Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Jun 2021

Photographing Cinnabar Moths has always been really difficult, but this one after an initial period of playing dead, kindly obliged with several quite decent flights past the camera.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1301_106+108+1307_143_FT1 Cinnabar Moth in 2 flights with buttercup (montage).jpg

Another two moments from Cinnabar Moth flights.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1301_109+1303_123 Cinnabar Moth 2 flight (montage)_FT1.jpg

29 Jun 2021

Green Carpet Moths fade from green quite quickly - this one grey. It is photographed against the black plastic of the moth trap it was caught in.

Ref: P10_20210601_0706_412 Green Carpet Moth (Colostygia pectinataria) faded to grey on moth-trap wall.jpg

A younger 'greener' individual provided these moments a Green Carpet moth in flight.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1349_263-264+1524_417_FT1 Green Carpet Moth in flight with Green Alkanet flower (montage).jpg

28 Jun 2021

This Cockchafer Beetle was caught in the overnight moth trap, and is here perched on the 'egg boxes' used to fill the trap with insect-friendly perches. The lack of the 'brush' Antennae tells is that this is a female.

Ref: P10_20210601_0658_410 Cockchafer Beetle aka Maybug (Melolontha melolontha) resting on cardboard.jpg

This is a male Cockchafer Beetle in a couple of flights down what we call out 'Flight Tunnel'. If you are interested in how we get these pics there is lots of detail (probably too much!) to be found at Flight Tunnel.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1420_383+1425_404_FT1 Cockchafer Beetle aka Maybug (Melolontha melolontha) in 2 flights (montage).jpg

27 Jun 2021

This male Reeve's Muntjac Deer has lost one of his Antlers.
Don't worry - you will lose the other and then grow a lovely new pair to impress the girls!

Ref: bu7_20210601_0833_052 Muntjac Reeves Deer male (1 antler) in early morning sunlight.jpg

A few second later the missing antler isn't so clear, but we can just identify on his flank a hitch-hiking small Orange-tip Butterfly!

Ref: BU7_20210601_0833_054 Muntjac Reeves Deer male (1 antler) in early morning sunlight + orange tip butterfly on flank.jpg

26 Jun 2021

For the first time in years the Moorhen web site has Moorhen once again breeding on the ponds. Two very young Moorhen who don't know that they should be hiding!

Ref: D73_20210602_1555_204 2 Moorhen Chicks on Duck-shaped Pond (first of 2021) (crop).jpg

Next day, forewarned into making a quiet approach, we see 2 again

Ref: D73_20210603_1226_033 2 Moorhen Chicks on Duck-shaped Pond (crop).jpg

A little portrait of this scruffy and simultaneously beautiful ball of feathers

Ref: D73_20210603_1438_046 Moorhen Chick portrait on Duck-shaped pond.jpg

Here we momentarily see 4 of these tiny chicks at once. There is probably another hidden top right, but we are not sure.
By now the presumably new pair of adults have learned to guard their youngsters better, and we can't get near without a warning call and the whole lot vanishing into the foliage.

Ref: D73_20210603_1439_053 4 (of maybe 5) Moorhen chicks on Duck-shaped pond (ID only).jpg

25 Jun 2021

The Orange-tip butterflies seem to have been around FAR longer than usual. Normally for 2 or 3 weeks. Our first record is 17 April 2021, so we have been seeing them for 6 weeks. They don't even look 'tatty'.

Ref: D73_20210530_1555_068 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Red Campion.jpg

A male Orange-tip butterfly flies by giving us a good view of the top of the wings. Only the males show the orange tips.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1129_045_FT1 Orange-tip Butterfly male in flight (crop).jpg

Another flyby by this male Orange-tip butterfly shows you the underside of the insect including the intricate green lacework that provides disguise (on both sexes) when the wings are closed.

Ref: DA1_20210601_1131_060+1232_085_FT1 Orange Tip Butterfly male in flight with Garlic Mustard flowers (montage).jpg

24 Jun 2021

The Burnet Rose always beats the better known Dog Rose to flowering here. The perfume of the Burnet hits you downwind from even a small patch. We both think this is the best scent in nature - wonderful without being sickly.

Ref: D73_20210530_1220_035 Burnet Rose (1st of 2021).jpg

2 days later we spot the first Dog Rose. A much lighter but still pleasing perfume.

Ref: D73_20210601_1516_134 Dog Rose (first of 2021).jpg

23 Jun 2021

Ouch! That claw sinking into the back of the fleeing Squirrel looks like it means business :-(

Ref: E63_20210527_1749_052_FB1 Grey Squirrel attacking another.jpg

We have never before seen a Squirrel leap into a pond.
There must have been something really tasty to grab from the water!

Ref: BU5_20210528_1718_194+1720_205-207_SC1 Grey Squirrel run up to edge of Round Pond and jumps in (accurate montage).jpg

Definitely a MALE Grey Squirrel - his 'personal equipment' raring to go.
We understand that many similar species' gonads vary in size annually.

Ref: E64_20210528_1732_112_FB2 Grey Squirrel with prominent gonads attacking another.jpg

Something MUCH more important than confronting the somewhat startled Pheasant seem to be occupying the attention of the Grey Squirrel tearing past.

Ref: E63_20210530_1759_259_FB1 Pheasant male startled by Grey Squirrel streaking by.jpg

22 Jun 2021

We have always thought of this plant as being called Aqualigia and was a cultivar, but it turns out to be a Columbine, and a native plant at that. Each beautiful flower lasts only a day or two, coming along in sequence.

Ref: D73_20210526_1236_080 Columbine (Aqualigia vulgaris) flowers.jpg

Our East hedge is lit up by a couple of Hawthorn trees in full bloom. There are 8 similar trees along the 100m East stretch, and a similar number along the 100m North stretch.

Ref: DF3_20210523_0717_007 Hawthorn tree over easy hedge covered in blossom.jpg

21 Jun 2021

We haven't seen much of Great Spotted Woodpeckers so far this year. This male sometimes visits this peanut feeder outside the study for a top-up. This bird is very skittish - one hint of movement through the window and he's away!

Ref: DF3_20210525_1045_040+1044_016 Great Spotted Woodpecker male pecking peanut from feeder (montage).jpg

20 Jun 2021

In this leafing Ash tree a male Chaffinch declares ownership. At another tree 50m away we hear a similar song but have never managed to spot the singer!

Ref: D73_20210519_1009_089 Chaffinch male singing from Ash tree.jpg

A magnificent male Chaffinch arrives at the tree-stump. He is still in full breeding colours with intact blue coating on his beak.

Ref: D36_20210522_1438_044_FB4 Chaffinch male on tree-stump.jpg

Dunnocks here are like Sparrows when we were children back in the early 1960s- look out of the window and you may well see one. Very appropriate that they used to be called a 'Hedge Sparrows' though its not actually any kind of Sparrow.

Ref: E63_20210525_1800_142_FB1 Dunnock.jpg

19 Jun 2021

Over 4 days (we collect the camera cards on a 4 and 3 day weekly cycle) we spotted a Moorhen several times on the Trail-cam at Round pond, and exactly 10 times here at the woodland site. This is the 7 best montaged as a bit of fun. We have always loved our Moorhen!

Ref: E64_20210520_1947_072-20210523_1709_321_FB2 Moorhen 7 of 10 visits to Woodland site over 4 days 4+1-3+5-7 of 7 (montage).jpg

This close-up of the more adventurous of the pair of Moorhen provides a good view of the lobed toes so good at getting around ponds, dense weeds and solid ground without the obvious compromises you see in Ducks, Swans etc.

Ref: E64_20210524_1204_037_FB2 Moorhen walking across site showing foot detail.jpg

Probably the same Moorhen is very diligent at defending the nesting territory from potential interloper or egg predators. We have caught repeated moments of their method of attack - launch beak-first at what has upset them!

Ref: BU5_20210524_1552_077_SC1 Moorhen chasing away grey Squirrel.jpg

18 Jun 2021

In the afternoon hazy sun, the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn patters quietly across the grass at the end of the orchard.

Ref: BU9_20210518_1319_073-075_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn walking through orchard (spread montage).jpg

One of 'our' female Reeve's Muntjac Deer steps quietly through the long grass and Cow Parsley with the well-used south entrance upper left.

Ref: BU7_20210519_1003_046 Muntjac Reeves Deer female crossing near south access.jpg

A pair of female Reeve's Muntjac Deer appear a couple of times a week for an evening forage at the back of the house. One of them is our 'resident' and tolerates us, but this one flees at the sight of us, but does this trick, that the 'resident' does not, of rearing up to reach foliage otherwise out of reach. So through an upstairs window we sneak some photos of her grabbing a mouthful of self-set Sycamore leaves.

Ref: DF4_20210525_1817_089 Muntjac Reeves Deer female reaching on hind legs to reach self-set sycamore leaves (crop).jpg

17 Jun 2021

All the blossom is getting a bit of the beating from the seemingly endless heavy rain showers. But it somehow feels fresh anyway.

Ref: D73_20210520_0732_133 Apple Blossom full and partly open after rain.jpg

The Hawthorn Blossom has been rather disappointing this year on the flailed farm hedges, but where we maintain the hedges more gently there are some lovely splashes of white flowers in a sea of 'bobbles'

Ref: D73_20210518_0949_123 Hawthorn Blossom.jpg

16 Jun 2021

There are said to be 300 different species of Crane-fly in the UK, most of them very small and few very large. This one is of intermediate size.

Ref: D73_20210519_0947_003 Cranefly unident on blackberry leaf.jpg

Judging from the wing pattern and larger size, this pair of Crane-flies seen mating is a different species we again have not identified.

Ref: D73_20210519_1241_116 Craneflies unident mating on hawthorn leaf.jpg

On the Meadow Post (aka the Owl Post when they oblige) we have to assume that the Great Tit's beak holds what is (or was) another of the many Crane-flies we are seeing.

Ref: D01_20210517_1345_025_FB6 Great Tit carrying probable Cranefly in beak.jpg

15 Jun 2021

A typical couple of minutes as one of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer ambles along alternately grooming and feeding.
In the bottom left image you can just see a speck of blood below the eye where she has obviously scraped herself - again.

Ref: D73_20210517_0941_021-0943_048 Muntjac Reeves Deer female at outside of south hedge 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

Several hours later this moment was NOT what we typically see - the Deer reaching up on hind legs to reach a presumable particularly good looking patch of leaves.

Ref: D73_20210517_1245_069+075+080 Muntjac Reeves Deer female on hind legs to reach foliage to eat 1+3+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

More detail from a frame not included in the montage - "Got It"

Ref: D73_20210517_1245_071 Muntjac Reeves Deer female on hind legs to reach foliage to eat 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

14 Jun 2021

This male Yellowhammer glows in the bottom of the hedge as the smaller Dunnock (lower right) complains - a bit.

Ref: E63_20210517_1530_057_FB1 Yellowhammer and Dunnock.jpg

When you see a yellowhammer on some plain surface it stands out like a light bulb. But see it in a natural habitat and it is really quite hard to see even when you know it is there.

Ref: D73_20210518_0942_118 Yellowhammer in hedge south of Farm Entrance.jpg

On the sprouting crop this Pied Wagtail is hunting for insects in the mud. His patterning provides surprising good camouflage against this messy ground.

Ref: D73_20210519_1006_078 Pied Wagtail hunting around sprouting crop.jpg

13 Jun 2021

The Fawn is not as habituated to humans as the 'resident' female Reeve's Muntjac Deer, but is getting used to us. Here is the Fawn chewing primrose leaves.

Ref: D73_20210515_1726_069 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn chewing.jpg

So many interesting things happen when the light is well below what makes a good photo! Here mother Reeve's Muntjac Deer visits her Fawn at the main pond a few metres north of the house. First she delivered supper in liquid form, with youngster getting quite animated to get the last drop from the teats. Ouch! Then Mum gives an affectionate wash and brush up (including the anal licking to stimulate the fawns evacuation) and finally almost a snuggle, Deer style, before they part ways.

Ref: DF4_20210517_2032_013-2037_067 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn suckling from mum before getting groomed (montage).jpg

Mum having departed the Fawn spent 8 minutes quietly walking over the mat of Iris roots to get to the island to settle on one of her thoroughly flattened regular resting places.

Ref: DF4_20210517_2039_071-2047_101 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn walks to island and settles for night 1-4+6-7 of 7 (approx montage).jpg

12 Jun 2021

The Orange-tip Butterflies have been on-the-wing for an atypically long time this year. This one is perched on yet-to-flower Cow Parsley bud.

Ref: D73_20210515_1616_049 Orange-tip Butterfly male perched on Cow Parsley bud (crop 1).jpg

A closer look shows the coiled up proboscis just below and right of the compound eye.

Ref: D73_20210515_1616_049 Orange-tip Butterfly male perched on Cow Parsley bud (crop 2 - coiled proboscis detail).jpg

11 Jun 2021

The trail-cam in the Orchard caught this moment of the male Pheasant stopping to make one of his characteristic display-and-call.

Ref: BU9_20210511_0722_045+0724_046+047_SC2 Pheasant male displaying 1-3 of 3 (spread montage).jpg

Grey Squirrel vs. male Pheasant.
Although it looks like the Squirrel has 'won' its is possible that the Pheasant is about to land ON the squirrel and give the Squirrel a spike from those sharp spurs.

Ref: E64_20210514_1630_092_FB2 Grey Squirrel and Pheasant male confrontation.jpg

10 Jun 2021

The trail-cam looking towards the south entrance catches these 2 visitors a bit after midnight and during dawn. Identical framing and scale.

Ref: BU7_20210519_0056_039+0549_043 Badger and Muntjac Reeves Deer male visits night & early morning (montage).jpg

A little Fox vs Badger moment.
The Fox goes for drink in the pond, and as the fox pulls away from the water there is a Badger approaching directly at the Fox, causing him to crouch down and lay ears flat. It seems that is the Fox makes a speedy exit rather than the Badger. We had never thought before about a 'pecking order' between these two visitors.

Ref: BU5_20210511_0108_068+0109_070_071_SC1 Fox & Badger face-off 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

This fox stops off on the way out through the south hedge, sort of lounging in the long grass for a bit of a scratch. This pic was captured 23 minutes after the confrontation at the pond, so most likely the same Fox

Ref: BU7_20210511_0131_017 Fox reclining on long grass grooming fur with rear leg.jpg

09 Jun 2021

The lack of a Moorhen nest of the main pond island means that it is peaceful enough for the Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn to use it as a daytime haunt. Lately the fawn has spent most of the daylight hours resting in this patch, almost hidden at ground level with just the ear tips showing above the Irises. Here we view the island from an upstairs window. Unusually, on this day, we saw Mum paying him a visit ...

Ref: DF4_20210510_0923_051-0951_080 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn on Main pond island visited by mother 02+06+07+09 of 19 (montage).jpg

... to have a little feed herself (but not offering anything to the fawn) but giving a fawn a 'wash-and-brushup' which the fawn very obviously enjoyed. The Fawn never even tried to suckle, so is presumably now completely weaned.

Ref: DF4_20210510_0952_124-146 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn on Main pond island visited by mother 11+12+14+15 of 19 (montage).jpg

Ref: DF4_20210510_0952_130 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn on Main pond island visited by mother 13 of 19 (crop).jpg

2 days later as night falls the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn is accompanied by Mum. Mum reaches up to snatch a few leaves from the hedge before guiding the youngster through the gap in the hedge.

Ref: BU3_20210512_2035_268+269_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer mother leading Fawn to hole in hedge (montage).jpg

08 Jun 2021

The Orange-tip butterflies are still enjoying the Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower). Garlic Mustard is starting to flower - the females will need this for laying their eggs.

Ref: DF3_20210507_1014_091 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flower.jpg

Hawthorn Blossom highlighting the way the Anthers change.

Ref: D73_20210509_1605_019 Hawthorn Blossom.jpg

07 Jun 2021

Should we tell the Magpie that the Grey Squirrel was sitting on his food 3 minutes earlier?
The Magpie's eye is fine - he has closed his nictitating membrane (inner eyelid) for a moment.

Ref: E64_20210512_1819_183+1822_185_FB2 Grey Squirrel sits on piece of apple in Magpies beak 3 minutes later (montage).jpg

The delicacy with which this Grey Squirrel is holding this piece of banana suggests the era of 'tinkling teacups'.

Ref: E6A_20210506_1638_040_FB5 Grey Squirrel eating Banana skin piece held delicately in single paw.jpg

There is no evidence in the original frame of why this Grey Squirrel was in such a hurry. This is reminiscent of slow-motion film of a Cheetah chasing after some unfortunate Gazelle, back arching both ways to increase the effective stride length.

Ref: E64_20210504_0850_083_FB2 Grey Squirrel galloping through site with rear legs in front of front legs.jpg

06 Jun 2021

Its the time of the Dandelion, and the Goldfinches make the most of the mass of 'food balls' that Dandelion Clocks provide.

Ref: D73_20210505_1550_048+092 Goldfinch eating seeds from Dandelion Clock 1+3 of 3 (montage 2 for focus & arrangement).jpg

A rather scruffy Blue Tit clambers around the branches of the Ash trees looking for grubs to take 'home' to the nest.

Ref: DF3_20210507_0741_043-045 Blue Tit exploring Ash tree for grubs (montage).jpg

A Wren perches for a few seconds on the tip of a trimmed Buddleia branch before flying off.

Ref: D73_20210509_1742_048-051 Wren flying from top of Buddleia 1-4 of 4 (montage @10fps).jpg

Outside the study window a Wren declares his territory.

Ref: D73_20210512_0954_097-099 Wren singing from tip of cut Buddleia 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

05 Jun 2021

A Hare making a long run over the sprouting crop in the Farm's field. There are 4 times more images than shown here as the Hare disappeared into the distance. The Hare is remarkably well concealed brown on brown despite us pushing the contrast as high as reasonable.

Ref: D73_20210503_0710_127-133 Hare running across sprouting crop NE of Farm Road 02-08 of 30 (approx montage @10fps).jpg

04 Jun 2021

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer fawn seems to be getting used to seeing us 'harmlessly' nearby. Something spooked the little fawn from behind, who leapt away straight by the cameraman and away.

Ref: D73_20210426_1615_066+068 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn near house startled & leaps by cameraman 1+3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

The Reeve's Muntjac fawn takes a well trodden route into the farm field adjacent to our patch, pausing to look down the track (at the traffic?) as he goes.

Ref: BU3_20210425_1106_142-144_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn crossing access track (impression montage).jpg

As the day ends the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn, on her own, is sampling the various weed and flowers.

Ref: DF4_20210501_1816_006 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn feeding near main pond.jpg

Its seems that the pattern of dots on the Fawns two sides are similar but far from identical. Quite unlike an insect's perfect mirror imaging.

Ref: DF4_20210501_1816_010 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn feeding near main pond.jpg

03 Jun 2021

One of a pair of Moorhen arrives at the hedge bottom site as this female Pheasant departs.

Ref: E63_20210428_0830_208_FB1 Moorhen at hedge bottom as pheasant female leaves.jpg

Two Moorhen at the edge of Round Pond.
We caught this behaviour 3 times in 4 days - this is the clearest.
When we watched moorhen from inside the house on the main pond this behaviour was usually indicative of a change-over of incubation duties - "Go and get on the nest!".

Ref: BU5_20210501_1758_454-456_SC1 Moorhen pair chivvying their partner along bank of Round pond (montage).jpg

One the the Moorhen pair shortly after sunrise, exploring the woodland site for some breakfast.

Ref: E64_20210503_0616_306_FB2 Moorhen walking through woodland site.jpg

02 Jun 2021

We don't see much of the Blackcaps, and this year so far only a female sporting her Brown cap has made an appearance. This one was close to the north of the house seen through the kitchen window.

Ref: D5C_20210429_0830_006 Blackcap female on overgrown hedge cuttings.jpg

As the first beams of sunlight reach the meadow, the female Blackbird is already out and about starting the day.

Ref: E6A_20210429_0702_332_FB5 Blackbird female lit by first sunshine.jpg

01 Jun 2021

A pair of Wood Pigeons, probably getting amorous at sunset.
Well - they get amorous at every other time of day!

Ref: E64_20210426_1951_100_FB2 2 Wood Pigeons at Sunset.jpg

A few days later we see this pair of Wood Pigeons indulge in a little afternoon nookie.

Ref: D73_20210430_1736_048+065+070+076 Wood Pigeons mating on gate rail 1+4+5+8 of 8 (montage).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive