Return to moorhen home page


Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20201201_1307_026 Magpie on Silver Birch branch with feathers lifted by wind from rear.jpg

A Grey Squirrel apparently gazing over the expanse of water lit by shafts of sunlight finding straight lines through the tree trunks.


Ref: BU5_20201126_1409_144_SC1 Grey squirrel gazing over Round pond lit by streaks of sunlight.jpg

30 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: BU2_20201126_1208_016--1209_024_SC7 Muntjac Reeves Deer visit to Mound for 2 minutes (montage).jpg

29 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20201126_1235_003-1236_014 Muntjac Reeves Deer female browsing in leaf litter west of FB4 stump 1+2+4+5 of 7 (montage).jpg

We don't leave food at this patch, but the rough grass held this Reeve's Muntjac Deer's interest for several minutes.


Ref: BU7_20201124_0532_022-0534_035 Muntjac Reeves Deer female feeding near south hedge 1+2+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

28 Dec 2020

The new male Pheasant stops by to check out the 'bait'.


Ref: E63_20201123_1609_092_FB1 Pheasant male (portrait crop).jpg

The new male Pheasant at the woodland site.


Ref: E64_20201125_1523_174_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

27 Dec 2020

Night has fallen and this Badger visits the woodland site.


Ref: E64_20201123_1925_081_FB2 Badger.jpg

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.


Ref: BU7_20201118_1843_013-015 Badger crossing south ditch & leaving 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: BU7_20201123_1853_010-012 Badger leaving through south hedge 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

26 Dec 2020

An unusually poised moment for this Song Thrush, looking for something to eat hidden in the bare soil.


Ref: E63_20201121_1625_198_FB1 Song Thrush inspecting soil (adjusted crop).jpg

Great Tit numbers have this year not exploded like the Blue Tits, but we are starting to see them again.


Ref: E63_20201125_1308_208_FB1 Great Tit.jpg

We don't seem to have shown you a Robin portrait recently, and this one has posed rather elegantly.


Ref: E63_20201123_1234_027_FB1 Robin.jpg

A Robin (on the ground) and Dunnock (in flight with open beak directed at the Robin) having a little squabble.


Ref: E63_20201122_0724_207_FB1 Robin and Dunnock squabble.jpg

25 Dec 2020

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).


Ref: D01_20201120_1404_066--1416_086_FB6 Kestrel female takes Rodent to Meadow post to eat 01+04+06+08+09+11 of 12 (montage).jpg

24 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: E64_20201121_1404_128_FB2 Grey Squirrel eating carrot top in leaf litter.jpg

23 Dec 2020

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'.


Ref: D73_20201119_1306_045+049+053+055 Kestrel female preening perched on Ash tree on main pond island 2+4-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20201119_1249_020 Kestrel female on top of concrete mains power pole (crop 3).jpg

22 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20201115_1052_105 Kestrel female preening on power cable connector on house wall 1 of 7 (crop).jpg


Ref: D73_20201115_1056_146+149+150 Kestrel female preening on power cable connector on house wall 3-5 of 7 (montage).jpg

The view from the conservatory door as we left the female Kestrel continuing her preen.


Ref: D73_20201115_1100_179 Kestrel female preening on power cable connector on house wall 7 of 7 (crop).jpg

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'.


Ref: DF5_20201116_1150_017+1147_015 Kestrel female preening on Ash tree on main pond island 6+5 of 6 (montage).jpg

21 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20201115_1021_045 Kestrel female hunting from overhead mains cables.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20201115_1028_061+1027_055+059 Kestrel female hunting from overhead mains cables (montage).jpg

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.
More tomorrow


Ref: D73_20201115_1040_080 Kestrel female preening on tip of hedge tractor gap 2 of 4 (crop 1).jpg

20 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D5C_20201105_1109_009-1110_038 Grey Squirrel Grooming (Montage).jpg

Banana skin with Peanut butter stuck to the bottom'.
Delicious (no really - if it was clean it would be perfectly edible!).


Ref: E64_20201113_1526_107_FB2 Grey Squirrel eating Banana end encrusted with peanut butter and corn.jpg

A vigorous scrabble in the long grass produces something that this Grey Squirrel finds worthy of consumption.


Ref: D73_20201119_1253_030 Grey Squirrel eating items scratched up from grass.jpg

19 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: E6A_20201109_1602_072_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer sharing site with 2 Magpies 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

About 1 minute later we see that the Deer has nearly walked out of frame, while the Magpies have hardly moved.


Ref: E6A_20201109_1602_073_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer sharing site with 2 Magpies 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

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 ...


Ref: E63_20201112_0719_008_FB1 Muntjac Reeves Deer and Magpie.jpg

... while this is back in the meadow in late afternoon.


Ref: E6A_20201112_1539_052_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer and Magpie (orig & final).jpg

18 Dec 2020

The 11kV cable over the north bridleway is becoming a favourite spot for this female Kestrel who is enjoying a thorough preen.


Ref: DF3_20201107_1243_047+049+050 Kestrel female preening on 11kV cable 2-4 of 6 (montage).jpg

A creep nearer along the Bridleway didn't disturb her ablutions.


Ref: DF3_20201107_1243_066+051 Kestrel female preening on 11kV cable 6+5 of 6 (montage).jpg

17 Dec 2020

Through a scraggy hedge we see this female Reeve's Muntjac Deer daintily searching for yellow leaves to eat.


Ref: DF3_20201107_0943_001 Muntjac Reeves Deer female choosing yellowed leaves to eat (crop).jpg

Here she is chewing a few leaves in a rather endearing moment.


Ref: DF3_20201107_0943_004 Muntjac Reeves Deer female chewing leaves.jpg


Ref: DF3_20201107_0943_005 Muntjac Reeves Deer female choosing yellowed leaves to eat.jpg

A few minutes later the sunshine has departed and she has a groom in the gloom (sorry).


Ref: DF3_20201107_0947_026 Muntjac Reeves Deer female grooming.jpg

16 Dec 2020

A female Sparrowhawk flies over the Kitchen bird table. Considering the speed that they fly, this pic is unusually sharp.


Ref: E60_20201106_1625_019_FB3 Sparrowhawk female flying over Kitchen perch (crop 2).jpg

15 Dec 2020

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems quite tolerant of us Humans, feeding quietly here on what was once a neat shingled area.


Ref: D73_20201106_1026_103 Muntjac Reeves Deer female choosing yellowed leaves to eat.jpg

Here she was licking up corn scattered on the track, initially intended for birds, but she is hungry as well.


Ref: D73_20201106_1028_122 Muntjac Reeves Deer female licking up corn from track (crop).jpg

The Deer is relaxed enough for a little groom.


Ref: D73_20201106_1029_144 Muntjac Reeves Deer female grooming foot (crop).jpg

14 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: BU3_20201105_2316_041+2317_045_SC6 Roe Deer female followed by male on access track 1+3 of 3 montage).jpg

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!


Ref: BUA_20201105_2321_070+072_SC8 Roe Deer female near east entrance (montage).jpg

Roe Deer (left) are much bigger than our normal Reeve's Muntjac Deer. This is a same scale montage for size comparison.


Ref: BUA_20201105_2321_071+20201108_1921_327_SC8 Roe Deer female + Muntjac Reeves Deer male size comparison (montage).jpg

13 Dec 2020

A Handsome Badger out for a forage, here at our south hedge.


Ref: BU7_20201105_1940_023 Badger entering through south hedge.jpg

Brock walks towards this entrance at the east hedge, but decides to stay inside.


Ref: BUA_20201110_2131_139-2132_147_SC8 Badger visit to East hedge 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

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'.


Ref: BUA_20201112_0203_293_SC8 Fox at east hedge staring at camera.jpg

12 Dec 2020

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


Ref: D73_20201112_0638_029 Crescent Moon + Venus + Mercury (top to bottom) alignment (crop with annotation) 1 of 2.jpg

11 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: DF3_20201104_1255_064 Brimstone Butterfly perches on rose leaf (crop 1).jpg

Goldfinches adore Teasel - they pick the seeds out of the spiky head for months.


Ref: DF3_20201104_1238_042 Goldfinch on Teasel.jpg

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.


Ref: E63_20201103_0652_065_FB1 Dunnock on stone reacting to arriving Chaffinch male.jpg

10 Dec 2020

Formation Browsing in the leaf litter.


Ref: BUA_20201102_0725_017_SC8 2 Muntjac Reeves Deer feeding together.jpg

Can Reeve's Muntjac Deer smile?


Ref: BUA_20201101_0702_308_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer female appearing to smile.jpg

This is a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer in the middle of the day lit by dappled sunlight.


Ref: BUA_20201104_1139_417_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer female in dappled sunlight.jpg

A Reeve's Muntjac 'family portrait' - female at the left, male facing the camera, and youngster turning round next to Dad.


Ref: BUA_20201103_2006_346+347_SC8 3 Muntjac Reeves Deer family near East entrance 1+2 of 3 (montage for clarity).jpg

09 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: E60_20201031_1349_015+1409_016_FB3 Kestrel female visiting kitchen window 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: D01_20201103_0847_005-0858_027_FB6 Kestrel female takes Vole to meadow post (12 min visit) 01+05+08+10+12 of 12 (montage).jpg

This more detailed pic fits between left and second from left in the above montage.


Ref: D01_20201103_0848_007_FB6 Kestrel female takes Vole to top of meadow post to eat (12 minute visit) 02 of 12 (crop).jpg

08 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: E63_20201030_1759_112+20201031_1722_175+1810+178_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) over 2 nights - left pair+top pair+bottom single (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: E63_20201103_1751_138-20201104_2336_238_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at hedge bottom (montage from 7 of 13 images).jpg

07 Dec 2020

This male Green Woodpecker spends a few minutes on the meadow post.
Nothing for you up here mate!


Ref: D01_20201101_1412_045+1423_047+1415_049_FB6 Green Woodpecker male on Meadow Post 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

06 Dec 2020

This Red Kite flew overhead for just a minute or so.


Ref: DF3_20201101_1001_006 Red Kite in flight.jpg


Ref: DF3_20201101_1001_015-018 Red Kite in flight by Ash tree @ about 10 fps 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg


Ref: DF3_20201101_1001_032 Red Kite in flight.jpg

05 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20201028_1048_026+032 Red Kite gliding with sunlight glancing on underside 2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

A momentary sight of the top of the Red Kite's tail.


Ref: D73_20201028_1048_053 Red Kite gliding 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

Three moments as the Red Kite turned in the air catching the low sunlight in different ways.


Ref: D73_20201028_1048_069+075+077 Red Kite gliding 7 of 3+6+7 (montage).jpg

04 Dec 2020

A slice of Banana makes a meal for this Grey squirrel who spent at least the 3 minutes you see here eating it.


Ref: E63_20201025_1536_033-1538_035_FB1 Grey Squirrel eating slice of banana over 3 minutes 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

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.


Ref: E63_20201026_1359_072-1402_075_FB1 Great Tit over 3 minutes 2+3+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

A one-off visit by this Song Thrush.
We have not previously noted the light specks along the back.


Ref: E63_20201028_1700_227_FB1 Song Thrush.jpg

03 Dec 2020

This Sparrowhawk glided by at an impressive speed - Sparrowhawks seem to do everything at lightning speed.


Ref: D73_20201025_0957_109 Sparrowhawk gliding.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20201025_0957_120+135--137 Sparrowhawk female in flight (close spaced montage).jpg

02 Dec 2020

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.


Ref: D73_20201024_1039_057 Kestrel female in north hedge Hawthorn dives on prey in bare field & returns to Cherry 1 of 3.jpg


Ref: D73_20201024_1041_068 Kestrel female in north hedge Hawthorn dives on prey in bare field & returns to Cherry 2 of 3.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20201024_1042_102 Kestrel female in north hedge Hawthorn dives on prey in bare field & returns to Cherry 3 of 3.jpg

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.


Ref: D73_20201027_1051_003-007 Kestrel female launching from apple tree branch @10fps1-5 of 5 (horizontally stretched montage).jpg

01 Dec 2020

Front right hoof delicately moving forward, this Reeve's Muntjac Deer quietly forages through the night.


Ref: E64_20201022_2153_051_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer.jpg

Back to normal for the Reeve's Muntjac Deer - the male follows the female wherever she goes!


Ref: BU3_20201022_2236_056_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer female turns towards edge of track as male follows.jpg

 


 

Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive