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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
On the left is a Blue Tit, on the right a Great Tit photographed just 4 minutes apart.
The word 'Great' does seem an exaggeration, but it IS more sturdy than the Blue Tit.
Ever since we started cutting up the banana skins, instead of making a horrid mess all over the place, or just needing to be composted, it all now gets eaten, mainly by Grey Squirrels!
This female Green Woodpecker pays a mid-day visit to the meadow camera.
We notice that the lower bill colours don't match the upper, although both the
light and dark appearance of BOTH bills appears variously in our different
reference books. The only image we have showing this asymmetric colouring
is in an RSBP guide 50 years old.
The appearance is consistent on different days so unlikely to be mud smeared on the beak.
This female Green Woodpecker is standing in the drizzle on a desperately grey morning. The feet barely touching the ground suggest she is just landing.
Over 75 minutes we find 4 pics of Green Woodpeckers at this site.
Only when we build this montage do we notice that the birds at the two ends are females,
and the third from the left is a male. We choose 'don't know' for the last!
The male has the same asymmetric coloured beak that we noted earlier in the female. The image on the right is the same as the one above, but at the smaller scale the raindrops are too small to more than glimpse.
On 24th November and this pair of Rooks have already started refurbishing a last-years nest, and observation
suggests that they have already started courtship feeding in the Black Poplar nearest the house.
This is over a month before our reference books mention earliest attempt at breeding.
Most likely the female is on the nest at the left and male arrived on the right to make his courtship offering of some disgusting morsel.
The local Tawny Owl takes this one frame of himself at the kitchen window.
The Tawny Owl pays a 10 or more minute visit to the meadow post.
A Blackbird does gymnastics to defend against the aerial attack.
A brief glimpse as she flies by the house is later supplemented by this moment as the female Sparrowhawk lands on the meadow post.
Lots of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at the meadow camera over a day and a bit.
This montage was selected from four originals to capture some of the action.
This robin has caught another worm - a rather small one this time, but obviously worth the effort to pull out of the ground.
A Badger visits one of the high resolution cameras, complete with mud splattered face and mud encrusted nose.
The local female Kestrel is visiting several days a week. This montage starts an hour after a really dingy 'sunrise' lightens over the next half hour. A visit of 10 minutes (first 3 images) is followed by a short visit (last 2 images).
The female Kestrel makes another brief visit to the meadow post.
The female Roe Deer visits the Round Pond.
Having seen only 1 or 2 female Pheasant wandering the plot for weeks, suddenly there are a group of 7 wandering quietly through the orchard. Not a montage.
In the small hours of the morning this Badger is attracted to the smells
left on the stone under the hedge.
On many weeks we see dozens of photos taken by silent camera without visible light, but the quality for portraits is just inadequate.
Apples are still occasionally falling from the orchard trees, and the nighttime denizens come to enjoy the bounty. Here we have a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer, what looks like 2 different Foxes, and then a male Muntjac, all sampling these hard and bitter apples over a few hours.
Several sightings of Kestrels this week have been mostly whoosh and gone. But this bird is intent on a hunt over the sprouting crop.
The female Kestrel's hunt is successful - she pounces on a Rodent, probably a Mouse or Vole, and flies to the top of the hedge with to devour her prize.
A local Tawny Owl drops by shortly after dark. The bird is having a really hard stare at the ground outside the kitchen.
The local Tawny owl has been visiting again - here 2 visits to the meadow post in 2 hours
On some years Wagtails hunt over our slate roof looking for insects. This White Wagtail in the sunlight takes up a new vantage point - they often hunt by diving down from the edge to catch insects close to the sun-warned wall.
Wagtails also hunt over the roof to catch insects emerging from under the sun warmed slates. We couldn't find the insect in any of the 3 original frames.
Along with the White Wagtail was this Pied Wagtail behaving
One of our ID books lists White and Pied as separate species, but our more recent books lists the white as a variant of the pied that can interbreed. No wonder we often have trouble differentiating the two!
"Heave-Ho - I want my Teatime worm!"
This Blue Tit spends a few minutes pecking seeds from this fallen 'weed'. It is most likely a withered Great Willow Herb stem.
Here a Tawny Owl makes a visit to the Kitchen Perch as they tour the site in search of rodents.
The Tawny Owl's tour of the site started just after one midnight to just before the next, paying 3 visits to the meadow post, plus probably many more to other perches during the 24 hours.
A Barn Owl made (at least) 3 visits to our site from just before midnight until dawn. Here is a little celebration of this lovely bird.
A few metres from the house we have a simple little conical rain gauge from
which we record the last days rain every morning. On this morning the edge
glowed with a green speck which close inspection turned out to be a Juniper
Shieldbug. The morning was cold and wet and the insect was comatose with several
raindrops on their back (very clear in the bottom image) and in the top image
one at the centre magnifying the underlying pattern.
We managed to read and empty the gauge without disturbing the 'sleeping' insect!
This Tawny Owl spends at least an hour probably touring various hunting posts around the site. Our cameras catch the bird making 4 visits - 3 to the kitchen window perch, and one to the meadow post. Here they are in order of appearance at 5:55 p.m., 6:04 p.m., 6:16 p.m. (meadow post) & 6:58 p.m.
The first 2 Tawny Owl visits differently montaged to show more detail
Our final pic of the Tawny Owl landing on the kitchen perch. You can see the birds nictitating membranes at the top inner corner of both of the Owls eyes.
An Autumn morning shows this 'comet and tail' effect in Cirrus clouds. Such ice clouds are said to be 6 to 12 km high.
A Red Kite being pursued by 50 Rooks when venturing too near the Rookery.
Not a chance moment - every time the Kite changed direction so did the Rooks!
Ever felt unwelcome?
Crouching Squirrel, Leaping Rabbit
Totally genuine single frame.
Look Mum - one Foot!
Grey Squirrels sometimes seem indestructible, but their luck sometimes run out
The Grey Squirrel on the right appears to have decided to see off the Squirrel already at the top, but the top Squirrel seems to have other ideas.
A local female kestrel lands on the Meadow post in the gathering gloom of evening.
A Rook using the tip of an 11kV power pole to cast his call far and wide.
Sparrowhawk sightings are usually Whizz-by events, but this one hung in the air for minute of so to allow this little sequence.
10 minutes later the much bigger Buzzard made a similar pass at a greater height.
The camera's 7 fps doesn't match the Little Egret's wing-beats, so here we assemble
images in an order to show a complete wing-beat cycle.
First the 'upstroke where the wing is partially folded to minimise the negative lift effect of the upward movement.
And now the Little Egret's powerful Downstroke for both forward motion and lift.
The difference between the mid wing positions on the upstroke and downstroke is worth comparing.
Badger faces look rather nice - unless you are their next meal.
Our 'favourite' fox with lovely bushy tail, streaks through the orchard past this camera in the lovely dappled light.
A few minutes before sunset - if the sun had been visible anyway - this male Reeve's Muntjac Deer was wandering quietly down the hedge to our east foraging as he went. Standing still behind our hedge he didn't spot the photographer.
The Reeve's Muntjac Deer reached the edge of the Farm Road and stopped for a moment ...
... before stepping up onto the concrete, walking across, and finally disappearing from view at the bottom of the hedge only a couple of metres away. But standing right in front of the cut section of the pignet that lets animals through, the human legs were finally spotted and the Deer 'scarpered'.
A Tawny Owl visits for a few minutes.
This Owl closes their eyes as they land.
We don't remember ever seeing an Owl with nictitating membrane across the eye, and went on the web search to find if they had one.
The answer is YES as you can see in this fascinating YouTube short video of tame owls 'blinking' in slow motion at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THdThDeyLu4.
After a few weeks absence a Barn Owl stops by for nearly a quarter of an hour at 3 a.m.
Owls are normally photographed as tame animals with beaks hidden in the feathers as they contentedly stand on their 'pets' arm, undoubtedly already replete with a mouse or two. Here this hunting bird shows us the upper and lower bills as they alertly scan the ground for the next meal.
Two days after the first Barn Owl visit we get another, this time at 1.30 a.m. The bird spent at least 10 minutes on the post, first having a little hunt and then settling down to a preen.
On a gloomy day, at around the time for a sunrise, this Buzzard makes a short stay on the Meadow post.
A closer look highlights the talons caked in mud.
Being a 'predator' has some down sides.
Next day the Buzzard lands in some sunshine
Bird's nictitating membranes (an extra semi-transparent eyelid) makes birds eyes look cloudy. Here are the eyes of the landing bird - protecting the eyeball with his membrane as many birds do as they land, and a little later perched normally with the eye uncovered.
Pampas Grass next to the main pond shows wonderful graduated colours as the seed heads emerge each year despite the heavy winter cut-backs.
In the rain, a foraging Magpie decides to fly off making a spray of water droplets.
Just after midnight this Badger snuffles his way across the woodland site. The land has changed from desiccated clay to soft and slushy leaf litter, spattering the muzzle with mud as it roots around for worms.
Yet another fallen apple gets the Badger treatment.
The Polecat made a midnight voyage across the orchard.
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