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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 May 2021

In early morning sunlight, a 'wall' of Crab-apple blossom make a visual treat.

Ref: D73_20210429_0728_178 Crab Apple blossom (crop).jpg

This is some Crab Apple Blossom at the top of a bit of overgrown hedge at the entrance end of our access track.

Ref: D73_20210429_0718_164 Crab Apple blossom in un-flailed section of hedge near entrance in south hedge.jpg

30 May 2021

A very early morning visit to the woodland tree-stump by the local Sparrowhawk.

Ref: D36_20210414_0541_048_FB4 Sparrowhawk on tree-stump (crop).jpg

And finally, a Little Owl spent a few minutes on the Meadow Post. Little Owls also hunt in full daylight, so we will be looking for this visitor in the daytime as well

Ref: D01_20210504_0453_091-0456_097_FB6 Little Owl makes 4 minute visit to meadow post 1+4+2+3 of 4 (montage).jpg

29 May 2021

For us the real start of the insect season is the first sightings of Bee-flies.

Ref: D73_20210413_1557_147+1541_101 Bee-fly perched on leaf with in-flight insert (montage).jpg

A small white butterfly feeds on the Lady's smock (Cuckoo flower) that the deer have not eaten.

Ref: D73_20210427_1248_111+1249_114 Small White Butterfly feeding on Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flowers (montage).jpg

28 May 2021

As we turn the corner to walk down this path, this Reeve's Muntjac Deer has already heard our footfalls and looks back to discover the cause. Once she knew it was 'only them' she went back to the more important business of eating the hedge.

Ref: D73_20210501_1635_090 Muntjac Reeves Deer female looking back down east inner path.jpg

One of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer working on tidying up the new 'browse line'.

Ref: BUA_20210427_0808_093_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer female reaching up to browse on hedge near East entrance (crop).jpg

27 May 2021

Pear blossom is more interestingly patterned inside the flowers than we realised.

Ref: D73_20210415_1059_012 Pear Blossom.jpg

In one of the farm hedges, some Crab-apple blossom shines out.

Ref: D73_20210424_1050_032 Crab Apple blossom.jpg

26 May 2021

Stepping quietly over the long grass by the pond we get this portrait which shows the feet we describe as 'lobed' - a compromise for walking on pond weeds, swimming, and walking on land - less awkward on land than the webbed feet on ducks but still good in the pond.

Ref: D5C_20210425_0935_031 Moorhen stepping through long grass showing lobed feet.jpg

Following a few more sightings of original bird, here (not a montage) we catch (what we assume is) a 'pair' of Moorhen swimming towards each other on the Round Pond. The camera was kindly triggered by the resident female Reeves Muntjac Deer in the foreground.

Ref: BU5_20210424_1925_555_SC1 2 Moorhens on Round Pond with Muntjac Reeves Deer female on bank.jpg

3 days later from the house we catch these two images of two moorhen feeding simultaneously but separately on the main pond. The easiest way to tell Moorhen apart is by the variable line between the red bulk and yellow tip of the beak. Using this we can see the bird on the right is our original arrival, while the more cautious bird hiding in the Iris fronds is the new arrival.

Ref: DF4_20210427_0956_043+0954_022 Moorhen Pair feeding separately on main pond (montage).jpg

25 May 2021

Often seeing a couple of different colours of Forget-me-not flowers on a single plant, this little group on a single stem sports 5 different tints.
We wondered if this was unusual, and found no on-line pics with this many colours on one plant. But also discovered that there are about 70 recorded species of Forget-me-nots with a wild variety of single colours, and about 500 species altogether, mostly not classified.

Ref: D73_20210427_1259_147 Forget-me-not Flowerhead in multiple colours.jpg

24 May 2021

The Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn follows Mum.

Ref: BU8_20210409_0610_084 Reeves Muntjac Deer Fawn and Mother.jpg

Ahh! - the Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn is caught in just this moment at the east hedge gap. This image is 2 weeks after the one with mother above, and the Fawn is now often seen without Mum.

Ref: BUA_20210424_1314_172_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn.jpg

23 May 2021

Here a patch of Dandelions just outside the back door shows Dandelion opening and closing in sympathy with the sunlight, with gaps of about 1 hour then two half-hours as the sun starts to shine past the side of a conifer.
Many flowers It seems like quite an 'expensive' strategy to have evolved to have the ability to close your flowers, but if it didn't pay-off they wouldn't have evolved it.

Ref: D73_20210424_0818_016+0923+0955+1026_028 Dandelions opening in sunshine by back door 2+4-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

22 May 2021

'Bluebells' are starting to flower in the less shaded spots, and this female Brimstone Butterfly is enjoying a nectar from this one.
This is not a genuine 'English' Bluebell - decades ago when we bought the bulbs it was not well known that many commercial 'Bluebells' are actually more robust foreign species. The insects don't care, so we are not purists enough to disturb what we have.

Ref: DF3_20210423_1239_003 Brimstone Butterfly female feeding on Bluebell (orig).jpg

Our first sighting 2021 of a Speckled Wood Butterfly - once they arrive we tend to see them for months, mostly at the woodland edges.

Ref: D73_20210426_1230_010 Speckled Wood Butterfly (1st of 2021).jpg

24 hours later this Speckled Wood butterfly provide a clear view of the underside of the wings.

Ref: D73_20210427_1252_135 Speckled Wood Butterfly.jpg

21 May 2021

This Oak tree is just starting to bud, and the squirrels are swinging all over the branches to fill their little bellies with as many buds as they can stuff in. In this montage the Squirrel left worked the way right, nearly lost his grip, and swung underneath to climb back up.

Ref: DF3_20210421_1744_029+037 Grey Squirrel feeding on Oak buds near branch tips (montage).jpg

One frame later, confidence regained, just one paw at each end is considered sufficient.

Ref: DF3_20210421_1744_038 Grey Squirrel feeding on Oak buds near branch tips.jpg

20 May 2021

A disagreeable Grey Squirrel attacks first the male Pheasant, 2 minutes later the female, but 4 minutes later the calmer pair have taken 'ownership' of the feeding site.

Ref: E6A_20210420_1856_180+1858_181+1902_182_FB5 Pheasant pair encounter with Grey Squirrel (montage over 8 minutes).jpg

19 May 2021

The female Reeves Muntjac Deer gets onto this pond's island by delicately walking on the Iris roots.

Ref: DF5_20210416_0948_007 Muntjac Reeves Deer female on Main Pond island.jpg

The 'resident' Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems to like Iris fronds.
Eat as many as you want!
Keeping Iris plants under control on just this pond is a major problem.

Ref: D5C_20210415_1724_025 Muntjac Reeves Deer female chewing Iris frond.jpg

18 May 2021

This male Roe Deer made this night-time visit to our access track. This male's antlers have already shed their 'velvet'.

Ref: BU3_20210416_2253_110_SC6 Roe Deer male with bare antlers on access track.jpg

5 days later this lovely male Roe Deer (Antlers still 'in Velvet') made a speedy pass through our plot. So we have at least TWO visiting male Roe Deer in different stages of Antler development.
The deer's body is covered in similar scrape marks like the healed one we see on our resident 'Muntjac'.

Ref: BU8_20210421_0852_298+199+BU5_0853_341 Roe Deer male with antlers in velvet 1+2+4(mirrored) of 5 (montage).jpg

A few weeks after our first sighting of a Chinese Water Deer here we see (judging from the missing nape fur) the same individual, out in the evening quietly exploring the edge of the crop to the fields to the South (perhaps almost a quarter of a mile away).

Ref: DF3_20210422_1735_012 Chinese Water Deer in crop far to south.jpg

This female Reeve's Muntjac Deer knows where to get a drink, and makes directly for the Duck-shaped pond shortly after dark.

Ref: BU8_20210421_2038_370+371+373 Muntjac Reeves Deer female drinks at Duck Pond 1+2+4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg

17 May 2021

In 30 years here we have never before seen Pheasants mating. The Mallard Drake swimming slowly by doesn't seem the slightest bit impressed.

Ref: BU5_20210419_1703_076-078_SC1 Pheasants mating at pond bank 1-3 of 3 (mirrored montage).jpg

Sunset with Pheasants  OR  Pheasants at sunset.

Ref: E64_20210417_1955_220_FB2 Pheasants at Sunset.jpg


Ref: E64_20210421_1844_197_FB2 Pheasant male guarding feeding female.jpg

16 May 2021

Around the blocked gate we often find a singing Robin, here perched on a nearby 11kV cable, but also in various trees and hedges.

Ref: DF3_20210418_0925_156 Robin singing from 11kV cable.jpg

From the tip of a conifer by the garage this Robin delivers his ownership decree, surrounded by a cloud of Midges.

Ref: D73_20210420_1612_090 Robin singing from tree-top with midges.jpg

15 May 2021

The female Blackbird at this site gathers nest lining.
We are surprised she can see where she is going with load on board.

Ref: E63_20210419_0947_015_FB1 Blackbird female with beak crammed with dried grass (orig).jpg

The Magpie nest is built, now some pretty coloured twigs for the interior - not.

Ref: D01_20210415_1859_021_FB6 Magpie carrying multi-coloured twigs in beak (crop).jpg

14 May 2021

NOT a montage - one lucky frame catching this moment Grey Squirrel of exuberance.

Ref: E63_20210411_1621_077_FB1 2 Grey Squirrels leaping in squabble (crop).jpg

A battle of wills - Grey Squirrel vs. Pheasant, Claws vs. Spurs.
We don't know what happened :-(

Ref: E6A_20210412_1723_173_FB5 Grey Squirrel and Pheasant male confrontation.jpg

13 May 2021

A pair of rooks 'Courtship feeding' at their nest. The males basically feed the females who do most of the incubation, but the males do their stints on the eggs as well.

Ref: DF3_20210417_1005_034 Rooks courtship feeding at nest in Black Poplar (crop 2).jpg

12 May 2021

A male Orange-tip Butterfly feeding on Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower).
The pattern at the tops of the orange patch seem to be atypically dark.

Ref: DF3_20210417_1341_084 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flower.jpg

Normally we see female Orange-tip Butterflies a week or two after the first see the males, but this year we saw first emergence at the same time. The females don't have the orange tip, but still have the delicate green tracery under the wing that you can JUST see showing through as a green haze on the rear wings. The Green tracery is present on the males as well but the picture of the male above wasn't optimised to show it.

Ref: DF3_20210417_1606_092 Orange Tip Butterfly female (1st of 2021).jpg

A few days later this female Orange-tip Butterfly was resting on a Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flower-head, wings fully folded so we get a great view of the wonderful green tracery.

Ref: D73_20210421_1510_155 Orange-tip Butterfly female on Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flower head (crop).jpg

11 May 2021

At the bend of the farm road a Yellowhammer appears every time we walk toward the concrete block where we leave some corn. He waits for us on the block, flees to one of the nearby trees as we approach with a few metres to go, and then promptly returns to the block top, or in this case the concrete track below where the wind immediately blew the corn.

Ref: DF3_20210330_1002_005+010 Yellowhammer in Lombardy Poplar flies down to concrete to pick up corn (montage).jpg

A Yellowhammer perched on the top of a Blackthorn hedge.

Ref: DF3_20210418_0913_096 Yellowhammer standing on top of Blackthorn hedge.jpg

10 May 2021

Ahh - togetherness Pheasant style.
Even if he does have at least two more girls in his harem.

Ref: E64_20210413_1951_217_FB2 Pheasant male and female feeding together.jpg

The male Pheasant proudly watches THREE of his ladies
Maybe Gentlemen prefer Blondes (2:1 here) but we are quite sure he would welcome ANY colour.

Ref: BU2_20210411_1757_150_SC7 3 Pheasant females with male at far left edge (adjusted crop).jpg

09 May 2021

Less than a handful of picture of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) this week, so we consider it fortunate that one of them is this little pair of Squeaks up to who knows what in the hours before dawn.

Ref: E64_20210331_0405_194_FB2 2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) embracing on hind legs.jpg

The number of mice seen in Spring has been unusually low this year - This is the ONLY mouse seen this week.

Ref: E63_20210411_2208_111_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) (only sighting in 1 week).jpg

08 May 2021

No more fights spotted recently between the Squirrel and Pheasant, but plenty of 'dirty looks!

Ref: E63_20210330_1927_237_FB1 Pheasant male & Grey Squirrel confrontation.jpg

The male Pheasant makes a quick exit - upwards.
So much for the truce we mentioned above.

Ref: E63_20210405_1723_060_FB1 Pheasant male fleeing Grey Squirrel attack (crop).jpg

07 May 2021

A pair of Mallard Ducks visit the meadow site still scattered with food.

Ref: E6A_20210410_1818_378_FB5 Mallard Duck pair arriving fresh from pond with Duckweed.jpg

Eight hours later the Ducks are on the water of Round Pond. The Badger spent several minutes watching them.

Ref: BU5_20210411_0221_673_SC1 Badger on bank watching Mallard Duck pair on Round Pond water.jpg

Across the pond we catch a Fox, complete with reflection in the rippling water, looking longingly at the two Mallard Ducks, tantalisingly out of reach.

Ref: BU5_20210405_2149_185_SC1 Fox on far bank watching Mallard pair swimming on Round Pond.jpg

The female Mallard Duck swims up to the male on the bank, leaving a tell-tale trail through the Duckweed.
In our more 'natural' surroundings the females actively seek the protection of individual males who will face up to threats for his 'girl'.
At public parks groups of males desperate to mate will often gang up on any female they see, and sometimes drown them in the frenzy - a sad outcome of the unnatural compression of wildlife into unsuitably small spaces.

Ref: BU5_20210411_1528_136_SC1 Mallard Duck female swims to male leaving trail through duckweed.jpg

06 May 2021

A bit of fun with pics taken 4 days apart.
First the local male Blackbird stepping up onto the stone, and 4 days later the same individual stepping down.

Ref: E63_20210401_1728_078+20210405_0817_003_FB1 Blackbird male stepping onto and off stone 4 days apart (montage).jpg

The female Blackbird owning this site is presumably taking a few minutes off the eggs to feed and preen.

Ref: E63_20210408_1633_143_FB1 Blackbird female.jpg

Next morning the male Blackbird is very animated.

Ref: E63_20210409_0756_177_FB1 Blackbird male threatening (q) something out of frame to left.jpg

05 May 2021

What are trees for if not to run round & round while chasing your friend / rival / lover.

Ref: BU7_20210407_1526_139-1528_147 2 Grey Squirrels chasing around trunk of tree by SW hedge gap (montage)jpg.jpg

"This is the life!"

Ref: D73_20210331_1414_399 Grey Squirrel basking along top of gate.jpg

All of the Black Poplars inside our site were grown from fallen wood 30 years ago, and are now all at least 10 metres tall. The tiny speck just below the bottom left corner of the insert is a Grey Squirrel enlarged in the box, busy eating Catkins from the tree. If the Squirrel falls from this height he will have to grab a branch to avoid serious injury.
Reminds us of the 'Avatar' Jake's falling down the tree sequence.

Ref: D73_20210330_1742_217+232 Grey Squirrel high on Black Poplar twig feeding on catkins (montage).jpg

04 May 2021

The 'resident' female Reeve's Muntjac Deer seems to find plenty to eat in the Woodland.

Ref: D73_20210410_1554_071 Muntjac Reeves Deer female foraging in replanted fruit trees.jpg

We often seem to catch a moment where male Reeve's Muntjac Deer rub their foreheads on the ground as you see here. We suspect that the emerged antlers are uncomfortable at the base where the velvet was attached to the blood supply.

Ref: BU7_20210330_2030_134 Muntjac Reeves Deer male rubbing forehead on ground.jpg

03 May 2021

Our first sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly this year - a species that hibernates through the winter. This one is remarkably pristine for 6 months old.

Ref: D73_20210404_1208_081 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (first sighting in 2021) feeding on Blackthorn Blossom.jpg

This Peacock Butterfly awake after overwintering is in quite good condition for a 6 month hibernation. Nevertheless she has some bird peck damage to the left wing.

Ref: D73_20210404_1543_118 Peacock Butterfly feeding on Blackthorn blossom.jpg

02 May 2021

A female Reeve's Muntjac Deer (left of bar) has a drink from the Round Pond, and is shortly replaced (right of bar) by the male as another female walks in to make a triplet.

Ref: BU5_20210404_1123_350+359_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female drinking joined by male & another female 1+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

A delightful sighting of a Reeve's Muntjac Deer Fawn and mother quietly walking through the orchard.

Ref: BU9_20210403_0019_121+123_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer female & Fawn in orchard (montage for clarity).jpg

Two days later the Fawn is out in the daytime.
With no sign on Mum anywhere, the Fawn spends a few minutes in the sunshine near Duck Pond.

Ref: BU8_20210405_1238_009-1245_019 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn near Duck Pond without mother (montage).jpg

In the early hours of next morning the youngster visits the Meadow site apparently on their own and takes this glorious selfie. Mum is probably somewhere quite close.
Cooing is permitted!

Ref: E6A_20210406_0455_082_FB5 Reeves Muntjac Deer fawn (crop).jpg

01 May 2021

A heavy but short snow shower laid 1 to 1.5cm of snow, melting to 1.3mm in the rain gauge.
10:1 seems to be about the ratio of snow depth to equivalent water depth.

Ref: E60_20210406_1657_070_FB3 Heavy Snow show at kitchen perch (orig & final).jpg

Grey Squirrels have dense enough tails that they can use them as an umbrella. We see this behaviour in snow, rain and strong winds.

Ref: E6A_20210406_1700_163_FB5 Grey Squirrel in snowfall using tail as umbrella.jpg

As darkness falls a couple of Magpies forage over the feeding site.

Ref: E6A_20210406_1840_171_FB5 2 Magpies foraging on snow covered ground (orig & final).jpg

The still flowering Viburnum at the back of the pond looks rather nice with these white highlights.

Ref: D73_20210407_0728_018 Viburnum flowers after snowfall.jpg



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