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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jul 2020

At the corner of the farmer's crop this female Black-tailed skimmer Dragonfly teased us by landing briefly at various sites.

Ref: D73_20200624_0754_107 Black-tailed skimmer Dragonfly female in wheat crop.jpg

At the corner of the farmer's crop this female Black-tailed skimmer Dragonfly teased us by landing briefly at various sites.

Ref: D73_20200624_0755_111 Black-tailed skimmer Dragonfly female in wheat crop (crop).jpg

30 Jul 2020

This female Banded Demoiselle Damselfly is the first female seen here this year. Females don't have a colour band on the wing, and the wings have a rather clear green tinge, both different to the darker brown of the Beautiful Demoiselle, now apparently gone for the year.

Ref: D73_20200623_1252_055 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly female (1st female of 2020).jpg

A female Common Blue Damselfly in the variant that actually IS blue. We see that this blue becomes richer as the insect ages.

Ref: D73_20200624_1022_006 Common Blue Damselfly female blue form.jpg

29 Jul 2020

The disused track has some cracks which, without traffic to scatter the upwelling soil, harbour a variety of 'weeds'. This one seems to be a rather stunted Lesser Trefoil.

Ref: D73_20200623_1110_035 Trefoil Lesser (Trifolium dubium) (q) growing through broken concrete track (crop).jpg

The meadow is now awash with Oxeye Daisies. Here is part of one patch.

Ref: D73_20200623_1121_040 Oxeye Daisy clump (orig & final).jpg

28 Jul 2020

Images of a male Roe Deer taken a few seconds apart give a good indication of the growth and form of the antlers.

Ref: BU4_20200622_2301_131+132 Roe Deer male antler detail 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer is much smaller than the Roe Deer, and we have at least 3 growing Fawns visiting the site, usually along with Mum as we show here. The pair are undoubtedly heading for the hole in the bottom of the East boundary hedge to continue foraging in the farmer's crop.

Ref: BU4_20200621_2250_320 Muntjac Reeves Deer juvenile following mother through east hedge (adjusted crop).jpg

27 Jul 2020

A lucky moment to catch this Fox's mid-leap out of the (now completely dry) ditch lit by a mixture of natural and IR flash.

Ref: BU7_20200620_2050_041 Fox leaping out of ditch 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

At about the same time next evening this pristine Fox gives a baleful glare as he visits one of the 'known good places' for a feed.

Ref: E63_20200621_1959_316_FB1 Fox evening visit (crop 2).jpg

6 minutes later the camera some 30 metres away catches this Fox carrying away what seems to be a Rook. It is most likely the same Fox - the camera badly underexposed the image meaning the work-up has left the colours rather dubious.

Ref: BU8_20200621_2005_136 Fox carrying dead Rook past Duck Pond (crop).jpg

26 Jul 2020

A Red Admiral Butterfly warms itself in the afternoon sunshine.

Ref: D73_20200620_1241_056 Red Admiral Butterfly.jpg

A Comma butterfly warming itself in the evening sun, before it became so hot they would seek shade instead.

Ref: D73_20200622_1738_022 Comma Butterfly.jpg

A Large Skipper Butterfly having a feast on a thistle flower

Ref: D73_20200623_1305_063 Large Skipper Butterfly feeding on Thistle flower.jpg

A pair of Meadow Brown Butterflies mating on a grass seed head. There are hundreds of this species about at the moment.

Ref: D73_20200624_1503_072 Meadow Brown Butterflies mating.jpg

25 Jul 2020

There seems to be an endless supply of hungry young Magpies.

Ref: D36_20200619_0720_029_FB4 Magpie juvenile begging from top of tree-stump.jpg

We interpret this as two juvenile Magpies on the left, with long-suffering parent on the right bringing along another batch of food.

Ref: E64_20200621_0559_137_FB2 3 Magpies at woodland site - begging juveniles left and adult right.jpg

24 Jul 2020

A young Grey Squirrel looking so twee in the flowers that it almost hurts to know it may become a vicious little tree-Rat.

Ref: E62_20200618_1652_012_FB5 Grey Squirrel juvenile nibbling food from paws.jpg

A couple of young Grey Squirrels share the evening largess.

Ref: E63_20200619_1914_125_FB1 2 Grey Squirrel juveniles feeding at hedge bottom.jpg

23 Jul 2020

12 minutes of this Green Woodpecker visiting the meadow post as it starts to rain are interrupted by a pic of the same bird on the ground at the meadow photo site about 10m away.

Ref: D01_20200617_0641_189+190+E62_0649_121+D01_0653_194_FB6+FB5 Green Woodpecker male over 12 minutes on post & ground in rain 1-3+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

A more detailed look at the ground image of the Green Woodpecker, who looks lovely in Clover and backgrounded by Oxeye Daisies, even if his feathers are bedraggled in the rain. His beak is covered in mud from probing the loose soil replenished at this site a couple of days before. The rain will bring worms and invertebrates to the surface for his probing beak and tongue to locate.

Ref: E62_20200617_0649_121_FB5 Green Woodpecker male probing sodden ground (crop).jpg

22 Jul 2020

Comma Butterflies (named for the white 'comma' underneath the wing you can't see here) overwinter as adults and then have 2 broods each year - the second brood overwintering to start the sequence again next year. This is a pristine insect from the first of this years new broods.

Ref: D73_20200617_1740_061 Comma Butterfly (1st new adult of 2020).jpg

Only a handful of male Banded Demoiselle Damselflies seen so far this year, and no females at all.

Ref: D73_20200616_1730_128 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

When in flight these 'Drab' Common Blue Damselflies look almost like flying ghosts.

Ref: DF3_20200613_1546_143 Common Blue Damselfly female brown (aka Drab) form.jpg

21 Jul 2020

This medium sized Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems to be 'learning the ropes' following Mum around the plot in the night.

Ref: BU4_20200614_2241_104 Muntjac Reeves Deer Mother & medium sized Fawn.jpg

Although only 15 minutes later at Round Pond, this seem to be a different Fawn along with both his parents.
Top left we think the Fawn is trying to find the 'Milk Bar' under Dad - something we have seen before when the father's indignance made us laugh.
The family spent a couple of minutes generating impossibly twee images before Dad wandered off and the other two followed.
Bottom right - Mum licks the Fawn rear to encourage defecation.

Ref: BU5_20200614_2256_402-2257_424_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer Mother + Father + small Fawn 2+3+5+9 of 9 (montage).jpg

Possibly the same male Roe Deer is caught in this pose around this position once or twice each week.
The Hoof material (keratin) seems to be particularly 'dark' in Infra-red light.
We have never seen any Roe Deer Fawns, but live in hope

Ref: BU3_20200612_0334_033_SC6 Roe Deer male on access track.jpg

20 Jul 2020

We don't remember seeing a Magpie with prey in its claws before, but this one is streaked with fresh blood from some small bird (prey's claws pointing upwards).

Ref: D01_20200614_1033_288_FB6 Magpie landing on Meadow post with blood stained prey in talons (crop).jpg

"Feed US!"

Ref: E62_20200613_1630_205_FB5 2 Magpie juveniles calling for food.jpg

"Feed ME!"

Ref: D01_20200617_0814_198_FB6 Magpie juvenile (right) demanding food from parent.jpg

All the juvenile begging finally gets the desired result.

Ref: D01_20200615_0858_004_FB6 Magpie feeding youngster (crop 2).jpg

19 Jul 2020

All over the site male Chaffinches continue to proclaim their territory.

Ref: D73_20200614_0822_012 Chaffinch male singing in Oak Tree by access track.jpg

The female Chaffinch (left) lands next to the male already on the stone.
Considering how aggressive males can be to their mates when breeding, this seem to be a masterpiece of self control by the male!

Ref: E63_20200616_0745_087_FB1 Chaffinch female lands next to male on stone.jpg

This year Blue Tit nesting has gone very well. Here are 8 mostly juveniles swarming over just this one peanut feeder.

Ref: DF1_20200618_0714_011 8 Blue Tits (mostly juveniles) using peanut feeder in rain.jpg

18 Jul 2020

Little clumps of 'Fox and Cubs' are glowing around the south and west of the house.

Ref: DF3_20200612_1227_101 Fox and Cubs flowers and buds - normal.jpg

While working up the above we find this amazingly camouflaged insect we have totally failed to ID. Any suggestions?

Ref: DF3_20200612_1227_101 Fox and Cubs flowers and buds - detail of unident insect (crop).jpg

A new Beetle for our species list - a Spotted Longhorn Beetle, here perched on an Oxeye Daisy flower.

Ref: D73_20200615_1232_084 Spotted Longhorn beetle (Strangalia maculata) on Oxeye daisy flower.jpg

17 Jul 2020

Grey Squirrels can be really nasty.
We have looked at this several times now, and cringe every time :-(

Ref: E62_20200612_1105_114_FB5 2 Grey Squirrels fighting.jpg

2 Grey squirrels getting VERY amorous on the top rail of this decrepit gate.

Ref: D73_20200617_1549_024 Grey Squirrel courting on top rail of gate.jpg

16 Jul 2020

Out trusty female Kestrel flies past with some obvious prey in her talons, but with no hope of an ID of the unfortunate creature.

Ref: D73_20200611_1332_069 Kestrel female in flight with unidentified prey in claws.jpg

A Few hours later we found her on one of Favourite perches - a footrest on an old Telephone pole at our south boundary. We passed by as far away as we could, but she flew off anyway.

Ref: D73_20200611_1605_083 Kestrel female on footrest of Telephone pole.jpg

Next morning we again find the female Kestrel perched on the telephone pole at our south boundary. After failing to out-stare us for about a minute, she decided to fly off and we caught this moment as she twisted away from the post to make her launch.
This almost looks like a design for a bronze casting, with the necessary points of contact to support the weaker element of the design.

Ref: DF3_20200612_0930_006 Kestrel female launching from footrest of disused telephone pole (crop).jpg

15 Jul 2020

We see a Little Egret perhaps once a week. This one was flying about near the Brook, landed out of sight for a while before re-appearing to provide this view flying into the gusty east (from the right) wind.

Ref: D73_20200611_1327_061-065 Little Egret in flight over trees at brook 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

OK - its a cloud - but we both immediately thought of a Scottie Dog sitting on the horizon!

Ref: D72_20200613_1235_003 Cloud resembling Scottie dog resting on top of tree (orig & final).jpg

14 Jul 2020

There is a family group of Magpies - these two juveniles, along with 2 adults. These two juveniles are waiting for their next feed, both hoping to get the first feed

Ref: D01_20200611_0934_062_FB6 2 Magpie juveniles waiting on meadow post.jpg

Mum or Dad Magpie arrives to stuff the youngster with whatever is has found for the youngster to eat.

Ref: D01_20200611_1717_120_FB6 Magpie feeding juvenile on meadow post (crop).jpg

"Hey - I want some of that"
The second juvenile magpie flies between parent and his sibling in the hope of grabbing the food for themselves.

Ref: D01_20200610_1701_557+558_FB6 Magpie juvenile lands on Meadow Post between adult & other juvenile 1+2 of 2 (montage 400ms).jpg

13 Jul 2020

Walking back up the access track found the local female Kestrel perched deep in an overhanging tree to hunt. When she realised that we could not 'go away' she flew to the top right corner of the front of the house where she perched on the end of the gutter.
"Those humans just won't stop 'following' me - top of the concrete power pole it is!"
We managed to get indoors without disturbing her again.

Ref: D73_20200610_1246_010-1251_043 Kestrel female hunting near house 1+3-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

12 Jul 2020

It took a while to identify this caterpillar as that of the White Satin Moth.
We met a pair of Imago (i.e. the finished moth) 7 years ago (2013) that you can see two-thirds of the way down page arch 2013 sep.htm.

Ref: DF3_20200609_1257_062 White Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis) Caterpillar (orig).jpg

A Cinnabar Moth with a contrasting Buttercup which helps to set the scale.

Ref: DF3_20200609_1307_081 Cinnabar Moth and Buttercup.jpg

11 Jul 2020

A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly warming in the sunshine on some dead grass along a crop border

Ref: DF3_20200609_0930_015 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on dead grass.jpg

The underside of the wings of the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly is quite different to the top of the wings, providing camouflage for the resting insect.

Ref: DF3_20200609_1255_047 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeding on Privet Flower.jpg

10 Jul 2020

Mum Chaffinch stuffs yet another a beakful of insects into the ever-open gape of her youngster.

Ref: E63_20200608_0742_013_FB1 Chaffinch female feeding youngster (crop).jpg

Mum Great Spotted Woodpecker stoking up her beak and crop with peanut fragments, moves across to her youngster perched on the support pole to cram in the nutritious slurry she has just collected, before the youngster flies off.

Ref: DF1_20200607_0800_022+0801_085+094 Great Spotted Woodpecker female feeding juvenile at kitchen window 2+6+9 of 9 (montage).jpg

A male Green Woodpecker checking over the Meadow post.

Ref: D01_20200611_1311_085_FB6 Green Woodpecker male landing on meadow post.jpg

09 Jul 2020

This montage shows a couple of Oxeye Daisy flowers attracting the attention of Thick-legged Flower Beetles.
The flower on the right is harbouring the male with the bulges on his rear legs, while on the left the female has an ordinary pair of legs

Ref: DF3_20200606_1347_052+20200605_1528_012 Thick-legged Flower Beetles (Oedemera nobilis) female (left) + male on Oxeye Daisies (montage).jpg

We don't think we have previously noticed a deformed Oxeye Daisy flower. This year we have noticed several like this with thickened stems and what looks like multiple tiny flower heads, most likely an insect Gall

Ref: DF3_20200606_1348_054 Oxeye Daisy deformed flower.jpg

2 weeks later we spot another deformed Oxeye Daisy flower - the third spotted this year. This may be something new, or maybe we haven't noticed before.

Ref: D73_20200621_1217_099 Oxeye Daisy flower head malformed.jpg

08 Jul 2020

David and Goliath at the kitchen bird table?
On the Left is an adult female Great Spotted Woodpecker.
On the right one of dozens of Wood Pigeons.
Genuine single frame - GSWs are spunky!

Ref: E60_20200604_0724_004_FB3 Greater Spotted Woodpecker female confronting Wood Pigeon on kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

A Wood Pigeon departs the Kitchen window perch by 'falling off' and catching the fall with the wings.

Ref: E60_20200605_1828_043_FB3 Wood Pigeon dropping down from kitchen perch.jpg

From our Great Spotted Woodpecker family, here is the male perching on the 'meadow post'.

Ref: D01_20200604_1357_080_FB6 Great Spotted Woodpecker male perched on top edge of meadow post.jpg

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker probably watching us watching them from a lichen covered willow branch.

Ref: DF3_20200606_0723_035 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile in willow tree.jpg

07 Jul 2020

Mum, Dad and at least one juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers have returned after a few weeks absence. Here is a juvenile (the red top of head is clearer at the camera resolution) here 'tonguing' an old screw hole in the hunt for insects.

Ref: DF1_20200603_1048_011 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile with tongue in old screw-hole.jpg

The Green Woodpeckers are also back.
Here you can compare the comparatively delicate Great Spotted Woodpecker (here a female) with the more robust male Green Woodpecker. But the smaller GSW seems to be the generally more aggressive species.

Ref: D01_20200603_0640_242+1645_425_FB6 Great Spotted Woodpecker female and Green Woodpecker male (same scale montage).jpg

Here this male Green Woodpecker provides a little show of his antics. The top of this post is getting eroded and a split down the length also reaches the top. There may be useful things to peck for, though Green Woodpeckers primarily feed of ants, of which our meadow provides a good supply. You can clearly see the tail used as a 'third leg'

Ref: D01_20200603_1848_427+1852_429+430_FB6 Green Woodpecker male on meadow post (montage).jpg

06 Jul 2020

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer leaves our patch through a hole in the netting, and trots across the concrete and into the crop on the other side.

Ref: BU3_20200602_1057_040+041_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer female crossing access track (accurate montage).jpg

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer spent several minutes picking up food from the side of the mound. We only 'bait' with corn at this site, so that must be what she wants.

Ref: BU2_20200602_1625_208-1631_219_SC7 Muntjac Reeves Deer female 7 minute visit to Round Mound (montage).jpg

05 Jul 2020

After several sightings of small Badgers on Trail cams, this night saw visits to the high quality cameras at the centre of the woodland (left) and at the hedge bottom 4 hours later.

Ref: E64_20200530_2318_188_FB2+E63_20200531_0316_221_FB1 Small Badger visits either side of midnight (montage).jpg

04 Jul 2020

At the corner of the Wheat crop this immature female Emperor Hawker Dragonfly was hunting over the field margin.

Ref: DF3_20200530_1224_015-019 Emperor Dragonfly female immature in flight @7fps 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

From another flight sequence of a female Emperor Hawker Dragonfly that fell off the edge of frame, this image is more diagnostic for an ID.

Ref: DF3_20200530_1228_068 Emperor Dragonfly female immature (crop for ID).jpg

03 Jul 2020

A male Reeve's Muntjac Deer walks past one of the trail cams. The top of the head shows 2 light patches where he has recently shed his tiny antlers.

Ref: BU8_20200530_0451_151 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with light patches after antlers fallen.jpg

After 30 years of looking we finally find a discarded Reeve's Muntjac Deer Antler!
Lying in the rough grass alongside the Wheat, it looks amazingly like a lump of broken fallen wood. It smells rather nasty, and is 11cms (4.5 inches) long.

Ref: D73_20200602_0730_030 Muntjac Reeves Deer discarded Antler found on crop margin (length 11cm).jpg

What is probably the only male Roe Deer visiting the site provides a midnight portrait in the camera Infra Red light.
Compared to a Muntjac Deer the animal is much more substantial, as are the multi-point Antlers.

Ref: BU3_20200604_0038_093_SC6 Roe Deer male on access track.jpg

02 Jul 2020

A female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly catching the vivid metallic glint at the tail end very well. The number of both sexes have declined steeply in the last few days from 50 or so to just an occasional sighting.

Ref: D73_20200529_1737_010 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female.jpg

As the Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies decline we see the start of the Banded Demoiselle Damselflies, named after the striking wing patch on just the males.

Ref: D73_20200531_1501_038 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male (1st of 2020).jpg

Another male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly. The shape of the dark band suggests that we haven't photographed the same individual twice.

Ref: D73_20200601_1040_010 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male on curled Iris leaf at main pond.jpg

01 Jul 2020

This immaculate female Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly spent several minutes fluttering around the 'garden' near the house.

Ref: D73_20200529_1558_158 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly female perched on grass stem (crop).jpg

This immaculate female Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly spent several minutes fluttering around the 'garden' near the house.

Ref: D73_20200529_1600_185 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly female perched on nettle stem.jpg

This immaculate female Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly spent several minutes fluttering around the 'garden' near the house.

Ref: D73_20200529_1603_200 Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly female perched on hedging.jpg



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