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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Nov 2020

A young Reeve's Muntjac Deer walks quietly across the site hoping to find some food in the dark of the night.

Ref: E64_20201020_0244_025_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female walking across site.jpg

29 Nov 2020

Visits by the same or different Blue Tits at the hedge bottom, here 'stealing' a corn grain.

Ref: E63_20201015_1635_053+1642_054_FB1 Blue Tit taking away corn grain (montage).jpg

Great Tits are only a little larger than Blue Tits. We normally think of both species as having matt feathers, but this Great Tit shows a lovely glossy head - could it just be soaked?

Ref: E63_20201016_1350_149_FB1 Great Tit with glossy head feathers.jpg

A more typical view of a Great Tit, poised nicely on the stone.

Ref: E63_20201019_1605_057_FB1 Great Tit.jpg

28 Nov 2020

A Squeakquence (sorry) of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at the meadow over a single night as the Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) count soars.

Ref: E6A_20201020_1939_279-20201021_0214_374_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) visits over 1 night (montage).jpg

At the hedge bottom the Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) are less exuberant but the different camera setup allows better photos of small creatures.

Ref: E63_20201017_1926_255+20201015_1855_079_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) pairs visiting 2 days apart (montage).jpg

To a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) a corn grain must be a really substantial feed.

Ref: E63_20201013_0123_077_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with corn grain filling mouth.jpg

27 Nov 2020

It is easy to forget that the beautiful smooth breast plumage of a Pigeon is actually hundreds of individual feathers carefully groomed to perfection.

Ref: E6A_20201010_1724_311_FB5 Wood Pigeon adult showing spread body feathers.jpg

A good shake out to settle the feathers helps turn this juvenile Wood Pigeon's chaotic feather duster appearance back to a small sheen.

Ref: E60_20201016_1652_006_FB3 Wood Pigeon juvenile shaking out feathers.jpg

A couple of juvenile Wood Pigeons share the bird table, plumages back to it's smooth profile.

Ref: E60_20201018_0845_015_FB3 2 Wood Pigeons sharing bird table.jpg

26 Nov 2020

There seem to be several Red Admiral Butterflies feeding around the site. This one is on Yellow Buddleia that goes on flowering until the first hard frost. You can see the Butterfly's Proboscis tightly wound.

Ref: DF3_20201011_1116_095 Red Admiral Butterfly on yellow Buddleia with view of coiled proboscis.jpg

Well away from the universally loved yellow Buddleia, these Red Admiral Butterflies, along with wasps and Greenbottles, drinks the juice of a fermenting fruit. Apparently Butterflies can get drunk from fermenting fruit, and get so woozy that you can pick them up.
The butterfly on the left has had a couple of bird pecks on the wing.
Red Admirals used always to migrate south for the winter or succumb to the cold, But recent mild winters allow them to overwinter, even been seen flying in December and January, so our recent unexpected sightings are a trend. Greenbottles were forever disturbing the butterflies - you can see another one flying in upper lefti

Ref: DF3_20201013_1300_026 2 Red Admiral Butterflies feeding on rotten fruit and greenbottle flies in.jpg

25 Nov 2020

The tolerant female Kestrel flies in to land on this tree branch over the access track about 100 metres from us. A quiet approach between our 2 north hedges doesn't seem to bother her at all. She spends another couple of minutes hunting, also showing how she keeps her head still on this swaying branch, before flying off towards the house. We didn't see her again this day.

Ref: D73_20201012_1213_008+009+015 Kestrel female on swaying black Poplar branch 1-3 of 4 (aligned montage).jpg

The female Kestrel perched on a Black Poplar branch.

Ref: D73_20201012_1213_020 Kestrel female on Black Poplar branch.jpg

The female Kestrel perched on a Black Poplar branch.

Ref: D73_20201012_1214_024 Kestrel female on Black Poplar branch.jpg

The female Kestrel flies from her perch on a Black Poplar branch.

Ref: D73_20201012_1214_031-033 Kestrel female flying from tip of Black Poplar branch 2-4 of 4 (vert acc montage @ 10fps).jpg

24 Nov 2020

Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are quite variable in appearance, but we don't remember seeing a Piebald mouse before. Here is a montage of 3 of the visits - we assume just the one mouse has this appearance.
Piebald is apparently a recessive Gene - both parents have to provide it before it manifests itself in the offspring.

Ref: E63_20201011_2253_311+20201012_0321_324+0124_319_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with piebald fur 6+5+4 of 6 (montage).jpg

At the same site we see here a 'normal' Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) accompanied by a 'Yellow Slug'.
Only our second sighting ever of a Yellow slug, the first one a few weeks ago.

Ref: E63_20201011_2338_314_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) + yellow Slug + Hawthorn berry.jpg

23 Nov 2020

The increase in rodent numbers makes it worthwhile again for Owls to hunt over the patch.
Here this Barn Owl, not seen for months, makes a short stay on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20201011_2118_067_FB6 Barn Owl short visit to Meadow Post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

The increase in rodent numbers makes it worthwhile again for Owls to hunt over the patch.
Two and a half hours after the Barn Owl stops by, the Tawny Owl stops by for 7 minutes.

Ref: D01_20201011_2347_073-2353_085_FB6 Tawny Owl 7 minute visit to Meadow Post 1+2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

22 Nov 2020

Hours after seeing the Female Kestrel on power cables to the north, we find the bird on one of her favourite perches -a Footrest of a disused Telephone pole. For once she let us pass on the path some 10 or 15 metres away, allowing this sequence of the bird seen from both sides of the post. We haven't rescaled - apparent bird size reflects our distance from her.

Ref: DF3_20201011_1103_058-1107_085 Kestrel female on pole footrest from progressive viewpoints 1+3+4+5+8 of 8 (montage).jpg

A better look at the female Kestrel on the telephone pole.

Ref: DF3_20201011_1106_074 Kestrel female on pole footrest from progressive viewpoints 6 of 8 (crop).jpg

21 Nov 2020

Read this sequence right to left as the camera caught the landing of the female Kestrel on the 11kV cable. You see here about 1 second of action.

Ref: DF3_20201011_0749_037-043 Kestrel female landing on 11kV cable 1-7 of 7 (spread montage @ 7fps).jpg

The photographer feels 'spotted', but the female Kestrel concludes he is 'mostly harmless' and continues her hunt.

Ref: DF3_20201011_0750_046 Kestrel female on 11kV cable watching cameraman.jpg

20 Nov 2020

This Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) displays whiskers of impressive length.

Ref: E63_20201010_0203_149_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse).jpg

Squabbling? Showing Off?

Ref: E6A_20201008_1937_106_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping towards (q) another (crop).jpg

A Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaps high over another just before midnight.
We normally put this behaviour down to males showing off to prospective mates.

Ref: E6A_20201012_2358_048_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) leaping above another.jpg

In the meadow this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) streaks away from unseen danger. A minute later the Fox renders the danger visible.

Ref: E6A_20201011_2048_432+2049_433_FB5 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) flees as Fox approaches site 1+2 of 2 (montage over 1 minute).jpg

19 Nov 2020

Buzzards are starting to appear around the site again.
This one lands on the Meadow Post and stays for about 3 minutes.

Ref: D01_20201007_1231_033-1233_037_FB6 Buzzard making 3 minute visit to meadow post 4+3+1 of 4 (montage 2).jpg

This Buzzard is regaining balance just after landing - about 300mS after the landing in the montage.

Ref: D01_20201007_1231_034_FB6 Buzzard making 3 minute visit to meadow post 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

18 Nov 2020

A young Rabbit.
Love the whiskers!

Ref: E64_20201003_1713_116_FB2 Rabbit juvenile.jpg

A young Reeve's Muntjac Deer picking up the days left-overs.

Ref: E6A_20201004_0117_107_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer juvenile in rain (crop).jpg

17 Nov 2020

This Grey Squirrel is feeding up ready for the Winter when they will only emerge from their Dreys on warm days.

Ref: E64_20201002_1339_060_FB2 Grey Squirrel feeding.jpg

This Grey Squirrel is feeding up ready for the Winter when they will only emerge from their Dreys on warm days.

Ref: D36_20201003_1436_033_FB4 Grey Squirrel collecting fruit from Tree-stump.jpg

16 Nov 2020

A Fox making a mid-afternoon visit to hunt in the orchard.

Ref: BU6_20201001_1435_019_SC2 Fox hunting in orchard for 20 minutes 1 of 5 (crop).jpg

The Fox stays for about 20 minutes before exiting through a now well trodden path through the south hedge.

Ref: BU6_20201001_1435_020_SC2+BU7_20201001_1456_007+009 Fox hunting in orchard for 20 minutes 2+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

15 Nov 2020

The three pristine Red Admiral Butterflies seem to have stayed near the house. In the morning sunshine they alternate between warming themselves on this sun-facing wall (along with a Bee and lots of flies) ...

Ref: DF3_20201006_0938_012 Red Admiral Butterfly warming on sun-facing wall 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

... before moving to the Yellow Buddleia to refuel.
Apart from Ivy, this generous Buddleia seems to be the only local source of nectar.

Ref: DF3_20201006_0940_022 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on Yellow Buddleia.jpg

14 Nov 2020

A Couple of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) come out just after dark in search of any food left by the evening visitors.

Ref: E63_20200928_1959_071_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at stone.jpg

As daylight fades these two little sweeties 'played' on the grass in front of the meadow camera.

Ref: E6A_20200929_1958_106_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) courting 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

13 Nov 2020

As night arrives, so does this Tawny Owl caught in touchdown at the kitchen window.

Ref: E60_20200926_2111_027_FB3 Tawny Owl visits Kitchen perch then meadow post over 7 minutes 1 of 8 (crop).jpg

The camera at the kitchen window doesn't multi-trigger, so yours-truly fired off the camera manually from the dark kitchen to capture some portraits. Here we suspect that the bird was aware of movement at the window but stayed anyway.
The photographer can't see any detail outside the window until a picture appears on the back of the camera, so what we photograph this way is pot-luck.

Ref: E60_20200926_2114_029_FB3 Tawny Owl visits Kitchen perch then meadow post over 7 minutes 3 of 8 (crop).jpg

The Tawny Owl stayed for a few minutes on the perch before flying directly to the meadow post (about 50m away) for another few minutes hunt.

Ref: E60_20200926_2111_027_FB3-D01_2117_043_FB6 Tawny Owl visits Kitchen perch then meadow post in 7 mins 1+5+6+8 of 8 (montage).jpg

12 Nov 2020

A surprise was to find 3 pristine Red Admiral Butterflies feeding from the flowers on the top of a 3m high Yellow Buddleia that came with the house 30 years ago.
This Buddleia is so vigorous that we take it down to 'knee' height when the flowers have finally been stopped by the first frost. It is a 'magnet' for butterflies and moths at the end of each flowering season.

Ref: D73_20200928_1052_044 Red Admiral Butterfly - 1 of 3 pristine feeding on Yellow Buddleia.jpg

The weather is turning generally colder, but a bit of sunshine and desperation to make the most of their last days means butterflies and Dragonflies make appearances near the middle of the day.
This is a Small Copper Butterfly - you normally see the orange upper wing but here we see the subtle appearance of just the underside of the rear wing with touches of the orange showing through.

Ref: DF3_20200926_1249_018 Small Copper Butterfly showing underside of rear wing.jpg

11 Nov 2020

The female Kestrel lands to hunt from a branch in one of the Ash trees along the South hedge.

Ref: DF3_20200925_1614_160-1615_174 Kestrel female hunting from Ash tree branch 2+3+5+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

The female Kestrel sees something in the recently cut grass margin, and dives onto it. You sort of expect a rodent to be the target, but no, this Cranefly is worthy of the effort.

Ref: DF3_20200925_1615_176 Kestrel female catching cranefly then running over grass for another catch 01 of 19 (detail crop).jpg

Then a first for us - this female Kestrel runs over the grass to grab another prey item. The bird is, not unexpectedly, not particularly good at running, and we show here about every third image of those taken at 7 fps - so just under half a second between each image accurately montaged except for the last which would overlap the previous, hence the white bar. We never saw what she caught, but the grass is alive with Craneflies.

Ref: DF3_20200925_1615_182-204 Kestrel female catching cranefly then running over grass for another catch 03+08+11+14+17+19 of 19 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Finally the female Kestrel flies off, we hope replete.

Ref: DF3_20200925_1616_212-214 Kestrel female flying away after running over grass 1--3 of 3 (near accurate montage @ 7fps).jpg

10 Nov 2020

She lands on a conifer branch at the inside SE corner of our patch, here photographed from outside. She is mostly sheltered from the brisk wind, but the branch is gently bouncing. In this aligned montage you can see how the hunting bird keeps her eyes stationary by flexing her body and neck.

Ref: DF3_20200925_0853_045+050 Kestrel female maintaining eye position on lightly bouncing branch 1+2 of 2 (aligned montage).jpg

She moves to the top of the same tree more exposed to the wind, and the branch she is on exceeds her ability to compensate for the movement. Rather than a partial compensation, she stops compensating altogether and her whole body moves as one.

Ref: DF3_20200925_0856_086 Kestrel female in top of conifer.jpg

Half an hour later the female Kestrel spends 16 minutes hunting from the post in the meadow.

Ref: D01_20200925_0933_079-0948_108_FB6 Kestrel female 16 minute visit to meadow post 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

09 Nov 2020

The behaviour of this female Kestrel suggests that this is the bird we Christened 'Grey Feather', even though the result of her moult seems to have produced a normal set of tail feathers. Here she is on one of her favourite perches on a protruding dead branch of an old apple tree.

Ref: D73_20200924_1702_023 Kestrel female hunting from dead branch dives onto prey behind pond 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

Next day the female Kestrel moves to a footrest on the disused Telephone pole.

Ref: DF3_20200925_0852_016-024 Kestrel female flies from disused telephone pole 1+2+4 of 4 (impression montage).jpg

The female Kestrel flies from the footrest on the disused Telephone pole low over the ground and out of sight.

Ref: DF3_20200925_0852_030 Kestrel female in flight.jpg

08 Nov 2020

In previous years Small Copper Butterflies have been very much an occasional sighting - this year there are several at various places in the meadow and along the access track. This is a female ...

Ref: D73_20200920_1329_043 Small Copper Butterfly female feeding on Yarrow flower.jpg

... and this a male Small Copper Butterfly. The tip of one wing has been bird pecked or damaged on a thorn or similar.

Ref: D73_20200920_1617_087 Small Copper Butterfly male.jpg

A male Brown Argus Butterfly basks in the sunshine.

Ref: D73_20200921_1251_008 Brown Argus Butterfly male.jpg

07 Nov 2020

The female Sparrowhawk makes a rare stop on the Kitchen bird table.

Ref: E60_20200919_1337_058_FB3 Sparrowhawk perched on bird table (crop).jpg

This Kestrel dives down from an 11kV wire above onto the harrowed field. After a minute or two mostly 'lost' in the ground debris, the bird leaps into the air and flies off. This is an accurate montage at about 7 fps except for the bird on the ground (lower left) to the first moment of the flight.
The tail suggests 'male', the head suggests 'female', so probably a juvenile.

Ref: DF3_20200919_1632_055+057-063 Kestrel taking off from harrowed field 2-9 of 9 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

06 Nov 2020

A male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly stops for a moment on a cut Blackberry stem.

Ref: DF3_20200919_1308_022 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male.jpg

A lovely old lady - a Common Darter Dragonfly, seeing out her days.

Ref: D73_20200920_1208_039 Common Darter female over mature.jpg

05 Nov 2020

We think the Squirrel has an acorn in their mouth, and another in the paws.

Ref: E6A_20200918_1343_125_FB5 Grey Squirrel Photobombs Chaffinch male and Dunnock (crop).jpg

04 Nov 2020

"What's a Kangaroo doing here"
. It is a leaping Reeve's Muntjac Deer of course, once the initial disorientation is over!

Ref: E6A_20200920_1132_251_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer leaping across site (crop).jpg

This Reeve's Muntjac Deer appeared about 7m away across the pond, and quietly walked onto the mat of Iris roots over the water, disappearing behind the metre high fronds.

Ref: D73_20200918_1241_013 Muntjac Reeves Deer at side of main pond before walking in 2 of 2.jpg

An hour after midnight this female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has probably been attracted by the smell of fruit.

Ref: E64_20200922_0100_065_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer.jpg

03 Nov 2020

How Twee can you get?
In the hour before midnight this Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) delicately nibbles a cherry pip it has selected from jam-making fruit waste.

Ref: E63_20200917_2313_063_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) nibbling cherry pip.jpg

02 Nov 2020

On the Ash tree on the main pond island the unripe Keys (Ash seeds) make a striking sight in the sunshine.

Ref: DF3_20200906_0925_014 Ash keys (seeds) on main pond island.jpg

Two weeks later the same Ash tree Keys (seeds) have now ripened. A few are already starting to 'wing' their way to the ground.

Ref: DF3_20200919_1024_005 Ash keys (seeds) on main pond island.jpg

The Ash keys are hanging on to the tree on the main pond island, even though all the leaves have fallen.

Ref: DF3_20201010_0924_007 Ash keys (seeds) on main pond island.jpg

The timing of the different Ash trees around our site is quite variable. Ash trees are propagated using seed (rather than genetically identical cuttings) so the trees show quite a lot of variation. While the tree on the island has lost all of it's leaves, this vigorous Ash tree at the eastern hedge still retains most of the yellowing leaves and about 100 'bunches' of keys.

Ref: DF3_20201010_0929_010 Ash keys (seeds) on tree in east hedge (orig & final).jpg

01 Nov 2020

A healthy male Chaffinch stops off at the stone. All trace of the blue beak and intense feathers colours discarded for the winter.

Ref: E63_20200916_0657_121_FB1 Chaffinch male in winter colours.jpg

This Dunnock seems to have plucked up the courage to confront a male Chaffinch at the left edge of the original frame.
This Chaffinch is NOT the individual above - it wasn't in great shape with a large Tick and early stage Bumblefoot.

Ref: E63_20200917_0641_237_FB1 Dunnock confronting Chaffinch male (out of crop).jpg

A few windfall apples moved from the orchard are the focus of attention for this pristine Great Tit.

Ref: E63_20200916_1745_173_FB1 Great Tit inspecting rotten apples.jpg

The whole site is dotted with white-ish feathers discarded by moulting birds. Here you see the water repellent nature of the feather material possibly aided by preen oil or powder. Naturally wet from a heavy dew.

Ref: D73_20200912_1018_111 Feather moulted covered in raindrops magnifying barbs.jpg



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