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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
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.
Another two moments from Cinnabar Moth flights.
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.
A younger 'greener' individual provided these moments a Green Carpet moth in flight.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Next day, forewarned into making a quiet approach, we see 2 again
A little portrait of this scruffy and simultaneously beautiful ball of feathers
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
2 days later we spot the first Dog Rose. A much lighter but still pleasing perfume.
Ouch! That claw sinking into the back of the fleeing Squirrel looks like it means business :-(
We have never before seen a Squirrel leap into a pond.
There must have been something really tasty to grab from the water!
Definitely a MALE Grey Squirrel - his 'personal equipment' raring to go.
We understand that many similar species' gonads vary in size annually.
Something MUCH more important than confronting the somewhat startled Pheasant seem to be occupying the attention of the Grey Squirrel tearing past.
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.
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.
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!
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!
A magnificent male Chaffinch arrives at the tree-stump. He is still in full breeding colours with intact blue coating on his beak.
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.
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!
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.
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!
In the afternoon hazy sun, the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn patters quietly across the grass at the end of the orchard.
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.
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.
All the blossom is getting a bit of the beating from the seemingly endless heavy rain showers. But it somehow feels fresh anyway.
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'
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.
Judging from the wing pattern and larger size, this pair of Crane-flies seen mating is a different species we again have not identified.
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.
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.
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.
More detail from a frame not included in the montage - "Got It"
This male Yellowhammer glows in the bottom of the hedge as the smaller Dunnock (lower right) complains - a bit.
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.
On the sprouting crop this Pied Wagtail is hunting for insects in the mud. His patterning provides surprising good camouflage against this messy ground.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A closer look shows the coiled up proboscis just below and right of the compound eye.
The trail-cam in the Orchard caught this moment of the male Pheasant stopping to make one of his characteristic display-and-call.
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.
The trail-cam looking towards the south entrance catches these 2 visitors a bit after midnight and during dawn. Identical framing and scale.
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.
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
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 ...
... 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.
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.
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.
Hawthorn Blossom highlighting the way the Anthers change.
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.
The delicacy with which this Grey Squirrel is holding this piece of banana suggests the era of 'tinkling teacups'.
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.
Its the time of the Dandelion, and the Goldfinches make the most of the mass of 'food balls' that Dandelion Clocks provide.
A rather scruffy Blue Tit clambers around the branches of the Ash trees looking for grubs to take 'home' to the nest.
A Wren perches for a few seconds on the tip of a trimmed Buddleia branch before flying off.
Outside the study window a Wren declares his territory.
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.
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.
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.
As the day ends the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn, on her own, is sampling the various weed and flowers.
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.
One of a pair of Moorhen arrives at the hedge bottom site as this female Pheasant departs.
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!".
One the the Moorhen pair shortly after sunrise, exploring the woodland site for some breakfast.
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.
As the first beams of sunlight reach the meadow, the female Blackbird is already out and about starting the day.
A pair of Wood Pigeons, probably getting amorous at sunset.
Well - they get amorous at every other time of day!
A few days later we see this pair of Wood Pigeons indulge in a little afternoon nookie.
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