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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Mar 2020

5 minutes apart we catch a female Pheasant (right), and the male in a quirky posture

Ref: E63_20200311_1650_098+1655_099_FB1 Pheasant male & female (accurate montage).jpg

The male pheasant, re-entering our patch at around dawn, makes one of his characteristic display wing flaps to nobody in particular. The 3 images to the left were originally all in the same place - spread here to see the action.

Ref: BU4_20200307_0624_055-0624_057 Pheasant male making display call 1-4 of 4 (right to left spread montage).jpg

30 Mar 2020

On the left this Rook returns to the nest with his beak overflowing with dry leaves. He perches above the nest (middle) and procedes to 'massage' the heap until it about a third of the original size (top right). Several of the discarded leaves drift down, and this one lands in a vehicle rut right in front of us (bottom right).

Ref: DF3_20200306_1018_168-191 Rook carrying beakful of leaves to nest before breaking up clump & dropping some 2+4+6+7+9 of 9 (montage).jpg

This nest is getting a delivery of several small twigs as one beakful. The bird bottom left, what we assume is the female, is watching the arrival.

Ref: DF3_20200306_1057_317+328+331 Rook flying to nest with several small twigs in beak 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

This Rook picks up an assortment of twigs.

Ref: E64_20200308_1438_092_FB2 Rook picking up beakful of assorted twigs.jpg

29 Mar 2020

This male Chaffinch, complete with blue coated beak, find it hard to compete with the glowing white of the Cherry Blossom

Ref: DF3_20200306_1237_404 Chaffinch male with blue coated beak perched in cherry blossom.jpg

One of the many Robins, each in their own patch, perched on a really old hedge covered in lichen opposite the front door.

Ref: DF3_20200312_0937_031 Robin perched on hedge twig.jpg

A Song Thrush takes it's selfie with elegantly arched back.

Ref: E62_20200309_0556_192_FB5 Song Thrush (ID only).jpg

28 Mar 2020

Another load of Autumn's leaves to line the nest, lit by the sun's early glow.

Ref: DF3_20200306_0657_004 Rook carrying beakful of leaves to nest.jpg

This bird's nest would appear to still require more reinforcement before it gets it's lining of leaves

Ref: DF3_20200306_0658_010 Rook carrying twig to nest.jpg

Despite the amount of broken twigs carpeting the woodland, this Rook wants fresh springy wood from this Willow Tree. Right to Left: waggle until it break, position it so you can fly with it, and then head for the nest (hidden from us by the house).

Ref: DF3_20200306_0727_092-110 Rook breaks off willow twig and flies off with it 1+2+4+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

27 Mar 2020

While watching the local female Kestrel for about 25 minutes, we caught this moment when she flew to the mains cable next to the concrete pole, showing a wonderful spread of her feathers before she landed.

Ref: D73_20200305_1104_041+046 Kestrel female landing on mains wire connectors near concrete post 1+6 of 6 (approx montage).jpg

The local female Kestrel spent 25 minutes hunting around the south of the house. She starts at the top of the concrete power pole, makes a dive down to the ground out of view but returned 'empty taloned'. 15 minutes later she moves to hunt at the front of the house, perching on a dead branch of an old pear tree. She took off and we expect her to fly away, but she flies back to the cable next to the top of the power pole. After a few minutes she flies down the wire about 10 metres, before finally flying off we know not where.

Ref: DF5_20200305_1044_036-D73_20200305_1108_074 Kestrel female 25 minute hunt in back garden 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

26 Mar 2020

A quarter of an hour apart, this male Yellowhammer is caught flying to the stone and then perching on it.

Ref: E63_20200311_1713_102+1728_105_FB1 Yellowhammer male flying to and perched on stone (accurate montage).jpg

A dainty female Yellowhammer, no where near as bright as 'hubby', pecks around in the wet grass. We have seen this bird and her male 'playing' together in the hedges, and hope they can find somewhere good to nest.

Ref: DF3_20200302_0922_096 Yellowhammer female.jpg

25 Mar 2020

Another stick for the Rook nest. The abnormal conditions have produced what seems to us an enormous amount of dead branches and twigs lying all over the woodland. The Corvids are treating the place as a 'click and collect builder's merchant'

Ref: DF3_20200302_1546_167 Rook in flight carrying twig 5 of 6 (crop).jpg

A Carrion crow touches down with a short but substantial stick.
So there must a be Crow's nest on our patch but we haven't found it yet. This pair of Crows habitually build in evergreen trees, and it is hard to spot from the ground with them high in the canopy.

Ref: D01_20200303_1737_095_FB6 Carrion Crow carrying short thick twig in beak landing on Meadow Post.jpg

The Magpies started nest building earlier than the Rooks or Carrion Crows. This magpie is collecting mud to 'glue' the nest into shape.

Ref: E62_20200301_0856_133_FB5 Magpie collecting mud for nest.jpg

24 Mar 2020

The Rooks have gone mad this week!
They are building nests in 3 of the 5 Black Poplars down the access track, and 4 more nests in trees inside our plot.
These two are 'cementing' the pair bond with a little courtship feeding over their just started nest.

Ref: DF3_20200302_0911_011 Rooks courtship feeding over just started nest 1 of 5 (crop).jpg

At first we mainly saw twigs being transported to the nests which over 3 to 4 days grew from 'nothing' to large enough to hide the birds inside.

Ref: DF3_20200302_0912_034-037 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 09-12 of 41 (approx montage @7fps).jpg

The flight continued to 'home tree' where the bird was hidden by all the twigs ...

Ref: DF3_20200302_0912_049-053 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 22-26 of 41 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

... until landing on one of the thick branches and walking down to the beginnings of the nest, still with the twig in the beak.

Ref: DF3_20200302_0912_074 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 41 of 41 (crop).jpg

23 Mar 2020

This Robin sings 'at us' from a branch near the house.
Sadly, most of the song is lost to our ageing ears.

Ref: DF3_20200227_1555_003+013+108 Robin singing (montage).jpg

A few years back we had to cut this Willow back because it was shading out everything around. It responded with dozens of shoots while the old wood just rots to the delight of the local insectivores.
This Grey Squirrel likes this spot to sunbathe in the mornings.

Ref: DF5_20200302_1024_001 Grey Squirrel on Pollarded willow.jpg

22 Mar 2020

Several sightings of a pair of Pheasants this week, here at the hedge bottom site.

Ref: E64_20200303_1547_190_FB2 Pheasant pair.jpg

The male Pheasant nicely positioning himself in the camera frame. His tail is longer than the rest of the bird.

Ref: E64_20200226_1645_023_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

21 Mar 2020

2 Rooks fly in together to see what the departing humans have left.

Ref: BU6_20200226_1331_073_SC2 2 Rooks landing in orchard.jpg

7 minutes later this pair of Rooks look over the just baited site in the meadow.

Ref: E62_20200226_1338_008_FB5 Rook pair feeding together.jpg

20 Mar 2020

The Sparrowhawk flashed by the conservatory window but did not reappear on the other side of the (once) 'miniature' conifer. Venturing quietly out with a camera to see if he was still about, the bird spotted the cameraman before the cameraman spotted him! The camera managed to catch these three moments of the bird making his exit in front of the phone pole. A little calculation based on the birds size and frame rate (about 7 fps) suggests about 15 mph - not bad for a standing start with a load in your Talons.

Ref: DF3_20200227_1226_034-036 Sparrowhawk male taking off from grass with prey in Talons 2-4 of 4 (approx montage @7 fps).jpg

So what did the make Sparrowhawk catch? This is an enhanced version of the bird on the right of the montage, and is certainly a small bird of some kind, the bird's face between the orange specks and the white feathers.
Most likely it is one of our many Blue Tits, but it looks like it might be our currently arrived Tree Sparrow.

Ref: DF3_20200227_1226_036 Sparrowhawk male taking off from grass with prey in Talons 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

19 Mar 2020

The fairly tolerant female Kestrel watches us walking along the track some 15m away.

Ref: DF3_20200227_1103_013 Kestrel female on telephone pole footrest.jpg

The female Kestrel decided to depart - here is her departure in this accurate montage.

Ref: DF3_20200227_1104_020-023 Kestrel female launching from telephone pole footrest 1-4 of 4 (mixed exposure accurate montage).jpg

18 Mar 2020

Having escaped an annoying Rook, this Red Kite brings the prey forwards in the Talons to have a bit of it as an in-flight snack. This is about half a second of action.

Ref: DF3_20200225_0956_146-152 Red Kite eating prey in Talons while banking in flight 1+3+5+7 of 8 (close spaced montage).jpg

The bird completes their turn, and we get a profile view of the bird pulling off a bit of the unlucky prey.

Ref: DF3_20200225_0956_154+156+158 Red Kite eating prey in Talons flying past Contrail 01+03+05 of 12 (close space montage).jpg

As the Red Kite flew upwards and away, the birds head is just going down for another peck, as the bird serendipitously passes against an airliner contrail.

Ref: DF3_20200225_0956_161-164 Red Kite eating prey in Talons flying past Contrail 08-11 of 12 (approx montage).jpg

17 Mar 2020

Out first sighting of a Tree Sparrow since the middle of last year. We normally first spot them on Peanut feeders but spotted this one in a tree near the front door.

Ref: DF3_20200225_0814_002 Tree Sparrow.jpg

This male Yellowhammer has suddenly become a regular sighting at this concrete block where we often leave a scattering of corn.

Ref: DF3_20200225_1307_184 Yellowhammer male.jpg

16 Mar 2020

For a short time there is not a cloud in the sky to disturb this Cherry Blossom providing a flourish of Spring.

Ref: DF3_20200225_0816_006 Cherry Blossom against dark-blue sky (crop 2).jpg

Primroses can be found at many sites over the plot - here on the North face of a mound in constant shade, but otherwise sheltered, wet with dew.

Ref: DF3_20200223_1100_062 Primrose flowering on north facing shaded bank.jpg

15 Mar 2020

Teeth and claws vs. beak and spur. The next image (not shown) surprisingly shows us that the Pheasant 'won' this contest.

Ref: E64_20200222_1426_085_FB2 Pheasant male leaping to avoid Grey Squirrel attack 1 of 2 (crop 1).jpg

A different crop shows just the male Pheasant leap.
Oh for more image at the top!

Ref: E64_20200222_1426_085_FB2 Pheasant male leaping to avoid Grey Squirrel attack 1 of 2 (crop 2).jpg

Next day we get a repeat performance probably between the same individuals.

Ref: E64_20200223_1630_114_FB2 Pheasant male leaping to avoid Grey Squirrel attack (crop).jpg

The male Pheasant is apparently undamaged from his encounters with the Grey Squirrel.

Ref: E64_20200223_1345_105_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

14 Mar 2020

Inside one minute female and then male Reeves Muntjac Deer pass over the same point by the ditch. Undoubtedly the male was 'following' as they do!

Ref: BU7_20200218_0236_029+0237_036 Muntjac Reeves Deer female & then male by ditch (montage 1 minute apart).jpg

A minute later the male Reeve's Muntjac deer leaps over the water.
It seems likely that the female crossed over out of frame to the left.
The positions here do look a bit odd, but this is a genuine accurate montage taken at most 2 seconds apart.

Ref: BU7_20200218_0237_038+039 Muntjac Reeves Deer male leaping over ditch 2+3 of 3 (accurate montage over 1 to 2 seconds).jpg

13 Mar 2020

The local Tawny Owl visited the Meadow post for a couple of minutes (right), then went hunting away from the cameras before arriving 15 minutes later at the Kitchen Window perch for an unknown length of stay.

Ref: E60_20200217_1811_007_FB3+D01_20200217_1756_029_FB6 Tawny Owl landing on Meadow Post & Kitchen perch (montage 15mins apart).jpg

About 5 minutes later, the camera at the ditch entrance catches this Owl flying along the ditch. We have to assume that it is the same Tawny Owl.

Ref: BU7_20200217_1815_016 Owl Flying over flooded ditch.jpg

12 Mar 2020

This female Sparrowhawk has established an interesting hunting regime where several times a day she flashes by the south of the house past the feeder outside the study, loops round the east of the house and, as you see here, does a similar pass over (sometimes under) the bird table and peanut feeder outside the kitchen. Once in a while she goes in the opposite direction.
Now that 'Sparrows' are not 'as common as muck' perhaps we ought to rename 'Sparrowhawks' as 'Tit-hawks'.

Ref: E60_20200217_1126_002_FB3 Sparrowhawk female flying over kitchen feeder (crop).jpg

11 Mar 2020

The female Kestrel initially flew away over the waterlogged fields.
This 17 frames sequence is accurately montaged at 10 fps, here cut in two to make the bird images more than specks.

Ref: D73_20200216_0820_323-331 Kestrel female flying over waterlogged crop 01-09 of 17 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

The female Kestrel initially flew away over the waterlogged fields.
This 17 frames sequence is accurately montaged at 10 fps, here cut in two to make the bird images more than specks.

Ref: D73_20200216_0820_332-339 Kestrel female flying over waterlogged crop 10-17 of 17 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

The last 4 images from the above montage for more satisfying detail of the female Kestrel.

Ref: D73_20200216_0820_336-339 Kestrel female flying over waterlogged crop 14-17 of 17 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

We thought that would be 'bye-bye', but she circled round and finally landed on one of her favourite perches on a disused telephone pole. We decided to leave her in peace.

Ref: D73_20200216_0822_512 Kestrel female on footrest of disused Telephone pole.jpg

10 Mar 2020

The local female Kestrel made several appearances over a couple of days. This is always the same individual - we can always find the single grey feather in her otherwise brown tail.

Ref: D01_20200215_1304_129+130_FB6 Kestrel female short visit to meadow post into light rain 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

The bird flew past us and we caught this view with the Alulae (Alula plural) - the birds 'Thumb' with a few feathers on it - deployed to the same effect as a aeroplanes flaps. Her head was motionless as she hung in the wind, continuously adjusting the angles of her wings and tail. You can see the Grey tail feather quite well here.

Ref: D73_20200216_0817_227 Kestrel female hanging in strong headwind with Alulae pronounced.jpg

From a 'hang in the wind' hover the female Kestrel dived down onto the gully at the edge of the crop - only 10m away but just out of our view. Darn!

Ref: D73_20200216_0819_293-295+0820_297+298 Kestrel female pouncing on prey at crop margin 1-3+5+6 of 6 (spread montage @10fps).jpg

We didn't move, but the Kestrel launched out of the mud and started to fly away.

Ref: D73_20200216_0820_311+312 Kestrel female flying over waterlogged crop 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

09 Mar 2020

More stuff for the Magpie nest - a sort of wattle and daub in corvid style.

Ref: D01_20200215_0834_124+0931+126_FB6 Magpie collecting mud and twigs for nest 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

Down in the ditch another twig is selected to build the Magpies' really substantial nest

Ref: BU7_20200215_0942_033 Magpie picking up fallen twig on edge of ditch.jpg

08 Mar 2020

This badger decided to walk across the flooded ditch. Maybe it was so wet already that a paddle wasn't going to make things worse.

Ref: BU7_20200214_2157_025-027 Badger walking through flooded ditch (repeated 2hrs later) 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Amorous Badgers: First a chase up the mound, a circle around the tree, before getting entwined on the lower shallow slope.

Ref: BU2_20200217_0110_235+237+0112_244_SC7 2 Badgers courting on Round Mound 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

The following night most probably the same pair of badgers foraging together.

Ref: BU5_20200217_2148_046_SC1 Badger pair at edge of Round Pond.jpg

07 Mar 2020

The male Pheasant walks past the camera like he owns the place - in his way he does.

Ref: E62_20200213_1642_044_FB5 Pheasant male.jpg

"I think my other side is even more magnificent"

Ref: E64_20200216_1527_143_FB2 Pheasant male.jpg

One of the first sightings of our male Pheasant with one of his wives. She is casting a shadow across his chest, but undoubtedly not over his ardour.

Ref: E64_20200218_0723_052_FB2 Pheasant pair.jpg

06 Mar 2020

As much dry leaf as can be crammed into the mouth of this Grey Squirrel on its way to reinforce the Drey.

Ref: E64_20200211_1552_059_FB2 Grey Squirrel collecting dry leaves for Drey.jpg

This Magpie pauses with yet another twig to add to the nest.

Ref: BU7_20200212_0840_026 Magpie with twig in beak.jpg

Snowdrops love a bit of sunshine!
In this clump those in the shade of the tree trunk have not yet opened their flowers.

Ref: DF3_20200212_1326_042 Snowdrop clumps in orchard showing tree trunk shaded part not yet open (orig & final).jpg

05 Mar 2020

Despite strong winds, this Barn Owl stopped by on the Meadow post for less than a minute, though we had sighting of the bird continuing to hunt from a more sheltered perch.

Ref: D01_20200209_1913_101_FB6 Barn Owl landing on Meadow post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

The 'slightly coy' midnight Barn Owl stops by for a brief visit.

Ref: D01_20200213_2352_061_FB6 Barn Owl landing on meadow post face partly hidden by wings (crop).jpg

04 Mar 2020

Over half an hour this Tawny Owl made 3 visits to the meadow post. The bird didn't bring back any successful catches, but may have eaten any where caught.

Ref: D01_20200211_0440_007-0509-029_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 visits to meadow post over 30 minutes 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at an Owl feeding site?
Actually, when we see Owls with a catch it is usually a Vole rather than a mouse, whilst Volves are only occasionally seen at these photo sites.

Ref: E62_20200211_2016_094_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice).jpg

03 Mar 2020

The female Kestrel has been a regular sighting for a few weeks.
Despite being only 20m away from us she landed on this crossbar. Enjoy her shadows moving up the post (accurately montaged along with the bird).

Ref: DF3_20200207_1526_061-072 Kestrel female landing on 11kV crossbar 03-05+07+11+14 of 14 (approx montage).jpg

5 minutes later the female Kestrel has moved about 150m east and we watched her pouncing on some unsuspecting creature in the grass by the hedge. She only spent a few seconds on the ground, so we think she missed her target.

Ref: DF3_20200207_1530_097-1531_119 Kestrel female pounces on Prey in grass & flies off 01-05+08-10 of 17 (hor spread montage).jpg

02 Mar 2020

A female Sparrowhawk takes an elegant selfie outside the kitchen.

Ref: E60_20200213_1613_006_FB3 Sparrowhawk female on kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

This male Sparrowhawk flashes by over the bird table.
This week we had 3 sightings of a Sparrowhawk flashing past the windows, but too quick to gender, but we know that both male and female quarter our patch.

Ref: E60_20200206_1448_003_FB3 Sparrowhawk male flying over kitchen feeder (crop).jpg

01 Mar 2020

From the top of the old telephone pole the female Kestrel flew over the farm road, landed in a hedge tree, then dived down onto the grass below, out of our view.
She shortly re-emerged, and here caught her departure, seeing (unusually) mainly the top of the bird when in flight.

Ref: DF3_20200203_1230_097-101 Kestrel female taking off from grass 1-5 of 6 (20pc stretched montage).jpg

In the above montage, and more clearly here, you can see that this female has a single Grey tail feather to the left - a tail with the female markings but male colour.
Gender just isn't simple is it!

Ref: D01_20200203_1656_027_FB6 Kestrel female with single grey tail feather landing back to camera on meadow post.jpg



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