Return to moorhen home page


Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Apr 2021

The Weeping silver birch in the back garden is now smothered in Catkins.


Ref: D73_20210403_1735_068 Birch weeping silver in back garden with Catkins (orig & final).jpg


Ref: D73_20210403_1242_020 Silver Birch Catkins in vertical streaks.jpg

A brief snow shower laid and stayed overnight, tempting us out to try to capture some feel for the changed landscape. Here is the weeping birch by the garage is delicately sprinkled with white.


Ref: D73_20210407_0723_003 Birch weeping silver in back garden lightly snow covered (orig & final).jpg

29 Apr 2021

Another stick for the nest.
This looks like a freshly broken-off addition.


Ref: D36_20210402_0902_029_FB4 Rook lands on Tree-stump with long twig.jpg

This Rook is picking one of many broken twigs now fallen into the Round Pond.
Maybe being saturated makes it more pliable?


Ref: BU5_20210402_1849_168_SC1 Rook pulling stick out of Round Pond.jpg

28 Apr 2021

We have been seeing 7-spot Ladybirds intermittently for some weeks now, But on this sunny day they were out in numbers. This one is on some unidentified thorny bush of the trackside hedge.


Ref: DF3_20210330_1013_030 7 Spot Ladybird.jpg

27 Apr 2021

A male Chaffinch with beak most definitely in full breeding blue.


Ref: E63_20210328_1706_089_FB1 Chaffinch male with black patch above beak.jpg

A male Chaffinch exiting this site as a not obviously aggressive Blackbird approaches out of this crop.
We have seen the green back of this species many times but it still amazes us that there is no hint of it on the perched bird.


Ref: E6A_20210401_1812_073_FB5 Chaffinch male taking off.jpg

26 Apr 2021

Here we see our first sighting here of a Chinese Water Deer, here walking quietly past a mound of spoil from digging a pond.


Ref: bu2_20210331_0705_428_sc7 chinese water deer (1st observation here) with injury at back of neck.jpg

25 metres away near the edge of our patch we see The Chinese Water Deer again. Although visible in the first image we can now clearly see that she has lost a lot of fur from the back of her neck, and also how thick the fur is - a characteristic of this species.


Ref: bua_20210331_0707_489_sc8 chinese water deer (1st observation here) with injury at back of neck (crop 2).jpg

25 Apr 2021

The Japanese are apparently having an early flowering of their famous Cherry Blossom, but early or not we find ours a delight.


Ref: D73_20210325_1203_009 Cherry Blossom (orig & final).jpg

Blackthorn blossom tumbles over the top of the freshly leafing Hawthorn hedge.
With a bit of luck we may get a 'mirror image' when the Hawthorn flowers.


Ref: D73_20210331_1741_407 Blackthorn blossom tumbling over top of hedge like snow.jpg

24 Apr 2021

A sighting of this grey shape in the Pollarded Willow tuned out to be a Sparrowhawk. Grabbing the camera just in time to witness a high speed launch towards a passing and quickly really frightened Wood Pigeon. The Pigeon was never 'in frame' and the chase disappeared into the trees. A search a few minutes later didn't show any signs of a kill, but the chase may have continue for hundreds of metres.


Ref: df5_20210326_0925_006-011 sparrowhawk perched on willow branch launches in chase to left 2-7 of 7 (montage).jpg

A bit more detail of the start of the action. The body and crown colour of this bird suggest a male, but the eye-stripe and tail colour suggest a female.
But it is definitely a Sparrowhawk one way or t'other.
A friend obtained an opinion on the sex of this bird and one on his own site that had taken a Pigeon - males are not 'supposed' to be large enough to tackle Pigeons. The outcome was that both were probably females based on details not mentioned in bird ID books.


Ref: df5_20210326_0925_006-007 sparrowhawk perched on willow branch launches in chase to left 2+3 of 7 (montage).jpg

23 Apr 2021

A Rook with an assortment of straggly nesting lands on the Kitchen Perch.
At small size 'thumbnail' we momentarily see this image as a flying skeleton!


Ref: E60_20210329_0947_029_FB3 Rook landing on Kitchen perch with desiccated Iris leaves in beak (crop).jpg

A Rook collects a beakful of dried leaves to make the nest that bit more comfortable for 2 to 3 weeks of boring incubation.


Ref: BU7_20210328_0650_183 Rook collecting beakful of leaves.jpg

A Rook winging his way home to one of the nests in the Black Poplars along our access track.


Ref: DF3_20210327_0551_020-022 Rook flying with nesting material in beak (close spaced montage @ 7fps).jpg

A Rook brings along quite a substantial twig.


Ref: E60_20210330_0934_066_FB3 Rook arrives at Kitchen bird table with long twig.jpg

22 Apr 2021

Optimist!
Not a chance of this huge and out of balance stem making it into the air.


Ref: E6A_20210324_1131_126_FB5 Magpie with huge cut main stem in beak.jpg

That's better - this one has so far made it onto the top of the post.


Ref: D01_20210324_1147_082_FB6 Magpie with long thin twig in beak carried to post top.jpg

Over one day what MIGHT be the same Magpie collects beakfuls of muddy vegetation. On the right after a day of such effort the bird beak and breast are absolutely filthy.


Ref: D01_20210326_0912_064+0611_060+1551_082_FB6 Magpie collecting muddy nesting materials over 10 hours (montage).jpg

21 Apr 2021

We have several sightings of this male Roe Deer with antlers in their glory. Note that the antlers are NOT in velvet.


Ref: BUA_20210323_1952_182_SC8 Roe Deer male near East entrance 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

This male Roe Deer passes along the edge of the pond
Note that this male Roe has his substantial Antlers still 'in Velvet' - so we have at least two male Roe Deer visiting.
Both of these male Roe Deer have appeared with a female over a couple of days - we await interesting events


Ref: BU5_20210328_0454_340_SC1 Roe Deer male with antlers in velvet.jpg

An hour later this male Roe Deer is still in the area as the day lightens ...


Ref: BUA_20210328_0553_354_SC8 Roe Deer male with antlers in velvet and female at East entrance 10 of 11 (crop).jpg

... and we finally get an image in colour before he departs.


Ref: BU8_20210328_0610_083 Roe Deer male with antlers in velvet.jpg

20 Apr 2021

Feeding female Mallard Duck along with her guardian male.
When you see Mallard ducks in public ponds the males mainly seem to be bullies trying to mate with any female that appears, and sometimes females are accidentally drowned by heaps of competing males. But in the more natural surroundings, here the males are very supportive to their chosen 'girl'.


Ref: E64_20210323_1748_120_FB2 Mallard Duck pair at woodland site at sunset.jpg

Mallard duck feeding and the Drake waits on guard duty.


Ref: E64_20210327_1643_153_FB2 Mallard duck pair - female feeding guarded by male (adjusted crop).jpg

19 Apr 2021

A Pair of Mallard Ducks at the hedge bottom - the female (left) quacking at her mate. The males call is much softer than the females.


Ref: E63_20210330_1744_204_FB1 Mallard pair at hedge bottom (adjusted crop).jpg

In the hour after midnight this Mallard duck pair float safely on the water as the Fox passes by on the nightly rounds. We are sure he know that the ducks are there, and that he stands no chance of catching one at the moment.


Ref: BU5_20210328_0051_329_SC1 Fox walking past Mallard Duck pair on water.jpg

A pair of Mallard ducks flying off together from the Duck-shaped pond.


Ref: BU8_20210329_1744_046 Mallard Duck pair flying from Duck Pond.jpg

18 Apr 2021

This seem to be a newly arrived male Reeve's Muntjac Deer, distinguished by his rather short antlers, providing a very clear view of his little Tusks seen from this unusual angle (detail as next image).


Ref: BU7_20210323_1653_084 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with clear view of tusks (crop1).jpg


Ref: BU7_20210323_1653_084 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with clear view of tusks (crop2).jpg

17 Apr 2021

5 Hours later what could be the same Badger snuffles his way over the Woodland feeding site.


Ref: E64_20210323_0157_071_FB2 Badger.jpg

All in less than a minute, and we can only guess what is going on.


Ref: BU2_20210321_2035_586-2036_591_SC7 2 Badgers romping on Round Mound 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

16 Apr 2021

The decades old Cherry tree at the front of the house. We have had to cut back branches threatening the house and overhead phone line, and we are rewarded with even more blossom than usual.


Ref: D73_20210321_0819_037 Cherry Blossom in front garden.jpg

A much closer view.


Ref: D73_20210321_0820_048 Cherry blossom (crop 2).jpg

We have lots of cherry trees of various varieties.


Ref: D73_20210321_1035_081 Cherry Blossom buds (crop 2).jpg

15 Apr 2021

Two female Reeve's Muntjac Deer at the SW corner.
Top we have our 'resident' with 'scar' along her left flank.
Middle we have a visitor we sometimes see with the male, that has a slightly extended tummy suggesting that she is pregnant.
Bottom the resident is facing the camera, and the visitor shows developing teats at her rear end.


Ref: BU7_20210318_1408_019+1413_032+1418_038 2 Muntjac Reeves Deer females (one pregnant (q)) near SW entrance (montage).jpg

14 Apr 2021

Aren't I magnificent!


Ref: E6A_20210313_1419_127_FB5 Rook stretching upwards with Wings parked.jpg

Rooks often seem to come for a brief bathe at this pond, but we usually only catch the rook with the ripples. Here in the middle image we see with bird jumping in for at most a few seconds.


Ref: BU5_20210311_1155_028-030_SC1 Rook jumping into Round Pond for quick bathe 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Another bundle of dead leaves get delivered to partner already at the nest. Rooks don't seem to use anything but tangle and gravity to hold their nests together.


Ref: D5C_20210322_0750_003+001+010 Rook delivery of nest lining 2+1+3 of (montage).jpg

13 Apr 2021

Two very different foxes passing this spot inside 12 minutes.


Ref: BU9_20210317_1042_242+1053_247_SC2 2 Foxes cross orchard 12 minutes apart (montage at identical scales).jpg

A couple of foxes encounter in the night.
Read this left to right. Fighting, greeting, courtship?


Ref: BU8_20210317_2014_139+140+2015_141 2 Foxes interacting at Duck Pond 1-3 of 5 (montage).jpg

The size and proportions suggest that this is a fox CUB near Duck Pond. No sign of an adult in the original much wider pic.


Ref: BU8_20210318_2201_033 Fox youngster.jpg

12 Apr 2021

Magpies are building several nests around the site


Ref: D01_20210317_1330_101+102_FB6 Magpie landing on Meadow Post with twig in beak (montage over 400ms).jpg

Magpies glue their nests together with mud - another beakful in transit.


Ref: D01_20210311_0816_003_FB6 Magpie landing ion Meadow Post with beakful of mud.jpg

The Rooks have mostly finished their nests, but still like to 'reinforce' them.


Ref: BU5_20210317_1552_220_SC1 Rook collecting twig at Round Pond (adjusted crop).jpg

11 Apr 2021

This Blackbird has found a good-sized worm.
Now starts the struggle to pull it out of the ground!


Ref: E63_20210316_1606_115_FB1 Blackbird male pulling worm from ground (crop).jpg

A male Yellowhammer visits the hedge bottom.


Ref: E63_20210316_1617_119_FB1 Yellowhammer male.jpg

10 Apr 2021

Chaffinches are surprisingly agile fliers, and can pluck food from a water's surface while only getting their feet wet. Bottom left in this montage the bird seems to have found a 'take away'.


Ref: D73_20210315_1339_033-006 Chaffinch male repeatedly flies to feed at water surface 1+2+4+3 of 5 (montage impression).jpg

09 Apr 2021

This male Reeve's Muntjac Deer is far from tolerant of humans. This brief sighting was followed by an unhurried departure, but not spotted again.


Ref: DF3_20210313_1401_029 Muntjac Reeves Deer male among sprouting Daffodils at east end of Butterfly Alley.jpg

2 photos from a camera on the access track catches these two female Reeve's Muntjac Deer leaving our patch to move into the farm field opposite. This is two different individuals, the lower one possibly early in pregnancy. The lower deer actually does show a slight mark where the upper deer has the major scrape - possibly one of the entrances is just a bit 'tight' for a grown Muntjac.


Ref: SG5_20210315_1418_214+1453_217_SC5 2 Muntjac Reeves Deer females crossing access track 35mins apart 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

08 Apr 2021

This Kestrel suddenly appears a few metres from one of the windows hunting in a hover over what passes for our 'Lawn'.


Ref: DF3_20210313_1452_064 Kestrel female hunts outside conservatory & catches Rodent in grass 32 of 82 (crop).jpg


Ref: DF3_20210313_1452_084 Kestrel female hunts outside conservatory & catches Rodent in grass 45 of 82 (crop).jpg


Ref: DF3_20210313_1452_100 Kestrel female hunts outside conservatory & catches Rodent in grass 57 of 82 (crop).jpg

The female Kestrel hovering in flight doesn't lead to a successful hunt, so she perches in a grass-side overgrown hedging plant and spent a few minutes intently watching the grass. She suddenly launches down out of sight from the window, but creeping out finds a viewpoint of her ripping to bits what looks like a Rodent.


Ref: DF3_20210313_1457_137+142+1458_151 Kestrel female hunts back garden & catches Rodent in grass 70+74+80 of 82 (montage).jpg

07 Apr 2021

The regular local Sparrowhawk makes another failed hunting pass over the kitchen perch. But she obviously succeeds enough times to keep her going.
A 'Rule-of-Thumb' seems to be that these sort of hunts fail 9 out of 10 times.


Ref: E60_20210312_1551_030_FB3 Sparrowhawk female attacking over Kitchen Perch & peanut feeder (crop 2).jpg

Another failed hunt by the Sparrowhawk.


Ref: E60_20210316_1051_034_FB3 Sparrowhawk male.jpg

06 Apr 2021

At this time or year the Grey Squirrels make the most of the mass of 'tasty and nutritious' willow catkins. They can't reach most of them along the whippy branches, so bite through the end they can get at (what teeth!) and hold the cut twig to eat.


Ref: D5C_20210313_0904_123-0906_237 Grey Squirrel eating Willow Catkins & breaking twigs to get them 1+2+4+6-8 of 8 (montage).jpg


Ref: D5C_20210313_0905_172 Grey Squirrel eating Willow Catkins and breaking off twigs to get them 5 of 8 (crop).jpg

Under another Willow that suffers the same fate is this pile of bitten off twigs complete with some uneaten buds and catkins.
Untidy little blighters!


Ref: D73_20210317_1626_086 Willow twigs broken off by foraging Grey Squirrels.jpg

05 Apr 2021

We hadn't seen the local female Kestrel for over a week, when tramping home in a gale as it begins to rain, we find her on the sheltered north side of the house hunting the grass in front of the main pond (left pic).
6 minutes later there she is, now on the other sheltered wall facing East, on one of her favourite 'electrifying' perches from which she watched us go inside. We don't know how long she stayed.


Ref: D73_20210310_1604_046+1610_049 Kestrel female hunting during gale from sheltered places on house (montage).jpg

04 Apr 2021

Now the good easy-to-collect sticks on the concrete track have all gone into the early nests, the later builders have to fly off to collect sticks, and we enjoying watching them flying in with their prizes. These pics are taken from an unbroken sequence of 58 pics at about 7 fps so the sequence is over about 8 seconds.
The bird arrived at huge speed helped by the tailwind ...


Ref: DF3_20210309_0921_026-028 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 11-13 of 58 (approx montage).jpg

... over the top of the tree housing the nest and looping round ...


Ref: DF3_20210309_0921_031-044 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 16+21+25+29 of 58 (impression montage).jpg

... now into the wind (so much slower and skipping frames) to aerobrake down onto the nest ...


Ref: DF3_20210309_0921_054-063 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 39+41+44+48 of 58 (accurate montage).jpg

... where 'he' lands to weave in his new wood, supervised by 'the wife'.


Ref: DF3_20210309_0921_073 Rook flying to nest with twig in beak 58 of 58 (crop).jpg

03 Apr 2021

The little 'tusks' sported by adult male Reeve's Muntjac Deer are characteristic, but we haven't seen one in a pic for over a year. So this 'overgrown top jaw tooth' being visible in this image (and another not shown here) was a nice surprise.
Vampire Deer?


Ref: BU7_20210308_1727_066 Muntjac Reeves Deer male showing tusk (orig).jpg

A clump of grass gets delicately nibbled a metre or so away from the photographer. We notice that this little 'dear' never eats the whole of anything but 'pick-and-mixes' her way over the site.


Ref: D73_20210303_1054_143 Muntjac Reeves Deer female nibbling at clump of long grass.jpg

The whole area shows sign in the soft mud of multiple visits by Reeve's Muntjac Deer and the occasional Roe Deer.
Each of the Farm's Lombardy Poplars is surrounded by a sea of mud, and here a Badger shows how soft the ground is by leaving this immaculate Paw and Claw print.


Ref: D73_20210307_1217_082 Badger paw print in soft mud at base of young Lombardy poplar.jpg

02 Apr 2021

Following sighting of only a few starlings, we were really surprised to see this elegant moving cloud to the south, rising up and landing for a cause we couldn't see. We estimate 1500 birds in this section you can see.


Ref: D73_20210308_1408_018 1500 Starlings (approx) in flight 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

01 Apr 2021

After moaning about the lack of Rooks in flight with twigs to build nests, several new nests have several birds carrying in twigs.
The frame rate of the camera (10fps) and the birds wingbeats didn't match very well, so we have selected a sequence to provide Top + middle + end of the power stroke & finally + the upstroke with wings partly folded.


Ref: D73_20210307_0818_047-054 Rook flying with twig in beak 2+1+3+4 (close spaced montage).jpg

 


 

Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive