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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jan 2020

There are nearly nightly Tawny Owl visits in the last few days.

Ref: D01_20200102_1710_023-1712_027_FB6 Tawny owl 8 minute visit to meadow post 1+3+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

30 Jan 2020

The female Kestrel has been hunting intensively over the farm's fields. Here she turns a hover into a dive to the ground, but presumably her prey 'did a runner' and the bird pulls out of her dive.
Unfortunately photographer has already 'lost' her against the hedge and carried on panning downwards to the landing that didn't happen, so losing focus on the bird as she flies away.

Ref: DF3_20191229_1044_071-084 Kestrel female hovering + diving + pulling upward 01-14 of 14 (montage accurate 03-14).jpg

A Rook makes an elegant landing on the coupling cable of a rather complex 'T-junction' on the 11kV overhead cabling. This bird was soon joined by their 'spouse' on the other side of the top insulator.

Ref: DF3_20200101_1221_055-057+064 Rook flying to 11kV pole top then joined by another 01-03+10 of 13 (accurate montage).jpg

29 Jan 2020

Oh what a gorgeous bird is the Barn Owl!
This species of owl just must not let the delicate feathers get drenched, so hunting over the past few weeks has been very restricted by the endless rain.

Ref: D01_20191228_1844_041_FB6 Barn Owl (no ring) 7 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

After new-years midnight this Barn Owl makes a couple of 3 minute visits to the meadow post a bit over an hour apart.

Ref: D01_20200101_0245_070+0354_076+0353_074_FB6 Barn Owl 2 3 minute visits over 1 hour (montage).jpg

28 Jan 2020

Its the silly season for plants this year - here is a small carpet of freshly flowering Groundsel along the crop edge 3 days before the end of the year.
There are also a few Red Campion and Dandelion flowers to be found in not particularly sheltered spots.

Ref: DF3_20191228_1226_009 Groundsel near farm entrance 28 Dec 2019 (orig & final).jpg

Flowering Green Alkanet on the first day of the year along our access track.
Crazy - a whole line of fresh growth in winter.

Ref: DF3_20200101_0905_031 Green Alkanet flowering on New-years day.jpg

27 Jan 2020

This Tawny Owl spends 5 minutes on the meadow post, and is last seen there crouching low and facing the Meadow camera site ... at which he promptly makes a flyby catching his image (but apparently NOT any prey) as the bird passes. The right edge of this montage is the edge of what we got.

Ref: D01_20191227_2241_025+2245_033_FB6+E62_2246_118_FB5 Tawny Owl 5 min visit to post then flyby Meadow 1+4+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

A couple of hours after dark this Tawny Owl makes two visits to the post, and a couple of hours later flies by the post without landing.

Ref: D01_20191231_1837_028-1844_058_FB6 Tawny Owl 2 visits and flyby in 2 hours 1+5+6+flyby of 6 (montage).jpg

26 Jan 2020

This Magpie has picked up something in the tip of the beak, and is using their tongue to manoeuvre it down the beak.
Bird tongues are generally rather inflexible compared to mammals, but they do the job.

Ref: E62_20191221_1254_142_FB5 Magpie manoeuvering food in tip of beak with tongue.jpg

This Magpie seems quite happy to just peck off the remaining fragments of Kernel from this cooked corn cob as pieces 'in-situ' ...

Ref: E63_20191222_1300_220_FB1 Magpie picking kernel from corn cob.jpg

... while this Grey Squirrel has decided to carry off the whole half-corn cob to finish the bits the humans teeth can't reach, without risk of interruption.

Ref: E64_20191221_1251_126_FB2 Grey squirrel carrying away eaten half corn-cob.jpg

25 Jan 2020

Sometimes when we arrive just north of the farm entrance a Buzzard appears from a perch we have not yet identified and flies 100 metres along the line of the brook to perch in this tree.

Ref: DF3_20191224_1225_003+004+006+013 Buzzard flying up to land in tree at brook 1+2+4+6 of 6 (approx montage @ 7fps).jpg

24 Jan 2020

This pair of Rooks reminded us of a wedding photo. Perhaps not, but they are together by choice.

Ref: E62_20191220_1401_109_FB5 Rook pair whole birds.jpg

A detail from the above. We think Rooks have 'lovely' interesting faces.

Ref: E62_20191220_1401_109_FB5 Rook pair head detail.jpg

A Rook landing on the grass at the meadow site. The woodland behind is now mostly leafless and allows in quite a lot of sunlight, so it doesn't look 'black' as it does in summer.

Ref: E62_20191222_1316_191_FB5 Rook landing on grass.jpg

23 Jan 2020

A Tawny Owl catching what we think was a small bird (see below) at the end of the orchard after dark when small birds are roosting. The frame on the right is the same area perhaps 2 seconds later so you can differentiate bird and prey from ground detail.

Ref: BU6_20191219_1758_409+410_SC2 Tawny Owl apparently carrying prey 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

Next night the Tawny owl turns up again at the end of the orchard. This time there is no prey obviously showing.
These pics over 'a few seconds', arrival at the left.

Ref: BU6_20191220_2104_586-588_SC2 Tawny Owl landing and standing at end of orchard 1-3 of 3 (IR montage over a few seconds).jpg

4 days later this Tawny Owl is really active, landing on the Meadow post at the left in the usual 'rising up' flight pattern.

Ref: D01_20191224_1642_045-1651_063_FB6 Tawny Owl 10+ minute visit 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

22 Jan 2020

Following several visual fleeting sightings, the female Sparrowhawk landed on the 'bird table' part of the kitchen perch for this lovely portrait. The legs and claws look incredibly 'lightweight' for the killing they have to do. The claws look almost needle-like stilettos.

Ref: E60_20191219_1359_012_FB3 Sparrowhawk female flyby and later perch at kitchen window 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

21 Jan 2020

The local Tawny Owl lands on the kitchen perch. This bird also visited the Meadow Post but this is the best pic on this day.

Ref: E60_20191215_1646_033_FB3 Tawny Owl on Kitchen perch.jpg

Next day this Tawny Owl visits the meadow post for just 3 minutes. Here is the talons-forward landing, rising up from just below the level of the top of the post for a perfect landing.

Ref: D01_20191216_2307_031_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 minute visit 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

An early morning visit by the local Tawny Owl lasted at least 10 minutes.

Ref: D01_20191219_0452_003-0458_015_FB6 Tawny Owl 10+ minute visit to meadow post 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

20 Jan 2020

A Rook spends at least 10 minutes on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20191213_1424_026-1431_040_FB6 Rook 10+ minute visit to meadow post 4+1-3 of 4 (montage).jpg

Half an hour later a Jackdaw makes a similar stop-over.

Ref: D01_20191213_1449_055+056+1450_058_FB6 Jackdaw short visit to meadow post 1-3 of 3 (mirror montage).jpg

19 Jan 2020

As this Blue Tit appeared on our PC screen it looked almost luminous. We haven't 'wound up' the colour of this lovely little creature.

Ref: E63_20191213_1352_060_FB1 Blue Tit reaching down on stone.jpg

At the other end of the size scale, the now established male Pheasant on our patch quietly steps across the site.

Ref: E64_20191216_1513_046_FB2 Pheasant male foraging.jpg

18 Jan 2020

This female Kestrel spent a few minutes on the Meadow post, with a fortunately timed second frame catching the bird departing exactly a minute later.

Ref: D01_20191213_1221_021+1222_023_FB6 Kestrel female 6 minute visit to meadow post and departure 3+4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg

Next day we watched her hunting over the farm crop. She took up a series of hover positions, as always facing into the wind, but the wind was so strong that she hardly ever flapped her wings, keeping station by endless adjustments of the wing angles, tail position and the Alulae (the wing's 'thumbs'). Wonderful to watch such accomplished flight.

Ref: DF3_20191214_1108_100+104+106 Kestrel female hovering in strong wind without flapping wings 1+5+7 of 7 (offset montage).jpg

17 Jan 2020

A drenched female Blackbird has to come out to feed regardless of the rain. Small birds don't have great reserved to sit out bad weather.

Ref: E62_20191212_1146_025_FB5 Blackbird female in heavy rain.jpg

Did we mention it's been raining?

Ref: E63_20191214_1003_107_FB1 Blackbird female in heavy rain.jpg

16 Jan 2020

The female Kestrel stops on the Meadow post for a few minutes.

Ref: D01_20191210_1359_073+074+1400_079_FB6 Kestrel female 4 minute visit to meadow post 1+2+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

15 Jan 2020

A Barn Owl with no leg ring makes several visits to the meadow post over one night. The feathers look very scruffy, most likely from one of many gusty winds overnight this week.

Ref: d01_20191208_1823_136+1824_138+1827_144_fb6 barn owl (no ring) 6 mins @ meadow post blustery wind 1+2+5 of 6 (R-L montage).jpg

The landing bird (left) is aiming at the post in the same position as the perched bird at the centre. The second landing (right) occurs 2 hours later.

Ref: d01_20191209_0243_148+0308_174+0439_176_fb6 barn owl (no ring) 13 minute visit & 2 landings at meadow post 1 of 7 (montage).jpg

14 Jan 2020

A strange lighting effect from the sun hidden by the clouds. A vertical shaft of light rises from behind the cloud and seems to illuminate the clouds above.

Ref: D73_20191208_0839_012 Vertical shaft of light from sun hidden by cloud (orig & final).jpg

One of those serendipitous moments - a Magpie triggers the camera as a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer quietly browses on the path behind.
This bit of hedge used to have several woody stems obscuring the path behind, but intense animal activity has damaged and killed them all.

Ref: E63_20191205_0756_012_FB1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female on path behind feeding site.jpg

13 Jan 2020

On the CCTV we saw a Sparrowhawk grabbing a bird from inside the kitchen window Peanut feeder and flying off with it.
Later the same day this bird was perched on the grass outside the kitchen with what we think is a Great Tit clasped firmly in the talons.

Ref: DF1_20191207_1102_010 Sparrow female with Great Tit (q) just taken from inside of caged peanut feeder 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

This is a different pass by the female Sparrowhawk on the same day as the kill. Most of the bird is movement blurred even in a camera flash, but you can see those impressive claws catching the light from the flash.

Ref: E60_20191207_1534_037_FB3 Sparrowhawk flying over kitchen perch (adjusted crop).jpg

We only occasionally see a male Sparrowhawk here, but over 2 days the camera catches these two images around the kitchen feeder/perch, both triggering the camera shutter a good deal further away than the woodwork so smaller and not well focussed. But the male Sparrowhawk is in any case about 80% of the size of the female.

Ref: E60_20191209_1428_010+20191210_0833_014_FB3 Sparrowhawk male flights over kitchen perch afternoon & next morning (montage).jpg

12 Jan 2020

A Barn Owl with a leg ring makes another appearance on the meadow Pole, this time for a couple of really active stays on the post.

Ref: d01_20191207_1953_102-1955_106_fb6 barn owl (ring on right leg) 10+ minute visit to meadow post 1-3 of 5 (montage).jpg

A Barn Owl with a leg ring makes another appearance on the meadow Pole, this time for a couple of really active stays on the post.

Ref: d01_20191207_2014_126+2012_122+2013_124_fb6 barn owl (ring on right leg) 3 minute visit to meadow post 3+1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

Two Barn Owl landings a couple of hours apart. This is the Owl with no leg ring.

Ref: D01_20191212_0612_001+0433_107_FB6 Barn Owl landings (montage).jpg

11 Jan 2020

A Green Woodpecker stops briefly on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20191205_1408_011_FB6 Green Woodpecker male on meadow post.jpg

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker flies from the kitchen feeder/perch.

Ref: E60_20191210_1521_019_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female in flight (ID).jpg

This mat of fallen leaves to the rear of 'Round Mound' was where we first spotted this scatter of wood particles, and looked around to find the source - a dead Willow branch thoroughly pecked over by woodpecker(s).
Green Woodpecker are mostly ground feeders, so most likely this damage was caused by Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Ref: DF3_20191206_1229_011+012 Bark pecked from dead Willow branch 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

10 Jan 2020

A Tawny Owl flies from the kitchen perch having managed to land on the right hand end without triggering a photo.

Ref: E60_20191206_0242_009_FB3 Tawny Owl take-off from kitchen perch (adjusted crop).jpg

What looks like the 'local' Tawny Owl arrives for a few minutes hunt. This bird always seems to fly 'up' to the perch.

Ref: D01_20191207_1650_088+1652_092_FB6 Tawny Owl 6 minute visit to meadow post 1+3 of 5 (montage).jpg

12 frames of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) frolicking at the meadow site gave us 6 frames from which we built this fun (but also accurately positioned) montage.
Judging by the almost nightly Tawny and Barn Owl visits, we guess our 'meadow' is heaving with these little creatures & voles!

Ref: E62_20191129_1944_131-20191130_1916_264_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) from 6 of 12 frames (accurate montage).jpg

09 Jan 2020

This Redwing was some 20m away across the road in a Hawthorn bush/tree. The 3 images (separated by a re-focus each time so over a few seconds) caught the bird perched by a Haw, pulling the Haw off, and then beak open to swallow it!

Ref: DF3_20191204_0948_008-010 Redwing eating Hawthorn Berries (Haws) on roadside tree 1-3 of 3 (montage over a few seconds).jpg

The Green Woodpecker has made a few visits lately. Here she is wonderfully disguised as some mould-coated wood.
Suddenly the green colour makes sense!

Ref: DF5_20191202_1056_002 Green Woodpecker female on side of raptor post.jpg

08 Jan 2020

3 successive frames at 1 minute intervals are lucky to catch the arrival, a short look about, and then departure of this Tawny Owl in natural sequence.

Ref: D01_20191203_2215_087+2216_089+2217_091_FB6 Tawny Owl landing + perching + takeoff at meadow post 1-3 of 3 (mirror montage).jpg

07 Jan 2020

The male Kestrel disappeared from site and we wandered home, only to find him perched on one of the 11kV cables near our house. We watched each other for a couple of minutes before he took off.

Ref: DF3_20191203_1103_130+1105_132-136 Kestrel male takeoff from 11kV cable 1+3-7 of 7 (horizontally stretched montage).jpg

The male Kestrel flew off North-west so we walked that way and across the main road and there he was hunting from the hedge along the main road, first from a Hawthorn bush/tree, and then moved to the top of the cut hedge only a few metres from the mid-morning traffic. You can see the top of a red car just gone past him - the resting sheep is on the other side of the road. He was hunting in the sprouting crop, and leapt down a couple of times out of sight. We guess he was eating worms or insects.

Ref: DF3_20191203_1114_189+1110_182 Kestrel male hunting from roadside tree and hedge 5+1 of 5 (montage).jpg

06 Jan 2020

This male Kestrel was intensively hunting over the surrounding fields.
Here he was hovering, so we have spread the images downwards in natural order.

Ref: DF3_20191203_1049_013-015 Kestrel male hovering 1-3 of 3 (vertical separated montage).jpg

This male Kestrel was intensively hunting over the surrounding fields.
Here he was hovering, so we have spread the images downwards in natural order.

Ref: DF3_20191203_1049_054-059 Kestrel male hovering 1-6 of 6 (montage spread downwards).jpg

This montage of the male Kestrel is NOT a static hover, but an accurate montage of just over a second as the male Kestrel makes a controlled drop towards a target hidden from us by the roadside hedge.

Ref: DF3_20191203_1049_026-032 Kestrel male controlled descent @ 7fps 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

05 Jan 2020

The male pheasant (left) is displaying to the female on the right.
It's never too soon to butter up the girls!

Ref: E63_20191201_1444_227_FB1 Pheasant male displaying to female.jpg

Only an hour later as darkness falls, and 70m away at the Round pond, we see what we believe is the same male trying the uncannily similar move on what looks like the same female.
She will succumb to his charms when she is good and ready :-)

Ref: BU5_20191201_1557_627_SC1 Pheasant male displaying to female (IR crop).jpg

04 Jan 2020

Grey squirrels vary widely in their behaviour. Some are content to feed alongside other harmless creatures, while here this Grey Squirrel at the woodland site chases away a male Pheasant.
You can see that the Pheasant's tail is still curled from the takeoff.

Ref: E64_20191130_1511_110_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacking Pheasant male leaping into flight.jpg

Usually the Grey Squirrels can simply shoo away male or female Pheasants, but here the Squirrel is getting faced-off by the male Pheasant who is standing his ground against the pesky not-so-little rodent.
These are at the same scale but different distances from the camera.

Ref: E64_20191204_1614_153+1617_154_FB2 Pheasant male resisting repeated attacks by Grey Squirrel 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

03 Jan 2020

This female Sparrowhawk arrived in the tree across the pond, spread the wings and tail and spent 11 minutes 'sunbathing'. Air temperature was barely about freezing, so the bird may have been enjoying a warm glow from the sun as well as collecting his dose of UV light to make Vitamin D.

Ref: DF5_20191130_1151_028 Sparrowhawk female sunbathing on branch for 11 minutes 07 of 13 (crop).jpg

Tits and other small birds regularly passed quite close to the sunbathing Sparrowhawk who reacted in various ways.

Ref: DF5_20191130_1150_010-1158_045 Sparrowhawk female sunbathing on branch for 11 minutes 03+04+-9+11 of 13 (montage).jpg

02 Jan 2020

A Red Fox saunters along the path up the meadow, causing this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) to leap to safety & triggering the camera to catch them both in the frame. The Fox was apparently unaware of the mouse, or once it heard it knew the alerted rodent would now be impossible to catch.

Ref: E62_20191128_1827_052_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) fleeing as Fox walks by on path behind (crop).jpg

01 Jan 2020

This Barn Owl makes a spectacular landing on the Meadow post an hour and a half after midnight.
This Barn Owl carries a ring on the right leg, the first time we have spotted a ringed bird of any sort here for some years.

Ref: D01_20191205_0126_005_FB6 Barn owl (ring on right leg) short visit 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

This Barn Owl makes a flamboyant landing on the Meadow post.
Note that this bird has no ring on the right leg, so we are seeing at least two different Barn Owls visiting.

Ref: D01_20191203_2342_093_FB6 Barn Owl landing on meadow post (crop).jpg

Several hours later on the same night, a Barn Owl visits again. Eye plumage detail suggests that this is the same bird as the previous visit.
The ringed Barn Owl appears two days later.

Ref: D01_20191204_0330_095-0333_101_FB6 Barn Owl landing 5 minute visit to meadow post 1+4+3 of 5 (montage).jpg



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