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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jul 2021

After many weeks of absence the female Kestrel is back, seemingly re-visiting her old haunts to see whether they remain good hunting.
Here she spends about 7 minutes on the top of the Meadow post where the automatic camera watches her arrive with some sort of Rodent in her claws, where she dissects and consumes the entire Rodent.

Ref: D01_20210625_2012_156-2019_170_FB6 Kestrel female arrives at Meadow Post with Rodent and eats it 1+3+4+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

Mid morning next day she similarly arrives with a smaller Rodent, but for whatever reason leaves without obviously eating it 'on the spot'.

Ref: D01_20210626_1057_211_FB6 Kestrel female landing on meadow post with Rodent in claws 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

Lunchtime another day on we spot her hunting from the dead branches of a really old Apple tree in the 'Orchard'. For some reason she is much more tolerant of humans in the garden below than elsewhere.

Ref: D72_20210627_1217_030 Kestrel female hunting from branch of apple tree in orchard.jpg

30 Jul 2021

A lovely moment at around dawn as Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn is affectionately groomed by Mum, and then a surprise as we see the behaviour reciprocated with the fawn grooming Mum.
The fawn has to learn this social nicety, but it's lovely to see.

Ref: BUA_20210625_0440_061+064+068_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer mother grooming fawn then fawn grooming mother 1+3+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

At the front of the house the Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn licks over her fur between nibbling bits of the 'garden'. Her growing size and formation of the facial mask make it difficult to tell the fawn from the adults at first glance.

Ref: D5C_20210625_1502_014 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn in front garden.jpg

29 Jul 2021

The female Great Spotted Woodpecker continues to supplement the youngster's rations with peanut fragments

Ref: DF3_20210622_0902_001+006+008 Great Spotted woodpecker female feeding juvenile peanut grit 1-3 of 7 (montage).jpg

The female Great Spotted Woodpecker continues to supplement the youngster's rations with peanut fragments

Ref: DF3_20210622_0903_027+030+033 Great Spotted woodpecker female feeding juvenile peanut grit 4-6 of 7 (montage).jpg

Here are two juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers - what is going on we can only guess. We often see juvenile Woodpeckers mistakenly begging from each other!

Ref: E60_20210625_1819_046_FB3 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker juveniles one under perch & other landing.jpg

28 Jul 2021

"Baby Bunny in Clover"

Ref: E6A_20210616_1814_037_FB5 Rabbit youngster in clover.jpg

The ever attentive male pheasant guards one of has (at least) 3 wives. The ripening grass and some heavy rain causes the grass stalks to fall into any empty space as you see here, along with the Clover flowers and Buttercups at this suddenly cluttered site.

Ref: E6A_20210621_1649_106_FB5 Pheasant male guarding female + grasses + clover + buttercups + oxeye daisies.jpg

27 Jul 2021

A cluster of developing Sycamore seeds showing a subtle pink colour.

Ref: DF3_20210623_1557_132 Sycamore seed developing.jpg

In one of the oak trees on the sunny side of the meadow has several patches of leaves at the end of branches going brown and yellow. It too high to see if it is infestation or damage of some kind.

Ref: DF3_20210623_1041_086 Oak tree leaf tips some turning yellow.jpg

26 Jul 2021

One of very few male Banded Demoiselle Damselflies - a flickering delight to see in flight.
The females are so similar to the female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies that we find it hard to tell them apart.

Ref: DF3_20210623_1742_156 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

A female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly - the brown colour of the wings is clear in this photo, so it is NOT a Banded Demoiselle

Ref: DF3_20210623_1602_138 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female.jpg

25 Jul 2021

This has been the 'Week of the Woodpeckers' visiting peanut feeders on both sides of the house. Here this montage shows the whole family as far as we are aware. On the left the 2 Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers actually seen like this), and on the right first Mum and then Dad.

Ref: E60_20210621_1156_042-20210623_0524_084_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker adults + 2 juves over 4 days 5+3+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

Mum Great Spotted Woodpecker likes to feed her youngster some peanut grits.

Ref: D5C_20210620_0942_008-0943_028 Great Spotted Woodpecker female feeding juvenile with peanut fragments 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

24 Jul 2021

Mum and Fawn again met at this site, spend a few minutes mostly at the edge of the frame, before the youngster makes their way out into the wider world of the farmers field (top middle).

Ref: BU7_20210620_1326_013+1327_021 Muntjac Reeves Deer mother visits fawn who exits through hedge to south (accurate montage).jpg

Itchy 'velvet' over the growing antlers of this male Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems the most likely need for rubbing on the ground

Ref: BU7_20210621_0328_050+051 Muntjac Reeves Deer male rubs forehead and antlers-in-velvet on ground (montage).jpg

The Trail cam at the east hedge catches the lovely little Reeve's Muntjac fawn probably just re-entered our patch and walks quietly through a sunbeam.

Ref: BUA_20210623_1440_238_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn in dappled sunlight.jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn spends a lot of time on the plot, mostly now avoiding the flash camera sites. But about once a day on random walks around our patch we get a sighting. The little creature seems to know we are not an immediate danger, but always walks quietly into the nearest cover and we don't see them again.

Ref: DF3_20210623_1553_127 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn resting at edge of grass path (crop).jpg

23 Jul 2021

Grey Squirrels seem to be showing the worst of their behaviour this week. At the woodland site these two seem to be having a snarling contest over a few fragments of food.

Ref: E64_20210617_1548_076_FB2 2 Grey Squirrel threatening each other.jpg

An hour or so later some 70m away we get this largely impenetrable melee of fighting Grey Squirrels. We think it is just 2 creatures!
Reminds us of the excellent stop-motion movie 'Isle of Dogs (2018)' where fight scenes are represented by similar 'balls of fur with bits sticking out'.

Ref: E63_20210617_1703_113_FB1 2 Grey Squirrel fighting (crop).jpg

2 minutes later the issue seems resolved - only this Squirrel remains.

Ref: E63_20210617_1705_114_FB1 Grey Squirrel leaping from stone.jpg

22 Jul 2021

This Pristine Badger visits the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20210613_0251_259_FB1 Badger feeding at hedge bottom.jpg

After dark this Badger get a rude surprise as the camera flash fires. But this one keeps coming back so can't be too disturbed.

Ref: E63_20210616_2254_056_FB1 Badger (head at edge of frame).jpg

21 Jul 2021

Birds in general seem to be able to move their tails through a huge range of angles. There is no stiff foliage here that could be bending the tail.

Ref: E63_20210603_1657_040_FB1 Pheasant male twisted backwards.jpg

Very rare sightings of any female Pheasants, and none at all of chicks. But his Majesty looks magnificent even without his tail ...

Ref: E63_20210611_1648_137_FB1 Pheasant male.jpg

... but the 'girls' probably find him more impressive WITH his tail.

Ref: E63_20210611_1826_168_FB1 Pheasant male.jpg

After a day of continuous rain it looks like this male Pheasant found shelter overnight, but needing to eat has left him looking a bit like a 'drowned Rat'.

Ref: E6A_20210618_1256_124_FB5 Pheasant male at meadow site drenched with rain.jpg

20 Jul 2021

A female Broad Bodied Chaser high in the hedge along the access track.

Ref: D73_20210614_1012_059 Broad-bodied Chaser female in hedge W side of access track (crop).jpg

This year we have seen several of these different individual female Broad Bodied Chasers. Surely a male, with the lovely powder blue pruinescence, will turn up to make the next generation.

Ref: D73_20210615_1254_150 Broad Bodied Chaser female perched on broken off teasel stem.jpg

First sighting for 2021 of a (female) Black Tailed Skimmer, of all places out on the farmer insecticide drenched crop :-(

Ref: DF3_20210612_0922_010 Black-tailed Skimmer female on bare soil between crop plants (1st of 2021) (crop).jpg

19 Jul 2021

At least one juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker has made it to a degree of independence. This one was exploring the post, flat surface and Peanut feeder outside the study window. Over a couple of minutes we got all of these moments - just enjoy the young woodpecker possibly first solo exploration of this construct where one of the parents has been there to feed the youngster on previous visits.

Ref: DF3_20210614_0920_005-0921_019 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile on study window feeder pick of 13 (montage).jpg

18 Jul 2021

Walking down a dark tree-covered path we found the way 'blocked' by several single strands of silk hanging down from about 4 metres high down to the ground. Some of these had caterpillars crawling down them that appear, after a lot of book thumbing, to be some sort of 'Sawfly' Larvae.
Top: The silk 'mesh' still with Larvae in it.
Left: A close up of the strand with about 8 Larvae on it. The Larvae shadow on the ground is formed the shadow from the camera flash.
Right: A distant shot of the setup - this strand actually hung from further up than you can see here.
Our lack of expertise (and minimal guide books) means we are unable to 'nail' the insect's ID any better, and maybe wrong at that.

Ref: D73_20210614_0723_093+0720_084 Sawfly Larvae descend from meshes on 4 metre single threads to ground 3+1+2 of 7 (montage).jpg

3 hours later the Larvae have mostly dispersed.

Ref: D73_20210614_1004_033 Sawfly Larvae descending from silk meshes down 4 metre long single threads to ground 5 of 7 (crop).jpg

17 Jul 2021

Here is a male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly - more commonly seen that the females at the moment. The 'break' in the body may look alarming, but the insect can bend substantially at join of each of the 10 abdominal segments. This joint between segments 2 & 3 contains the male's sexual organs.

Ref: D73_20210612_1640_075 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male perched on twig showing sharp bend between segments 2 & 3.jpg

This male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly catches the light showing how the veins of the wing create corrugations that give this incredibly lightweight structure surprising strength. A form of natural origami!

Ref: D73_20210613_1509_059 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male showing wing veins ridges very clearly.jpg

A female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly. The wingspan is about 7cm - much larger than most Damselflies. Walking down a path with dozens of these fluttering around you is quite one of the most magical experiences we know.

Ref: D73_20210612_1453_055 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female.jpg

The Beautiful Demoiselles are supplemented by the only other similar species (in the UK anyway) of the strikingly marked Banded Demoiselle. This is a male - the females have no such banding and are so hard to tell apart from female Beautiful Demoiselles 'in the wild' that we may miss them among the larger numbers of the Beautiful females.
Each wing has it's own band which is quite dark even when the wings are separated as you unusually see here.

Ref: D73_20210613_1212_002 Banded Demoiselle male fluttering wings while perched.jpg

16 Jul 2021

The Fawn seems to be managing fine, here with a dried out leaf in the mouth.
Not so junk-food crisps for a Deer?

Ref: BU9_20210611_1910_027_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn with desiccated leaf in mouth.jpg

We had started to think of the Reeve's Muntjac Deer as rather independent, but here a possibly by chance, possibly not, encounter at the SW corner between Fawn and what must be Mum led to 5 minutes of affectionate grooming of the youngster and eventually exit though the south hedge. If you look carefully at the top of the bottom right picture, you will see Mum looking back, past a grass blade, at her Fawn to check that it is following.

Ref: BU7_20210615_0631_036-0636_063 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn & mother meet at SW corner for groom 1+4+7+9 of 9 (montage 5 mins).jpg

15 Jul 2021

The Kitchen window bird table and perch are held in place by a pair of G-clamps. This seems to provide a nice grippy surface for the Adult Great Tit (left) to feed their youngster. The adult has obtained a piece of peanut from the feeder and is chipping off a smaller piece to feed the youngster.
Concerns about feeding peanuts during the breeding season centre around young birds choking on whole peanuts. Ensure your feeders only release fragments and it becomes useful supplement for chicks and the parents.

Ref: D5C_20210611_1118_007+009+010 Great Tit breaking off fragments of peanut to feed juvenile 2-4 of 5 (montage).jpg

At the top, Mum Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Hanging upside down, juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker.
We have seen this juxtaposition many times, and still have no idea why the juvenile chooses to hang inverted.

Ref: E60_20210616_1141_064_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female offers food to juvenile hanging beneath (crop).jpg

14 Jul 2021

3 visits by what looks like the same Little Owl over 5 days, visiting for 1, 2 and then 3 'frames'. Frames on this camera are taken at exactly 1 minute intervals when the post is occupied.
Top middle is the back of the head - without optical equipment this looks remarkably like much bigger bird.

Ref: D01_20210610_2222_053-20210614_0409_185_FB6 Little Owl visits on 3 of 5 days for ever longer periods 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

More detail of the top-right image.

Ref: D01_20210611_2142_111_FB6 Little Owl visits on 3 of 5 days for ever longer periods 3 of 6 (crop).jpg

After several weeks we see a Tawny Owl again, spending a couple of minutes at the meadow post. Tawny Owls seems to prefer (or find easier to catch) Voles over Fieldmice (Wood Mice). We see very few of either prey at the nearby Meadow site photo kit at the moment, but there are plenty around, and unfortunately in, the house.

Ref: D01_20210617_0103_027+0104_129_FB6 Tawny Owl 2 minute visit to meadow post 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

13 Jul 2021

Mum and Dad introduce 2 of the Moorhen chicks to the world outside the pond. This was the last of the group of 3 pics triggered by the adults so more chicks may be following.

Ref: BU8_20210608_0846_077 2 Moorhen adults on grass by pond followed by (at least) 2 chicks.jpg

In the evening of the same day two sibling Moorhen are in the duckweed of the Duck-shaped pond.

Ref: D73_20210608_1741_105 2 Moorhen chicks.jpg

12 Jul 2021

There are perhaps a dozen male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies around the various places they frequent as the 'sun moves round the heavens'.

Ref: D73_20210608_0917_044 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male immature.jpg

Detail of a male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly shows the intricate spines and hairs.

Ref: D73_20210608_1231_072 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male immature (head detail).jpg

At last we see a Female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly. Only the females have the white 'pseudo-pterostigma' on both Demoiselle species.
Many other Odonata have these marks in a similar position, but there are usually black or Brown, hence the 'pseudo' for these white ones.

Ref: D73_20210609_1253_148 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female (1st female of 2021) (crop).jpg

This is a male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly sunning himself on a nettle leaf.
So far we have not spotted any female Banded Demoiselle Damselflies, but may have missed some - they are rather similar to the Female Beautiful.

Ref: D73_20210610_1038_016 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male (1st of 2021) (crop).jpg

11 Jul 2021

Several sighting of the male Yellowhammer (and a poor pic of the female) this week. Here is a little celebration of some of the male's visits on a somewhat elongated stone.

Ref: E63_20210607_1420_054-20210608_1203_139_FB1 Yellowhammer visits to stone at hedge bottom (montage over 22hrs).jpg

10 Jul 2021

A Tawny Owl stops by the meadow post 2 hours after midnight. There don't seem to be many Rodents at the nearby 'Meadow camera' so the Owl hopefully knows of better places to hunt.

Ref: D01_20210607_0157_187_FB6 Tawny Owl single frame visit.jpg

Visits in the early morning and early night of the same day by Little Owls. A careful inspection suggests that this is two individuals. Have we got a pair nesting on our patch? We DO have a little owl nesting box inaccessible to us past stinging nettles. More if we discover anything new - without interfering with the nest box until well after they could have finished with it.

Ref: D01_20210602_0416_055+057+2100_103+105_FB6 2 Little Owls visiting meadow post morning & evening of the same day (montage).jpg

09 Jul 2021

A Silver-ground Carpet Moth shows off the intricate wing pattern. The rather elongated look is because the wings are not fully covering one another as you normally see when the insect is resting.

Ref: D73_20210606_0834_030 Silver-ground Carpet Moth on leaf with rear wings partly exposed.jpg

08 Jul 2021

We haven't sighted a grass snake for 4 years (28 Jun 2018) under a corrugated iron sheet we still look under most days. So catching a sight of this Grass Snake sunbathing in the middle of the main pond, coiled over a tuft of desiccated Iris fronds from last year, was a surprise. We couldn't see it very well for the glare of the plants around it. and took several pics at various angles through intervening fresh growth. Eventually it slithered off we know not where - Grass Snakes are completely happy in water. In this pic you can see the 3 parts of the snake, bottom towards the tail, top toward the head, and just above middle the snake's head itself facing to the right.

Ref: DF3_20210605_1257_135 Grass Snake basking on partly hidden mound of desiccated Iris leaves (crop).jpg

Almost 2 weeks after the first Grass Snake sighting, we lift the corrugated iron sheet and in the first time for years find this Grass snake warming itself under the sun warmed corrugated iron. The snake wasn't too happy with this interruption of it's sauna, found a break in the up-ended iron, and made a swift exit.

Ref: D73_20210614_1002_002+016 Grass Snake under corrugated iron sheet exits under edge of lifted sheet 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

The next day we see probably the same Grass Snake at the same place. This time the corrugated iron was thrown right back, not providing a surface route to escape, so the snake makes for the nearest Mouse hole and the whole snake (probably almost 1 metre long) pours into the hole and vanishes!

Ref: D73_20210615_1239_093-105 Grass snake found under corrugated iron sheet escapes into mouse hole 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

07 Jul 2021

This pair of Hover-flies were making so much noise about it that we had to investigate the frantic buzzing and found these two on a bramble growing out of a miniature conifer. These taken over 8 minutes. At frame 5 he fell off - but she let him regain his classic position. We left them to it and they were gone half and hour later.

Ref: DF3_20210605_0814_003-0822_076 hover-flies (merodon equestris) mating on blackberry leaf 1-6 of 6 (montage over 8 mins).jpg

06 Jul 2021

Every year for the last 30 years (i.e. since we moved here) a 10m stretch along the east edge of the access track becomes a sea of the blue flowers of Green Alkanet. Patches are starting to appear on the west side of the track and in the orchard without any help from us.

Ref: D73_20210529_1341_012 Green Alkanet in flower along east of access track.jpg

Some of the Hawthorn trees growing from the inner hedge are have become really impressive with a huge overhang, turning parts of the outer path into a 'tunnel'.

Ref: D73_20210601_0946_092 Hawthorn tree in blossom with incidental Burnet Rose flowers.jpg

05 Jul 2021

Mum or Dad Badger with 3 youngsters dutifully following. An adult and 2 youngsters seen again later the same night.

Ref: BU8_20210529_0208_180 Badger adult with 3 youngsters near Duck-shaped Pond.jpg

A week after the first visit by an Badger adult + 3 youngsters we see what is probably the same group from 50 metres away from the previous siting at the bottom and lower slope of the mound.

Ref: BU2_20210605_0206_176_SC7 Badger adult with 3 cubs.jpg

04 Jul 2021

A Blue Tit was flying past the window about once a minute - moving between a peanut feeder and this nest box. Investigating showed that the visitors to the nest box were grabbing peanut grit from the feeder and 'grubs' from the Yellow Buddleia in a mix to feed the youngsters in the nest. Whole peanuts can be a choking danger to chick, but it seems that having to peck out tiny fragments makes peanuts a useful supplement. In this first montage we see Mum or Dad delivering a green grub.
This nestbox is in total shade all day and these are the best pics we can get.

Ref: DF1_20210603_1233_007+010+1234_053 Blue Tit nestbox feeds (grubs & Peanut grit) + Fecal Sac removal 1-3 of 6 (montage).jpg

Here one of the parents flies out to dispose of a Fecal Sac.
This nestbox is in total shade all day and these are the best pics we can get. Yes - the box is mounted on a sloping branch - the birds don't care!

Ref: DF1_20210603_1235_158-160 Blue Tit nestbox feeds (grubs and Peanut grit) + Fecal Sac removal 4-6 of 6 (acc montage @7fps).jpg

03 Jul 2021

The White Ermine Moth is an extremely attractive sight glowing in the dark of the Moth Trap. Reluctant to leave the 'pill' box at the start of the session, you see here the resting insect (right) with no hint of the glorious orange body (left) while warming up the wing muscles ready for flight.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1357_285+1355_276_FT1 White Ermine Moth on box showing orange body only when flapping wings (montage).jpg

A montages celebration of this beautiful White Ermine moth.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1356_279+1358_293_FT1 White Ermine Moth in 5 flights (montage).jpg

A close up of this White Ermine moth with the tip of a grass blade for scale.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1358_293+1523_409_FT1 White Ermine Moth in flight with tip of grass blade (montage).jpg

02 Jul 2021

Hawk-moths are, by Moth standards, really big. This Poplar Hawk-moth was a wingspan of about 40mm (inch and a half) though it seems bigger when you are handling them. The orange patch doesn't show at all on the resting insect, and doesn't get any mention in ID books or normal photos.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1342_250+1418_366_FT1 2 Poplar Hawk-moths in flight (montage).jpg

Here montaged at the same scale with a small head of Cow Parsley you get a better idea of scale.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1342_250+1526_426_FT1 Poplar Hawk-moth with small Head of Cow Parsley (montage).jpg

01 Jul 2021

This female Brimstone Butterfly perched nicely for a photo before being rudely netted to strut her stuff for a few minutes at the insect flight kit.

Ref: D73_20210601_1320_130 Brimstone Butterfly female perched on Blackberry leaf.jpg

3 separate flights here of the female Brimstone butterfly, since montaged to make some sort of fun layout, before we took her back to her bramble patch.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1320_186+1315_162+1317_171_FT1 Brimstone Butterfly female in 3 flights (montage).jpg



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