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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jan 2019

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)

Ref: DF3_20181224_1256_004 Airliner Contrail with turbulence (called Crow Instability) detail insert.jpg

30 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: D01_20181225_0925_002+0924_001_FB6 Green Woodpecker on meadow post 2+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

29 Jan 2019

We are rather fond of the still solitary female Pheasant.
She's not so keen on us though, and flees at a glimpse!

Ref: E64_20181222_1511_085_FB2 Pheasant female.jpg

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'.

Ref: E63_20181217_1528_024_FB1 Pheasant female creeps warily past feeding Grey squirrel.jpg

28 Jan 2019

A Magpie making a dynamic landing on the tree-stump.

Ref: D36_20181222_1414_034_FB4 Magpie landing on tree-stump.jpg

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'.

Ref: D36_20181222_1452_039_FB4 Magpie with multi-colour iridescent tail (tail detail crop).jpg

Before the legs bend to cushion the landing, this Magpie shows us his blue iridescent wings and green iridescent tail feathers.

Ref: E64_20181218_1136_079_FB2 Magpie with iridescent wings and tail.jpg

27 Jan 2019

Irregular sightings of Red Kites did catch this flight, accurately spaced at 7 fps, so just under 2 seconds of flight here.

Ref: DF3_20181216_1216_101-112 Red Kite in flight 01-12 of 12 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

More detail of the Red Kite as the first 4 images above

Ref: DF3_20181216_1216_101-104 Red Kite in flight 01-04 of 12 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Not many sightings of Buzzards or Red Kites at the moment, so enjoy this moment of a Buzzard powering upwards behind the power lines.

Ref: DF3_20181219_1015_067-070 Buzzard in flight against 11kV power lines 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

26 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: DF3_20181216_0811_028+0812_037+041+0813_048+0815_064 Sunrise 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

The endless high haze has made for some interesting sunrises.

Ref: DF3_20181222_0821_039 Sunrise.jpg

A Gibbous moon rising shortly before sunset. What Galileo Galilei would have given for this casually taken photo!

Ref: DF3_20181219_1548_099 Moon nearing sunset.jpg

25 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: DF3_20181214_1350_010 Robin on heating oil tank filler cap.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20181222_1027_051 Robin in hedge.jpg

24 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: DF3_20181214_1335_002 50 Pigeons in treetop at brook to west.jpg

Hundreds of Pigeons can be a nuisance.
One Pigeon can be a delight.

Ref: E62_20181220_1502_018_FB5 Wood Pigeon.jpg

23 Jan 2019

A Grey Squirrel, back to us with ears and claws sticking up, launches itself at a less aggressive member of the species.

Ref: E62_20181211_1550_044_FB5 Grey Squirrel attacking another.jpg

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.

Ref: E63_20181207_1433_103_FB1 Grey Squirrel chasing away Pheasant male (seen mostly as shadow) with Rook to rear (orig & final).jpg

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!

Ref: E63_20181207_1434_104_FB1 Rook & Pheasant male feeding together quietly.jpg

22 Jan 2019

A chilly morning with a hazy sky and patches of ground mist.

Ref: DF3_20181211_0812_010 Sunrise through high haze - Solar-Power.jpg

A Sunrise view East of the hazy sun showing distant ground mist.

Ref: DF3_20181211_0814_019 View to SE in morning mist.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20181211_0818_030 Carrion Crow on Black Poplar twig beak lit by early morning sun.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20181211_0823_035 Rising sun shining though woodland.jpg

21 Jan 2019

The ridiculously attractive male pheasant glows in the camera flash on an otherwise dull December afternoon.

Ref: E62_20181208_1452_129_FB5 Pheasant male inspecting food.jpg

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.

Ref: E64_20181207_1327_080_FB2 Magpie with iridescent tail held upright.jpg

A Rook lands at the Woodland site in a flurry of feathers.
Not a trace of the wonderful iridescence we see on the Magpie.

Ref: E64_20181207_1353_086_FB2 Rook landing.jpg

20 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: E64_20181203_1457_046_FB2 Grey squirrel and Pheasant male contest with leaves flying (crop).jpg

40 minutes after the Grey squirrel attack peace seems to be re-established - i.e. the Squirrel has gone.

Ref: E64_20181203_1538_053_FB2 Pheasant male feeding.jpg

19 Jan 2019

The 'resident' Buzzard paid a couple of afternoon visits to the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20181206_1308_073-1339_087_FB6 Buzzard makes 2 afternoon visits to meadow post 06+02+04 of 10 (montage).jpg

18 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: BU5_20181203_1558_172-1559_182_SC1 Pheasant male displays to female over 2 mins 3+4+1+2 of 4 (3+4+2 acc montage + 1 Approx).jpg

17 Jan 2019

A male Blackbird is busy pulling a worm out of the hedge bottom soil.

Ref: E63_20181201_1214_104_FB1 Blackbird male pulling worm out of ground.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20181204_0958_002 Robin on dead branch.jpg

16 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: DF3_20181202_0812_016+017 Venus and Moon in crescents 30m after sunrise + Venus detail (montage for focus & separation).jpg

15 Jan 2019

The Sparrowhawk pays another pair of visits, first at dusk ...

Ref: D01_20181203_1633_017-1630_013_FB6 Sparrowhawk 5 minute visit to meadow post 3+2+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

... and the Sparrowhawk returned at dawn.

Ref: D01_20181204_0705_025-0702_021_FB6 Sparrowhawk 5 minute visit to meadow post 3+2+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

14 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: E64_20181122_2229_055_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female (orig).jpg

In the depth of the woodland a gloomy and windy afternoon doesn't inhibit this male Pheasant from strutting his stuff.

Ref: E64_20181126_1446_029_FB2 Pheasant male displaying (adjusted crop).jpg

13 Jan 2019

A Great Tit giving the camera a rather coquettish look.

Ref: E63_20181127_1317_108_FB1 Great Tit.jpg

A Robin plumping out the plumage to keep warm.

Ref: E63_20181125_0718_145_FB1 Robin.jpg

A Dunnock nicely poised on the stone.

Ref: E63_20181126_0905_024_FB1 Dunnock.jpg

12 Jan 2019

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. :-(

Ref: E63_20181125_0220_141+20181124_1926_140_FB1 Rat (left) and Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) at same scale (montage).jpg

11 Jan 2019

Evening visits by the female Sparrowhawk before she arrived with the female Blackbird in her Talons (see previous day).

Ref: D01_20181123_1620_001-1626_006_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 16m hunt from Meadow Post 1+2+5+6 of 18 (montage).jpg

2 nights after arriving with the dead female blackbird, the female Sparrowhawk makes a couple of short visits to the post.

Ref: D01_20181125_1637_020+1623_018+1620_015_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 4 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 2 + 2+1 of 2 (montage).jpg

10 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: D01_20181123_1628_007-1635_017_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 16m on Meadow Post eats Blackbird fem 07+10+11+16+17 of 18 (montage).jpg

At slightly larger scale, and worked up to show the Blackbird more clearly, here is the female Sparrowhawk landing with her prize.

Ref: D01_20181123_1628_007_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 16m hunt from Meadow Post catching & eating Blackbird female 07 of 18 (crop).jpg

09 Jan 2019

One of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer visits the woodland site.

Ref: E64_20181119_1819_063_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female (crop 1).jpg

A Detail from the Reeve's Muntjac Deer portrait - we think she is lovely!

Ref: E64_20181119_1819_063_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female (crop 2).jpg

08 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: D01_20181122_1046_005_FB6 Buzzard 2 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20181123_0657_033+034+0700_037_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 6 min visit to meadow post missing landing 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

07 Jan 2019

This Tawny Owl landed on the perch outside the kitchen window for this 'full frontal' portrait.

Ref: E60_20181120_2134_017_FB3 Tawny Owl 4m visit to kitchen perch 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

Just 10 minutes later the same Tawny Owl lands on the meadow post and stops there for a quarter of an hour.

Ref: D01_20181120_2146_002-2156_015_FB6 Tawny Owl 16m visit to Meadow Post 2 of 4 (montage).jpg

06 Jan 2019

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'.

Ref: E64_20181118_0933_139_FB2 Pheasant male in morning sunshine.jpg

No, we haven't 'turned up the colour' for this male Pheasant.

Ref: E64_20181118_1308_154_FB2 Pheasant male in morning sunshine with green+blue+purple iridescent feathers on head.jpg

05 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: DF3_20181115_1248_002+1249_006 Brimstone Butterfly male late in season hiding in bush 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

This scattering of (rather small) Oak leaves creates the impression that the tree had tossed a Jigsaw puzzle on the ground.

Ref: DF3_20181118_1210_023 Oak leaves (small) scattered on concrete track like Jigsaw Puzzle (crop).jpg

04 Jan 2019

The Robins are all back to being as friendly as they dare - buttering up the humans in the hope of the hand-out.

Ref: DF3_20181119_0959_021 Robin in hedge.jpg

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.

Ref: D36_20181118_1538_083_FB4 Magpie against setting sun.jpg

A Blue Tit, perched on our electrical feed cable, preens his head with his claw.

Ref: DF3_20181120_0946_043 Blue Tit preening head with claw.jpg

03 Jan 2019

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.

Ref: D01_20181120_0334_007-0403_045_FB6 Barn Owl 34 minute visit to meadow post 01-10 of 12 (montage).jpg

These two consecutive pics taken 45 seconds apart show the Barn Owl's wonderful flexible neck.

Ref: D01_20181120_0353_032+0354_033_FB6 Barn Owl 34 minute visit to meadow post turns both ways 07+08 of 12 (montage).jpg

02 Jan 2019

For a couple of days the female Sparrowhawk becomes an evening as well as morning visitor.

Ref: D01_20181115_1643_008+_009+1646_012_FB6 Sparrowhawk female 9 minute visit to meadow post 1+2+4 of 5 (montage).jpg

Over the next 2 mornings the camera catches 4 separate landings on the post.

Ref: D01_20181116_0642_019-20181117_0640_033_FB6 Sparrowhawk female single frame visit to meadow post (montage).jpg

01 Jan 2019

This is a single moment as 5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) make the most of the food not taken by the birds.

Ref: E62_20181113_1715_071_FB5 5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) (single frame).jpg

"I love you!" - Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) style.

Ref: E63_20181114_1720_104_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) Frolicking.jpg

Sheer exuberance - nothing else 'animate' is visible in the entire original frame!

Ref: E64_20181114_1720_108_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping.jpg



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