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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A really beautiful if rather small 2cm (0.7 inch) wingspan Mint Moth feasting on
the flowering mint plants. The inner yellow 'dots' are actually mostly hidden
streaks on the lower wings.
Allowing patches of mint to flower in the last year or two has been unexpectedly rewarding.
This stunning insect is a Larval stage of the not-quite so stunning adult Bronze Shieldbug (Troilus luridus). The Larva starts eating vegetable matter, but later moves on to Moth larvae and Beetles.
One of 'our' Reeve's Muntjac Deer families at the SW corner entrance.
A Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn sniffing the 'trunk' of this infant self-set Sycamore tree. Possibly other Deer have scent-marked it.
A Rather sweet moment as one of the smaller Reeves Muntjac Deer Fawns exits our patch onto the access road, mother following it through the hole in the netting.
The local female Kestrel is obviously mid-moult, and here stops on an 11kV cable for a 'reef-out. This is 'Lady Grey Feather' named for the single grey tail feather, but it is this feather that has moulted early. Will the replacement feather be Grey or Brown?
She worked her way along the wire before perching on the crossbar, finally making her departure by the usual 'falling off' technique.
We don't see a lot of the male Kestrel, so are pleased to see him hovering over the field to our South. A Pigeon flying horizontally right to left provides some visual timing reference Read this top to bottom, where the bottom pair of birds are at 'actual height'.
We first saw (no photo) a male Emperor Dragonfly some weeks back in this area. At last getting a photo, we see he has led a busy life in the interim, wings now really tatty from endless brushing on foliage, but still flying well. These at 10 fps.
We think we have seen one of these Brown Hawker Dragonflies several times,
but not sure enough to report. So here is our first confirmed sighting this year.
The cropped 'Anal Appendage' is also missing on the original grabbed shot.
Fawn and Mum Reeve's Muntjac Deer share a quiet moment at the pond edge.
12 minutes later we see them pattering across the access track.
What we believe is the Fawn's Dad pauses just after entering the site through the east boundary.
Next night we see him forehead to ground, possibly scent marking, but more likely the 'velvet' on his antlers is getting irritating and he wants to rub it off.
One or more Brimstone Butterflies are visiting the Crocosmia flowers. The deep trumpet may make the nectar accessible only to these bigger Butterflies - we have never seen small butterflies on these flowers.
3 Days later around the same time of day another visit from a Brimstone Butterfly.
A Peacock Butterfly spreads their wings in the soft sunshine.
A Buzzard glides quietly by ....
The same bird then started serious circling in a Thermal, though obviously not a very strong one.
From 64 continuous frames of one complete circle we offer the montage of 'highlights'
Our paint package just can't handle image big enough to cover the whole event in one go. If any of you want a lengthy distraction and have a paint package to match, please let us know and we will 'zip' up the 64 pics and put them on the web site for you to collect.
We have a huge 'crop' of Gatekeeper Butterflies this year. Here you can see the coiled up Proboscis when at rest. When you consider what a tangled mess humans can make with a hose, this piece of 'design' is very effective - and it has to be for this insect to survive.
An immaculate female Gatekeeper Butterfly - the first female we have managed to photograph this year. The 'boys' will be pleased :-)
Normally whatever a Wagtail catches goes down the hatch so fast you don't see it without the aid of 'technology'. But this Pied Wagtail needed several tries and numerous 'bashes' on the concrete before the prize would fit the beak.
This juvenile Blue Tit seems to be trying to glean nourishment from this piece of really rusty old cable. Being young is the time to learn!
While lots of insects use Ragwort nectar as fuel, the Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar normally specialises in eating the poisonous Ragwort leaves that other insects can't eat. Apparently they store the poisons in their bodies to protect both the Caterpillar and the adult moth from predators. So not a Moth - YET.
Little and Large - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar style.
Here are a couple of views of the Cinnabar Moth which, with a bit of luck, the caterpillars will become.
What do you mean - you are old enough to feed yourself!
The variation in scale of nature's creatures is wonderful. Here the, to us, small chaffinch utterly dwarfs the tiny snail on the stone.
The Local female Kestrel perched in her favourite spots in the garden on one of the dead branches of an old apple tree. Face and Profile views a few seconds apart, 'artistically' montaged.
A 3 hours later we find her at another regular spot, perched on the end of the gutter
at the south-west corner of the house.
She may look more elegant to us on the branches, but from her point of view it's just somewhere to watch for unwary rodents below.
This is a Ringlet Butterfly sunning itself in the morning sunshine
A Red admiral Butterfly feasting on a Blackberry flower.
A Gatekeeper Butterfly enjoying the nectar from a Ragwort flower.
A Meadow Brown enjoying the same source of Nectar.
A Red Admiral butterfly this time choosing a Teasel for it's next feed.
A couple of Green-veined White Butterflies fluttering in the grass as they get 'worked up' prior to mating.
A Peacock Butterfly enjoying a Thistle flower
A Speckled Wood butterfly sunning itself around mid-day.
A male Thick-legged Flower Beetle struts his stiff on Ragwort. Even the leg swelling manage to have a fine coating of 'hairs'.
Mint beetles on err - Mint, working hard at making more Mint Beetles.
This Pied Wagtail is chasing about over the grass area, stopping suddenly every few seconds. Here is what the stops are for - grab a tiny caterpillar (3rd image from the left) and down the hatch with it. These taken at about 7 fps
A couple of Pied Wagtails were catching insects on the freshly mown grass outside our South boundary. Its all too quick to see without the aid of 'slow motion' - here the infinitely slow motion of an accurately montaged set of pics taken at 10 fps.
Reeve's Muntjac mother and Fawn cross the access track to go through the hole in the hedge into our patch. 2 moments 2 or 3 seconds apart.
This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer is checking over the woodland site as the sun sets behind.
In the small hours of the same night this Barn Owl makes an 8 minute visit to the meadow post, followed just an hour later by a short visit from the Tawny Owl. This are at identical scales, but the darker Tawny Owl has a different exposure.
Not having seen her on it for months, we had assumed that the local female Kestrel no longer much likes the meadow post. But here she has taken a Vole to the post top and spends a few minutes ripping it to bits to eat it, followed by a few minutes looking rather satisfied.
We do enjoy these 'Fox & Cubs' flowers self-set around the house and providing flashes of brilliant orange. The insects like them too.
In the partial shade of the Oak tree at the edge of the meadow, a glorious
bouquet of self-set wild flowers.
Ragwort (the yellow flowers) is poisonous to many farm animals, but our adjacent surroundings are now entirely arable so we permit some to grow.
These Convolvulus flowers in shade of the northern bridleway hedge are the normal pinkish colour. Round the end of the hedge where the sun shines on the ground all day exactly the same species are sun-bleached completely white.
We never expected to see a Reeve's Muntjac Deer mating, but here from two
different cameras linked by timestamps we see this couple's
Top Left: Male dutifully follows the female past The Duck-shaped pond into the woodland about 25 metres from Round Pond.
Top Right: A minute later the male is making overtures to the obliging female.
Bottom Left: Consumation.
Bottom Right: Probably 20 seconds later they quietly leave.
A Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn makes another visit to this site, this time giving us a decent view. What a sweetie.
For a couple of days the local female Kestrel spent hours a day hunting from the dead branches of an old apple tree 15m from the house
Here the female Kestrel has caught a Vole on the grass below, and flies to a conveniently shaped dead branch of the tree to eat it.
The female Kestrel spends a lot of the second day hunting from dead branches in our old apple tree. Her hunts were less successful on this day - we imagine that the patch of grass was 'voled out'
The local female Kestrel flies to a branch (and whole tree) that is swaying in the strong wind. Just like when hovering, she likes to keep her eyes still, and here we see her neck accommodates the sway.
Just on the other side of the hedge along the northern Bridleway perhaps 100
Wood Pigeons are in the Wheat crop, using the wind to hover by crop seed heads
and peck bits off. Perhaps 20 birds are doing this while the rest circle or
dive into the depth of the crop probably to pick up spilled seed.
Never seen this behaviour before, and likely never will again.
The first sighting here (in 30 years) of a White-legged Damselfly. This is an immature female flitting around the grass seed heads like a little delicate ghost.
This second brood female Holly Blue Butterfly was flitting about the hedge along the West side of the access track.
We don't ever remember seeing ourselves, or in a wildlife film, a Fox standing vertical like this. There is obviously something really interesting 'up there' at 1 a.m. The Fox was not leaping up - we have another frame between the middle and right pics in the montage showing a very similar vertical position at least a second or two earlier.
2 nights later what looks like the same Fox is still highly interested in the tree
Staring up this tree in the daylight there is no visible nest or dray, nor a splatter of droppings on the ground that might indicate a regularly roosting bird. One of life's little mysteries will have to stay that way.
An otherwise confusing pic of 2 Rooks is cropped to show you just this rather nice
face of this immaculate young rook.
Oh dear - we think Rooks look sweet - it's amazing how living with hundred around you changes your perception
We have been enjoying dozen of pics of Reeve's Muntjac Deer around the site, but always in the marginal quality of trail cams even in the day. So we were really pleased to see this tiny fawn wandering through the meadow site.
2 Days later at about the same time of day, a female Reeve's Muntjac deer came
in from the other direction. Her Fawn was ahead of her and triggered the camera,
but all we see of the Fawn is a shadow at the edge of the frame.
So we offer this montage to re-create what we MIGHT have got!
The scale of the 2 animals is the same, but Mum is rather closer to the camera accentuating the size difference a bit.
Here the local female Kestrel perched on top of the latch side of the blocked gate about 40m away. She was tolerant of the cameraman, though has obviously seen him. After a few pics and walking quietly away, turning round revealed that she had left anyway.
A Closer look at our favourite Kestrel!
Over the main pond this pair of Pond snails are entwined in a loving embrace. Snails are hermaphrodites, so both 'hope' to end up 'pregnant'.
A female Banded Demoiselle Damselfly with her 4 wings almost perfectly
aligned to make the pseudo-pterostigma (white specks) particularly clear.
Only the female of this species (and of the 'Beautiful Demoiselle') have this feature. The mark is called 'psuedo...' because almost all other species of Damselfly and Dragonfly have these marks on both sexes and darker than the wing colour.
A male Common Blue Damselfly starting to change from a drab slightly blue colour of the juvenile into the vivid blue of the mature adult.
Perched on a leaf, we see how the Comma Butterfly's corrugated leaf outline and colour looks so like a dead leaf.
A Small skipper Butterfly feasts on a clover flower.
A good view of the male Reeve's Muntjac Deer's antlers 'in velvet', clearly stretched tight over the top.
This looks like a female Reeve's Muntjac deer laying on the ground,
being approached by another female and being gently encouraged to
get up and walk away together. Female Deer are known to attend one another
during Birthing, and this may be the first stages.
Or something else entirely
Here you can see a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer making her way into our patch through a hole in the pig-net in our west hedge. This regular activity is rarely caught quite so clearly.
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