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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A sly looking fox with a couple of hours hunting left in the night.
Next day a different Fox lies down by the Duck-shaped Pond.
Its hard work this night-time hunting.
After entering the site at the east hedge the Fox slyly peeks around the tree, but sees nothing to ambush.
The female Reeve's Muntjac Deer at the bottom of the mound looks up at the arriving Fox coming over the top. A Fox could not tackle even a relatively small Muntjac Deer, but could certainly attack a Fawn.
An unexpected visit by this Red-legged Partridge at the Woodland site. It's just past mid-day, but you wouldn't think it from the background light.
The Conservatory is usually too cold to make pleasant sitting 'out' for the next few months, so we don't see the Sparrowhawk flashing past the Windows doing her circuits of the peanut feeders around the house. But this pic assures us that she is still 'doing the rounds'.
The sun isn't offering a lot of radiant warmth at this time of year, but what there is this Squirrel is having some.
Two Rooks treating this 11kV cable as an avian 'Love Seat'.
Next day these two Rooks are pairing up in the Black Poplar trees.
The new Female Kestrel doesn't provide any opportunities for hand-held portraits,
but she hunts while hovering much more than 'Grey Feather', so here is one
of her near the Bridleway to the north, hovering in front of an 11kV cable.
The hover starts at the top and this sequence, with a cable a useful
vertical reference, and a tower (cropped out) providing horizontal positioning,
shows how well the Kestrel keeps station.
Here is a general view of about 1.3 seconds of action ...
... and here more detail of the bird to see the wings and tail in action.
A few hours later the female Kestrel spent at least 10 minutes at the Meadow Post. The sun came out after a few minutes transforming her colour scheme!
A moment not included in the Kestrel montage above.
Our currently resident male Pheasant with a slight quirky look.
Its 9.25 a.m., but it looks like the Sun's alarm didn't go off.
The new 'resident' male Pheasant is totally anti-human - the merest sight of the photographer sends the beautiful creature into a sprint - a behaviour that may serve him well should he meet a shooter
All of the current Reeve's Muntjac Deer visitors are exceptionally skittish at any sight of a human. This male didn't spot the cameraman on the other side of a ground-floor window, so here are a couple of moments as this male helped to clear the salad bed of weeds!
Our first ever sighting of a Woodcock, here at the hedge bottom site.
For several days we have spotted single holes in muddy patches around the site, but didn't know what has made them.
A few moments from an extended visit (i.e. over 10 minutes) by this Tawny Owl to the meadow post.
This Barn Owl visit, after many weeks of absence, was taken at 2.45 a.m.
This feast of browns and green along the edge of the Brook really caught our eye in the sunshine. The unbroken green of the Ivy covering the tree-trunk looks almost surreal against the bare bole of the tree.
Our Sycamore trees are outstanding for a canopy of Autumn leaves.
Turn your back on the bait-bag for a few minutes and you come back to find a Squirrel making the most of the largess. It must have been IN the bag to reach the peanuts in the nearly empty bag.
We thought the issue of this open-able peanut feeder was solved, but it clearly isn't. On the right image you see the white cable tie that was holding the lid on. These clear plastic ties deteriorate in sunlight and become brittle, and it looks like the Squirrel nibbled an edge and started a crack that broke the strap. We put the 'other' similar feeder back while we find a foolproof scheme.
A Robin photographs themselves twice in a minute on the tree-stump.
Two glorious colours at once - a scatter of Autumn turned Sycamore leaves and stepping over them a very smart male Pheasant matching some of the colours.
The North hedge of our patch with a mix of yellows, browns and green as the huge mix of different trees choose to welcome Autumn in their various ways.
After planting a Sumac at out first house about 1970, moving here 1990 we found a couple of such trees in the front garden which we have allowed to develop into several trees. They are so robust they have to be hacked back every other year or so, but always come back thriving.
The 11kV cable you see here is near the Farm Road entrance over the hedge.
The Rook was busy pecking at something clamped to the wire by the bird's claws.
The larger part of the item the Rook allowed to drop into the hedge (not caught
on camera). The bird then went chasing after the remains of the item which appears
to be a spouted Bean seed (the last crop was field beans). The bird lowered
the whole body below the wire while hanging on to the cable above with the claws.
But the bird also dropped the bean seed (third to fifth frames) into the hedge.
After a few seconds the bird released one claw, then the other to 'fall' into flight.
We have never seen anything like it before except in joke cartoons.
More detail of the Rook hanging from the cable above just after dropping the Bean.
Some views of Autumn colour - here outside our East hedge.
Some views of Autumn colour - here along the Brook to the north.
The Lombardy Poplars along the Farm Road are all starting 'the Fall' in the same manner.
We understand that Lombardy Poplars are all clones of one another so don't show much variation in behaviour.
A mid-morning delight was watching the suckling Fawn drinking their morning fill from Mum. She was intermittently grooming the Fawn as the Fawn got really quite rough 'pumping' the udder up and down to get at the last drop! The lower pic shows Mum starting to not enjoy the youngster's behaviour.
The next moment is caught as an MP4 video you may be able to view.
You see here the natural speed 'pumping' action - we think that you will agree that it really is rather OTT. Mum decides she has 'had enough' and walks away over her disappointed youngster.
The file is about 10MB for 10 seconds of grabbed (silent) HD video and may take a few seconds to load.
Video of Reeves Muntjac Deer Fawn feeding from_mother
Once the feed had finished Mum affectionately grooms her Baby - all is forgiven.
One of the female Kestrels lands on the meadow post. She is in shadow so is a bit colour-cast compared to the sunlit background.
One of the female Kestrels leaves the disused telephone pole near the south hedge.
This 'Yellow Slug' seems to have started the climb up the mini-mountain, didn't see anything interesting from the top so started back down. The eye stalks show better as shadows.
This abstract pattern is the tail tip of a Grey Squirrel.
A beam of late afternoon sun penetrates 100 metres of woodland to shine on the ear of this sweet female Reeve's Muntjac Deer.
The male Reeve's Muntjac Deer follows the Deer equivalent of Chanel No 5? The male Deer must catch the moment that the female is receptive to mating.
The markings on Magpies are a wonder.
The Black/wide divide on the wings runs diagonally across the feathers, and the tips of the primaries (the main flight feathers) are tipped with Grey.
And we can't even see the back and tail in this landing.
Most Raptors will eat worms when they have not been successful with their preferred prey, but the worms are usually swallowed 'on the spot', so we don't know why this female Kestrel brought one to the Meadow Post top to swallow.
Not seen before in this calendar year, a Stoat appears at the meadow site twice about 30 minutes apart. This first appearance provides this better image.
On an otherwise moderately windy day, about 10 a.m. saw an intense wind lasted only about
15 minutes but the whole area suffered various levels of damage.
This pic of the storm through the kitchen window shows EVERYTHING bending
right in the Westerly gale. The air was full of twigs and leaves whipping across
horizontally, but the camera misses most of them - blurred out by their
Note that the timestamps are a mix of BST & GMT as the affair completely messed up our normally systematic tour of the cameras to do the end of summer-time updates.
At least 6 trees have fallen or broken off, and three of our normal access paths are
completely blocked by fallen wood.
Top left is a badly broken conifer that has half smothered Round Mound.
Bottom right is a freshly fallen Squirrel Drey.
Left of the Drey image is an Oak tree near the SE corner, now bereft of it's crown hanging down blocking the path beside it.
A closer look at the poor Oak tree with all three major branches snapped off. The wind seems to funnel through various places, and it seems that the Oak was 'in the wrong place at the wrong time'.
Through the conservatory window this Squirrel is seen pulling at apples high in the tree. Finally one comes away and the Squirrel brings the prize down to this almost level branch to gorge. The Squirrel eats about half of the apple before leaving the rest.
A not-so-sweet Grey Squirrel chases off a Magpie who dared not to leave the moment the Squirrel arrived.
A Grey Squirrel - Magpie mix usually sees the Mammal chasing away the bird.
But here we see the same pairing quietly eating peanuts together.
So the Squirrel is probably the much more sociable female of the species!
A rare occurrence - the Sparrowhawk landing on the meadow post and staying for almost 10 minutes.
A closer look at frame 3 omitted from the selection above.
A weather front approaching from the South West displayed really 3-D 'ramparts' of clouds above the grey base an hour or so after sunrise.
As male Deer follow females about in the hope of mating it is easy to think that the 'girls' just have to 'put up with it'. But as the females reach Oestrus (USA Estrus) suddenly it becomes apparent that the females welcome the male attention.
Next night we see (right) the female waiting for the male to keep up with her. 30 minutes later we see them near Round Pond with the females vertical tail inviting a mating attempt.
This little 'family group' of Reeve's Muntjac Deer wandered past the Duck-shaped Pond. Mum on the left probably licking the Fawn's head, as Dad quietly follows.
One of the female Kestrels lands on the Meadow post in a seriously gloomy morning.
2 days later this female Kestrel chooses a fine afternoon to land on the same post.
A female Kestrel doesn't often visit the bird table / perch outside the kitchen, but on this occasion stayed long enough for a few portraits as she cleans herself up, most probably after a kill.
Twice we have photographed the same female Kestrel flying in this manner
flying from the top of the concrete mains power pole, each time the next target
being the top of the wooden mains power pole some 30m south.
We have also startled her from this post
top a couple of times as well this week, so have to assume she uses this hunting
perch sequence on a regular basis - far more often than we are aware
Although called the 'Windhover', and 'ours' do hover when the wind is right, experience suggests that they are more 'Postwatchers' in a human built setting.
This male Reeve's Muntjac Deer triggered this Head-and-Shoulders portrait at the meadow site. The inserts show his little Tusk casting a shadow in the camera flash, and the tip of his right Antler which has been broken off we know not how.
A female Reeve's Muntjac Deer passed through this camera site twice in a few days. The other pic had the top of the head missing instead of just the tip of the ear!
These two Badgers tumble down the Round Mound in a ball of fur, before quietly wandering off. Despite their toughness, even adult Badgers seem to be really playful.
Fieldmice (Wood Mice) now at all of the ground level sites.
This montage is from two images taken 21 minutes apart.
Unfortunately the exterior Mouse glut is mirrored by the invasion of mice inside our old house. We learnt a few years ago that some mice are too big to get into the live traps, or are not attracted top them, so Rats and Mouse traps catch the rest. The sad little corpses are welcomed by Magpie(s) - here carrying off 3 of them over a few minutes. The middle and right pics also show a juicy Leopard Slug, but the Magpie doesn't seem to fancy it.
But the Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are not all doom - some 'like' the live traps and end up 'relocated' well away from the house.
The Bounty of Autumn comes in many forms.
This Grey squirrel makes off with a couple of Rose Hips.
Outside the south hedge this lactating Grey Squirrel watches the humans appearing, and then quietly walks into the hedge. The moment we are gone she will be back.
If you leave a bag of food unattended you should expect to return to find a Grey Squirrel feasting within!
The Annual appearance of Shaggy Ink Cap fungus 'fruiting bodies' took place overnight. By the time we saw them something had already had a chew on several. This image shows most of the visible Fungi + details of an unopened and an opened and partly eaten fruiting bodies.
Fungi under the ground (the Mycelium) may live for years, but the fruiting bodies (e.g. mushrooms and toadstools) generally survive for only a few days. Here is the same patch of grass only 3 days later - just a few fallen stalks.
Several 'Fairy Rings' of Fungi appear each year around some of the Farm Road Lombardy Poplars. The best one we pass by is at the south end outside of our east hedge, and is a more than three-quarters circle.
Over 3 days we saw what looks like a single individual Moorhen visit the hedge-bottom site. Here are 3 of the better pics from the second & third days.
This Moorhen spent about 3 Hours coming and going from the Hedge bottom site.
An assortment of pics of Moorhen visits over 2 Hours
When the surrounding fields were used for raising 'Dairy replacement' cattle,
flies in the house became something of a problem. One solution was to let spiders breed
in corners of the house, catching many of the flies without us having to regularly use chemicals.
The land is now 'arable' and flies much reduced in numbers, but we still let
the spiders do their thing. Here in the kitchen hundreds emerge from an egg
Photo sizes can be deceptive - the ball is only about 6mm (quarter of an inch) across.
"I'll get that flea if it kills me!"
The Saga of the ill-fastened peanut feeder lid continues. We try to jam the top on - then Squirrels spend ages trying to wheedle their way in. This time one succeeded - on the right the Squirrel is holding two of the nuts won from displacing the lid.
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