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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Our first sighting this year of a green Veined White Butterfly, and we are lucky enough to catch a pair mating. It is not unusual to see the female butterfly feeding while the male does his 'thing'.
A Tawny Owl lands on the post, but this is NOT our normal 'local Tawny' but another individual with different facial features. Perhaps being startled by distant (25m away) flashgun the bird hasn't experienced before, this night the Owl did not stay.
The next night the same Tawny Owl spent about 3 minutes on the meadow post,
arriving at about 3.30 a.m. with what we are fairly sure is a male Blackbird
in the talons. We assume the prey was to be taken to a nesting female - most
probably our now temporarily vanished 'local Tawny Owl'. Prey is mostly eaten
at the site of capture except when it is needed at the nest in Spring & early
Perhaps he wanted a snack before delivering the rest!
How do we know it is the same Owl as the previous night?
This montage is of frames 1 and 3, while the less interesting frame 2 shows some of 'his' facial disc. Further, his plumage is distinctly lighter than that of our regular Tawny Owl.
'He' appeared again for a single frame the next night.
The following day saw no male Blackbird sightings at the hedge bottom site, and one day on this definitely differently plumaged male appears. Most likely the female will just soldier on by herself, and hopefully raise at least some of the clutch. But he may help with an eye to future nuptials - we have no idea, but he has appeared again here on subsequent days.
In the hedges the Crabapples are starting to open their delicate flowers.
The exuberant Blossom of a cultivated fruit tree.
A really old Pear tree opposite the house over the access track has burst into flower far in excess of anything we remember.
If you have seen wildlife film of the grotesque Anglerfish, you will appreciate the 90 degree open mouth of this cloud wanting to swallow the moon!
Many wild flowers 'shut for the night' and re-open next day.
These daisies were photographed at about 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on the same
Why do they shut at all?
Apparently to protect the delicate reproductive parts from rain and cold during the times their pollinators are not active.
This carpet of Forget-me-Not flowers are under the Oak at the side of the Meadow.
The local female Kestrel seems to have made this kill a few metres from the Kitchen window. It is probably a short-tailed Field vole, but whatever it is, here she is ripping off pieces to swallow.
If she spotted us on the other side of the window, and this pic suggests that
she did, she wasn't deterred from finishing off her meal there and
What a sweetie - if you are not a rodent. She is somewhat tolerant of us, but far from 'tame'.
One of our last few regular sightings for now of the local female Kestrel, landing on the grass for just a moment, presumably to pick up some morsel she has spotted, before flying on. We expect she is now incubating eggs somewhere. The male Kestrel hunts to our north and we can only rarely see him but he is most probably 'hunting for two' at the moment.
Next day, the same female Kestrel was again hunting insects in flight.
The dot below the Talons of the top bird is the insect, in a claw by the next frame and being
brought forward to the beak in the bottom image.
We photographed about 5 instances on this day, but could only find a convincing insect in this one.
The local female Kestrel lands on the tip of one of the young Poplar trees along the Farm Road, struggling to balance as the wood bends 90 degrees to take her weight.
The female kestrel quietly launches from our power pole. She had a busy day around our site.
Surprise of the week for us was watching the local female Kestrel flying around
jinking in flight as if trying to catch something. Here is the photo evidence of this
Kestrel successfully catching insects (presumably 'bee' sized).
We had expected that the catch would be made in the beak like swifts and swallow. But no - the insect is grabbed in one of the claws before being swung forward to the beak to eat.
Yes this bird really was flying backwards as she kept manoeuvring to grab the evading insect. This is about two thirds of a second of action.
A detail from next to bottom of the above montage.
About 1 second from the end of the first montage her prize is swung forward to eat it, all in half a second, too quick for the eye (our eyes at least) to catch.
Another detail of the insect held by the tips of the talons
A picture of our south boundary taken from the Farm Road entrance. Its very close to 100 metres across.
We avoid chemicals where we can, so 'weeds' have a field day in cracks between paving slabs. We think this yellow & blue mix is just beautiful.
Very occasional sightings of a Little Egrets is here supplemented by an arrival of this one on the tip of a tree ...
... and then launching downwards a minute later.
The female Roe Deer enters through the south hedge, and wanders into the site.
We didn't see her leave - there are many exits without a camera.
This male Roe Deer with impressive antlers stops by the edge of Round Pond for a drink.
Roe Deer (right) are substantially bigger than Reeve's Muntjac Deer (left) we mostly see, the former having proportionally much longer legs and taller ears.
Willow Catkins are a riot of Pollen.
Black Poplar trees make these attractive maroon and yellow Catkins weeks before the first leaves appear.
A tangle of Cherry Blossom against some grey clouds, making them look
"Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough" ... (A Shropshire Lad, A. E. Houseman)
This over-wintered Peacock Butterfly, in remarkably good condition, feeding of a cherry blossom flower.
A Bee feeding on one of thousands of Cherry Blossoms florets.
On a frosty morning this unusually dry and clean Badger takes a selfie.
This Grey Squirrel looks to us to be really anxious about something in what must be a cherry tree a few metres away. Probably a rival Squirrel.
"Why do I always end up with the stale raw carrot?"
The local female Kestrel (the one with a Grey feather in her tail) flies past and lands on a disused telephone pole for about 6 minutes. These first images are from 3 different places inside our patch.
Walking round the outside of our south hedge found her still perched on the pole, avidly scanning the ground for some tasty morsel. She took no notice of the photographer, but eventually decided to move off back into our patch. This is an 'impression' of her departure, spaced to maximise the appearance and show all of the frames.
Here, skipping frames that overlap, is the departure accurately montaged at 7 fps
The male Pheasant strides across this photo 'stage'
Our lovely male pheasant enjoys some hazy sunshine in amongst the Primroses and Daffodils.
After months seeing just one female Pheasant on our patch, the male Pheasant suddenly has 2 ladies to squire. Blonde and Brunette no less!
From the conservatory we saw this Sparrowhawk lands on the ground between the Conservatory and Study windows. Our scrambling for a good view from the study doesn't seem to bother the Sparrowhawk at all.
As she finally took off we see that her left claw is firmly gripping some small bird probably just captured from the nearby peanut feeder.
A Magpie launches from the blackthorn tree in blossom.
This Blue Tit's plumage almost glows.
Note the yellow staining of the white feathers at the base of the beak from feasting on Willow Catkins.
A skirmish at the meadow site here takes a more serious turn as what we think must be a Song Thrush has grabbed a male Chaffinch at the throat with the claws in some sort of territorial squabble.
The light seems just right at the moment for creatures in dappled sunlight. Here this female Reeves Muntjac Deer wanders quietly into our patch through an opening in the east hedge.
A few days later a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer walks up to Round Pond for an afternoon drink. The middle image shows her tongue 'licking her chops'.
Here Brock stops by the woodland camera site.
Come day-time, the sun sweeps around the Round pond, the shadow of the tree on which
this camera is mounted swings around with it.
Not quite the timed sequence it looks like, but you get the idea.
The female Sparrowhawk takes a most satisfying selfie outside the kitchen window.
Here is the whole of the bird landing on the kitchen window perch.
Not as spectacular as the crop, but perhaps more informative.
Mallard ducks appear a few times a day in the main pond for a feed and preen.
Away from the unnatural overcrowding and stress inducing public ponds, you get none of the mass-attacks by heaps of males on any female that appears.
We were surprised to see that what is probably the same pair have found the flooded ditch some 50m away on the other side of the house, and are having a good feed in it. She is crossing from one mini-pool to the other, soon to be followed by him.
The Mallard Ducks seem to prefer the Round Pond for their night-time roost. At the limit of the camera IR light's reach, here are the Ducks on the water (brightness enhanced for clarity) as the Fox passes by on the bank. The Fox can probably smell them but knows that ducks on the water are out of his reach.
The next night we again see the Mallard Duck pair safe from the passing fox.
The female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has presumably jumped over the ditch, and takes a delicate selfie in the dappled light.
You would think that a Fox and a Reeve's Muntjac Deer would be mortal enemies, but we have now 'seen' this juxtaposition 4 times now since 13 July 2016, always on this mound or at the nearby edge of Round Pond. This montage shows moments a second or two apart - the left and right frames are as the original.
The new log at the ditch generated an unusually high number of pics over this one night. It turns out to be a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) (or perhaps more than one) scampering about on the log. Here accurately montaged are 6 moments from the visits.
Rabbits can be both territorial and hierarchical. Here it looks like a little squabble gets out of hand, and the two combatants end up rolling at some speed down the quite steep mound still locked together. Probably about 2 seconds between these two frames.
This Wood Pigeon lands on very long Ash tree branch which drops half a metre under their weight. Once the branch has stopped bouncing the Pigeon proceeds to eat every bud conveniently within reach.
This Wood Pigeon picks up a twig for the nest.
"This will match the current decor nicely".
The 'local' female Kestrel tolerates our presence down to about 15m away. Here she is in a Conifer watching us intently as we passed.
The automatic camera on the 'Meadow Post' captures this image of the female Kestrel arriving with a worm in her left claws. These two images taken about 0.4 seconds apart.
After eating the worm the female Kestrel spends another 8 minutes intensively studying the ground in the hope that a second helping is on offer.
Togetherness - Rook Style.
Two pairs of Rook near the nest guarding their temporary domicile.
Togetherness - Rook Style.
This Rook pair are perched about 1 metre above their nest.
Togetherness - Mallard Duck style.
Mallard ducks are visiting both the Round Pond (no good pics) and here the main pond. After a good feed this pair have hauled out onto the island.
This Magpie has picked up a thorn covered twig (probably last years Blackthorn) but seems to have the right wing temporarily tangled in the thorns.
At the edge of the frame we see this Magpie has a cargo of mud completely smothering the beak.
In some sunshine, but strong wind, we find this female Kestrel sheltering in the Lee of this conifer at the South East corner of our patch.
The female Kestrel decides to fly past us down the East hedge and vanish into this Leylandii. Accurately montaged at 7 fps but skipping some frames as you can see from the numbering. The sunrise adds a warm glow.
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