Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

28 Feb 2019

A Rook displaying the wonderful glossy plumage.
A Penny plain,

Ref: E64_20190130_1522_154_FB2 Rook.jpg

The lighter coloured male Pheasant standing proud.
And Tuppence (Twopence) coloured.

Ref: E64_20190128_1520_017_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

27 Feb 2019

For several days the planets Venus and Jupiter (less bright owing to its orbital position on the other side of the sun) have made an attractive show to the south before dawn. Unexpectedly (to us anyway - this sort of astronomical 'clockwork' is well predictable) a view out of the upstairs hall landing showed this juxtaposition of a crescent moon with the planets either side.

Ref: P10_20190131_0616_266 Venus + Crescent Moon + Jupiter in line above horizon well before dawn 6 of 6 (crop).jpg

By the time of the murky dawn the moon and planets Venus (left) and Jupiter (right) are all higher in the sky, but still easily visible. While the dimmer planet is perfectly clear in the camera original, for any image size that makes sense here, it is not. So a little enhancement brings back the original impression.

Ref: DF3_20190131_0713_146 Venus + Crescent Moon + Jupiter in line above horizon during sunrise 3 of 6 (planet enhanced crop).jpg

26 Feb 2019

This Hare made a lazy gambol across the winter wheat crop before stopping for a nibble.

Ref: DF3_20190131_1028_003-014 Hare running across winter Wheat @7fps (alt frames) 01+03+05+07+09_11_12 of 12 (approx montage).jpg

25 Feb 2019

A Blue Tit on a cherry tree branch.
It looks to us that it has already started forming a brood patch.

Ref: DF3_20190128_1230_008-010 Blue Tit showing brood patch 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

24 Feb 2019

A post installed a couple of decades ago as a lonely feature among a 'sea' of plastic tree shelters is now almost lost in the maturing trees at 3 times it's height. But this Buzzard seems to like it.

Ref: DF1_20190131_1444_002 Buzzard on raptor post.jpg

As darkness falls this local Buzzard lands on the Meadow Post ...

Ref: D01_20190130_1703_043_FB6 Buzzard 25 minute visit to meadow post (selected) 01 of 14 (crop).jpg

... and the Buzzard then spends a whole 25 minutes surveying the scene.
Rearranged for effect.

Ref: D01_20190130_1706_046-1722_068_FB6 Buzzard 25 minute visit to meadow post (selected) 08+04+03+07+10 of 14 (montage).jpg

23 Feb 2019

This is Starlings arrayed along all three phases on the 11kV cables a few hundred metres to our south. We estimate 600 birds close packed along the wires.

Ref: DF3_20190125_1621_038 600 Startlings (estimate) along single stretch of 11kV cable (crop).jpg

22 Feb 2019

Through the living room window this female Great Spotted Woodpecker was hammering away at a branch on this dead Elm tree, presumably to locate grubs in the wood.

Ref: DF1_20190126_1214_001-026+052+055 Great Spotted Woodpecker female pecks dead Elm branch top & bottom 3+5&1+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

When we first saw this sequence of Green Woodpecker visits over 2 hours we assumed that it was the same individual. But the 1st and 4th (Top Left and Bottom Right) images are of a female (no red under the eye) and the middle 2 are a male. We do hope they have 'found' each other!

Ref: D01_20190129_1034_021+1217_022+1218_023+1222_024_FB6 Green Woodpeckers (1+4=female 2+3=male) meadow post 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

21 Feb 2019

Dragged from the grain bag left in the front 'Garden', this Grey squirrel seem to have actually chosen a piece of Banana Skin over other fruit. They scrape off the inner surface to leave just the thin outer skin.

Ref: D72_20190124_1532_013 Grey squirrel nibbling banana skin dragged from bait bag.jpg

Returning to the bait bag after a 15 minute walk, we find this Grey squirrel busying nibbling some piece of fruit waste out of the bag. The little b....r was perfectly aware of us arriving, but decided that the desert spoon in the bag, covered in sticky peanut butter, was worth pulling out for a final lick. It carried it a bit away from us, then to our surprise ran off with the spoon and disappeared under a gigantic prostrate juniper. The spoon is nowhere to be found!
An archaeological find for some future owner who will never guess how it got 'there'.

Ref: DF3_20190129_1239_078+1240_086 Grey Squirrel stealing food from bag then running off with desert spoon 3+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

20 Feb 2019

A Thrilling couple of minutes as this Red Kite circled around our heads in some unaccustomed clear blue sky.

Ref: DF3_20190123_1459_129-134 Red Kite in flight 1-6 of 9 (close spaced montage @7fps).jpg

A Thrilling couple of minutes as this Red Kite circled around our heads in some unaccustomed clear blue sky.

Ref: DF3_20190123_1500_164 Red Kite in flight 3 of 8 (crop).jpg

A Thrilling couple of minutes as this Red Kite circled around our heads in some unaccustomed clear blue sky.

Ref: DF3_20190123_1500_164+167+177 Red Kite in flight (discontinuous) 3+6+8 of 8 (close spaced montage).jpg

A Thrilling couple of minutes as this Red Kite circled around our heads in some unaccustomed clear blue sky. Watch the tail twisting through 90 degrees as the bird turns through the sky, so far that we start to see the 'top'

Ref: DF3_20190123_1500_187-190 Red Kite in flight overhead with tail twisting 2-5 of 5 (close spaced montage).jpg

19 Feb 2019

This year-old nest was the first built for Spring 2018 and seems to have been (re-)appropriated by this pair of Rooks.

Ref: DF3_20190122_0936_009 Rook pair guarding surviving nest in Black Poplar nearest house.jpg

18 Feb 2019

The log is positioned just behind (from camera's point of view) the sense beam so we pick up arrivals and departures of the Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) family

Ref: E64_20190117_1758_086-20190119_0707_176_FB2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) over 3 nights 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

This badger photographs itself at the woodland camera, and 15 minutes later continues to forage at the edge of Round pond some 15m away.

Ref: E64_20190119_0436_175_FB2+BU5_20190119_0449_601_SC1 Badger moving 20m in 15 minutes (montage).jpg

17 Feb 2019

This Grey Heron flies by us while making it's way to hunt in a Winter Wheat crop some 300m away.

Ref: DF3_20190120_1300_178 Heron in flight.jpg

This Grey Heron flies by us while making it's way to hunt in a Winter Wheat crop some 300m away.

Ref: DF3_20190120_1300_197-200 Heron in flight @ 7fps 01-04 of 23 (accurate montage).jpg

This Grey Heron flies by us while making it's way to hunt in a Winter Wheat crop some 300m away.

Ref: DF3_20190120_1300_205-207 Heron in flight @ 7fps 09-11 of 23 (accurate montage).jpg

This Grey Heron flies by us while making it's way to hunt in a Winter Wheat crop some 300m away.

Ref: DF3_20190120_1300_255-258+1301_287 Heron in flight & hunting in crop @ 7fps 1-4 of 7 + still (accurate montage 1-4).jpg

16 Feb 2019

This Tawny Owl, probably just launched from the right side of the kitchen bird table-perch at half an hour to midnight having arrived earlier without triggering the camera.

Ref: E60_20190114_2332_011_FB3 Tawny Owl flying from kitchen window perch (crop).jpg

An assortment of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) ('Owl snacks'?) over a couple of nights

Ref: E64_20190114_1748_067-20190115_1911_135_FB2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) (montage).jpg

15 Feb 2019

2 days (+ 16 minutes!) apart 'our' male Pheasant comes and goes across this site.

Ref: E62_20190111_1523_077+20190113_1539_170_FB5 Pheasant male walking through site & displaying 2 days 16 mins later (montage).jpg

At the hedge bottom site we see a different male Pheasant with much lighter plumage and different markings.

Ref: E63_20190111_0829_063_FB1 Pheasant male.jpg

2 of what we now know are at least 5 female Pheasants on the site picking over the hedge bottom at sunrise. The two male Pheasants will presumably have a confrontation to decide who fathers this years chicks.

Ref: E63_20190112_0832_116_FB1 2 Pheasant females at sunrise (adjusted crop).jpg

14 Feb 2019

With Testosterone running high, the male Pheasant is willing to step over the log to see off this Grey Squirrel. One of his 'Girls' waits in the background while he clears the feeding site for her to use.

Ref: E64_20190115_1614_127_FB2 Pheasant male threatening Grey Squirrel as female waits in background (adjusted crop).jpg

A Grey Squirrel threatens a much bigger male Pheasant. The Pheasant is mostly out of frame with beak tip and neck ring at the top right and a claw just below centre of the right. We have no idea how this confrontation worked out.

Ref: E63_20190113_1222_146_FB1 Grey Squirrel threatening Pheasant male (only beak and claw visible) (crop).jpg

13 Feb 2019

A patch of loose soil (where the collapsing straw bales spent some years rotting) is a regular hunting patch for this female Blackbird.
Here she kept still long enough here for a little portrait.

Ref: DF3_20190111_1233_045 Blackbird female on loose soil.jpg

These two consecutive images show the female Blackbird probing the soil and obviously finding things to eat (but never letting us see anything). Her eye in the lower image has lost most of it shine as she covers it with her nictitating membrane, a sort of transparent extra eyelid.

Ref: DF3_20190111_1233_038+039 Blackbird female using nictitating membrane to protect eyes while probing soil 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

12 Feb 2019

Probably a male Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) in the air, showing off to his prospective female. Another mouse a little further away (middle right) seems oblivious to the whole affair.

Ref: E62_20190108_1709_110_FB5 3 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) with one mid-leap.jpg

11 Feb 2019

In a currently rare spell of sunshine, one of two Red Kites on the wing at the same time makes an elegant glide past us.

Ref: DF3_20190108_1419_025-029 Red Kite turning in flight 1-5 of 8 (close spaced montage).jpg

10 Feb 2019

Our patch seems to be developing it's own Rookery - here is one of the incumbents.

Ref: E63_20190102_1531_034_FB1 Rook.jpg

Birds don't have 'expressions', but this female Blackbird looks pretty pleased to have found a sultana.

Ref: E62_20190102_1457_030_FB5 Blackbird female picking up dried fruit.jpg

09 Feb 2019

The male Great Spotted Woodpecker is often seen on one of the peanut feeders. But here we catch him in a more natural setting, pecking out grubs from a dead Elm tree deep inside our patch.

Ref: DF1_20190109_1201_026+1202_027-028 Great Spotted Woodpecker male pecking dead Elm tree trunk 01-03 of 11 (montage).jpg

The male Great Spotted Woodpecker works his way up and down the trunk, quite often out of sight on the other side of the trunk. On the right you see a piece of bark he has pecked off flying away seen against the birds breast.

Ref: DF1_20190109_1202_039+054+086 Great Spotted Woodpecker male pecking dead Elm tree trunk 08+09+11 of 11 (montage).jpg

From the other side of the tree we see the peck marks left by the feeding Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Ref: DF3_20190109_1307_127 Elm Tree Woodpecker damage (orig & final).jpg

08 Feb 2019

The Pheasant males are already 'warming up' for Spring. We hear this one calling on our site and others in the distance. We can hardly believe their plumage!

Ref: E62_20190106_1143_190_FB5 Pheasant male.jpg

At the hedge bottom we see these male and female Pheasants, admittedly almost a day apart. The female is a recent arrival.

Ref: E63_20190105_1428_149+20190106_1209_182_FB1 Pheasant male and female (montage).jpg

The full width for this camera setup just manages to catch both ends of this lovely bird.

Ref: E64_20190106_1107_194_FB2 Pheasant male in front of new log.jpg

07 Feb 2019

The female Sparrowhawk made some visits after sunset one evening and before sunrise the next day. This bird uses the subdued evening light for cover when pursuing prey.

Ref: D01_20190106_1644_010-1650_015_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 2 and 4 minute visits to meadow post 1-3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

Sparrowhawks are quite active when looking for prey from the post top.

Ref: D01_20190107_0715_001-0723_012_FB6 Sparrowhawk female visits to meadow post over 9 minutes 1+2+4+6+5 of 6 (montage).jpg

06 Feb 2019

After 6 weeks absence it seems that the local Tawny Owl has decided to visit a few times. The bird spent several minutes outside the kitchen window.

Ref: E60_20190104_1927_020+1928_022+1927_021_FB3 Tawny Owl 5 minute visit to kitchen window perch 2+4+3 of 4 (montage).jpg

More detail of the Tawny Owl

Ref: E60_20190104_1927_021_FB3 Tawny Owl 5 minute visit to kitchen window perch 3 of 4 (crop 2).jpg

05 Feb 2019

The first decent sighting of a Kestrel, here a female, for months. She flew past in the distance ...

Ref: DF3_20190101_1425_054-058 Kestrel female in flight 1-5 of 5 (close spaced montage).jpg

... turned (into the wind of course - she is also know as a 'Wind Hover') and Hovered ...

Ref: DF3_20190101_1425_067-064 Kestrel female hovering 4-1 of 4 (montage spread upwards).jpg

... dived down onto the crop, didn't seem to catch her prey, ...

Ref: DF3_20190101_1425_072 Kestrel Female landing after Hover.jpg

... and rose up for another hunt. All in 2 minutes.

Ref: DF3_20190101_1426_089+087+090 Kestrel female hovering 4+2+5 of 6 (vertically spread montage).jpg

04 Feb 2019

One of the delights of the winter is flocks of Lapwing (also known mainly outside the UK as a Peewit or Green Plover) sweeping about in the sky changing from dark birds to flickering white as they sweep back and forth, the change often sweeping through the flock in a wave as here. These 4 images taken within a few seconds.

Ref: D72_20190102_0854_009-011+015 250 Lapwing flock wheeling showing colour change 1-3+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

03 Feb 2019

For many weeks only a single female Pheasant has been on our site, but suddenly there are three accompanying the male. Here is 'his Lordship' along with his Harem of 3 females. The female plumage and head markings always seem to vary sufficiently to tell the birds apart.

Ref: E63_20181230_1247_133+20181229_1258_087-20181230_1320_144_FB1 Pheasant male + 3 females over 1 day (montage).jpg

'His Lordship' may not have it all his own way - this is a different male pheasant recently arrived who may be planning to try his luck with the 'girls'.

Ref: E64_20181228_0811_040_FB2 Pheasant male new arrival.jpg

02 Feb 2019

A Red Kite (one of 2 in the area at the time) made a few passes past us before vanishing into the distance. During winter there are rarely any 'Thermals', so flying has to be performed using hard work rather than gliding on up-currents.

Ref: DF3_20181230_1044_070-074 Red Kite in flight @7fps 1-5 of 5 (impression montage).jpg

This montage of the Red Kite is as accurately spaced as we can manage from aligning hazy cloud outlines out of this crop.

Ref: DF3_20181230_1044_079-082 Red Kite in flight @7fps 1-4 of 4 (approx montage).jpg

A Red Kite (one of 2 in the area at the time) made a few passes past us before vanishing into the distance. During winter there are rarely any 'Thermals', so flying has to be performed using hard work rather than gliding on up-currents.

Ref: DF3_20181230_1044_104+105+109+111 Red Kite in flight @7fps 1+2+6+8 of 8 (montage).jpg

01 Feb 2019

An older Red Fox hopes that the smell of food, which may include the smell of Fieldmice (Wood Mice), will turn out well. This foxes Greyish rump as first suggested mange, but a closer look doesn't show missing fur.

Ref: E62_20181226_0300_085_FB5 Fox with grey fur on rump.jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive