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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Apr 2020

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'.

Ref: DF3_20200412_1221_057 Green Veined White Butterflies mating (1st GVW of 2020) (crop).jpg

29 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: D01_20200411_0101_089_FB6 Tawny Owl (new individual) landing on meadow post.jpg

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 summer.
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.

Ref: D01_20200412_0322_165+0324_169_FB6 Tawny Owl lands on meadow post with Blackbird male in claws 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: E63_20200413_0646_204_FB1 Blackbird male replaces absent male assumed killed by Tawny Owl 28 hours prior.jpg

28 Apr 2020

In the hedges the Crabapples are starting to open their delicate flowers.

Ref: DF3_20200410_0814_016 Crabapple Blossom.jpg

The exuberant Blossom of a cultivated fruit tree.

Ref: DF3_20200412_1502_100 Apple Blossom.jpg

A really old Pear tree opposite the house over the access track has burst into flower far in excess of anything we remember.

Ref: DF3_20200412_0933_040 Pear Tree Blossom (tree at west of track).jpg

27 Apr 2020

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!

Ref: DF3_20200403_1626_107 Cloud suggest Anglerfish about to swallow the Moon (orig).jpg

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 day.
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.

Ref: D73_20200408_0730_240+DF3_20200408_1125_307 Daisies opening during morning (montage).jpg

This carpet of Forget-me-Not flowers are under the Oak at the side of the Meadow.

Ref: DF3_20200412_1224_070 Forget-me-not flower carpet under Oak tree (orig & final).jpg

26 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF3_20200402_1646_006+1647_018+023 Kestrel female eating Rodent on grass near kitchen window 02+06+08 of 13 (montage).jpg

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 then.
What a sweetie - if you are not a rodent. She is somewhat tolerant of us, but far from 'tame'.

Ref: D5C_20200402_1646_010 Kestrel female eating Rodent on grass near kitchen window 04 of 13 (crop 2).jpg

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.

Ref: D73_20200410_1612_008-017 Kestrel female landing momentarily on grass then flying on 1+3+5-7+9+10 (accurate montage).jpg

25 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: D73_20200408_1618_127+129+131 Kestrel female hunting insects in flight 1+3+5 of 5 (montage impression).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20200407_1446_067-079+1448_106 Kestrel female lands young Lombardy Poplar 03+05+07+10+15+26 of 26 (part acc montage).jpg

The female kestrel quietly launches from our power pole. She had a busy day around our site.

Ref: D73_20200408_1604_031+032+34 Kestrel female flying from top of wooden power pole 2+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

24 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF3_20200407_1450_172-176 Kestrel female catches insect in talons in flight & eats it 01-05 of 10 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

A detail from next to bottom of the above montage.

Ref: DF3_20200407_1450_175 Kestrel female catches insect in talons while in flight & eats it 04 of 10 (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20200407_1450_181-184 Kestrel female catching insect in talons in flight & eats it 07-10 of 10 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Another detail of the insect held by the tips of the talons

Ref: DF3_20200407_1450_182 Kestrel female catches insect in talons while in flight & eats it 08 of 10 (crop).jpg

23 Apr 2020

A picture of our south boundary taken from the Farm Road entrance. Its very close to 100 metres across.

Ref: D73_20200406_1606_116 Pineham House field viewed from Farm Road entrance (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: D73_20200407_1229_124 Dandelions and Grape Hyacinth growing at corner of paving slab outside study.jpg

22 Apr 2020

Very occasional sightings of a Little Egrets is here supplemented by an arrival of this one on the tip of a tree ...

Ref: D73_20200406_1601_039-053 Little Egret flies to thin branch at treetop 01+05+09+10+12+23 of 25 (part acc montage @10fps).jpg

... and then launching downwards a minute later.

Ref: D73_20200406_1602_057-067 Little Egret flying from top of tree 01+02+05+-8+11 of 15 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

21 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: BU7_20200404_0411_095+BU6_20200404_0413_244-249_SC2 Roe Deer female enters south hedge & leaves 10+12+13+17 of 18 (montage).jpg

This male Roe Deer with impressive antlers stops by the edge of Round Pond for a drink.

Ref: BU5_20200407_0535_121-123_SC1 Roe Dear male drinking at Round Pond 1-3 of 3 (impression montage).jpg

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.

Ref: BU7_20200403_2322_079+20200404_0411_093 Comparison of Muntjac Reeves Deer female & Roe Deer female (right) (montage).jpg

20 Apr 2020

Willow Catkins are a riot of Pollen.

Ref: DF3_20200403_1740_119 Willow Catkins.jpg

Black Poplar trees make these attractive maroon and yellow Catkins weeks before the first leaves appear.

Ref: D73_20200408_0727_231 Black Poplar tree Catkins.jpg

19 Apr 2020

A tangle of Cherry Blossom against some grey clouds, making them look almost luminous.
    "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry now
     Is hung with bloom along the bough"
... (A Shropshire Lad, A. E. Houseman)

Ref: D73_20200402_1556_014 Cherry Blossom against grey cloud (crop).jpg

This over-wintered Peacock Butterfly, in remarkably good condition, feeding of a cherry blossom flower.

Ref: DF3_20200407_1445_021 Peacock Butterfly in Cherry Blossom.jpg

A Bee feeding on one of thousands of Cherry Blossoms florets.

Ref: DF3_20200404_1506_180 Cherry Blossom with Bee.jpg

18 Apr 2020

On a frosty morning this unusually dry and clean Badger takes a selfie.

Ref: E62_20200401_0358_191_FB5 Badger on frosty grass.jpg

17 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: D36_20200326_0904_003_FB4 Grey Squirrel looking upwards.jpg

"Why do I always end up with the stale raw carrot?"

Ref: E62_20200401_1446_207_FB5 Grey Squirrel with half a carrot in mouth.jpg

16 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF3_20200331_1754_164+1756_173+1801_183 Kestrel female flying to disused telephone pole and staying there before flying off 01+02+04 of 12 (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20200331_1801_188+190-194 Kestrel female flying to disused telephone pole and staying there before flying off 05-10 of 12 (impression montage).jpg

Here, skipping frames that overlap, is the departure accurately montaged at 7 fps

Ref: DF3_20200331_1801_190+192-194 Kestrel female flying to disused telephone pole and staying there before flying off 06+08-10 of 12 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

15 Apr 2020

The male Pheasant strides across this photo 'stage'

Ref: E64_20200331_1506_114_FB2 Pheasant male striding across site.jpg

Our lovely male pheasant enjoys some hazy sunshine in amongst the Primroses and Daffodils.

Ref: D5C_20200401_1351_001 Pheasant male on north bank of main pond.jpg

After months seeing just one female Pheasant on our patch, the male Pheasant suddenly has 2 ladies to squire. Blonde and Brunette no less!

Ref: BU6_20200331_0759_342_SC2 Pheasant male with 2 females.jpg

14 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF3_20200331_0954_032 Sparrowhawk female with bird snatched from peanut feeder in Talons 1 of 5 (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20200331_0954_034+038 Sparrowhawk female with bird snatched from peanut feeder in Talons 2+4 of 5 (montage).jpg

13 Apr 2020

A Magpie launches from the blackthorn tree in blossom.

Ref: DF3_20200330_1234_020+022-024 Magpie taking off from flowering Blackthorn tree 1+3-5 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

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.

Ref: E63_20200330_1245_101_FB1 Blue Tit with Catkin pollen yellow-stained feathers around beak.jpg

12 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: E62_20200327_1441_079_FB5 Song Thrush (prob) with claws grasping Chaffinch male at throat (crop).jpg

11 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: BU4_20200327_1425_106+108 Muntjac Reeves Deer female entering site in dappled light 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

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'.

Ref: BU5_20200331_1413_220+222+1415_223_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female stops at Round Pond for a drink 1+3+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

10 Apr 2020

Here Brock stops by the woodland camera site.

Ref: E64_20200327_0214_039_FB2 Badger.jpg

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.

Ref: BU5_20200329_1604_054+1318_046+20200331_1413_221+20200329_1630_068_SC1 Round Pond (montage).jpg

09 Apr 2020

The female Sparrowhawk takes a most satisfying selfie outside the kitchen window.

Ref: E60_20200326_1715_020_FB3 Sparrowhawk female about to land on kitchen perch (crop 2).jpg

Here is the whole of the bird landing on the kitchen window perch.
Not as spectacular as the crop, but perhaps more informative.

Ref: E60_20200326_1715_020_FB3 Sparrowhawk female about to land on kitchen perch (crop 1).jpg

08 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: D5C_20200317_0852_103 Mallard pair in main pond Iris bed.jpg

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.

Ref: BU7_20200314_1139_050 Mallard Duck male and female feeding in flooded ditch.jpg

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.

Ref: BU5_20200317_0340_037_SC1 Mallard Duck pair on water as Fox passes by at night (crop).jpg

The next night we again see the Mallard Duck pair safe from the passing fox.

Ref: BU5_20200318_0019_053_SC1 Mallard Duck pair on water as Fox passes by at night (crop).jpg

07 Apr 2020

The female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has presumably jumped over the ditch, and takes a delicate selfie in the dappled light.

Ref: BU7_20200314_0815_041 Muntjac Reeves Deer female leaving ditch in dappled sunlight.jpg

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.

Ref: BU2_20200314_0058_155+156_SC7 Fox and female Muntjac Reeves Deer sharing site 1+2 of 2 (montage over about 2 seconds).jpg

06 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: BU7_20200317_0153_105-0315_124 Rodents using log over flooded ditch 1+2+4+6+8+9 of 9 (accurate montage in IR).jpg

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.

Ref: BU2_20200315_0634_235+236_SC7 2 Rabbits tumbling down slope of mound 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage over about 2 seconds).jpg

05 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF5_20200314_0930_058 Wood Pigeon eating Ash tree buds 6 of 6 (crop).jpg

This Wood Pigeon picks up a twig for the nest.
"This will match the current decor nicely".

Ref: E62_20200318_1234_007_FB5 Wood Pigeon collecting twig.jpg

04 Apr 2020

The 'local' female Kestrel tolerates our presence down to about 15m away. Here she is in a Conifer watching us intently as we passed.

Ref: DF3_20200309_1043_022 Kestrel female on conifer branch.jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20200313_1306_111+112_FB6 Kestrel female with worm at Meadow Post after bonfire 01+02 of 12 (montage over 400mS).jpg

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.

Ref: D01_20200313_1309_126-1313_154_FB6 Kestrel female makes 9 min visit to Meadow Post 04+06+07+11 of 12 (montage).jpg

03 Apr 2020

Togetherness - Rook Style.
Two pairs of Rook near the nest guarding their temporary domicile.

Ref: DF3_20200306_1051_256 2 Rooks near nest.jpg

Togetherness - Rook Style.
This Rook pair are perched about 1 metre above their nest.

Ref: D73_20200309_0722_005 Rook pair perched together 1 metre above nest.jpg

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.

Ref: D5C_20200311_0908_019 Mallard Duck pair visiting Main pond island.jpg

02 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: D01_20200308_1628_023+024_FB6 Magpie with long thorn covered twig 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

At the edge of the frame we see this Magpie has a cargo of mud completely smothering the beak.

Ref: E62_20200308_1447_165_FB5 Magpie with beak smothered in mud (edge of frame).jpg

01 Apr 2020

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.

Ref: DF3_20200308_0704_021 Kestrel female sheltering in conifer (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20200308_0705_023-032 Kestrel female flying into leylandii 01+03+05+07+09+10 of 10 (accurate montage).jpg



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