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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

14 Sep 2019

Out first sighting for several years of a Black-tailed Skimmer spotted on what is nominally a bird perch stick outside the living room and photographed through the window. We unusually see blue pruinescence on the underside of the insect.

Ref: DF5_20190725_1200_002 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly (crop).jpg

A trip round the outside of the house sneaked a pic from the other side shows the conventional appearance from the top with no trace of blue pruinescence.
There is uncertainty about the status of this insect - a juvenile male or a female.

Ref: DF5_20190725_1321_022 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly (crop).jpg

Just to be sure that these pics are different sides of the same Black-tailed Skimmer, here is a side view taken while approaching for the first attempt to photograph the 'top' that clearly shows the blue underside and Yellow + Back top. It flew away on this occasion, but returned about an hour later.

Ref: DF5_20190725_1203_016 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly (crop).jpg

13 Sep 2019

We startled this White Plume Moth hiding in the path and it flew off to find another safe place. It perched upside down partly in shade under these 'weeds'.
How different the world must be to these tiny creatures. In the Insect Flight Tunnel we often see insects flying inverted, but tend not to show them as aberrations caused by the artificial setup, but maybe it is quite normal.

Ref: D72_20190723_1619_027 White plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla) perched inverted on foliage.jpg

At the other end of the flying-creature scale, this Red Kite glides overhead in the baking afternoon sun. The images are close-spaced at about 1 per second

Ref: D73_20190724_1528_095-120 Red Kite gliding overhead 1-5 of 5 (close spaced montage about 1 per second).jpg

12 Sep 2019

An early morning Small White Butterfly makes a visit to an early-opening Convolvulus flower surrounded by several still closed after the night.

Ref: DF3_20190720_0830_001 Small White Butterfly on Convolvulus flower.jpg

Many of the Convolvulus flowers seem to have been bleached by the sunshine with little trace of pink remaining.

Ref: DF3_20190723_0858_008 Convolvulus flowers opening with Buttercup & fly.jpg

11 Sep 2019

This immature male Common Blue Damselfly has chosen to perch on the shaded side of a blackberry cluster. A heat-wave has produced an air temperature of about 36c and the insect does not need to warm itself in the blazing sun.

Ref: D72_20190723_1608_009 Common Blue Damselfly male immature perched on Blackberry fruit staying in shade.jpg

This immature male Common Blue Damselfly has chosen to perch on the shaded side of a blackberry stem. A heat-wave has produced an air temperature of about 36c and the insect does not need to warm itself in the blazing sun.

Ref: D72_20190723_1609_015 Common Blue Damselfly male immature perched on Blackberry stem staying in shade.jpg

This mature female Common Blue Damselfly has chosen to perch on the shaded side of a plant stem. A heat-wave has produced an air temperature of about 36c and the insect does not need to warm itself in the blazing sun.

Ref: D72_20190723_1624_031 Common Blue Damselfly female (blue form) aligned for shade from stem.jpg

10 Sep 2019

Our first Darter Dragonfly of the year - an immature male Common Darter.

Ref: DF3_20190722_1607_022 Common Darter Dragonfly male immature (crop).jpg

Our first Migrant Hawker this year seen in flight quite soon perched on this stem where we could get a photo. The wings have not yet finished drying and clearing so we assume that this individual has emerged from one of our ponds that morning.

Ref: DF3_20190723_0920_062 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male with wings incompletely dried.jpg

A male Ruddy Darter is perched on an Iris leaf.
First sighting of this insects 2019.

Ref: D73_20190725_1504_020 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly perched on Iris leaf (1st of 2019).jpg

09 Sep 2019

Swifts fly fast - this montage is accurately spaced (based on the tree) at about 0.1 second intervals.

Ref: D72_20190722_1223_021-024 Swift in flight @10fps 3-6 of 6 (accurate montage).jpg

Because they fly so fast, accurate montages of Swifts in flight show little detail, so here the outer birds are brought closer to centre bird, but the centre bird and the insect in front of it what the camera captured.
You have to be really lucky to catch the insect this close to the open beak. In the many images we have of Swift catching insect, the beak is never open in the previous or following frames only 0.1 seconds before or after. Wow - a real 'snapper'.

Ref: D72_20190721_1039_392-394 Swift catching insect in flight @10fps 1-3 of 3 (close spaced montage with insect & bird).jpg

Another single frame with a movement blurred insect trying to avoid the Swift's flying trapdoor.

Ref: D72_20190722_1223_005 Swift catching insect in flight 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

More Swifts (again shown with the 10 body length between images reduced to very little) showing the variety of wing positions in normal flight. These images are about 0.2 seconds apart

Ref: DF3_20190722_1747_054-059 Swift in flight @ about 5 fps 1-6 of 6 (close spaced montage).jpg

08 Sep 2019

We have seen Evening Primrose flowers around the house for several years, but just hadn't noticed that the flowers are in their glory in the early morning.

Ref: DF3_20190724_0714_004 Evening Primrose at front of house (wilts before sun reaches it) (orig).jpg

Evening Primrose flowers, beautiful in the morning, soon wilt in the heat of the day just 5 hours later.

Ref: D72_20190724_1245_001 Evening Primrose flowers wilted by mid-day.jpg

On just a metre of hedge, Woody Nightshade shows us all the stages from flower to ripe fruit.
The fruit is poisonous, but is so bitter that accidental poisoning is not a problem.

Ref: DF3_20190721_0721_022+0720_019+0721_025 Woody Nightshade flowers + green Berries + ripe Berries 2+1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

07 Sep 2019

This male Roe Deer spent an hour and a half wandering over our site. Here he is at the bottom of the hedge at the South Boundary.

Ref: E63_20190719_0738_142_FB1 Roe Deer male 95m visit over site 1 of 6 (crop 1).jpg

Now the male Roe Deer is 80 metres north quietly walking past the mound.

Ref: BU2_20190719_0912_256-258_SC7 Roe Deer male 95m visit over site 3-5 of 6 (montage).jpg

The last sighting of the male Roe Deer is in the middle of the plot.

Ref: E64_20190719_0913_076_FB2 Roe Deer male 95m visit over site 6 of 6 (crop 2).jpg

06 Sep 2019

Swifts really fly fast - this and the next sequence are photographed at about 10 fps (Frames per second). That's about 100 body lengths per second!
The detail of the bird is lost at any size of image that it is sensible to email or put on the WWW, which is why we mostly provide 'Close spaced Montages' to get a better view of the creature.

Ref: D72_20190718_1150_067-072 Swift in flight at 10fps against trees 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage).jpg

The images of this Swift are close spaced, but the spacing between insect and the middle bird is accurate. The beak is open for less than a tenth of a second.

Ref: D72_20190717_1727_075-077+648z Swift approaching and eating insect @10 fps 1-3 of 4 (close spaced interpretation montage).jpg

A close spaced montage at about 10 fps.

Ref: D72_20190717_1731_355-358 Swift in flight @10fps 1-4 of 5 (close spaced montage).jpg

05 Sep 2019

A morning Green-veined White Butterfly backlit by the morning sun.

Ref: DF3_20190716_0833_048 Green Veined White Butterfly sunlit from behind.jpg

The camouflaged underside of the Tortoiseshell butterfly blends well with the foliage which the orange top side does not. Safer to feed like this then.

Ref: DF3_20190716_1330_010 Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeding from Blackberry flower.jpg

Our first ID of a Red Twin-spot Carpet Moth. The two black marks near the tip of the wings give them their name

Ref: DF3_20190717_1242_043 Red Twin-spot Carpet Moth (Xanthorhoe spadicearia).jpg

04 Sep 2019

A scrum of Red Soldier Beetles all trying to find someone to mate with. We particularly like the one on the right coming across from a leaf to join in the fray. Also known as the Hogweed Bonking Beetle, its not hard to see why!

Ref: DF3_20190715_1545_011 5 Red Soldier Beetles on small Thistle flower head.jpg

More Red Soldier Beetles doing what they do best - making MORE soldier Beetles.

Ref: DF3_20190726_1556_062 14 Red Soldier Beetles.jpg

A pleasingly symmetrical arrangement of Marmalade Hover-flies on a single Thistle flower.

Ref: DF3_20190715_1550_029 5 Marmalade Hover-flies symmetrically arranged on thistle flower (crop).jpg

In this closer view of one of the Marmalade Hover-flies you can see detail of the flower's centre and a scattering of pollen on the back of the insect to hopefully fertilise another plant's flower.

Ref: DF3_20190715_1550_029 5 Marmalade Hover-flies symmetrically arranged on thistle flower (crop 2).jpg

03 Sep 2019

A Surprise moment walking up the path was seeing this Stoat. We sometimes see Weasels around the house, but rarely see a Stoat. It wasn't pleased to see us, and went straight off the path into the long grass.

Ref: DF3_20190714_1212_006 Stoat on Meadow path (crop).jpg

A Fox spends a few minutes hunting at this site where we put down a few scraps of food each day.

Ref: BU6_20190714_2015_870+2018_882+2019_886_SC2 Fox hunting in Orchard 1+2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

02 Sep 2019

Manipulating hard items is difficult for birds with just the beak for a tool. Some items can be held in the claws to be pecked at, but a favourite scheme is to wedge items into a crack of a post or bark, and then hammer away. Here this juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker already knows the technique - grab a peanut, wedge in the post, hammer away and eat the bits that come off until it is small enough to eat the remainder.

Ref: E65_20190714_0643_004-xxx Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile wedges peanut in crevice to eat it 1+5+6 of (montage).jpg

A few minutes visit by this Tawny owl turned into a little celebration.

Ref: D01_20190714_0131_456+0133_462 FB6 Tawny Owl 5 minute visit 3+1+2 of 4 (montage).jpg

01 Sep 2019

Can a Magpie really catch a live Mouse, or can it only pick them up as carrion? We don't know, but this Magpie looks rather smug with this ghastly beakful of what looks like minced mouse.

Ref: E62_20190713_0938_108_FB5 Magpie with prey (fieldmouse (wood mouse) (q)) in beak (crop).jpg

Mum or Dad Magpie seems to be jumping down from the stone as one of their eternally hungry Juveniles demands yet MORE.

Ref: E63_20190713_1800_209_FB1 Magpie juvenile begging from adult jumping from stone.jpg

This is on the tree-stump in the daytime 'gloom' inside the woodland.

Ref: D36_20190714_1654_058_FB4 Magpie juvenile on tree stump begging (crop 1).jpg

The flash shines down into the young Magpies open beak, and the translucent keratin glows red at the base of the beak.

Ref: D36_20190714_1654_058_FB4 Magpie juvenile on tree stump begging (crop 2 for beak translucence detail).jpg



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