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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
After a few weeks of absence and then a few fleeting glimpses, hopefully while incubating eggs, the local female Kestrel makes a much longer visit to the meadow post.
The Rooks seem mostly to have finished making the new generation. Here we have 2 pairs of Rooks, juvenile on the left in each case.
But just one pair of Rooks seem to be building a new nest or doing a renovation. Here one bird (probably the male) has picked up a twig well over twice his own length. The stick starts above where he is holding it and ends almost at the bottom of this pic. He spent several minutes trying various way to get it into the nest, but just couldn't.
He finally just took off with it, and expected him to drop it as 'too big'. But instead he made a wide circle and flew back to the nesting tree with it still in his beak.
Finally he landed well above his nest and his calling mate, and quickly worked his way down onto the nest with his prize.
This has been an unusually plentiful year for Green Veined White Butterflies around our patch. This one is feeding from an also plentiful Garlic Mustard flower.
Next afternoon this Green Veined White butterfly perches on a Garlic Mustard leaf. Not trying to feed, the Proboscis is neatly rolled.
After entering the site 13 minutes before the female Roe Deer appears at the front of Round Pond. The huge ears look wonderful.
2 nights later the male Roe Deer crosses the concrete track showing off his antlers and proving an unusually good view of his hooves.
Hours later, in morning sunshine, the female of the much smaller Reeve's Muntjac Deer ambles across the concrete track into the adjacent crop field to the left.
This Red-headed Cardinal Beetle was glowing in the sunshine on the end of some sort of dried up stem.
The local female Kestrel, not seen for weeks, flashes by and lands on one of the apple trees. She proceeded to perch quietly, repeatedly opening her gape and closing it again repeatedly for a few minutes - most likely something to do with regurgitating a pellet, but we never saw one.
"I see you, but you seem mostly Harmless."
Shameful mash-up of quotes from Avatar and The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
I've already said I can see you.
She finally decided to fly to another perch, still quite close but in a conifer where she is obscured. As many birds do just before take-off, she evacuates her bowels - why carry unnecessary weight.
A mid-afternoon fox enters the area at the south west corner, spends 10 minutes
on the prowl, and exits through the east passage.
What gets a Fox out in the middle of the day? Most probably hungry youngsters!
We see lots of Foxes moving in and out of the site, but they do seem to avoid the high resolution & flash cameras, so nice to see this one.
This fox is near the edge of the duck-shaped pond, we think sniffing the air in search of a meal. If there is a duck nest on the island (right) the Fox will have to decide whether the eggs are worth a cold swim.
About time - a piece of FRESH juicy carrot rather than the stale ends.
Something out of frame top and right seems to have really spooked this Squirrel.
Apple now, STRAWBERRY to come!
A piece of 'Timber' for nest improvements?
This Wood Pigeon works along his tail feathers, 'combing' them out. You can just see the eye's tiny inverted tear drop Iris shape in the bright light.
Outside the living room window over breakfast, this Wren spent a minute or two singing his heart out.
Should it matter the sequence is Upper Left, Lower Left, Upper Middle, Lower Middle etc.
This Wood Pigeon takes off from the post with rather more verve than usual. Normally they sort of fall off downwards and catch the fall with their wings.
This Hover-fly was hovering about a metre away, holding position really accurately, providing the chance of this in-flight portrait.
A male Roe Deer spent 7 minutes traversing our patch.
The one that got away - none of our hi-resolution flash cameras are set up to photograph creatures that are this tall.
First sighting here this year of any sort of Wagtail. This one is a Pied Wagtail spending just a few seconds on an 11kV cable
The same Pied Wagtail started hunting along the edge of the disused concrete track, suddenly leaping forward and backing off with a substantial caterpillar in it's beak
The moment of capture between the bottom two images in the montage.
Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) (aka Cuckoo flower) is a generous nectar provider, and the orange-tip Butterflies make the most of it.
The insect on the right shows the Proboscis partially coiled.
Here the male Orange-tip Butterfly is backing away from the flower, his Proboscis still extended.
This young Rook is making it very clear that it wants F O O D !
It hard to see what is going on in nests 10 metres above your head, but this is definitely 2 young Rooks in this nest. One has it's beak at the centre of the frame, and the other is facing left with beak tip hidden by the branch around which the nest is constructed.
A male Chaffinch calling his territorial ownership to any other bird in earshot.
A White Bluebell spike. This robust plant looks like a cultivar or hybrid.
Next day its the turn of a what looks like the classic British Bluebell in the 'normal' coloured Blue, and a Pink variety.
Cow Parsley displays it's delicate flower head along the concrete track boarders - and a few days later all over the place.
Red Campion is one of the regular wild flowers.
The 'new' Tawny Owl makes a neat landing on the kitchen perch
A surprise appearance by a Wren on the meadow post is contrasted with the much larger Tawny Owl. But even a Tawny Owl is not a particularly large bird.
Dark streaks of cloud suggest a rolling landscape off into the distance.
A Rabbit (background) comes out as the day ends.
The Rabbit may have had some unpleasant encounters with Grey squirrels, and keeps a safe distance from the Squirrel.
This Tawny Owl makes a short visit to the kitchen window perch just before midnight.
This Fox looks back as they stop on the climb up the mound.
We are delighted to report that one of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has had a Fawn! Here are left to right are the Dad, Fawn and Mum in the gloom of evening. Try to imagine their little hard hooves clicking their way along our concrete access track.
Next day the early afternoon lighting provides a much better pic of just Mum and her Fawn at the same place.
20 minutes later Mum and Fawn arrive 100m away across the other side of our plot.
Three days later, dark enough for the camera to switch to IR illumination,
Mum and Fawn are still roaming the plot.
We think the Fawn may be looking for the 'Milk Bar'
Story continued from yesterday
This Tawny owl arrived for a look at the roadkill Hare, but didn't stay.
A Magpie samples the increasingly odiferous carcass of the roadkill Hare.
At nearly 3.30 a.m. this Badger turns up to examine the still substantial
roadkill Hare remains.
The Badger may have blocked the beam while feeding on it, or just wandered away - we don't know which.
20 minutes later this Badger drags away the roadkill Hare remains.
To us this looks like a different individual to the earlier visit.
Next morning, the site now empty, we looked for indications of where the carcass was dragged, but found no signs.
A sad little tale that starts a few days before the major events. In the middle of the day we spotted a lone Hare lolloping through the crop on the field across our access track. Grabbing a picture, and noting to keep an eye out for them in this field, we just kept this pic 'for the record'.
4 days later, at the end of our access track at about 8.45 a.m. we spotted a mound of brown fur lying in the middle of the road. We took a barrow up the road to it and sadly discovered that it was a Hare which we brought back to the meadow camera site. We have to assume that this 'lost' Hare got through the pig-net and onto the road and met it's end under the wheels of a passing vehicle.
In the daytime we saw only Magpies visiting to eat the roadkill Hare - not one sighting of any other Corvid despite the area being awash with Rooks and a few Jackdaws.
This moment of a Magpie pecking at the roadkill Hare is a crop from a Camcorder frame.
Story continues tomorrow ...
A Bumble Bee flying in to feed on the flower of a White Dead-nettle.
This decades old Apple tree is notable because EVERYTHING is red - flowers, the
wood and sap, the skin of the apple as well as the flesh. It makes a good
cooking apple even if whatever you make comes out pink!
Only when we worked on this photo did we spot the Comma Butterfly at the top, and a fly just to the Butterfly's left. That crenelated wing edge is marvellous camouflage.
The first sighting this year of a Speckled Wood Butterfly. This by far the most numerous Butterfly here, and is about for many months.
Part of a Lilac Flower head, individual flowers from closed to fully open. Some of the closed flowers seem sprinkled with pollen dust from the already open flowers.
A pristine Badger wanders through the Meadow site.
A closer look at the badgers face.
Hi Brock - hoping to find another Hare for supper?
The same Badger visits the night after we think the same Badger dragged away a roadkill Hare from this site
A triplet of Mallard ducks - the 'standard' 1 female and 2 males spent several
minutes circling the area.
Unexpectedly they decided to touch down in the margin of the field to our east. Here the female is at the left, with one male about to land and the other doing a rather inelegant bellyflop. Mallard ducks are not very good at landing on solid ground but 'any landing you can walk away from is good'.
The 3 Duck waddled about quacking, and finally the female launched to the east,
so of course the males quickly followed, and the montage tries to give an
impression of the event.
We see interactions of this sort so often in Spring that we are convinced that the female is finding out which of the males best handles her 'Assault course' before she offers to mate with him.
Here is the brilliant yellow flowering Dandelion with the flowers shadowed on a lump of broken concrete.
We were asked how this brilliant flower turns into the white seed head we all know as a Dandelion Clock.
We didn't know so decided to find out ...
Here is a Dandelion that has finished flowering but not yet turned to seed. The withering leaves are at the top and the recessive green seed capsule is below. The seeds develop in the capsule for what seems to be 2 or 3 days.
With little warning the seed capsule starts to open from the base to turn the wind-dispersed seeds into the well known sphere. Images 1 to 10 are cropped from 90 minutes of 4K video at 10 minute intervals. All but 05 to 06 (that's top right to bottom left) skip 1 image, so most of the intervals are 20 minutes. If you look for these events in progress it is hard to find - the unopened seed capsules are difficult to find among the bright yellow and white, and the partly open globe looks like a partially wind blown finished head.
Here is the same 90 minute sequence of the opening Dandelion seed head animated in just 10 seconds, here all at about 10 minute intervals
Groundsel has gone 'mad' this year, appearing in swathes is various places on the Farm land. These tiny seed heads (like Dandelions but about a quarter of the diameter) cover a patch at the edge of the crop.
On the south side of the house the Dandelions are sheltered from the
wind from the east so these head are still intact.
Two days later heavy rain smashed the seed heads to bits.
Photographs always seeming to mislead about size, so here is a direct comparison of Dandelion and Groundsel 'clocks' 'in the hand'..
We struggle identifying 'Little Brown Birds', but from the bird's call we believe it to be a Chiffchaff
A Bee-fly hovers in the sunshine
Completely Harmless! - that long probe is NOT a stinger!
We believe that this is a 'Cinnamon Bug' with a Vivid orange and Black colouration.
Several sightings of these 7-Spot Ladybirds so far this year - more than for the occasional invasive (if now inevitable) Harlequin Ladybird.
Orange-tip Butterflies males fruitlessly looking for females, not yet emerged
from their over-wintered chrysalises, are now rewarded with a female to entice.
Here are 4 moments from an attempted seduction.
The male has the orange tips, but the female doesn't. They both have that wonderful green and white marbling under the wing.
2 days later presumably a different couple of Orange-tip Butterfly 'getting to know each other'.
All this chasing girls is hard work.
Here a male Orange-tip Butterfly refuels on what we think is a Ground Ivy flower.
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