we saw. Checking the ID in a venerable insect ID book this species was alone on the page as being shown on a dead leaf, so maybe this is a typical daytime hiding place.
Elephant Hawk-moths are about 4cm across, with a beautiful subtle pink colouration. This individual is a bit tatty along the wing edges.
Elephant Hawk-moths are about 4cm across, with a beautiful subtle pink colouration.
Elephant Hawk-moths are about 4cm across, with a beautiful subtle pink colouration.
A better idea of the scale - this individual is nearly 'perfect'.
The Moth-trap caught 3 different types of Hawk-moths.
This Poplar Hawk Moth is the biggest we caught at about 6cm across
Also about 6cm across is this Privet Hawk-moth
This Privet Hawk-moth on the wrist provides a better idea of size.
The Fox running for his next Meal.
The Squirrel running for his only life.
We would guess that the Squirrel made escape up the tree at the top right corner.
This rather thin adult Fox streaks past the camera with an unfortunate Corvid (presumably Crow, Rook or Jackdaw) grasped in their mouth. This was mid morning so Cubs must need a feed - Foxes normally eat small prey near where they catch it.
This Fox seems to have a Pigeon in its mouth as it trots away from Round Pond.
This fox appears every evening to search this site, and stuff themselves with Windfall apples as you see on the left.
Here is a Painted Lady Butterfly also choosing one of thousands of Privet heads for a feed. This one has a slightly damaged edge to the wing - quite normal damage from brushing on foliage. We have always felt that the name 'Painted Lady' is a bit strong for this subtly coloured creature.
Another slightly less wing edged damaged Painted Lady Butterfly gives us a lovely view of her underwings as she feeds through her proboscis forming a gentle bend lower right.
The unexpected re-appearance of this 'antique' rose complete with a 'Marmalade' Hover-fly. Many modern roses are useless to the wildlife, but this old cultivar obviously has lots of goodies on offer.
Detail from the above ...
The adult male Green Woodpecker spent several minutes preening on the top of the meadow post.
A closer look at our favourite from the above 8 image montage.
They are all of similar quality - if you want others at similar resolution just ask.
At a distant pole put up decades ago (and repeatedly repaired) we spotted juvenile and adult Green Woodpecker feeding activity.
Here the juvenile gets a feed, immediately afterwards demanding MORE.
The Tortoiseshell Butterflies have created their next generation. This one was feeding on Privet flowers, and we show here the completely different upper and lower wing surfaces. On the right the flowers are 'burnt out' in order that you see some details on the really dark bottom of the wing.
A Meadow Brown butterfly feeds on another delight of early summer - swathes of Ox-eye Daisies.
A pair of Meadow Brown butterflies flew past us in tandem (coupled at the tail ends as you see here) and landed on this grass stem to continue their tryst. We took a few photos and left them to do their 'thing'.
A delight of early summer is a patch of Fox and Cubs that each year appears at the front of the house. These are small flowers each only 1.5 to 2 cm across.
Part of our garden 'inheritance' was a row of Rose of Sharon bushes forming a sort of hedge. The Rabbits don't eat it, so we get to enjoy the vibrant flowers each year.
The Sun ain't what it used to be.
This is a Rose of Sharon flower after 2 or 3 days open, with the areas with the most sunlight now bleached to white (not photo-burn out). It's not the sun changing of course, but humans messing up the atmosphere.
The Beautiful Demoiselle 'invasion' is winding down, but some pristine insects are still about. This one is perched on a Privet leaf above some flowers (in which it will have no interest - these insects are hunters).
A brief sighting of a male Banded Demoiselle male several weeks ago is at last supplemented by 2 male Banded Demoiselle Damselflies in and around the main pond. Here one in an adjacent hedge.
This Fox spent several minutes at the hedge bottom site.
This Fox spent several minutes at the hedge bottom site - detail of the head.
Opening what we thought was a sealed plastic storage box in a shed we find a pile of bedding made from the contents of the box ( :-( ) and this little guy indignant at being evicted into the nearest wood pile. But not before this photo 'in the hand'.
We have repeatedly seen an adult Magpie with juveniles demanding food from either side. We guess we are seeing Mum and Dad at different time, each looking after 2 of their youngsters.
The whole area is now full of screaming youngsters demanding MORE FOOD, Magpies predictably making the most noise about it.
With several days of non-stop rain the youngsters of all species need to feed regardless. Here a young Great Tit waits on the pole and then top of the feeder outside the study waiting for Mum or Dad to provide the next beakful.
The Tree Sparrows have already got there last nestful out into the world, and Dad
thinks it's time to have another go even if it is still
Mum is not co-operating - yet.
The seemingly endless rain has brought the Molluscs out into view. Here a couple of snails in the foliage over the main pond - the variety of shell patterns is amazing.
Not noticed in previous years, here are two Galls on one of the 100 Lombardy Poplar
trees along the farm road. These adjacent Galls seems to be of different types
(see photo label)
Not a montage.
This female Muntjac Deer is eating the hedge at the back of the salad bed. It took several yanks to pull/bite off this mouthful, and took a long time to chew up.
This seems to have been a bumper year for Mint Beetles. The Mint started early in the atypically warm Spring, and these Beetles are making the most of it.
A 7-spot Ladybird Larva on a mint leaf.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile (right) waits on the side of the support post as Dad first collects some peanut grits from the feeder (left) and then delivers them to the ever hungry youngster.
Walking along the edge of the Wheat crop we found this Speckled Wood Butterfly perched on this Wheat stem.
Even in the wet, windy and quite cold weather a few Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies are still hunting over the Duck-shaped pond. This is one of the males.
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