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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Normally contrails gradually disburse or just fade away, but this one broke in
the manner you see. A web search found an article at
which provides an explanation and quite similar picture. On programs about light aircraft it is often described how airliners leave a wake of turbulence even minutes after they have gone, and that is what the ice of the contrail illustrates here.
An interesting aside is that the sky in the insert looks much darker than the point it was copied from. But a check with the paint package shows that it isn't. The human visual system discards absolute brightness for separated objects as part of simplifying the data on the optic nerve. (Info from neuroscientist Colin Blackmore on Documentary DVD 'Tim's Vermeer (2013) @ 0:39 for region 2)
A male Green Woodpecker stops for a few minutes on the meadow post. First hanging down the side (right) he then shuffled up to perch on the edge.
We are rather fond of the still solitary female Pheasant.
She's not so keen on us though, and flees at a glimpse!
Birds are said to be expressionless, and their faces mostly are. But you can read so much into head positions and 'Jizz' - loosely a birds 'demeanour'.
A Magpie making a dynamic landing on the tree-stump.
This Magpie managed to hide most of its body in it's own shadow, but the tail
colours are just beautiful. We tried to 'rescue' the whole bird to show you, but
just couldn't make it work. Tip of the tail is bottom right.
Colours are not 'turned up'.
Before the legs bend to cushion the landing, this Magpie shows us his blue iridescent wings and green iridescent tail feathers.
Irregular sightings of Red Kites did catch this flight, accurately spaced at 7 fps, so just under 2 seconds of flight here.
More detail of the Red Kite as the first 4 images above
Not many sightings of Buzzards or Red Kites at the moment, so enjoy this moment of a Buzzard powering upwards behind the power lines.
About 4 minutes of sunrise. The sun is moving at a diagonal to the right, so the '2 minutes per sun or moon diameter' rule still applies.
The endless high haze has made for some interesting sunrises.
A Gibbous moon rising shortly before sunset. What Galileo Galilei would have given for this casually taken photo!
Walking round the plot, a succession of Robins arrive in the hope of some corn.
This one is perched on the filler cap of our many decades old heating oil tank.
Modern 'Plastic' tanks apparently last 10 years if you are lucky.
A Robin in a more natural setting.
The birds don't care whether natural or man-made so long as the humans they are following provide some grub! Come to think of it, is a human planted hedge man-made or not. We think not.
At first glance this looked like just a row of pigeons along the top of this distant tree. In fact the image shows that the tree was holding some 50, but we still find it fun.
Hundreds of Pigeons can be a nuisance.
One Pigeon can be a delight.
A Grey Squirrel, back to us with ears and claws sticking up, launches itself at a less aggressive member of the species.
Whole unprocessed frame shows us the Grey squirrel 'having a go' at the Pheasant male leaping into the air. We can see more of the Pheasant from his shadow than from the bird himself. A Rook on the path behind (the black shape between Squirrel and Pheasant) waits his turn at the food.
A minute later the Squirrel has gone, so Rook and Pheasant can get on with the important business of feeding quietly together. Pheasants sometimes leap into the air to bring their spurs into play, and it is possible that the Squirrel received a spike in its anatomy!
A chilly morning with a hazy sky and patches of ground mist.
A Sunrise view East of the hazy sun showing distant ground mist.
This Carrion Crow watches us suspiciously as we stop, take this pic, and then walk on. The glowing rising sun is slightly reflected in the black beak.
From the north we could see the rising sun finding it's was through the now leafless tangle of trees that form our little woodland.
The ridiculously attractive male pheasant glows in the camera flash on an otherwise dull December afternoon.
Mid afternoon caught this Magpie at the Woodland site, probably an early visitor
to the fresh bait. But just look at the rainbow display on the tail.
We have not 'wound up' the colours at all.
A Rook lands at the Woodland site in a flurry of feathers.
Not a trace of the wonderful iridescence we see on the Magpie.
Setting the autumn leaf debris flying, this Grey Squirrel is attacking the male Pheasant, who is squaring up to defend rather than flee, making himself look as big and impressive as he can.
40 minutes after the Grey squirrel attack peace seems to be re-established - i.e. the Squirrel has gone.
The 'resident' Buzzard paid a couple of afternoon visits to the meadow post.
After sunset, the IR illuminator catches this pair of Pheasant with the male clearly displaying to the female as the pair marched backward and forwards across the site.
A male Blackbird is busy pulling a worm out of the hedge bottom soil.
A session tackling overgrown trees in the front 'Garden' was accompanied by this Robin on one of the dead branches looking for anything tasty we might disturb.
For a couple of mornings the temporarily clear sky gave a view of the Moon and
Venus comparatively close in the sky showing same 'phase'. This photo was taken
about an hour AFTER sunrise. You can see bright planets
in the day-time if you know exactly where to look, so having seen the Venus-Moon
relative positions in the dark, Venus could be found in the lightening sky
even with the 'naked eye' and then also the camera. The spacing is a bit
contracted and detail box shows Venus at 3 times the 'natural' size. We hope
you get the idea.
If this interests you have a look at the video at
Huffington Post Video
slightly explains the moon & planetary orbits. In the video clips Venus seems as bright as the moon, and bigger than we show. Our image chose an exposure where moon and planet detail remains visible.
The Sparrowhawk pays another pair of visits, first at dusk ...
... and the Sparrowhawk returned at dawn.
The female Reeve's Muntjac deer seems not so bothered by the camera noise and flash that she doesn't visit this site again after a few days in the dark of a moonless night.
In the depth of the woodland a gloomy and windy afternoon doesn't inhibit this male Pheasant from strutting his stuff.
A Great Tit giving the camera a rather coquettish look.
A Robin plumping out the plumage to keep warm.
A Dunnock nicely poised on the stone.
People confuse Rats (left) and Mice.
The are actually very different in size, and the Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) (right) is actually a bit bigger than the urban House Mouse. The relative thickness of the tail is a major guide if you don't know the actual size - the rats tail looks as powerful as it is.
Scale judgement of images is very difficult - we have looked at pics that look like dumped drink cans that turn out to be an exploded factory. :-(
Evening visits by the female Sparrowhawk before she arrived with the female Blackbird in her Talons (see previous day).
2 nights after arriving with the dead female blackbird, the female Sparrowhawk makes a couple of short visits to the post.
This unexpected arrival of the Sparrowhawk has a female Blackbird in her talons. She proceeded to rip the blackbird apart and eat it over 8 minutes. The Sparrowhawk didn't leave the Blackbird carcass on the post, and next morning there was no sign of it on the ground (but a fox or Badger may have found it). The entrails you see over the edge were ignored by a Tawny Owl later in the night.
At slightly larger scale, and worked up to show the Blackbird more clearly, here is the female Sparrowhawk landing with her prize.
One of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer visits the woodland site.
A Detail from the Reeve's Muntjac Deer portrait - we think she is lovely!
On really dull days we sometimes turn on the 'Owl' cam for the day.
Here a Buzzard stopped on the post for a couple of minutes.
The reddish item on the top of the post is just a leaf.
Next morning (camera back to 'normal') sees this Sparrowhawk make a botched landing before circling round for another go (too quick for the camera to catch) before spending a few minutes gazing straight at the bathroom where the light being turned on may have made the bird think it was light enough to hunt. Looking out of the window with house light off showed our eyes no detail at all. The bird has already missed the landing when the flash first fires.
This Tawny Owl landed on the perch outside the kitchen window for this 'full frontal' portrait.
Just 10 minutes later the same Tawny Owl lands on the meadow post and stops there for a quarter of an hour.
Male Pheasants really are unbelievably vibrant creatures. Most of the woodland now receives a good share of sunlight now that the leaf canopy is mostly 'on the ground'.
No, we haven't 'turned up the colour' for this male Pheasant.
In the middle of the Autumn days we see occasional butterflies. Here a male Brimstone was flittering around in our excuse for the front garden, and suddenly disappeared. It took a minute or so search to find the insect in among blackberry leaves looking just like a slightly more 'autumned' leaf. Better camouflage than you might imagine.
This scattering of (rather small) Oak leaves creates the impression that the tree had tossed a Jigsaw puzzle on the ground.
The Robins are all back to being as friendly as they dare - buttering up the humans in the hope of the hand-out.
The days are getting very short now, and the sun 'slides' towards the ground over an extended period. It still moves at about 1 diameter in two minutes, but the path to ground is much more shallow than in summer. Anyway, we get a few more 'sunset' opportunities at this time of year.
A Blue Tit, perched on our electrical feed cable, preens his head with his claw.
This Barn owl made a short visit earlier in the night (no pics worth showing) and then this extended stay of over half-an-hour.
These two consecutive pics taken 45 seconds apart show the Barn Owl's wonderful flexible neck.
For a couple of days the female Sparrowhawk becomes an evening as well as morning visitor.
Over the next 2 mornings the camera catches 4 separate landings on the post.
This is a single moment as 5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) make the most of the food not taken by the birds.
"I love you!" - Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) style.
Sheer exuberance - nothing else 'animate' is visible in the entire original frame!
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