Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jan 2021

A little teatime conversation?
Well at least these two birds are prepared to tolerate each other collecting food to see them through the night.

Ref: E63_20201229_1503_031_FB1 Dunnock and Blackbird.jpg

As the daylight fades, the female Sparrowhawk makes a final failed pass over the kitchen window feeder.
"I'll have to wait for the morning breakfast queue"

Ref: E60_20201230_1549_022_FB3 Sparrowhawk over Kitchen Bird Table & peanut feeder.jpg

30 Jan 2021

This teasel is in the hole of a long dead 'Himalayan Birch'. It was quite firmly rammed into the hole, and must have put there by some sort of bird to hold it while seeds were extracted. A Squirrel would just hold and rip it apart!

Ref: D73_20201229_1011_018 Teasel head inverted and rammed in to top of small tree stump.jpg

The 'Tale of the Tomato'.
This squishy tomato survived with no more than a few pecks for almost 24 hours before the Grey Squirrel took it away.

Ref: E6A_20201228_1311_062+1605_088+20201229_1108_126_FB5 Tomato with Pigeon + Dunnock + Squirrel (montage).jpg

29 Jan 2021

A sighting of a female Roe Deer who seems to have spent just under an hour wandering around our patch. We don't know where she entered, but left to right we see moments by the Duck-shape pond, the end of the orchard, the East hedge, and finally exiting through the western access to the track, accumulating at least a quarter of a mile.

Ref: BU8_20201227_1640_006-BU3_1729_096 Roe Deer female 50 minute visit over site 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

Next early morning sees a typical Reeve's Muntjac Deer family group on the concrete access track. The female on the right is about to duck through the hole in the pig-net, probably the rest to follow. As usual the male is at the rear.

Ref: BU3_20201228_0200_111_SC6 3 Muntjac Reeves deer on access track (male following 2 females).jpg

28 Jan 2021

In the dark of the night this Fox is caught gazing wistfully upwards. He could be looking at many things, but this is one of the Rook's favourite roosts.

Ref: BU3_20201224_2223_023_SC6 Fox wistful gaze upwards from access track (crop).jpg

Unusually spotted (by the automatic camera) in the late morning, this Fox slinks their way across the sodden ditch and out onto the farm land.

Ref: BU7_20201230_1134_136-138 Fox crossing flooded ditch 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

27 Jan 2021

A short spell of sunshine afforded this moment of the female Kestrel hunting the grass margin to our south. Here she is determinedly flying down to whatever she has spotted in the grass.

Ref: D73_20201227_0929_067+070+071 Kestrel female flying from perch in conifer 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

26 Jan 2021

Down-the-hatch with this latest catch.

Ref: D73_20201224_1050_151-153 Kestrel female lands on grass to pick up insect to eat 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

The female Kestrel moves by at what seems lightening speed (until you see a Sparrowhawk).

Ref: D73_20201224_1050_186 Kestrel female gliding and turning in front of young Lombardy Poplar tree.jpg

Here the female Kestrel has Chosen to hunt from the top of post that converts the underground mains cable (coming up from the ground left) to an overhead pair of bare wires, one of which is supported by that bolt. Anyway, she sees something in the grass and dives down to eat it. It looks like another large larvae.

Ref: D73_20201224_1053_317+1054_334 Kestrel female dives from pole top to grass to eat insect 1+3 of 4 (montage as insert).jpg

Our last selection of this lovely bird - swooping to the ground to grab some poor morsel that we didn't get to see.

Ref: D73_20201224_1056_385 Kestrel female lands to catch insect 2 of 7 (crop).jpg

25 Jan 2021

This is the 'adjustable height' hunting pole.
Why sit only on the top of a pole when this one has about 10 different heights. Actually she often DOES sit on the top of this one as well, and chooses various heights of footrest without any obvious preferences.

Ref: D73_20201224_1045_004 Kestrel female on telephone pole footrest.jpg

The female Kestrel decides to make a landing on a conifer twig, but for whatever reason has difficulty getting balance after touchdown.

Ref: D73_20201224_1048_043+045+046+1029_075 Kestrel female bad landing in Conifer & flies away 01-04 of 11 (montage leftward).jpg

She stays only a few seconds before flying back the way that she arrived.

Ref: D73_20201224_1049_076-080 Kestrel female bad landing in Conifer & flies away 05-09 of 11 (accurate montage @ 10fps).jpg

24 Jan 2021

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer spent 10 minutes feeding at the woodland site. An amusing sideline is the Grey Squirrel creeping ever closer. She can be seen just behind the thigh of the front legs at the left, and 10 minutes the Squirrel seems to be right under the Deer.

Ref: E64_20201219_1413_178+1424_179_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female 11 min feed as Grey Squirrel moves under her (mirror montage).jpg

12 hours later, now in the middle of the night, the little Deer trots by the same camera.

Ref: E64_20201220_0213_216_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female trotting through site (whole frame).jpg

23 Jan 2021

Following the abundance of female Kestrel pics last week, she has since made a few appearances.

Ref: D73_20201219_1323_009-011 Kestrel female on mains power line 3-5 of 6 (montage).jpg

She flew straight from the cables towards the house ...

Ref: D73_20201219_1324_014-018 Kestrel female takeoff from mains power line 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

... ending on the gutter on a front corner of the house, but she soon flew to the top of 'our' telephone pole by the main road.

Ref: D73_20201219_1325_030 Kestrel female perched on gutter at SW corner of house.jpg

22 Jan 2021

A lunch-time encounter shortly after an early in the day round with the bait bag. The Grey Squirrel hasn't already attacked the pheasant, so is probably one of the tolerant individuals.

Ref: BU5_20201217_1326_039_SC1 Pheasant male and Grey Squirrel on bank of Round Pond.jpg

10 minutes later, and glowing in the afternoon sunshine, this year's male pheasant arrives at the hedge bottom still scattered with scraps.

Ref: E63_20201217_1335_052_FB1 Pheasant male.jpg

2 days later the male Pheasant makes another appearance. No sightings of a female yet.

Ref: E63_20201219_1441_169_FB1 Pheasant male.jpg

21 Jan 2021

After months of departing 'Yaffle' calls and the occasional pic on the automatic camera on the meadow post, the female Green Woodpecker finally gives us a decent chance of a portrait.

Ref: DF3_20201217_1024_013 Green Woodpecker female perched on young silver Birch branch.jpg

A Barn Owl made one of their occasional visits, staying for at least 10 minutes.

Ref: D01_20201214_2012_027+2014+031_FB6 Barn Owl 10+ minute visit 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

20 Jan 2021

Here the female Kestrel has perched on the tip of one of the Farm's young Lombardy Poplars. She was bounding up and down on this thin piece of wood, but managing to compensate for the motion to keep her head still.

Ref: D73_20201214_1244_441+444 Kestrel female perched on springy Lombardy poplar twig 07+10 of 10 (aligned montage).jpg

Her next landing on a nearby twig was quite tricky ...

Ref: D73_20201214_1246_504 Kestrel female failing to grip twig to land.jpg

... but she made it after a second or two.

Ref: D73_20201214_1246_516 Kestrel female landing on Lombardy Poplar twig in strong wind 10 of 16 (crop).jpg

A good view of the feathers on our female Kestrel.

Ref: D73_20201214_1249_573 Kestrel female with feathers evenly spread in flight.jpg

19 Jan 2021

A disused telephone pole provides about a dozen footrests from which the local female kestrel likes to hunt over the grass margin.

Ref: D73_20201214_0943_284 Kestrel female on Telephone pole footrest.jpg

The female Kestrel takes off after a feed - climbing straight up into the sky for a hover facing into the wind.

Ref: D73_20201214_0956_368-384 Kestrel female takes prey from grass then takes off to hover 1+6+8+11+16 of 22 (acc montage).jpg

The female Kestrel continues here ascent. Top bird above is immediately below the bottom bird below.

Ref: D73_20201214_0956_385-390 Kestrel female takes prey from grass then takes off to hover 15-20 of 22 (accurate montage).jpg

Once at sufficient height she flew to another tree branch for the next hunt.

Ref: D73_20201214_0956_408-410+413 Kestrel female landing in tree 1-4 of 4 ((right to left montage).jpg

18 Jan 2021

From a hover the female Kestrel dives down onto the prey she has spotted in the saturated grass.

Ref: D73_20201214_0938_119-121 Kestrel female diving into prey in grass 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage @10 fps).jpg

Whatever The female Kestrel caught could be swallowed without us seeing it. Here she is taking off to continue her hunt.

Ref: D73_20201214_0938_165-169 Kestrel female taking off from grass 01-05 of 13 (montage @10fps).jpg

What a beautiful creature

Ref: D73_20201214_0939_225 Kestrel female in flight 4 of 7 (crop).jpg

Trees seemed to be a favourite hunting perch on this day. Here she is making her way to one of them.

Ref: D73_20201214_0939_242-246+253 Kestrel female flying to land in tree 06-11 of 12 (acc montage @10fps).jpg

17 Jan 2021

The local female Kestrel spent most of the day hunting over 1000 square metres of farm margin saturated grass. Read this flight from right to left - the leftmost bird is folding her wings making her look suddenly smaller.

Ref: D73_20201214_0935_034-040 Kestrel female in flight 3 of 7 (accurate montage right to left).jpg

The female Kestrel perched in surrounding trees, and sometimes hovered, diving to the ground to collect whatever she had spotted in the grass. In this case it is some sort of larva (not a worm this time) that you can just see in the 4th 5th images from the left (detail of 5th image above).

Ref: D73_20201214_0935_041-052 Kestrel female diving to ground to eat leatherjacket(q) larva 1+2+4+6+9+12 of 12 (spread montage + insert).jpg

Here hovering in a blustery wind you can see that the female Kestrel's beak tip is motionless against the distant tree despite the movements of her wings and body.

Ref: D73_20201214_0935_066-073 Kestrel female hovering in gusty wind maintaining head position 04+06+07+11 of 12 (montage).jpg

A bit more detail of the hovering Kestrel.

Ref: D73_20201214_0935_072 Kestrel female hovering in gusty wind 10 of 12 (crop).jpg

16 Jan 2021

Our apparently resident female Reeves Muntjac Deer feeds on the fallen leaves in a thicket south east of the duck-shaped pond.

Ref: D73_20201213_1251_082 Muntjac Reeves Deer female in thicket SE of Duck Pond 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

Out in the morning dark to collect the camera cards, our powerful head-torches caught sight of movement in the brambles. It was this female Muntjac, amazingly not the least bothered by having our lights shone on her nor bothered by the camera flash. Standing still to watch her she eventually munched her way towards the camera until barely a metre away - the camera is pointing down on to the back of her head. She wandered back in the brambles so we left her in peace.
A wonderful experience.

Ref: D73_20201217_0717_030 Muntjac Reeves Deer female foraging in thicket ignoring photographer & camera flash 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

15 Jan 2021

If ever the weather dries up we will be able to clear out this vegetable bed.
Meanwhile this female Reeves Muntjac Deer helps clear the weeds for us.

Ref: D73_20201211_1340_024 Muntjac Reeves Deer feeding in salad bed 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

This female Reeves Muntjac Deer helps clear the weeds for us.

Ref: D73_20201211_1342_035 Muntjac Reeves Deer feeding in salad bed 3 of 4 (crop).jpg

What seems to be a resident female Reeves Muntjac Deer feeds on the fallen leaves in a thicket south east of the duck-shaped pond.

Ref: D73_20201213_1250_062 Muntjac Reeves Deer female in thicket SE of Duck Pond 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

14 Jan 2021

The female Kestrel uses the local 'take-away' (the Meadow) for her lunchtime vole. She flew away with it to we know not where.

Ref: D01_20201211_1115_025_FB6 Kestrel female lands on meadow post with Short-tailed Field Vole in Talons 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

13 Jan 2021

After a week of absence we come across the local female Kestrel perched in a tree at the end of our 'orchard', here photographed from outside our patch.

Ref: D73_20201210_1039_008 Kestrel female in tree at end of orchard (viewed from outside).jpg

80 minutes later the Sparrowhawk catches our eye perched in one of the Ash trees visible from the house.

Ref: DF5_20201210_1203_001+002 Sparrowhawk female perched in Ash tree 2+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

This mess of a photo is a Sparrowhawk attacking a bird inside the peanut feeder.
A look at the CCTV recording shows that the Sparrowhawk flew into attack from the left, spent a few seconds trying to grab some sort of small bird from the feeder but failing, and the small bird flew off. The Hawk circled and landed on the perch above, obviously sans prey, and 30 seconds later flew away.

Ref: E60_20201209_1434_023_FB3 Sparrowhawk attacking bird inside caged Peanut feeder (crop).jpg

12 Jan 2021

A Fox scent-marks the tree near the East hedge animal access.

Ref: BUA_20201209_0248_108_SC8 Fox scent marking tree.jpg

A little before midnight the next night, a Fox gazes across the water of the now overflowing Round Pond. The Fox could be hearing or scenting something interesting on the island out of crop to the right, and wondering whether it is worth the swim.

Ref: BU5_20201209_2322_234_SC1 Fox looking across Round Pond.jpg

11 Jan 2021

This Badger (ID'ed from markings) first visited the mound, 45 minutes later was on the other side of our patch at the bottom of the south hedge, and then an hour later seen again back at the mound (not shown - by then the Fog had descended to stay for the next 3 days)

Ref: E63_20201205_2245_329_FB1+BU2_20201205_2133_501_SC7 Badger visiting mound + Hedge + mound over 2Hrs 1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

A couple of Badgers making procession through the orchard.

Ref: BU6_20201209_1837_076_SC2 2 Badgers walking up orchard path.jpg

10 Jan 2021

At this time of year we get less than 8 hours of sunlight. The orange light of the setting sun illuminates this sleek Wood Pigeon.

Ref: D01_20201205_1527_132_FB6 Wood Pigeon lit by sunset.jpg

15 minutes later the orange glow through the window encourages a brief excursion to catch the moment.

Ref: D73_20201205_1548_137 Sunset.jpg

09 Jan 2021

Following our fog hazed Green Woodpecker earlier, here she is in all her glory.

Ref: E6A_20201209_1017_200_FB5 Green Woodpecker female.jpg

A rook flies 'out of the glare of the sun' and past us, creating this unusual progression of appearance all in less than a second.

Ref: D73_20201205_1244_098-105 Rook in flight with changing lighting at 10fps 1-8 of 8 (close spaced montage).jpg

08 Jan 2021

While walking past a bench Marie spotted the debris of a Teasel head that has been dismantled on the flat arm of a Bench. A day or so later after collecting the camera card at this site we find this moment as a Grey Squirrel with Teasel head in mouth speeds in the appropriate direction. We have to assume a connection.

Ref: E6A_20201205_1226_218_FB5 Grey Squirrel leaping with Teasel head in mouth.jpg

A single Grey Squirrel surrounded at just over 'swipe' distance by an arc of 5 Rooks. Behind the Rooks is a line of 4 Jackdaws.

Ref: BU2_20201209_1303_261_SC7 1 Grey Squirrel + 5 Rooks + 4 Jackdaws feeding on Round Mound.jpg

07 Jan 2021

One of the dark billed Blackbirds we see at this time of year - this is a female.

Ref: D73_20201205_0911_018 Blackbird female with dark beak perched on silver birch branch.jpg

From an upstairs window we could watch this Reeve's Muntjac Deer browsing either side of the path through the meadow.

Ref: DF2_20201208_1127_005+008+1128_026 Muntjac Reeves Deer female feeding on meadow path 2+3+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

06 Jan 2021

This Wood Pigeon out in the cold and rain plumps up the feathers to keep out the cold. No sleek breast here - maximise the insulating air-space.

Ref: D01_20201203_1116_067_FB6 Wood Pigeon on meadow post in rain.jpg

A Wood Pigeon folds the wings after landing. Those hundreds of feathers now form a perfectly smooth breast.

Ref: E60_20201207_1156_004_FB3 Wood Pigeon folding wings after landing.jpg

05 Jan 2021

Just before 5 a.m. this Barn Owl makes this lovely landing, but doesn't stay.

Ref: D01_20201130_0449_045_FB6 Barn Owl landing (crop).jpg

Maybe the Barn Owl was hoping to find a final Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) before the end of the night, but this portrait was from the hedge-bottom site rarely visited by Owls.

Ref: E63_20201201_1637_186_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse).jpg

04 Jan 2021

A rare spell of sunshine breaks the interminable gloom allowing some attractive images of this Rook flying by.

Ref: DF3_20201201_0913_003-006 Rook in flight 1-4 of 4 (close spaced montage).jpg

In recent years Jackdaws have mostly disappeared in the summer months, returning for the Winter.

Ref: D01_20201126_1451_017+018_FB6 Jackdaw landing on Meadow Post (montage about 300mS apart).jpg

03 Jan 2021

Tawny Owls only occasionally visit this woodland tree-stump. 3 Woodpiles around this stump provide home for Fieldmice (Wood Mice) and Voles, and we suspect that the Owl's gaze is focussed on an unfortunate resident.

Ref: D36_20201127_0106_024_FB4 Tawny Owl visit to tree-stump (crop).jpg

Probably the same Tawny Owl makes a landing on the perch outside the kitchen.

Ref: E60_20201130_0304_006_FB3 Tawny Owl landing on Kitchen perch (crop).jpg

02 Jan 2021

Would butter melt in the mouth of this endearing creature?

Ref: E63_20201126_1441_061_FB1 Grey Squirrel eating piece of apple.jpg

In a sheltered sunny patch this Grey Squirrel spends several minutes warming itself and having an extensive groom.

Ref: DF3_20201201_1307_032 Grey Squirrel grooming in sunlit patch.jpg

A piece of Banana peel that escaped the kitchen scissors is now nevertheless picked up and eaten by this Squirrel.
Banana peel used always be left untouched until it rotted. We started cutting it into squares and the animals were willing to try it. Having learned that it is 'good stuff' some will tackle it cut up or not.

Ref: E6A_20201201_1355_081_FB5 Grey Squirrel nibbling banana peel.jpg

01 Jan 2021

A fresh new year sees this female Sparrowhawk near the end of daylight on the Kitchen Window perch. A careful inspection shows fresh blood on her lower breast feathers and over one of her talons. She is probably digesting her latest kill.

Ref: E60_20201201_1556_020_FB3 Sparrowhawk female (crop).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive