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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Jun 2020

Grey Squirrels can be really N A S T Y !

Ref: E64_20200526_1828_132_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacking another.jpg

What seems to us to be an entirely different encounter - an opportunity to do the 'Squirrel-making thing'?

Ref: E64_20200528_1818_030_FB2 2 Grey Squirrels encounter.jpg

This Squirrel equivalent of 'Bambi' - a juvenile with big eyes and rounded ears. This seems to be the youngest Grey Squirrel we have ever managed to photograph.
Cooing is permitted.

Ref: E63_20200603_0602_188_FB1 Grey Squirrel juvenile.jpg

29 Jun 2020

When you watch a bird singing we sort of imagined that both halves of the beak open and close. But just like human teeth, the top of the beak is actually formed over part of the skull and only the bottom half moves. (On a human the top lip moves a bit, but on a bird there is nothing flexible to move - hence the 'birds don't have expressions idea). If you look at the beak here you can see that the bottom half has a sharp cut-off near the hinge that neatly fits the head when the beak is closed.

Ref: E63_20200522_1835_146_FB1 Yellowhammer swallowing single corn grain.jpg

After the female Yellowhammer, A chance to compare the sizes of a male Yellowhammer and male Chaffinch.

Ref: E63_20200528_2020_083+20200529_2021_155_FB1 Yellowhammer male + Chaffinch male (same scale montage).jpg

28 Jun 2020

Things don't always go according to plan.
A 'Woodcrete' nest box on our tallest tree has become a nest for bees. Next year some birds will probably re-establish possession. This is the second time we have seen a nest-box converted to a tiny Bee-hive.

Ref: D73_20200527_1741_120 Nest Box on Ivans Poplar inhabited by Bees (crop 3 with insert).jpg

Things don't always go according to plan.
We have seen this Robin a few times, with what looks like down feathers sticking out of his back. He sings well and flies fine and seems likely to be holding this territory.

Ref: D73_20200527_1749_137 Robin adult with abnormal feathers over back (sings and flies fine).jpg

27 Jun 2020

This amazing sky, looking North East, greeted a lunchtime walk.

Ref: D73_20200526_1152_043 Clouds (orig & final).jpg

Who's been scribbling on the sky?

Ref: D73_20200526_0734_004 Cloud formation like scribble (orig & final).jpg

26 Jun 2020

A Little Owl (true common name for the species) has made a few visits each year for the last 5 years. These two images are from the first two visits this year, 3 days apart.
On the right you see the real eye.
On the left you see a facial illusion of the back of the birds head - whether this is just chance, or a survival development (an attacker might think it has already seen you so no point in stealthy attack) we don't know.

Ref: D01_20200523_2134_365+20200526_0445_155_FB6 Little Owl short visit to meadow & another visit 3 days later (montage).jpg

25 Jun 2020

3 separate passages through the Orchard for this Fox, each with something quite large in its mouth. Intervals left to right are 15 & 3 minutes suggesting that the Den can't be that far away.
The resolution of the pics doesn't allow a definitive ID, but it seems that the Fox has found a nest, den or burrow of youngsters to raid.
Be sad for those youngsters, but happy for the Fox Cubs.

Ref: BU6_20200523_1937_049+1952_052+1955_055_SC2 Fox carrying off large prey items over 19 minutes 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

24 Jun 2020

The local female Kestrel is on one of her favourite perches on the foot-rest of a disused telephone pole along the south hedge.

Ref: D73_20200522_1738_119 Kestrel female perched on footrest of telephone pole.jpg

When she decides to leave the South boundary (above) she invariably flies round the corner to the east. Here she is in shade and even manipulating the colour to correct for the sky-blue cast she almost look like a different bird.
Don't believe that the camera doesn't lie - but we try not to mislead you.

Ref: D73_20200522_1740_154 Kestrel female in shaded Hawthorn tree.jpg

23 Jun 2020

This female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly quietly perched giving us a view of the intricate wing veins - now strengthening struts but once used to 'pump-up' the wings in the final stage of metamorphosis.

Ref: D73_20200522_1507_093 Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly female perched on nettle leaf (crop 3).jpg

A female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly makes final approach to land on this fresh leaf. Beautiful and Banded Demoiselle Damselflies are the largest UK species at about 48mm long, while more often seen Damselflies like the Common Blue are about 35mm long and appear much more delicate
These creatures are Midge hunters & have no interest in vegetation apart from somewhere to perch.

Ref: D73_20200522_1507_080 Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly female approaching landing on leaf.jpg

A male Beautiful Demoiselle clearly showing his iridescent colour and details of his tail end clasper he uses to grab the female 'by the neck'.

Ref: D73_20200525_1256_009 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male perched on Blackberry leaf.jpg

A male common blue Damselfly warming himself in the sunshine.

Ref: DF3_20200524_1003_022 Common Blue Damselfly male (1st of 2020).jpg

22 Jun 2020

Based on sizes relative to Mum, we THINK that we now have THREE Reeve's Muntjac Fawns (and therefore three mothers) visiting our patch.
Here Mum, and maybe the youngster, stop by the Duck-shaped pond for a drink. We rate this Fawn as the 'middle sized' one.

Ref: BU8_20200521_2200_082+085+2201_090 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn & Mum visit Duck pond for Mother to drink 1+2+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

3 hours later this obviously smaller Fawn still easily fits under Mum to access the 'Milk Bar' (Top). A minute later the automatic camera sees them wandering off together (lower left pair).

Ref: BU8_20200522_0136_104+0137_108 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn suckling from mother near Duck pond 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

Here we surprise a Fawn and Mother on the verge outside our patch. This Fawn is the biggest of the 3 (even allowing for 4 days growth) and much more independent. Mum took a hard look at us and decided to depart, walking away down the hedge line until she vanished down the increasing slope. The Fawn watched us for a few more seconds and then trotted after Mum.

Ref: D73_20200526_0739_021+0740_034+037+046 Muntjac Reeves Deer mother & Fawn startled outside our east hedge 1-4 of 5 (montage).jpg

A male Roe Deer out on the access track with a clear view of his antlers. His position suggests that he has just come through the hole cut in the pig-net at this point, but it just doesn't seem to us that he could fit!

Ref: BU3_20200528_0123_498_SC6 Roe Deer male with antlers on access track.jpg

21 Jun 2020

This male Chaffinch has a beakful of insect(s). Most likely one of the huge number of Craneflies (Daddy long legs) has been crammed in the gape to be taken to hungry beaks at the nest.

Ref: E63_20200517_1645_192_FB1 Chaffinch male with insects in beak.jpg

At the hedge bottom this young Robin looks healthy and perky. His red feathers will appear piecemeal over the next several weeks.

Ref: E63_20200524_0530_253_FB1 Robin youngster.jpg

20 Jun 2020

As the wonderful show of Dandelions comes to a close, Buttercups, and here Daisies move in to take their place decorating the mown grass areas.

Ref: D71_20200522_1030_001 Daisy patch in grass outside east hedge.jpg

The Farmland margins are getting a bit untidy - that's fine with us - perfect wildlife management! The Buttercups are mostly about 30cm high and carpet large areas. Here you see them looking down on them 'as the sun sees them - with no shadows'

Ref: D73_20200526_1239_047 Patch of tall Buttercups as the sun sees them.jpg

19 Jun 2020

This Brown Argus Butterfly is a good deal smaller than the even the Small Tortoiseshell. We tend to see one every 2 or three years. Here we catch two views perched on a weed showing the upper and lower surfaces of the wings.

Ref: D73_20200521_1747_053+065 Brown Argus Butterfly (montage for top & bottom of wings).jpg

Our first sighting this year of a Common Blue Butterfly, complete with a Buttercup providing scale.
This is a male - the upper side of females is brown. The black bar is not a marking but some sort of damage.

Ref: D73_20200526_1054_016 Common Blue Butterfly (1st of 2020) (crop).jpg

While this Tortoiseshell Butterfly is feeding on a Blackberry flower the photographer has time to move round to get these two different perspectives on the same event. On the right you can see the proboscis reaching down into the flower.

Ref: DF3_20200525_1050_026+034 Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeding on flower (montage).jpg

18 Jun 2020

Over the meadow area there are dozens of these Azure Damselflies. This is a male in flight.

Ref: D73_20200520_1243_013 Damselfly Azure male in flight.jpg

A visitor not seen for 5 years - a female large Red Damselfly.

Ref: D73_20200520_1305_091 Large Red Damselfly female (1st of 2020 not seen since 2015).jpg

17 Jun 2020

This slightly scruffy bird appears to be a young Long-tailed Tit calling for food.

Ref: DF3_20200520_0853_010 Long-tailed Tit youngster calling from twig & 11kV cable 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

The young Long-tailed tit flew up to an 11kV cable, which seems to dwarf it.

Ref: DF3_20200520_0854_014 Long-tailed Tit youngster calling from twig & 11kV cable 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

16 Jun 2020

This female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly spent a minute or two perched on this leaf, a few times opening her wings as if to take off but not doing so. The sun is nearly vertically above her providing shadows through the wings.

Ref: D72_20200518_1300_074 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female momentarily opening wings while perched 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

A male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly perched elegantly on a leaf.

Ref: D73_20200520_1248_043 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

There are several favourite places to find Beautiful Demoiselle Dragonflies, typically 10 to 15 insects in each when in sunshine, plus ones and twos in almost every sheltered sunny patch, so estimate that there are at least 50 individuals currently in our little haven.

Ref: D73_20200521_1101_040 2 Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies males + 1 female together near Round mound (crop).jpg

15 Jun 2020

We don't often see the male Kestrel inside our patch, but here he makes a brief appearance on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20200518_1456_013_FB6 Kestrel male landing on meadow post.jpg

The local female Kestrel also made an appearance, initially perched on a disused telephone pole foot-rest cum hand-hold, she decides to fly across to continue her hunt from one of the 11kV cables.
We have seen these two bird hunting adjacent area without conflict, the female recently 'vanished' for a few weeks as the male continued hunting, and we believe they are a pair breeding away from our patch.

Ref: DF3_20200518_1736_048+1737_049-064 Kestrel female flies from telephone pole to 11kV cable 01+02+06+10+14+17 of 17 (montage).jpg

Two days later our local female Kestrel was out hunting 15 minutes before sunrise.
Left: Landing on the meadow post lit by camera flash.
Middle: about a third of a second later by natural light. Colour was so inaccurate we decided black and white was more accurate!
Right: One minute later giving the world a good stare.

Ref: D01_20200520_0447_115-116+0448_117_FB6 Kestrel female visit to meadow post 15m before sunrise 1-3 of 3 (montage 2 in b&w).jpg

14 Jun 2020

This male Kestrel spent a few minutes in the sky overhead, mostly trying to ignore the pesky Jackdaw that wanted the Kestrel to go 'anywhere but here'.

Ref: D73_20200516_1242_214 Kestrel male in flight.jpg

This male Kestrel shows his claws to the pesky Jackdaw.

Ref: D73_20200516_1243_235 Kestrel male harassed by Jackdaw (crop).jpg

The Jackdaw continues to Harass the male Kestrel.

Ref: D73_20200516_1243_372-375 Kestrel male looking down & presenting talons to harassing Jackdaw 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

The male Kestrel finally decided to do what the Jackdaw wanted, and flew into the distance.

Ref: D73_20200516_1244_456 Kestrel male Harassed by Jackdaw.jpg

13 Jun 2020

Quite a large Hover-fly this, feeding on Garlic Mustard flowers.

Ref: DF3_20200515_1300_057+055 Hover-fly (Leucozoma Lucorum) feeding on Garlic Mustard (montage).jpg

12 Jun 2020

A young Magpie moulting into his first set of adult plumage.
We hope it isn't as uncomfortable as it looks.

Ref: E62_20200514_1614_029_FB5 Magpie juvenile.jpg

It's no good, we can't stop thinking that this Grey Squirrel's open mouth is showing a little smile of anticipation for her food.

Ref: E62_20200520_1925_146_FB5 Grey Squirrel eating beetroot stained apple peel.jpg

We see badgers most nights on the IR lit silent cameras, but it nice to see one in full colour. This one seems to be genuinely running past the camera with no visible contact with the ground.

Ref: E64_20200512_0114_065_FB2 Badger running past camera.jpg

11 Jun 2020

This Little Egret made an extended flight along the line of the brook, starting a quarter of a mile to our west to disappear to the east towards the M1 motorway. These pics at about 10 frames per second.

Ref: D73_20200513_0723_014-018 Little Egret in flight @10fps 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

This Little Egret made an extended flight along the line of the brook, starting a quarter of a mile to our west to disappear to the east towards the M1 motorway. These pics at about 10 frames per second.

Ref: D73_20200513_0723_028-032 Little Egret in flight @10fps 1-5 of 5 (approx montage).jpg

Next day saw another sighting of a Little Egret, not spotted in the days that follow.

Ref: D73_20200514_1026_018 Little Egret in flight.jpg

10 Jun 2020

A pair of Mallard ducks making a lunchtime visit to the meadow site.

Ref: E62_20200513_1233_159_FB5 Mallard Duck female looking over male.jpg

A pair of Mallard Ducks whizz by.
This is all in less than one third of a second - Ducks fly FAST!

Ref: DF3_20200520_0718_141-143 Mallard Duck pair in flight 4-6 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

09 Jun 2020

A few years ago we found a fawn dead and headless, so we do worry about them in their first few months. So we are pleased to see them around the photo sites. This one is tearing round in circles at the end of the orchard.

Ref: BU6_20200509_1010_196_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn bounding over grass (crop).jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn ventures onto the hedge bottom camera site with Mum in close attendance on the path behind.

Ref: E63_20200518_2001_043_FB1 Muntjac Deer Fawn with adult behind.jpg

Here the Reeve's Muntjac Fawn explores the area by the pond, but Mum behind doesn't let the little one get too far from her protection.

Ref: BU5_20200520_1623_434_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn followed by mother.jpg

A Reeve's Muntjac Deer stops by the pond. She may have stopped for a drink that the camera missed.

Ref: BU8_20200520_1646_217+219+220+222 Muntjac Reeves Deer female visits edge of Duck Pond 1-4 of 4 (montage impression).jpg

08 Jun 2020

... continued
The Photographer and the Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn spent about 5 minutes watching each other.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1459_220 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard 07 of 12 (crop 1).jpg

The Photographer and the Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn spent about 5 minutes watching each other.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1501_233 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard 08 of 12 (crop).jpg

After about 5 minutes the Fawn finally decided to depart in the direction that Mum had gone. Perhaps Mum called the little creature in a way that we didn't hear.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1501_235-238 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard 09-12 of 12 (horizontally stretched montage).jpg

07 Jun 2020

After seeing the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer through the window, the photographer stepped outdoor to find her fawn just 10 metres away. The Fawn was apparently only interested in, rather than frightened by, the human. The Grey Squirrel on the gate just didn't know whether to attack or flee this strange creature, and seemed frozen to the spot.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1457_173+177 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard spooking Grey Squirrel 01+02 of 12 (montage).jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn watches the photographer watching them.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1459_186 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard 03 of 12 (crop).jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn watches the photographer watching them.
Continued tomorrow ...

Ref: DF3_20200512_1459_205 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn 5 minutes visit to orchard 06 of 12 (crop).jpg

06 Jun 2020

High in a partially dead Pear tree this Robin sings to everybody near and far.

Ref: df3_20200510_0653_016 Robin singing 7m up on Pear tree branch.jpg

This male Chaffinch is putting his whole being into making sure his song carries as far and loud as he can.

Ref: DF3_20200512_1007_116 Chaffinch male singing to the sky from top of Ash tree (crop).jpg

05 Jun 2020

Dandelion Clocks are just beautiful constructions

Ref: d73_20200509_0839_178 Dandelion clock freshly opened (crop).jpg

With the crop wet with overnight dew, the Groundsel seems to stay dry

Ref: d73_20200509_0656_095 Groundsel seed heads against dew soaked wheat crop.jpg

As the Dandelions wind down for the year, the Buttercups wind up.

Ref: d73_20200509_0700_101 Buttercups starting to erupt.jpg

04 Jun 2020

A montage of 3 moments to get all three members of the Reeve's Muntjac Deer family in the frame at once, in the positions they actually occupied. Left to right: Mum, Fawn and a male that we assume must be Dad.

Ref: BU4_20200508_2241_165+2038_145+20200509_0438_190 Muntjac Reeves Deer female + Fawn + male (montage).jpg

This Fox waits hopefully for a Rabbit to appear at the Rabbit hole under this step. The Fox was out of luck this time.

Ref: BU2_20200513_0337_329_SC7 Fox poised at active Rabbit hole.jpg

03 Jun 2020

We rarely see the sun with a complete and consistent Halo when we have a wide enough angle lens to catch it all. We have enhanced the colour a bit to show the 'rainbow' effect - red inside.

Ref: d73_20200508_1051_044 Sun Halo full 360 degrees (orig).jpg

02 Jun 2020

A male Orange tip butterfly feeding on the flower of its caterpillar's food plant, the Garlic Mustard.

Ref: df3_20200507_1054_004 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Garlic Mustard flower.jpg

This moth fluttered past us and landed on this stinging nettle. It is the fairly common 'Silver Y' Moth that flies both day and night. The Latin name (Autographa gamma) just seem so apt!

Ref: DF3_20200512_1011_125 Silver Y Moth (Autographa gamma) (1st of 2020).jpg

01 Jun 2020

Our North boundary at the end of the day, when it sees a bit of sunshine is about 100 metres long. Several of the Hawthorn plants in the inner hedge have been allowed to grow into trees, now producing huge splashes of blossom that you really can't see from anywhere inside our patch :-(

Ref: D73_20200507_1728_009 Pineham House field viewed from Farm Road entrance - hawthorn blossom (crop).jpg

At the unusual double hedges we allow Hawthorn trees to grow on the inner hedge. It produces this lovely drapery effect as the trees grow over the outer almost entirely self-set Blackthorn over a barbed wire fence. This closer view is on the east hedge.

Ref: d73_20200509_0844_186 Hawthorn trees in blossom above east hedge.jpg



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