Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
As this misery of a year comes to an end, a little hope of better things as this Magpie high in a Silver Birch tree is surrounded by the emerging catkins ready to start the new season.
A Grey Squirrel apparently gazing over the expanse of water lit by shafts of sunlight finding straight lines through the tree trunks.
This Reeve's Muntjac Deer spends just a couple of minutes foraging on the mound, but nevertheless manages 7 pics of which these 6 are all in different places as shown montaged here. Judging by some of the strange positions of the top four moments, it looks like her little hooves don't grip the slope (perhaps 30 degrees) very well.
While repairing camera electronics at the tree stump this Reeve's Muntjac Deer came wandering up the path towards us, quietly rummaging through the leaves. The Deer never seemed to spot us, or has us classified as 'harmless', and after a couple of minutes saw more productive foraging off to the side of the path and disappeared into the undergrowth.
We don't leave food at this patch, but the rough grass held this Reeve's Muntjac Deer's interest for several minutes.
The new male Pheasant stops by to check out the 'bait'.
The new male Pheasant at the woodland site.
Night has fallen and this Badger visits the woodland site.
This Badger triggers the camera as they walk across the ditch and then through the hole in the hedge into the farm beyond. These over perhaps 3 seconds.
A Badger exiting the site over a few seconds - we have several instances of a similar exit - probably the same badger following a (literally) well trodden route.
An unusually poised moment for this Song Thrush, looking for something to eat hidden in the bare soil.
Great Tit numbers have this year not exploded like the Blue Tits, but we are starting to see them again.
We don't seem to have shown you a Robin portrait recently, and this one has posed rather elegantly.
A Robin (on the ground) and Dunnock (in flight with open beak directed at the Robin) having a little squabble.
The Kestrel's Christmas Dinner
After a days absence the local female Kestrel arrives at the meadow post with a Rodent (we THINK a vole) which she devours over about 10 minutes. After flying off she returns 3 minutes later, but didn't stay (last frame).
Raw Carrot seems to have become a little less unpopular with the Grey Squirrels.
We suspect that one or two (of the all-together too many) of them quite like it.
Animals are not identical automata - decades of observation have shown us that they have individual preferences and idiosyncrasies just like humans.
The female Kestrel appears again having an extensive preen on a branch of the Ash tree. Recently there have been an unusual number of sightings of this Kestrel preening - we guess the new feathers need a lot of 'settling in'.
Before her visit to the Ash tree we see her on the top of the concrete mains power pole, photographed while giving us a quick 'check' before going back to hunting the ground on the far side of the pole.
After finding the female Kestrel on the end of a section of farm hedge
we finished the walk to find a female Kestrel perched on the top mains cable connector
on the house, in the sunshine but out of the chilling wind.
A stampede to the east boundary found that the 'bird in the hedge' had gone,
so this is likely the same bird each time.
This perch is one of her favourite preening perches.
The view from the conservatory door as we left the female Kestrel continuing her preen.
An hour later through the living room window we see her arrive in the Ash tree on the island of the main pond, where she spent several minutes continuing preening. Here you get a good view of the freshly grown tail, now clearly sans last years 'Grey Feather'.
Every week or two the local female kestrel spends a day or two hunting around our patch. We don't see any regular pattern to where she hunts and preens though she has her favourite haunts. This time she is first spotted on the mains cables supplying the house.
The female Kestrel hasn't moved from the above pic, but the cameraman moved to the other side of the wire for a less back-lit image.
We leave her in peace and go for a walk around the outside of our patch,
and were surprised to find her preening on a corner of the farm hedge
where it has ben removed to allow tractors through.
This male Grey Squirrel settled down for a couple of minutes groom.
Top right and middle left show a pass over his tail.
They may be flea infested little vermin, but they do try to keep clean.
Banana skin with Peanut butter stuck to the bottom'.
Delicious (no really - if it was clean it would be perfectly edible!).
A vigorous scrabble in the long grass produces something that this Grey Squirrel finds worthy of consumption.
This unusual pic shows a Reeve's Muntjac Deer passing by a couple of Magpies at most 1 metre away. Magpies are obviously aware of the difference between this gentle Deer and similar sized Dog, Fox or Badger.
About 1 minute later we see that the Deer has nearly walked out of frame, while the Magpies have hardly moved.
A few days later we see similar behaviour at the hedge bottom site. We don't remember seeing behaviour before and suspect that this is one of this years new Deer extending their nights browsing into the daylight at each end of the day. This is the early morning ...
... while this is back in the meadow in late afternoon.
The 11kV cable over the north bridleway is becoming a favourite spot for this female Kestrel who is enjoying a thorough preen.
A creep nearer along the Bridleway didn't disturb her ablutions.
Through a scraggy hedge we see this female Reeve's Muntjac Deer daintily searching for yellow leaves to eat.
Here she is chewing a few leaves in a rather endearing moment.
A few minutes later the sunshine has departed and she has a groom in the gloom (sorry).
A female Sparrowhawk flies over the Kitchen bird table. Considering the speed that they fly, this pic is unusually sharp.
This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems quite tolerant of us Humans, feeding quietly here on what was once a neat shingled area.
Here she was licking up corn scattered on the track, initially intended for birds, but she is hungry as well.
The Deer is relaxed enough for a little groom.
After several months we again see Roe Deer, and in this first montage, a pair at that,
walking up the concrete access track. The two original images are:-
1 of 3: The distant pair of eyes of the male and the female at the centre of the image.
3 of 3: The male at the left (Antlers visible) and the female starting to go through the gap in the hedge on the west side.
5 minutes later the female Roe Deer appears 100m away inside the east side, presumably on the way to the hole in the hedge a few metres right. The male didn't show on any camera inside the plot - it's possible that his antlers catch the steel netting and he couldn't get in by that route!
Roe Deer (left) are much bigger than our normal Reeve's Muntjac Deer. This is a same scale montage for size comparison.
A Handsome Badger out for a forage, here at our south hedge.
Brock walks towards this entrance at the east hedge, but decides to stay inside.
Night animals staring directly at IR illuminating 'trail cameras' show the same bright eyes you see with a torch or car headlights. These creatures have a reflective layer behind the retina to increase the chance of any photon hitting a sensitive 'rod'.
The morning of 12 November 2020 saw this minor astronomical alignment. This
photo at 06:38 shows the Crescent moon and Venus, both clear to see with Venus
in the upper middle of this pic. Mercury we just couldn't see with the naked eye
or camera, but appears faintly below middle on the left in all the pics taken
when viewed at camera resolution.
The planets in the boxes are scaled up 3 times, then reduced a similar amount when making this 1024 pixel height reduction, so look not dissimilar to the camera originals
A mid-day patch of early November sunshine sees this pristine male Brimstone butterfly warming himself on the south facing Rose bush by the front door. These insects overwinter in sheltered spots (they love sheds) to appear in the Spring to mate, relying on spring flowers for fuel.
Goldfinches adore Teasel - they pick the seeds out of the spiky head for months.
A male Chaffinch flying in from the right is alarming this Dunnock, but that seed in the beak is unlikely to be dropped as the bird flees.
Formation Browsing in the leaf litter.
Can Reeve's Muntjac Deer smile?
This is a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer in the middle of the day lit by dappled sunlight.
A Reeve's Muntjac 'family portrait' - female at the left, male facing the camera, and youngster turning round next to Dad.
The female Kestrel made two visits to the Kitchen Window perch 20 minutes apart. It's unusual to see a Kestrel landing on the top of the peanut feeder - their normal prey is Rodents caught on the ground.
The female Kestrel spent over 10 minutes landing with a Vole in her Talons and ripping it to bits to eat it. We love the smug 'satisfied' look in the final frame, even if we are probably imagining the emotion.
This more detailed pic fits between left and second from left in the above montage.
A couple of nights brought a flurry of Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) sightings.
Here from 3 frames are the pair on the left, the pair on the top, and the singleton jumping down at the bottom accompanied by his shadow.
A couple of nights a few night later we have amalgamated 7 of 13 pics of Fieldmice (Wood Mice), accurately positioned. The variation of fur colours is particularly marked - the single flash lighting is the same for all.
This male Green Woodpecker spends a few minutes on the meadow post.
Nothing for you up here mate!
This Red Kite flew overhead for just a minute or so.
This Red Kite wheels around over our heads for less than a minute, and we catch some moments as the still relatively low sun catches details on the bird's underside.
A momentary sight of the top of the Red Kite's tail.
Three moments as the Red Kite turned in the air catching the low sunlight in different ways.
A slice of Banana makes a meal for this Grey squirrel who spent at least the 3 minutes you see here eating it.
The immaculate Great Tit spends a few minutes at the hedge bottom.
This year has been a major breeding success for Blue and Great Tits.
A one-off visit by this Song Thrush.
We have not previously noted the light specks along the back.
This Sparrowhawk glided by at an impressive speed - Sparrowhawks seem to do everything at lightning speed.
As she flew away she started powered flight, providing an opportunity to show the wings in action. This is very close-spaced - we couldn't determine the accurate positions.
We found our 'local' female Kestrel hunting from trees on the outside of our North hedge. From about 50m away she completely ignored our presence, and we saw 3 possibly successful hunts, the bird diving down from about 5 metres up the trees to the recently harrowed 'soil', spending perhaps 30 seconds on the ground, before returning to different trees in the hedge. Here is one of the hunts - we don't know what, if anything, she caught, but anything she grabbed she ate on the ground.
After a few minutes watching, the cold wind was biting at our toes, and as we left she was poised ready for her next catch.
3 days later the same female Kestrel was perched in an old apple tree hunting the rough grass in the orchard. Here she drops down and away on another hunt we can't see.
Front right hoof delicately moving forward, this Reeve's Muntjac Deer quietly forages through the night.
Back to normal for the Reeve's Muntjac Deer - the male follows the female wherever she goes!
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive