Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2020

Spot the Butterfly on these mint flowers!

Ref: D73_20200914_1508_003 Brimstone Butterfly on Mint flower.jpg

Here you can clearly see the Brimstone Butterfly's proboscis busy sucking up the life-giving nectar.

Ref: D73_20200914_1520_013 Brimstone Butterfly on Mint flower.jpg

30 Oct 2020

A sunrise walk catches a distinctly mysterious set of images of the sun rising through layers of smoky mist.
Smoke from the awful fires in the Western USA (Sep 2020) made it across the USA and the Atlantic to appear in the skies over Europe where the intensity and colour of these pics is showing the effects.

Ref: D73_20200914_0646_092 Sunrise through mist and distant tree foliage 05 of 12 (crop).jpg

A sunrise walk catches a distinctly mysterious set of images of the sun rising through layers of smoky mist.
Smoke from the awful fires in the Western USA (Sep 2020) made it across the USA and the Atlantic to appear in the skies over Europe where the intensity and colour of these pics is showing the effects.

Ref: D73_20200914_0648_117 Sunrise through mist and distant tree foliage 09 of 12 (crop).jpg

A sunrise walk catches a distinctly mysterious set of images of the sun rising through layers of smoky mist.
Smoke from the awful fires in the Western USA (Sep 2020) made it across the USA and the Atlantic to appear in the skies over Europe where the intensity and colour of these pics is showing the effects.

Ref: D73_20200914_0651_148 Sunrise through mist and distant tree foliage 11 of 12 (crop).jpg

29 Oct 2020

A newly emerged Comma Butterfly, here showing both the dark bottom of the wings with the white 'comma', and the vivid orange top of the wings.

Ref: D73_20200913_1231_262 Comma Butterfly shows both sides of wings on ivy flowers.jpg

A pair of Small Copper butterflies courting in the rank grass. The bottom individual has a few blue spots said to be an unusual 'aberrant' form.

Ref: D73_20200913_1606_302 Small Copper pair courting inc one Blue spotted aberrant form 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

A pristine Red Admiral Butterfly.
Next stop the south coast for a mass-migration to Europe.

Ref: D73_20200915_1612_045 Red Admiral Butterfly.jpg

28 Oct 2020

More used to finding Garden Carpet Moths in the moth trap, here is one on a Blackberry leaf at midday, albeit in the shade.

Ref: DF3_20200911_1229_013 Garden Carpet Moth on Blackberry leaf.jpg

Plume Moths when perched all have something like the same appearance of a capital 'T'. But the 'top' of the 'T' is actually a set of several hairy wings normally only seen properly in flight'.

Ref: D73_20200914_0642_060 Plume Moth Common (Emmelina monodactyla) on conservatory door.jpg

27 Oct 2020

A beautifully kempt Badger snuffles the way over the meadow site.

Ref: E6A_20200911_0201_094_FB5 Badger.jpg

At the same site this Baby Rabbit pays an early evening visit.

Ref: E6A_20200915_1817_142_FB5 Rabbit youngster.jpg

26 Oct 2020

Over about an hour there are repeated visits by this Polecat to the Mound.

Ref: BU2_20200914_0055_247-0139_288_SC7 Polecat visits over an hour (montage).jpg

About half-way through the above sequence the fox passed through, watched suspiciously by the stationary Polecat.

Ref: BU2_20200914_0120_271_SC7 Polecat watching Fox leaving mound.jpg

A Fox takes a close look at the camera baiting site, possibly more interested in worms and insects than what is left of our offering.

Ref: E6A_20200910_0259_187_FB5 Fox (crop).jpg

25 Oct 2020

2 Reeve's Muntjac Deer spend a few minutes quietly feeding together, and performing a little mutual grooming.
A sort of 'I'll Scratch your back if you scratch mine'

Ref: BU4_20200904_0348_063-0350_070 Muntjac Reeves Deer (females (q)) feeding and mutually grooming 2+4+6+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

A Reeve's Muntjac Deer (female or juvenile) quietly walks through this site.

Ref: E63_20200915_1506_087_FB1 Muntjac Reeves Deer juvenile (q).jpg

24 Oct 2020

Mallard ducks moult by losing all their flight feathers and staying safe on the water. As they end the moult they start 'exercising' in groups for flights lasting several minutes. Here a group of 4 (plus a 'tail-end-Charlie' we have left out) flew round the brook several times, a lot of the time with their wings beating in accurate synchrony as here.

Ref: D73_20200910_0707_124-126 4 Mallard Ducks in flight with wings in unison 1-3 of 4 (approx montage @10fps).jpg

23 Oct 2020

Several Blue Tits were feeding from the west facing wall of our house, perching on the rough wall coating and chasing after insects flying from the adjacent foliage. The 2 birds are montaged for effect, but the top bird & insect are positioned as in the camera original.

Ref: D73_20200909_1549_018+1550_025 Blue Tit on west facing Gable wall chasing insects 1+2 of 2 (montage impression).jpg

Small piles of chewed up Horse Chestnut husks are all over the site. Here a Grey Squirrel carries off the prize conkers as a take-away or for a buried cache.

Ref: E6A_20200909_0833_145_FB5 Grey Squirrel carrying away Horse Chestnut conker.jpg

22 Oct 2020

In the dappled sunlight of the afternoon this young Reeves Muntjac Deer looks through the hedge as foliage up and right makes shadows across the body.

Ref: BU4_20200908_1318_066 Muntjac Reeves Deer juvenile in dappled light.jpg

A gorgeous gentle and delicate Reeve's Muntjac Deer steps her way quietly through the night.

Ref: E64_20200908_2200_075_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer.jpg

21 Oct 2020

Small Raptors (birds of prey) provide occasional sightings.
This Peregrine Falcon in the area on a local 11kV crossbar. So far sightings of Peregrines are at most one a year.

Ref: DF3_20200906_0841_004 Peregrine Falcon (q) on distant 11kV crossbar over Bridleway.jpg

High overhead a Hobby wheels round in search of Dragonflies. We see this bird a few times each year when Dragonflies are about.

Ref: D73_20200909_1551_031 Hobby in flight 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

Flashing by as Sparrowhawks always seem to do, this female catches herself on camera. We usually 'see' a Sparrowhawk perhaps a score of times a year

Ref: E60_20200908_1834_013_FB3 Sparrowhawk (crop).jpg

This female Kestrel, at the moment a regular visitor, is hunting from the shelter of a conifer

Ref: D73_20200904_1039_227 Kestrel female in conifer inside SE corner.jpg

20 Oct 2020

Sunning itself on a piece of Corrugated Iron, this Common Darter Dragonfly shows the wing structure well against the weathered metal.

Ref: DF3_20200906_1620_023 Common Darter Dragonfly perched in weak sunshine on corrugated iron sheet.jpg

A magical moment at the time, and still is in this photo, as this Common Darter Dragonfly gently lands next to his shadow.

Ref: D73_20200909_1738_105 Common Darter Dragonfly male landing on corrugated iron with shadow 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

The dominant Dragonfly here in this cold weather is the Migrant Hawker. This one is warming itself in the sunshine hanging from an old Blackberry stem.

Ref: D73_20200909_1615_074 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male perched on blackberry stem.jpg

The Southern Hawker is the second-most populous Hawker Dragonfly here.

Ref: D73_20200908_1742_050 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male.jpg

19 Oct 2020

A few distant sightings of a Buzzard over the site over the last few days is supplemented by this visit to the Meadow Post for an at-least 10 minute stay.
Here is a dramatic moment in the landing

Ref: D01_20200905_1837_123_FB6 Buzzard lands on Meadow post and stays 10+ minute 1of 5 (close crop).jpg

These two moments of the Buzzard landing at about a third of a second apart.

Ref: D01_20200905_1837_123+124_FB6 Buzzard lands on Meadow post and stays 10+ minute 1+2 of 5 (montage about 300mS apart).jpg

The Buzzard in hunting mode - stand and watch for some unfortunate ground dwelling creature.

Ref: D01_20200905_1838_126-1844_138_FB6 Buzzard lands on Meadow post and stays 10+ minute 4+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

18 Oct 2020

Something new in the Slug world for us - a 'Yellow Slug' (actual common name). About the same size as a Leopard slug and equally striking in it's own way.

Ref: E63_20200905_0329_179_FB1 Yellow slug (Limax flavus) sliding over top of stone.jpg

Worryingly few Ladybirds of any sort at the moment. This seems to be one of the huge number of variants of Harlequin Ladybirds.

Ref: D73_20200905_0920_001 Harlequin Ladybird (14 spots).jpg

17 Oct 2020

This Red Kite flew in a huge arc, providing the opportunity for some pics.

Ref: D73_20200904_1037_066-070 Red Kite flying past top of young Lombardy Poplar 2-6 of 6 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

This Red Kite flew in a huge arc, providing the opportunity for some pics.

Ref: D73_20200904_1037_133-136 Red Kite turning in flight 1-4 of 4 (impression montage @ 10fps).jpg

This Red Kite flew in a huge arc, providing the opportunity for some pics.

Ref: D73_20200904_1037_184 Red Kite in flight.jpg

16 Oct 2020

A Fox prowls through the Woodland site

Ref: E64_20200903_2225_025_FB2 Fox (crop 1).jpg

A Fox prowls through the Woodland site - a 'head and shoulders. portrait.

Ref: E64_20200903_2225_025_FB2 Fox (crop 2).jpg

15 Oct 2020

2 Mint Beetles doing their thing on a mint plant.

Ref: D73_20200831_1155_032 Mint Beetles mating on Mint leaf.jpg

An individual Mint Beetle gives us a good view of the carapace's Gorgeous iridescence.

Ref: D73_20200831_1156_035 Mint Beetle on Mint leaf (crop).jpg

14 Oct 2020

The camera that takes pictures at this woodland site lives under the cover of a now huge Leyland Cypress tree. Almost certainly this Grey Squirrel has bitten off this twig complete with developing cones, and is taking it somewhere 'quiet' to eat the goodies.

Ref: E64_20200829_1534_038_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying away Leyland cypress frond and cones.jpg

An Uber-twee Rabbit standing on the food as it eats it 'teenage' style. The ears look out of proportion, but that may be quite a normal part of development. We don't normally see Rabbits this young at the high resolution photo sites.

Ref: E62_20200830_1805_189_FB5 Rabbit youngster with pronounced ears.jpg

We can't even begin to imagine why this juvenile Rabbit is leaping so high over the grass.

Ref: E62_20200901_0701_059_FB5 Rabbit youngster leaping over grass (crop).jpg

13 Oct 2020

Over two days we show all these three birds at the same scale -
Left: A belligerent looking Juvenile Green Woodpecker.
Middle: The smaller juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker
Right: The female Kestrel is a bit of a mess from her moult.
Why is the Great Spotted Woodpecker - the smallest bird here - called 'Great'?
The 'Great' just relative to the substantially smaller 'Lesser Spotted Woodpecker' (which we have never seen) while Southern Europe also sports a 'Middle' Spotted Woodpecker.

Ref: D01_20200829_0834_055+20200830_1401_107+20200827_0839_058_FB6 Green Woodpecker juv + Great Spotted Woodpecker juv + Kestrel female (montage).jpg

12 Oct 2020

As the day starts to break, one of the local Foxes enters through the gap in the hedge you can see behind, and is here climbing out of the ditch.

Ref: BU7_20200829_0607_050 Fox juvenile stepping out of ditch.jpg

As evening draws in, this fox wanders down the Mound. The fallen branch is typical of what we are seeing all over the site - dead branches littering the ground after the recent gales.

Ref: BU2_20200830_1852_172_SC7 Fox walking down mound showing dark facial marking.jpg

11 Oct 2020

This young Reeve's Muntjac Deer is using her enormous tongue to flick away a fly that landed on her face.

Ref: D73_20200824_1212_111 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn licks fly from face 2 of 2 (detail crop).jpg

To put the above image into some context:-
Approaching the blocked gate we startled away a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer who ran off down the crop edge and through the hedge. We thought we heard one or two 'barks' from the Deer as she went. As we moved through the gate this young Deer stood looking at us. This moment catches a fly landing below her left eye, and her tongue whipping out to flip it away. The fly you see at the top of the tongue is actually in-flight, with the insect's shadow roughly where the fly originally was.

Ref: D73_20200824_1212_110+111 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn licks fly from face 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

A sweet few minutes a week later recorded by the automatic camera at the east boundary shows us Mum and juvenile Reeve's Muntjac Deer quietly foraging together. We don't routinely bait this site, so they must be finding fallen Hawthorn berries and the like.

Ref: BU4_20200831_2056_013-2058_024 Muntjac Reeves Deer Mother and weaned Fawn 1+2+4+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

10 Oct 2020

Neither of us are keen on green flowers, but our aesthetic judgement is not shared by the insects. This head contains both unopened and open Ivy flowers.

Ref: D73_20200824_1056_025 Ivy Flower starting to open attracting Fly and Wasp.jpg

Neither of us are keen on wasps, but we don't interfere with them unless they become a problem, but we have to admit that this is a wonderful show of yellow and black.

Ref: D73_20200831_1624_068 Wasps on rotting apple peel.jpg

09 Oct 2020

Grass cut the previous day, This Grey Squirrel was vigorously scraping at the ground, and it seems found an acorn.

Ref: D5C_20200827_0802_007+013 Grey Squirrel scrabbling in mown grass finding acorn 1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

2 hours later a Grey Squirrel is biting into an acorn on top of our dilapidated gate.

Ref: D73_20200827_1023_007 Grey Squirrel on gate about to bite into acorn.jpg

08 Oct 2020

A juvenile Reeve's Muntjac Deer checks over a photo site for some tasty additions to his diet.

Ref: E64_20200827_0037_041_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer juvenile browsing.jpg

As we walk up an orchard path towards the house, this young Reeve's Muntjac Deer is walking the other way. We both stop and look at each other before the Deer makes a slightly nervous jink to the left and then quietly walks off in that direction.

Ref: D73_20200827_1045_032 Muntjac Deer juvenile browses through orchard 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

07 Oct 2020

On the edge of Round pond, this Fox gazes up at the overhanging trees. No idea what is attracting the attention.

Ref: BU5_20200823_2131_129_SC1 Fox on edge of Round pond gazing upwards.jpg

A couple of minutes later the Fox reaches the East boundary and is here scent marking one of the hedging trees.

Ref: BU4_20200823_2132_218 Fox scent marking tree in east hedge.jpg

Lying down on the job - this badger spent a few minutes crunching up windfall apples while sprawling luxuriously like a Roman Emperor.

Ref: BU6_20200823_0037_085_SC2 Badger lying down to crunch apples.jpg

06 Oct 2020

This male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly landed to hang from one of the giant thorns of a Blackthorn plant in a hedge.

Ref: D73_20200822_1555_355 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male hanging from Blackthorn thorn.jpg

A pair of Speckled Wood Butterflies in a courtship flight. Read right to left in pairs, accurately positioned at 10 fps.

Ref: D73_20200824_0948_019-021 2 Speckled Wood butterflies courtship flight 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage right to left @ 10fps).jpg

A couple of Cinnabar Caterpillars on a Ragwort plant they have completely stripped of foliage.

Ref: D73_20200827_1018_006 Cinnabar Caterpillars on leaf-stripped Ragwort.jpg

05 Oct 2020

The female kestrel shows us how to scratch your eye with a stiletto!

Ref: D73_20200822_1548_317 Kestrel female preening under eye with claw.jpg

Ref: D73_20200822_1654_392 Kestrel female on apple tree dead branch.jpg

Near the end of the day the Kestrel about 4 metres up in the Apple tree lets the photographer reach about 7 metres from her. Not wanting to discourage her visits, a tactical withdrawal followed and she was still there when back indoors. Half an hours later she had 'gone'.
Our next brief sighting was 7 days later.

Ref: D73_20200822_1656_405 Kestrel female on apple tree dead branch 7m away (crop 2).jpg

04 Oct 2020

An hour later the female Kestrel surprised us by momentarily hovering about 2m above the back 'garden lawn'. The photographer just pointed the camera and 'fired', and was surprised to find even 2 frames with reasonable pics of the kestrel on it. Long-live Auto-focus!

Ref: D73_20200822_1459_243 Kestrel female hovering 2 metres high over back garden grass 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

Immediately after the hover the female Kestrel landed in the back-garden weeping Silver Birch ...

Ref: D73_20200822_1459_254 Kestrel female on Silver Birch twig in gusty wind (crop).jpg

... but a strong gust of wind made her lose balance, and she ended up with her back to the gale. Not a comfortable angle for any bird ...

Ref: D73_20200822_1503_280+289+290 Kestrel female in birch tree blown off by wind gust 04+08+09 of 10 (approx montage @10fps).jpg

... and she quickly flew back to the more stable perch in the apple tree.

Ref: D73_20200822_1548_309 Kestrel female perched showing moulting tail regrowing.jpg

03 Oct 2020

The second day of female Kestrel sightings was of her perched on the bracket supporting our electricity supply.
Fortunately the top conductor is the Neutral polarity so she would survive touching the wire.

Ref: D73_20200822_1340_169 Kestrel female on power insulator.jpg

4 minutes later we find the female kestrel has moved on to the disused Gatepost. The heavy (and vertical!) post left of middle is an 11kV power-line support. She quietly preens but not quite ignoring us. Her tail feathers are becoming quite a mess as she moults.

Ref: D73_20200822_1345_207 Kestrel female on disused gate-post from North.jpg

Here she stood quietly for at least 4 minutes, presumably hoping something tasty would appear on the concrete track or verge. She doesn't bother looking at the hedge - she isn't suited to pouncing in dense foliage, unlike a Sparrowhawk who will fly straight through a dense hedge in pursuit of prey

Ref: D73_20200822_1347_222+1348_225+1351_231 Kestrel female on disused Gate Post from north (montage).jpg

02 Oct 2020

Earlier on this day we found a juvenile Rabbit lying dead on a path. Apart from a few bird pecks it didn't show any obvious sign of attack by a predator. We moved it to the meadow camera site in hope of seeing a Fox or Badger take it away, but instead what seems a endless sequence of Magpie visits reduced the bulk of the Rabbit to almost nothing. The Kestrel seems to have decided a bit of carrion would be good, grabbed a bit and arrived at the meadow post with it. But the Magpies were not having this interloper take 'their' food, and quickly chase the Kestrel away.
A little licence taken with the timing - the Magpie chasing away the Kestrel took place too quickly for the camera to catch it.

Ref: E62_20200821_1722_120_FB5+D01_20200821_1802_196_FB6 Magpies feeding on dead rabbit chase away Kestrel female who grabbed a piece 1+3+2 of 4 (montage).jpg

This pic of the landing female kestrel is 300mS after the one in the montage above, and you can see that the content of the left claw is not the usual vole or mouse.

Ref: D01_20200821_1802_197_FB6 Magpies feeding on dead rabbit chase away Kestrel female who grabbed a piece 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

01 Oct 2020

For 2 days we had multiple sightings of the local female Kestrel
First we see her on the post of the disused gate viewed from the farm's side. We slightly surprised her arriving here, and she eventually decided to depart. Here she crouches before launch, and then 2 moments about 0.2 second apart.

Ref: D73_20200821_1017_051+053+055 Kestrel female flies from disused gate-post from SE 09+11+13 of 14 (acc montage @ 10fps).jpg

The actual camera rate is 10 fps, so here we fill-in the missing two pics. of her launch.

Ref: D73_20200821_1017_052+054 Kestrel female flies from disused gate-post viewed from SE 10+12 of 14 (accurate montage @ 10fps).jpg

A few hours later the female kestrel is hunting from a Branch in an apple tree at the end of our 'orchard'. She seems more tolerant of humans here.

Ref: D73_20200821_1610_064 Kestrel female on dead branch of apple tree.jpg

A few hours later the female kestrel is hunting from a Branch in an apple tree at the end of our 'orchard'. She seems more tolerant of humans here.

Ref: D73_20200821_1611_072 Kestrel female on dead branch of apple tree.jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive