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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2021

There are still a few Hawker Dragonflies out in the middle of the day. This one flew to land on a dead twig, and we got to see how badly his wings are worn and torn from weeks of 'Hawking'.
Insects can fly with quite amazingly damaged wings.

Ref: D72_20210915_1304_027 Migrant (q) Hawker Dragonfly male with extremely worn wings.jpg

Here is an apparently pristine male Common Darter Dragonfly warming himself in the fitful sunshine.

Ref: D72_20210918_1440_226 Common Darter Dragonfly male on cut hedge stem.jpg

30 Oct 2021

We used to see Comma Butterflies only in the Autumn, but this year saw them in Spring and Summer as well. This Autumn visitor is perched on a Blackberry fruit with wings closed, giving a good view of the corrugated wing edge and white 'comma'.

Ref: D72_20210918_1328_220 Comma Butterfly on Blackberry fruit.jpg

We catch this immaculate Comma Butterfly seeing just the completely different upper wings.

Ref: D72_20210922_1550_030 Comma Butterfly perched on Bindweed leaf.jpg

29 Oct 2021

A Sparrowhawk (we think a juvenile male) touches down on the kitchen bird table.
The strange appearance of the eye is because the semi-transparent nictitating membrane (sort of eyelid) is partially over the eye. Many birds cover their eyes when performing possibly risky maneuvers - such as landing.
We have been seeing new Sparrowhawk behaviour in the last couple of weeks - a Sparrowhawk flies (so fast it's impossible to distinguish individuals) east to west across the conservatory window and past the peanut feeder. Eyes onto CCTV feed of the kitchen side of the house sees the bird 2 or 3 seconds later speeds west to east past the Kitchen feeder and bird table. We have seen this at least 4 times over the last couple of weeks, so must happen much more often. We assume that this is a new individual doing an economy style circle of the house.

Ref: E60_20210920_1003_004_FB3 Sparrowhawk (male juvenile (q)) landing on kitchen bird table nictitating membrane half closed.jpg

28 Oct 2021

On this morning we found the whole area was smothered in dew spangled spider webs.

Ref: d73_20210918_0900_024 Spiders webs on Thistle plant.jpg

On this morning we found the whole area was smothered in dew spangled spider webs.

Ref: d73_20210918_0901_027 Spiders webs on Thistle plant.jpg

A couple of acres of Farm crop north of our patch (the dark top right) contained perhaps 500 visible webs, and all the other fields seems to be similarly bedecked. The farm occupies about 100 acres, so that 50,000 webs!

Ref: D72_20210918_0920_147 Farm field to north with hundreds of spiders webs.jpg

Here is a close-up of a 'perfect' Orb web built between two withered bean plants.

Ref: D72_20210918_0921_150 Spiders web between Bean crop plants.jpg

27 Oct 2021

An accurate montage of the local female Kestrel flying by the young Lombardy Poplar trees along the Farm Road.

Ref: D72_20210917_1334_112+113 Kestrel female flies by tree (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Another moment from the local female Kestrel's flight

Ref: D72_20210917_1334_117 Kestrel female in flight past tree (crop 2).jpg

26 Oct 2021

Several instances now of Grey Squirrels bringing Farmers crop bean pods back into our patch. When we search our grass paths we find an average of a bean pod every square metre or so. That's a LOT of food.

Ref: E64_20210916_1744_051_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying bean pod.jpg

The edge of the Farm's desolate crop, including dozens of opened and eaten pods lying on the crop margin.

Ref: D72_20210917_1604_125 Farm Bean and Brassica crop north side (+ east & south) with wildlife eaten pods.jpg

Inside our patch this Squirrel has found 3 pods joined together to transport as one mouthful.

Ref: E64_20210922_1359_140_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying 3 joined bean pods.jpg

25 Oct 2021

The local female Sparrowhawk makes a 'failed' swoop over the kitchen bird table and feeder. Our impression is that she just swoops in on the two sites where we see her without any idea of whether there will be anything to catch. 'Surprise' is one of her weapons!
On Saturday (18th Sep) we saw the female Sparrowhawk flash by the conservatory window (with nothing to catch at the feeder outside) and on CCTV saw the bird continue round to the other side of the house where she swooped by the also unoccupied feeder by the kitchen window. Her speed is awesome.

Ref: E60_20210915_1354_032_FB3 Sparrowhawk female flies over kitchen perch (crop).jpg

Out for an early morning walk we found this Buzzard perched on the corner of a stack of Straw bales perhaps 70m away. The bird appeared and disappeared a few times over 3 hours.
Not seen there since, and now the straw stack was soon collected.

Ref: DF3_20210912_0754_020 Buzzard visits to corner of straw stack to west over 3 hours 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

24 Oct 2021

As dusk descends we spot the local female Kestrel just finishing off her supper on what we call the 'Raptor Post' - now mostly used by pigeons as a site for romantic liaisons. Over a few minutes we watched her finish her prey and then clean herself up.

Ref: DF4_20210911_1821_006-1824_031 Kestrel female eating prey perched on Raptor Post 2+3+5+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

The local female Kestrel back on one of an assortment of 'favourite' branches, this time a large conifer at the SE corner of our patch, hunting the close cut grass outside our patch.

Ref: DF3_20210912_1002_028 Kestrel on Conifer at SE corner.jpg

Two hours later we find her on an 11kV cable over the bridleway to the North.

Ref: DF3_20210912_1212_064 Kestrel female on 11kV cable over bridleway.jpg

23 Oct 2021

You can see from the steel peg that we try to anchor the lid of this peanut feeder to the rest, but this Grey Squirrel spent hours working on getting past the partially lifted lid to pull out peanuts. The Squirrel eventually got the lid right off and ate about 5cm of the column over the rest of the day before the feeder was replaced.

Ref: PK1_20210910_1639_481 Grey Squirrel getting nuts from caged feeder by lifting top 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

No, this is NOT a Squirrel with a Stogie!
The farm crop around us seems to be some sort of mix of some sort of bean and a brassica, both now mostly dead. The plants that have produced bean pods have now all blackened like this with more black than not beans inside. Outside our North boundary is the detritus of Squirrels and probably other wildlife making the most of this bonanza. This pod has been carried at least 30 metres to the inside of our patch
We have found empty pods all over our patch.

Ref: E64_20210912_1524_224_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying bean pod from crop 30m away.jpg

Who has been painting the sides of our Grey squirrels orange?
Most of the Squirrels have soft edge brown patches on their flanks, just one is unusually orange all over (NOT a 'Red' squirrel), but this one has an atypically sharp line along the body and down the rear leg with quite intense colour.

Ref: E63_20210912_1226_250_FB1 Grey Squirrel with pronounced orange markings (crop).jpg

22 Oct 2021

The night shift (a Badger) leaving the pond after a drink.

Ref: BU5_20210910_0425_133-135_SC1 Badger climbing out of Round Pond after drink 1-3 of 3 (impression montage).jpg

The day shift (One of the female Reeve's Muntjac Deer) leaving the pond after a drink.

Ref: BU5_20210910_1152_178+180+181_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer climbing out of Round Pond after drink 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

Another Night shift - a midnight Fox comes for a drink at Round pond

Ref: BU5_20210915_0031_152+0032_155+156_SC1 Fox visits Round Pond over midnight (impression montage).jpg

And another Day shift - a female Reeve's Muntjac Deer steps in to the pond to reach the low water.

Ref: BU5_20210915_1118_170-172_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female visits Round Pond for a drink (impression montage).jpg

21 Oct 2021

This Badger has just arrived on the site through the South hedge. The nose rises to find out 'who' else is here, and maybe what's to eat!

Ref: BU7_20210906_2338_032 Badger sniffing air just after entering site at south.jpg

In the dead of night the fox suddenly stops, swerves and stares intently upwards. Six minutes later the Fox leaves - we have no idea what happened in the interim.

Ref: BU9_20210909_0246_283+284+0252_286_SC2 Fox stops to investigate bushes before continuing 1+2+4 of 4 (impression montage).jpg

The hedge bottom site has shown quite a lot of Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) activity, but the camera is only triggered by creatures on the stone so they mostly appear near the same place.
Note here the Leopard Slug serendipitously caught on the side of the stone. It looks very matt and dry - not how we expect to see them.

Ref: E63_20210905_2237_191+2325_192+20210906_0041_194_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse)+Leopard slug+2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) (accurate montage).jpg

20 Oct 2021

A Black Backed Gull flies past, here shown at about 140mS intervals but more closely spaced than reality.

Ref: DF3_20210908_0729_012-016 Black Backed gull in flight @7fps (close spaced montage).jpg

A Black Backed Gull flying past.

Ref: DF3_20210908_0729_020 Black-backed Gull in flight.jpg

Harvest done to the accompaniment of Red Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels.
Baling done to the accompaniment of Rooks and other Corvids.
Now it's harrowing time to the accompaniment of at least 300 assorted Gulls.

Ref: D72_20210908_1050_073 300 Gulls following tractor harrowing in field far to south (crop).jpg

19 Oct 2021

After a slow start we have been seeing quite a lot of Hawker and (here) Darter Dragonflies. Hawker Dragonflies generally fly about catching prey as they go, but Darter Dragonflies choose a well placed stick end where they wait for some suitable midge to fly by, dart out to catch it, and then (the useful bit for a photographer) often return to exactly the same perch a few seconds later. Here this one returns - over the 300mS of the left 3 pics the legs move from full folded for flight to fully extended for landing.
Undercarriage Down!

Ref: DF3_20210905_1331_172-174+176 Common Darter female flying to land on top of stem 1-3+5 of 5 (spread montage @7fps).jpg

A Migrant Hawker Dragonfly basking in the afternoon sun on an Ash tree twig at least 50m from the nearest open water.

Ref: D72_20210906_1527_065 Migrant Hawker dragonfly female perched on Ash tree.jpg

18 Oct 2021

The female Kestrel doesn't normally hunt from this particular pole top at our south hedge, and she quickly moved on.

Ref: DF3_20210905_1059_092+1100_097-099 Kestrel female flies from boundary mains power pole 1+3-5 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

For once the camera catches the dive of 'our' female Kestrel from an 11kV wire.
Holding a 3.5Kg camera still for several minutes is rough on the arms, but putting up a tripod to do the holding seems to see off everything!

Ref: DF3_20210903_1541_023-025 Kestrel female diving down from 11kV cable (spread montage).jpg

17 Oct 2021

The number of white butterflies about this year far exceeds any previous experience. Here are two Small White Butterflies feeding from the same flower.

Ref: DF3_20210903_1233_021 2 Small White Butterflies sharing single Blackberry flower.jpg

A wide view of the yellow Buddleia bush shows about 20 Small and Large White butterflies feeding on the flowers and fluttering above the bush.
This pic really doesn't capture the delightful feeling seeing this provides.

Ref: DF3_20210905_1049_072 20 Butterflies feeding on Yellow Buddleia flowers (crop 3).jpg

This pic of 5 white butterflies crowded on to a single stem of still flowering Blackberry perhaps captures the delicacy a bit better.

Ref: DF3_20210905_1103_114 5 White (Small and Large) (of 7) Butterflies clustered on single Blackberry stem.jpg

16 Oct 2021

A couple of handsome flies enjoying the mint flowers and leaves

Ref: DF3_20210903_1219_006+009 Fly (probably Eriothrix rufomaculata) on Mint flower & Leaf (montage).jpg

The Yellow Buddleia we inherited has produced a mass of flowers this year. Here a Red Admiral Butterfly.

Ref: DF3_20210905_1047_067 Red Admiral Butterfly feeding from yellow Buddleia flower.jpg

Here on the Yellow Buddleia is a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

Ref: DF3_20210905_1048_068 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeding from yellow Buddleia flower.jpg

15 Oct 2021

A juvenile male Green Woodpecker lands on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20210820_0753_111_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile brief visit to meadow post (montage).jpg

This juvenile male Green Woodpecker continues his visits.
We think Green Woodpeckers always looks grumpy, but that's anthropomorphising them.

Ref: D01_20210902_1618_045+046+1803_047+048_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile brief visits 2 hours apart (montage).jpg

This more advanced juvenile male Green Woodpecker lands on the Meadow post.

Ref: D01_20210904_1747_143_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile landing on Meadow Post.jpg

A fine montage of (probably) a female juvenile Green Woodpecker landing on the Meadow Post for a short visit. We have 'flipped' one image for a compact rendition.

Ref: D01_20210908_1835_062+1834_060_FB6 Green Woodpecker juvenile brief visit to Meadow Post 1+2(mirror) of 2 (montage).jpg

14 Oct 2021

A lovely moment as this female Kestrel flies up to land on an 11kV power pole crossbar. At the time the bird seemed to be about to fly straight through but aerobraked over the pole to 'parachute' down for an elegant landing.

Ref: DF3_20210901_1334_030-048 Kestrel female flying to land on 11kV crossbar 01-07+10+12+15+19 of 20 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Later the same day, from an upper floor window, we see the same Kestrel having a Preen on a dead branch of a (nearly dead) Pear tree across the access track.

Ref: DF2_20210901_1602_013 Kestrel female preening on dead branch of Pear tree across track.jpg

13 Oct 2021

This pic really scared us - the leftmost pic quite clearly shows the bird being BETWEEN the 11kV cables - and getting away with it.
A now retired farmer (now moved away) years ago recounted an experience where he saw a bird vanish in a flash when it flew between the two cables of an earlier installation of the high voltage supply.

Ref: D73_20210830_1241_078-080 Buzzard launched from crossbar flies between 11kV cables 1-3 of 3 (montage slight spread @10fps).jpg

More nerve-racking flying around the 11kV cables, but never between the cables here.

Ref: D73_20210831_1238_214+215+217+219 Buzzard flying from 11kV cable (impression montage).jpg

12 Oct 2021

An adult male Green Woodpecker graces the meadow Post for a few minutes. Read this right to left - a heavy landing, a scramble for secure footing, and then a few minutes watching the world go by.

Ref: D01_20210829_1114_394-117_398_FB6 Green Woodpecker male makes bad landing on meadow post for 4 min visit 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Back to the juvenile Green Woodpeckers - here probing the crack in the top of the post before being caught departing ...

Ref: D01_20210830_1043_021+1044_023_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile arrival & departure at Meadow Post 1+3 of 3 (acc montage).jpg

... before another visit a few minutes later.

Ref: D01_20210830_1057_026-1102_032_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile 6 minute visits to meadow post 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

11 Oct 2021

Buzzards can hover facing into a wind.
This one over the crop spends a few seconds stationary in the air (so separated here) before diving down on whatever it has spotted.

Ref: DF3_20210828_1635_255-264 Buzzard hovering before diving to ground 03+04+08+12 of 17 (impression montage).jpg

One of the Buzzards flies over our East hedge ...

Ref: BU1_20210829_1430_417_SC3 Buzzard flying over east hedge (crop).jpg

... and we think circles round to land on the Meadow Post 2 minutes later.

Ref: D01_20210829_1432_413_FB6 Buzzard 4 minute visit to meadow post 1 of 6 (crop).jpg

The Buzzard spends 4 minutes on the post. The rightmost image is about 400mS after the landing of the bird shown above.

Ref: D01_20210829_1432_414-1435_418_FB6 Buzzard 4 minute visit to meadow post 2+4+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

10 Oct 2021

Another Red Kite pass over the harvest.
The incidental bird in the tree is a Buzzard on the same quest.

Ref: DF3_20210828_1635_217-221 Red Kite flying over fields to south 16-20 of 34 (accurate flight montage).jpg

Ref: DF3_20210828_1635_227 Red Kite flying over fields to south 26 of 34 (crop).jpg

Ref: DF3_20210828_1635_227-232 Red Kite flying over fields to south 26-31 of 34 (accurate montage).jpg

09 Oct 2021

The Harvest of the 'fallen' crop is underway.
The Kestrels, Buzzards and Red Kites (seen here) arrive from all directions to make the most of the disturbed Rodents and Rabbits.

Ref: D73_20210828_1541_031-036 Red Kite flying over field to south being harvested 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @ 10fps).jpg

Red Kites prefer to glide over the site and dive on whatever they spot.

Ref: DF3_20210828_1634_150-155 Red Kite gliding over 11kV cables 1+2+4+6 of 6 (Approx montage).jpg

Bottom left near the tractor wheels this Red Kite is not disturbed by the noisy behemoth only a few metres away.

Ref: DF3_20210828_1634_173 Red Kite hovering over field during harvest near working machinery 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

08 Oct 2021

Juvenile Green Woodpeckers have been regularly appearing at the Meadow Post. We have at least 3 individuals - 2 males and a female. This is a juvenile male.

Ref: D01_20210826_0812_032+0814_036_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile just landed & moved round pole (montage).jpg

A juvenile male Green Woodpecker spends a quarter of an hour on the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20210826_1020_093-1033_112_FB6 Green woodpecker male juvenile (moulting to adult) 14m visit to meadow post (montage).jpg

07 Oct 2021

This sprig of Oxford Ragwort seems to have escaped the attention of Cinnabar caterpillars, and this Small White butterfly is enjoying the flower's nectar.
Although the plant itself is poisonous, the flowers offer genuine poison-free offerings to get their pollen distributed.

Ref: DF3_20210824_1737_080 Small White Butterfly feeding on Oxford Ragwort flower (crop 2).jpg

A pair of Small White Butterflies mating in the morning sunshine.

Ref: D73_20210826_1115_006-1116_021 Small White butterflies courting and mating (montage).jpg

06 Oct 2021

A male Brimstone Butterfly, one of over a dozen seen over the main pond, feasts on the rampant Purple Loosestrife flowers.

Ref: DF3_20210824_1246_045 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife.jpg

A Green-veined White Butterfly enjoying their share of the Loosestrife bounty.

Ref: DF3_20210824_1100_022 Green-veined white Butterfly feeding on Purple Loosestrife.jpg

05 Oct 2021

There are perhaps a dozen Migrant Hawker Dragonflies around the house and Meadow. This one stopped on this twig just long enough to get this pic.

Ref: D73_20210823_1240_017 Migrant Hawker male hanging from twig.jpg

A female Common Darter Dragonfly perched on the tip of broken off plant stem in the afternoon sunshine.

Ref: d73_20210823_1453_037 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched on broken plant stem.jpg

This female Common Darter Dragonfly warms herself on a plant stem

Ref: DF3_20210824_1608_071 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched on fallen plant stem.jpg

04 Oct 2021

The juvenile male Green Woodpecker makes another visit, this one lasting almost two and a half hours. We would like to think that these formed a little sequence, but they are spaced over in excess of an hour, except the two on the ground about 1 minute apart.

Ref: E6A_20210822_1653_416-1808_430_FB5 Green Woodpecker male juvenile visits Meadow post & site over 140m 01-04 of 16 (mirror montage).jpg

The Meadow post has been drying out over the years, and was developed some wide cracks down the length that are hardly visible in this view. The crack down the centre you see here is a minor affair compared to the large crack that is about 10mm wide at the top. Anyway, the Green Woodpecker has been systematically pecking inside the crack (left) and (right) a minute later has pulled something out and you can see the tip of his long tongue still sticking out of the tip of the beak.
In typical fashion, the light would go really dim for this interesting frame.

Ref: D01_20210822_1900_448+1901_449_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile using tongue to pick item out of post top crack 09+10 of 16 (montage).jpg

03 Oct 2021

An assortment of some of the fun moments of the juvenile male Woodpecker's visits.

Ref: D01_20210822_1906_458-1915_472_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile visits post & site over 140m 12-16+16 of 16 (montage).jpg

To complement our juvenile male Green Woodpecker, we unexpectedly see (on the right here) a juvenile female 2 days after the photo of the male.

Ref: D01_20210825_1642_244+20210823_1825_073_FB6 Male (left) and female Green Woodpecker juveniles (montage).jpg

02 Oct 2021

Each year the Mint plants around the house attract these starting glowing Mint Beetles.

Ref: DF3_20210819_1114_011 Mint Beetle on mint leaf.jpg

This tiny Moth catches the eye despite it's small size. Here it is feeding on a mint flower - very appropriate for a 'Mint Moth'

Ref: D73_20210822_1213_044 Moth Pyrausta aurata (typically 8mm long) feeding on Mint flower.jpg

This years appearance of Scorpion Flies has started. This is a female - who doesn't have the 'Scorpion like' tail that gives the species it's name.

Ref: D73_20210818_1615_235 Scorpion fly female.jpg

01 Oct 2021

A single night with Tawny Owl visiting the Meadow post, and it seems to be two different Tawny Owls. Left to right the 3 photos are of the same bird, but the visit on the right 6 hours later (with the post much darker from rain) has a completely different set of facial features. The second visitor did not stay - perhaps not liking the photo-flash from about 20m away - if there is good hunting they will soon ignore like they do car headlights and similar.

Ref: D01_20210821_2132_335-2134_339+20210822_0428_341_FB6 2 Tawny Owls at Meadow post each end of rainy night 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg



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