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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Grey Squirrel Heaven?
Facing the sunshine, this Squirrel squats at the base of the outer hedge enjoying a bit of unaccustomed warm sunshine.
We sometimes see Grey Squirrels chasing round and round in circles around large tree trunks, but rarely catch it 'on film'. This automatic camera was luckier and caught this pair at their antics.
This Squirrel chews a Banana skin like a stick of celery.
In the Left corner: 'Teeth and Claws' Squirrel.
In the Right Corner: 'Beak and Spurs' Pheasant.
This years glorious Pheasant male. We are STILL waiting to see a female on camera or with eyes :-(
This magnificent male Pheasant stomps his way across the orchard.
The left image catches him apparently staring at the automatic camera, but more probably something on the same tree.
A Badger visits at 2 a.m.
How do they keep the muzzle so pristine white in our seas of mud?
A couple of days later we see this badger out in the soggy dawn looking very much far from pristine.
What this Wood Pigeon is up to we can't even imagine.
Wood Pigeons and Pheasants usually co-exist without problems. The Pigeon is probably needlessly alarmed by the arrival of the bigger bird.
Its the time of year to look across the empty fields in the hope of spotting Hares. This brown creature, recumbent in a patch of weeds, didn't look like a Hare (ears too short) not a Rabbit (wrong body shape).
It suddenly took fright and fled, moving rapidly over the uneven surface in leaps and bounds, revealing itself to be Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn. At about 7 fps (so a bit over 1 second here) this is an accurate montage of the foreshortened view.
While selecting which images to montage we noticed that these frames 14 and 17 were almost identical, although the background indicate definitely different images. The timing is pure chance, but we find it uncanny.
Several hours trying and failing to catch Rooks flying in with stick or other nesting material our trusty 'trail cam' at the end of the orchard does the the 'ground-selection' phase for us.
Our failure to get decent pics of bird carrying twigs to the nest is at least partially
explained by the access track being so liberally scattered with fallen twigs that
the Rooks just have to jump down to get them.
All these images taken by one trail cam.
It's even easier to collect twigs if your neighbour leaves his nest unguarded. The thief collected two thin twigs on this visit you can see crossing near the beak.
Most of the nests are already mostly built, so its time to collect moss and leaves to line the cups.
Our female Reeve's Muntjac Deer rubs the top of her head on the ground before walking up to the edge of the pond for a drink. In the Rightmost frame you can see her enormous tongue possibly using the water to groom her muzzle.
Our endearing Deer - hoping some corn will appear?
This little Shieldbug nearly got flattened as we replaced this protective slate that shields the window of the camera box looking at the tree-stump.
Reminiscent of the Escher's picture 'Three Worlds'
without the fish but with leaves both floating and submerged.
The female Muntjac Deer regularly walks right up to us where we can normally throw some corn on the ground for her.
From the above pic her enormous brown eyes show a reflection of our house, the photographer visually to the left. The image is rotated and lightened to make it clearer.
This year has been a major event for Snowdrops, clumps appearing where we have never noticed them before. We assume that something about this Spring has produced lots of 'first flowerings' for clumps not previously noticed without the flowers
Do I like Snowdrops?
Thank goodness not, or we wouldn't have to enjoy ourselves!
The local Green Woodpecker is very nervous of humans, so we hardly ever see him for ourselves. But he seems to find the Meadow Post an acceptable place to perch.
A Green Woodpecker stops for a moment on the meadow post.
The local female kestrel brings her latest catch (looks like a Vole - her favourite!) to the meadow post to 'prepare and consume'.
This time 'empty clawed', the local female Kestrel spends a couple of minutes eyeing over the rough grass from the meadow post.
As you will see, the resident female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has become absurdly 'tame'. This photo taken by an automatic camera and showing yours truly on the other side. The light was poor and the automatic camera (with flash) took this much better photo. The insert shows that she seems ONLY interested in the mixed corn - but grass and mixed corn if you throw some corn into the grass.
We notice that there is one patch on her body she can't quite groom properly at the very rear of her back. She probably scratches it against tree bark, but it never looks quite pristine.
Near the nose you see patches of ruffled fur that she never manages to smooth down ...
... but she can comb her tail out with her teeth!
A Badger stops by for a portrait - but more importantly to hoover up some scraps.
A couple of hours later a Badger makes their way toward the east hedge gap, still foraging along the way.
A lurid and rather threatening Sunrise to the South East ...
... while a few wispy clouds to the South West picked up the same colour.
2 days after one lurid sunrise we get another even more vivid, but doesn't seem as threatening
2 Mute Swans were flying in the distance against these glorious sunrise colours.
Returning from a walk we approached this tree from the well-lit south and with a woosh the local female Kestrel arrived to perch turning as she landed from the other side. At the time we didn't notice the Rodent clutched in her claws. She jumped down out of sight into the ivy which clothes this tree. By walking down the concrete track a few metres to the north side of the tree we found her in the dark busy ripping up and eating her meal. We left her to feed as we went back home to get back out of the freezing gale.
A Gale blowing from the left allows our local female Kestrel to rise from her perch with barely a flap of the wings. Accurately montaged over 1 second.
In a spell of sunshine 'our' female Reeves Muntjac Deer stops in the dappled shade of a weeping Silver birch to tend to an itch on her leg.
We expected that Reeve's Muntjac Deer would eat a variety of food from the baited sites, but so far all we see is her licking up corn.
The resident female Reeve's Muntjac Deer spent at least 7 minutes feeding at this site. moving round to conveniently get at different parts and providing us with a view from both sides.
Chomp - Chomp - Chomp
The Grey Squirrel tucks into this strip of Banana peel.
Is this an 'Indian
Rope Tail trick'?
Several Grey squirrels venture out onto the ice over several days.
What they find there we guess could be fallen catkins and such.
Its no good - this Grey Squirrel looks like an imaginative design for a Teapot, handle on the left, lid bulging upwards, and spout on the right.
Just after midnight the Polecat approaches one of the Rabbit Warren access holes.
Quote: They are slender enough to chase rabbits into their warrens to catch them, so are specialised to underground predation.
We normally see the Polecat in the South of our patch, but here they are at the far South East corner by the flooded ditch. The middle image seems to show the Polecat rolling herself on the bank of the flooded ditch.
A Fox enters the site in Mid-morning, and has a quick look around before setting off on the hunt.
This Fox glances back into our patch as she leaves through the East hedge.
We catch this unexpected sight of a Fox quietly padding along the frozen surface of the southern ditch.
A laid-back fox sits with legs crossed.
A Redpoll feeds for several minutes on the seeds from last years
Great Willowherb flowers outside the Living Room window.
A search of our archives shows that we see one or more Redpolls every few years. We have always ID's the bird as a Redpoll, but our more recent bird ID books (i.e. published in the 21st century!) show an additional species - the Lesser Redpoll - which we think that this, and our earlier photos, probably is.
Surprise! The MALE Sparrowhawk visits the meadow post for a few minutes. He did
similar once last year. Male Sparrowhawks are smaller than the females and the
pair don't compete too much for prey.
From the RSPB site: The female takes prey up to wood pigeon size, but the smaller male does not catch anything bigger than the mistle thrush.
We came across our 'resident' female Reeve's Muntjac Deer feeding at the meadow site and watched her technique for licking up corn grains which we could just hear her crunching with her teeth. So here we have views from both sides - top left and bottom right from the automatic camera, and top right and bottom left from a hand-held camera. The bottom right image show the cameraman's legs as he took the pics. The camera resolutions are different, and it worked out to be more naturally not to align the pics.
5 minutes later she had wandered into some rank grass where she was finding something to her taste.
Now that's what we call 'Licking your Chops'!
Plant your feet and eat your fill.
It's drizzling again, but this Wood Pigeon still looks magnificent.
Wood Pigeons changing over on the Meadow Post.
NOT a montage.
A couple of badgers romping - one way or another - in the still of the night.
10 minutes later a Badger wanders through the woodland photo site about 40 metres away.
The cable-tie style Peanut feeder lid lock got the Squirrel style 'keep working on it' treatment and this one finally gets the top off and could gorge themselves!
Over half an hour these two Grey squirrel endlessly contest access to the currently open-topped peanut feeder. The position of the fleeing Squirrel is uncannily consistent - such are automatic triggers.
By next morning only 1cm of nuts is left. To get at them requires this quite extreme & claustrophobic gymnastics.
Next day - the alternate feeder (black lid - where the original fastening still works) is really frustrating the Squirrels - for now.
This delightful strip of Snowdrops along the NW edge of the main pond is
here photographed across the water. From about 20 bulbs planted decades
ago they have spread several metres either way, of which this just the
centre section to retain some flower detail.
The deer and Rabbit obviously don't like the taste!
A Buzzard hasn't been apparent in the sky, so we were surprised to find this visit recorded on the Meadow post in the afternoon.
The image on the left is about 400mS after the approach above.
A 'resident' female Reeve's Muntjac Deer has found a shrub in our 'garden' that is literally 'to her taste'.
The female Reeve's Muntjac Deer closes her mouth over a leaf and
then yanks the whole bush about until it comes away.
Parks with deer show a browse line on trees and bushes that corresponds to how high the resident Deer can reach. We are now seeing development of a similar, though lower, line on our own patch, from the attentions of the Muntjac Deer.
An event we ave only recorded once before (in 2005) is a 'dark contrail'. In both cases the effect was obviously a real contrail casting a shadow on hazy cloud below.
A rather attractive morning cloudscape looking east.
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