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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Sep 2019

This male Chaffinch was poised towards a couple of other Chaffinches on the ground. The Blue coating on this one's beak, which appears for the breeding season, has almost gone.

Ref: E63_20190809_1755_181_FB1 Chaffinch male.jpg

A Chaffinch flies away from the site with some unidentified seed (sunflower?) in their beak.

Ref: E63_20190809_1300_117_FB1 Chaffinch flying off with seed in beak.jpg

A nasty little scrap between 2 male Chaffinches, one apparently trapped underneath another. A juvenile attacking an adult male?

Ref: E63_20190809_1303_119_FB1 Chaffinches fighting on ground.jpg

29 Sep 2019

This Common Blue Damselfly is sucking the juices from some sort of Midge that she has just caught. In the insert you can see the legs of the prey below the damselfly's eyes.

Ref: DF3_20190808_1055_009 Common Blue Damselfly female perched to eat prey insect (crop + detail insert).jpg

A male Common Darter Dragonfly quietly glowing in the backlighting sun.

Ref: DF3_20190808_1054_008 Common Darter Dragonfly male.jpg

28 Sep 2019

What we think must have been a Tawny Owl left this impression on the living room window. We fortunately didn't find a dead Owl outside, and it looks like the bird was aerobraking at impact, so probably 'just' had a headache for a while.

Ref: D73_20190806_1335_001 Tawny Owl (q) living room window impact mark (wing width 62cm) (inside then outside) 1 of 5 (crop 1).jpg

The Owl impact feather detail is incredible. This is a detail from the full image.

Ref: D73_20190806_1335_001 Tawny Owl (q) living room window impact mark (wing width 62cm) (inside then outside) 1 of 5 (crop 2).jpg

Next day a Tawny Owl stops off for a few minutes on the Meadow Post. We are only aware of one Tawny Owl individual visiting the site at the moment, so hope that this uninjured bird is the same one that hit the window.

Ref: D01_20190807_0245_288_FB6 Tawny Owl 8 minute visit to meadow post 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

27 Sep 2019

After two spells on the meadow post facing this site (so back to camera!) the meadow camera catches this apparently successful Tawny Owl hunt.
Most Owl captures that we see at this site are, like this one, messy affairs where the capture requires one talon to be extended sideways to capture the by now fleeing prey. The Owl never seem to be looking at the prey as they catch it, but obviously know where it will be as they swoop in.

Ref: E62_20190804_2352_185_FB5 Tawny Owl pouncing on rodent (crop).jpg

Here is an enhanced detail of the talons on our right complete with the grey-ish body of what is likely to be a rodent. Not very clear, but there is something in that Claw.

Ref: E62_20190804_2352_185_FB5 Tawny Owl pouncing on rodent (detail crop).jpg

Half an hour later the Tawny Owl appears again on the meadow post for a few minutes.

Ref: D01_20190805_0029_575-0037_591_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 overnight visits 05-07+09 of 10 (montage).jpg

The one that got away!
And another half-hour later this little Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) ventures out.

Ref: E62_20190805_0059_186_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) after Tawny Owl departed.jpg

26 Sep 2019

A cluster of Blackberry flowers that have a particularly strong pink tint. This one at one end of the path shows this colour each year.

Ref: DF3_20190804_1232_048 Blackberry flowers with very pink petals (montage for focus).jpg

Not many Ladybirds of any sort at the moment, so we're pleased to see this native 7-spot walking around on the Blackberry leaves, undoubtedly in search of their favourite food - Aphids.

Ref: DF3_20190808_1049_002 7-spot Ladybird on Blackberry leaf.jpg

A Small White Butterfly perched on a Stinging Nettle leaf.

Ref: D73_20190807_1236_032 Small White Butterfly on stinging nettle leaf.jpg

25 Sep 2019

This immaculate Fox is creeping forward over the bait for something more tasty. The camera flash will have destroyed his stealthy approach :-(

Ref: E62_20190804_0334_146_FB5 Fox (crop 2).jpg

Badger(s) visited all 3 high resolution camera sites over a couple of days, but this is the only 'good' pic. Even this one is partly out of the left edge of the original camera frame.

Ref: E64_20190808_0410_200_FB2 Badger (crop 2).jpg

24 Sep 2019

A real surprise was seeing this Reeve's Muntjac Deer (lower left) actually walk up to a couple of metres from a Fox, who studiously ignores it. Although the end of the day, at 8 p.m. there is enough light to see each other, so it's not an 'accident'.

Ref: BU5_20190802_2001_461+2002_463_SC1 Fox walks to Round Pond where Muntjac Reeves Deer arrives 2+3 of 5 (montage).jpg

2 days later, and truly in the dark, we get exactly the same behaviour, this time at the mound. We have never previously seen these two species together at any site simultaneously, and now in 2 days we see it twice.
Most probably a Fox can not safely tackle a fully grown Muntjac Deer.

Ref: BU2_20190804_2126_574+576_SC7 Fox and Muntjac Reeves Deer confrontation 1+3 of 6 (montage).jpg

23 Sep 2019

Many years we don't see Painted Lady Butterflies at all, but this year has been 'bumper'. This one on Teasel (where we are mostly seeing them) looks so delicate when perched above the spikes.

Ref: DF3_20190802_1549_141 Painted Lady Butterfly feeding on Teasel flowers 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

More male Brimstone Butterflies have appeared, this time in the meadow where they go straight to the flowering Teasels.

Ref: DF3_20190805_1310_027 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Teasel.jpg

The flowering Mint has run riot this year after the warm spell gave it an early start, and is attracting masses of insects. Here a Greenbottle and a Long Hover-fly share adjacent flower spikes.

Ref: DF3_20190803_0914_004 Greenbottle (Lucilia caesar) + Long Hover-fly (Sphaerophoria scripta) on Mint flowers.jpg

A Magpie Moth doing an only marginally successful job of hiding in the foliage.

Ref: DF3_20190808_1505_037 Magpie Moth.jpg

22 Sep 2019

A couple of male Brimstone Butterflies have provided opportunities for capturing short flights between flowers. The sequence for this fairly accurate montage is
         Bottom, half way up 45 degrees (edge on), top right, sweep left, top left.

Ref: DF3_20190802_1542_034-042 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flying to another flower 1+3+4+6-9 of 9 (approx montage @5-7fps).jpg

At the camera resolution of the above we enjoyed the antics of the Butterflies proboscis (feeding tube). Here are the details of its rolling and unrolling from the frames where we could see it.

Ref: DF3_20190802_1542_034-041 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flying to another flower 1+3-5+8 of 9 (proboscis detail montage).jpg

Another Brimstone on Purple Loosestrife flowers, flying up from a flower before fluttering off to the left.

Ref: DF3_20190802_1543_111-117 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flies away 2-8 of 8 (approx montage).jpg

Detail of the top right image of the Brimstone Butterfly

Ref: DF3_20190802_1543_115 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flies away 6 of 8 (detail crop).jpg

21 Sep 2019

A Wood Pigeon lands on the meadow post.
The light falls differently on the left and right primary feathers making them appear to be different 'shades of Grey' (perhaps even 50).

Ref: D01_20190801_1726_087_FB6 Wood Pigeon landing on meadow post back to camera.jpg

A Wood Pigeon heads towards the camera in the house.

Ref: D01_20190802_1849_228_FB6 Wood Pigeon in flight.jpg

20 Sep 2019

Over the main pond 2 obviously 'brand new' Brimstone Butterflies were intensively feeding on the recently emerged Purple Loosestrife. The camera caught this one moving away from one flower to land on another further up. 3 frames accurately position and about 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20190801_1555_040-042 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flower flying to another 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

One of the Brimstone Butterflies landed on a much closer Purple Loosestrife flower - you can see the proboscis is deep in the flower.
The backlight sunshine really makes these colours.

Ref: DF3_20190801_1556_051 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife flower (crop).jpg

This moment caught the Brimstone Butterfly's proboscis fully exposed and glinting in the sun in all the colours of the rainbow, a sure sign of iridescence in this bit of anatomy where we have never observed it before. The light and viewing angle to make this visible is very critical - frames only 140mS before and after show only a hint of this effect.

Ref: DF3_20190801_1557_059 Brimstone Butterfly male removing iridescent proboscis from Purple Loosestrife flower (crop).jpg

19 Sep 2019

A female Common Darter Dragonfly warming herself in the sun while waiting for a meal to fly by.

Ref: DF3_20190801_1234_009 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched by pond (crop).jpg

A male Ruddy Darter Dragonfly perched on Hop Sedge.
The colour really is this red - paintings in ID books just don't do him justice!

Ref: DF3_20190801_1250_017 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male on Hop Sedge.jpg

A few days later a male Ruddy Darter Dragonfly again shows his rich red colouration.

Ref: DF3_20190805_1301_013 Ruddy Darter Dragonfly male.jpg

18 Sep 2019

We didn't realise that Cinnabar Caterpillars could eat ANYTHING but Oxford Ragwort - ID books mention no other food plant - so were surprised to find a few of these striking insects on patches of Groundsel. The mostly decimated plants, with mostly only one caterpillar per plant, shows that Groundsel is a useable but barely adequate plant food for this insect.
This information/advocacy from web site from which we quote:-

The Cinnabar Moth can use many members of the genus Senecio as foodplants but for long term success larger plants that persist for a long time are necessary. Some uninformed people who campaign against ragwort say that groundsel is sufficient as a foodplant. This is not true. While the caterpillars can and do use groundsel the plants are small and unlikely to support large batches of eggs also groundsel is a more ephemeral plant that does not normally persist on sites.

Ref: D73_20190801_0740_003 Cinnabar Caterpillar one of a few each on single Groundsel plant (orig).jpg

Ref: D73_20190801_0741_009 Cinnabar Caterpillar on Groundsel.jpg

17 Sep 2019

This Gatekeeper Butterfly has it's Proboscis only loosely rolled. Look under the Antennae - it looks like a few specks of pollen are stuck to it.

Ref: DF3_20190729_1041_006 Gatekeeper Butterfly with Proboscis partly uncoiled.jpg

A Teasel Flower-head attracts this Peacock Butterfly.

Ref: DF3_20190729_1215_033 Peacock Butterfly feeding on Teasel flower.jpg

This Bumble Bee makes a couple of 'circuits' of this ring of flowers around this teasel.

Ref: DF3_20190801_1544_034 Bumble Bee feeding on ring of Teasel flowers.jpg

16 Sep 2019

This little patch of Convolvulus looks quite striking at the flowers open making a 5 pointed star.

Ref: DF3_20190729_0706_123 Convolvulus flower wet with dew opening as 5 point star (crop 1).jpg

The opening Convolvulus flower is drenched in dew.
No, we DIDN'T squirt it with a sprayer!

Ref: DF3_20190729_0706_123 Convolvulus flower wet with dew opening as 5 point star (crop 2).jpg

15 Sep 2019

A sweet moment while two Reeve's Muntjac Deer gently nibble each other's necks for a minute or two.
They are probably just mutual grooming, but it looks affectionate.

Ref: BU5_20190729_0217_919_SC1 2 Reeves Muntjac Deer rubbing heads 2 of 5 (crop).jpg

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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