Return to moorhen home page


Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200726_1243_117 Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) wingspan 20mm on Mint flower.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200729_1737_155 Bronze Shieldbug (Troilus luridus) Larva (crop).jpg

30 Aug 2020

One of 'our' Reeve's Muntjac Deer families at the SW corner entrance.


Ref: BU7_20200723_2215_015 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn + female + male.jpg

A Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn sniffing the 'trunk' of this infant self-set Sycamore tree. Possibly other Deer have scent-marked it.


Ref: BU2_20200728_0832_176_SC7 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn sniffing infant sycamore growing on mound.jpg

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.


Ref: BU3_20200729_1951_295-297_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn exits site followed by mother1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

29 Aug 2020

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?


Ref: D73_20200722_0946_231 Kestrel female moving along 11KV cables before flying off 03 of 13 (crop).jpg

She worked her way along the wire before perching on the crossbar, finally making her departure by the usual 'falling off' technique.


Ref: D73_20200722_0949_241-246 Kestrel female moving along 11KV cables before flying off 5+6+8-10 of 13 (accurate montage).jpg

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'.


Ref: D73_20200720_1258_024-027 Kestrel male hovering @10 fps with Pigeon 2-5 of 5 (montage downwards true heights at bottom).jpg

28 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20200719_1224_106-109 Emperor Dragonfly male (old & very tatty) in flight 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage with insert).jpg

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.


Ref: DF3_20200717_1049_161 Brown Hawker Dragonfly (1st of 2020).jpg

27 Aug 2020

Fawn and Mum Reeve's Muntjac Deer share a quiet moment at the pond edge.


Ref: BU5_20200721_1508_220_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn + mother on edge of Round Pond.jpg

12 minutes later we see them pattering across the access track.


Ref: BU3_20200721_1520_290_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer Mother leads Fawn across access track.jpg

What we believe is the Fawn's Dad pauses just after entering the site through the east boundary.


Ref: BU4_20200721_1307_145 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with antlers in velvet.jpg

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.


Ref: BU4_20200722_2036_284 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with antlers in velvet rubbing forehead on ground.jpg

26 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200716_1229_016 Brimstone Butterfly on Crocosmia flower.jpg

3 Days later around the same time of day another visit from a Brimstone Butterfly.


Ref: D73_20200719_1204_051 Brimstone Butterfly feeding on Crocosmia flower (crop).jpg

A Peacock Butterfly spreads their wings in the soft sunshine.


Ref: D73_20200722_1613_314 Peacock Butterfly on Hop Sedge.jpg

25 Aug 2020

A Buzzard glides quietly by ....


Ref: D73_20200721_1046_094-097 Buzzard Gliding by @ 10fps 2-5 of 5 (accurate montage 2).jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200721_1047_140-193 Buzzard circling in Thermal (about 10fps) 03+08+14+19+25+37+43+48+56 of 64 (montage).jpg

24 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200717_1423_252 Gatekeeper Butterfly with Proboscis rolled up.jpg

An immaculate female Gatekeeper Butterfly - the first female we have managed to photograph this year. The 'boys' will be pleased :-)


Ref: D73_20200719_1212_082 Gatekeeper Butterfly female feeding on Cow Parsley.jpg

23 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200717_0721_036-039 Pied Wagtail with large insect in beak unable to swallow it 1-4 of 7 (montage).jpg

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!


Ref: D73_20200720_1623_064 Blue Tit juvenile pecking on rusty electricity pole support cable (crop).jpg

22 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20200712_1051_028 Cinnabar moth Caterpillar on Ragwort.jpg

Little and Large - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar style.


Ref: D73_20200717_1741_003 Cinnabar Moth caterpillars (large and tiny) on unopened Ragwort flower.jpg

Here are a couple of views of the Cinnabar Moth which, with a bit of luck, the caterpillars will become.


Ref: DF3_20200717_1240_177+1244_226 Cinnabar Moth 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

21 Aug 2020

FOOD!
What do you mean - you are old enough to feed yourself!


Ref: E62_20200711_1211_054_FB5 Magpie juvenile calling for food.jpg

The variation in scale of nature's creatures is wonderful. Here the, to us, small chaffinch utterly dwarfs the tiny snail on the stone.


Ref: E63_20200717_0549_111_FB1 Chaffinch male on stone + tiny snail.jpg

20 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20200715_1142_085+087 Kestrel female hunting from old Apple Tree 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200715_1526_125 Kestrel female hunting from House gutter at SW corner.jpg

19 Aug 2020

This is a Ringlet Butterfly sunning itself in the morning sunshine


Ref: DF3_20200710_0928_016 Ringlet Butterfly on Conifer.jpg

A Red admiral Butterfly feasting on a Blackberry flower.


Ref: D73_20200712_0851_025 Red Admiral Butterfly on Blackberry flower.jpg

A Gatekeeper Butterfly enjoying the nectar from a Ragwort flower.


Ref: D73_20200712_0911_057 Gatekeeper Butterfly on Ragwort.jpg

A Meadow Brown enjoying the same source of Nectar.


Ref: D73_20200712_0912_063 Meadow Brown Butterfly male on Ragwort.jpg

18 Aug 2020

A Red Admiral butterfly this time choosing a Teasel for it's next feed.


Ref: D73_20200712_0914_071 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on Teasel.jpg

A couple of Green-veined White Butterflies fluttering in the grass as they get 'worked up' prior to mating.


Ref: D73_20200712_0920_095 Green-veined White Butterflies mating (female on left) 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

A Peacock Butterfly enjoying a Thistle flower


Ref: D73_20200712_1218_062 Peacock Butterfly on Thistle flower.jpg

A Speckled Wood butterfly sunning itself around mid-day.


Ref: D73_20200714_1235_050 Speckled Wood butterfly.jpg

17 Aug 2020

A male Thick-legged Flower Beetle struts his stiff on Ragwort. Even the leg swelling manage to have a fine coating of 'hairs'.


Ref: D73_20200712_1054_049 Thick Legged Flower Beetle male (crop 2).jpg

Mint beetles on err - Mint, working hard at making more Mint Beetles.


Ref: D73_20200711_1624_086 Mint Beetles mating on Mint leaf.jpg

16 Aug 2020

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


Ref: DF3_20200710_0939_076-079 Pied Wagtail finds insect while foraging through buttercups 1 of 4 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200716_0720_150-152 Pied Wagtail catching tiny insect 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

15 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: BU3_20200708_1302_001+002_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn and mother on access track 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer is checking over the woodland site as the sun sets behind.


Ref: E64_20200710_2112_050_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female at sunset.jpg

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.


Ref: D01_20200711_0319_302+0217_286_FB6 Barn Owl (right) and Tawny Owl (left) visits 1 hour apart (montage).jpg

14 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D01_20200709_1232_112-1238_125_FB6 Kestrel female takes vole to meadow post & eats it 01+03+05+09 of 12 (montage).jpg

13 Aug 2020

We do enjoy these 'Fox & Cubs' flowers self-set around the house and providing flashes of brilliant orange. The insects like them too.


Ref: D73_20200706_1051_019 Fox & Cubs flowers with 2 Marmalade Hover-flies.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200706_1507_108 Ragwort + Oxeye Daisy + Mallow + Teasels in meadow (orig & Final).jpg

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.


Ref: DF3_20200705_1059_027+1102_030 Convolvulus flowers mostly in shade and mostly in sunshine 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

12 Aug 2020

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 encounter.
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.


Ref: BU8_20200705_2206_809+BU5_2207_385+387+2208_388_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer pair mating by Round Pond 2+4+6+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

A Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn makes another visit to this site, this time giving us a decent view. What a sweetie.


Ref: E62_20200707_2134_068_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn (crop).jpg

11 Aug 2020

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


Ref: DF3_20200705_1725_139+137+136 Kestrel female perched on old apple tree branch 3-1 of 3 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: DF3_20200705_1736_160+1737_168+170+171 Kestrel female taking Vole to tree branch and eating it 05+07-09 of 12 (montage).jpg

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'


Ref: D73_20200706_1448_086 Kestrel female hunting from apple tree dead branch.jpg

10 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200705_0620_046+0621_049 Kestrel female perched on swaying branch with head motionless 1+2 of 5 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: DF3_20200705_0630_120 Wood Pigeon flock feeding on Wheat crop by hovering into wind 3 of 4 (crop).jpg

09 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20200703_1258_019 White-legged Damselfly female immature (crop).jpg

This second brood female Holly Blue Butterfly was flitting about the hedge along the West side of the access track.


Ref: D73_20200706_1048_007+1049_015 Holly Blue Butterfly female second brood (montage).jpg

08 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: BU4_20200703_0118_120+0119_124+126 Fox investigates something above then reaches up on hind legs 3+5+7 of 8 (montage).jpg

2 nights later what looks like the same Fox is still highly interested in the tree above.
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.


Ref: BU4_20200705_2324_882 Fox investigates something above (see also BU4_20200703_0118).jpg

07 Aug 2020

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


Ref: E62_20200630_1809_070_FB5 Rook portrait.jpg

06 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: E62_20200629_2139_046_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn (crop).jpg

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.


Ref: E62_20200629_2139_046+20200701_2112_126_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn and mother (montage).jpg

05 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20200629_1622_029+026+028 Kestrel female perched on steel capped blocked gate post 3+1+2 of 8 (montage).jpg

A Closer look at our favourite Kestrel!


Ref: D73_20200629_1623_031 Kestrel female perched on steel capped blocked gate post 5 of 8 (crop).jpg

04 Aug 2020

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'.


Ref: D73_20200627_1328_010 2 Pond snails mating on Iris leaf.jpg

03 Aug 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20200626_1238_046 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly female with accurately aligned wings showing pseudo-pterostigma clearly.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20200628_1627_122 Common Blue Damselfly male maturing.jpg

02 Aug 2020

Perched on a leaf, we see how the Comma Butterfly's corrugated leaf outline and colour looks so like a dead leaf.


Ref: D73_20200628_1105_072 Comma Butterfly (showing bottom of wing comma) perched in hedge.jpg

A Small skipper Butterfly feasts on a clover flower.


Ref: D73_20200702_1744_019 Small Skipper Butterfly feeding on Clover flower.jpg

01 Aug 2020

A good view of the male Reeve's Muntjac Deer's antlers 'in velvet', clearly stretched tight over the top.


Ref: BU4_20200702_0326_569 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with velvet over Antlers stretched tight.jpg

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


Ref: BU4_20200628_0331_371+0332_374+376 Muntjac Deer female lying on ground encouraged up (q) by another 2-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: BU3_20200701_1253_121+122_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer female entering through hole in Pig-net 1+2 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

 


 

Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive