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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Sep 2021

A juvenile chaffinch doing his aerobraking to land, here caught in amazingly sharp focus.

Ref: E63_20210820_1452_177_FB1 Chaffinch juvenile flying in to land.jpg

29 Sep 2021

This week has been a bonanza for sightings of what for now appears to be a 'resident' juvenile male Green Woodpecker. Here he spent about 7 minutes on the top of the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20210819_1844_068-1850_080_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile 7 minute visit to meadow post 1-5+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

When the Victorians built things they tried to provide a little elegance in design or decorative finish. Now it seems to be mostly:-
    Build it strange: the Shard, The Cellphone building
    Build it tallest: Burj Khalifa
    Build it Functional: Office blocks, Electricity distribution.
But it has to be said that the animals really don't care, as we see here with a Green woodpecker searching the 11kV power pole for insects next to the circuit breakers and underground cables to the neighbouring business centre.

Ref: DF3_20210820_1536_051 Green Woodpecker juvenile on 11kV pole supplying Farm.jpg

The juvenile male Green Woodpecker makes a flamboyant landing. We has obviously been probing the ground and bought some of it back with him.

Ref: D01_20210821_1625_257_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile landing on meadow post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

28 Sep 2021

Badgers make several visits to the plot, the best views at this camera near the east 'hole-in-the-hedge. The left image pre-dates the other two by about 5 hours, and is most likely a different Badger. On the right the visitor seems to have spotted the dark red glow of the IR light.

Ref: BUA_20210812_2057_075+20210813_0247_149+150_SC8 Badgers at east entrance over 5hrs (impression montage).jpg

3 Days later what looks like the same badger ambles into the site through the south entrance.

Ref: BU7_20210816_0041_121+0305_128+131 Badger at south entrance over 3 hours (montage).jpg

Another 2 days on this Badger stops for a groom near the East entrance.

Ref: BUA_20210817_2231_302_SC8 Badger pauses near east entrance to sit and groom.jpg

27 Sep 2021

We came across the local female Kestrel perched on the gutter of the living room. She wasn't pleased at our unexpected arrival and promptly flew off and we didn't expect to see her again.

Ref: D73_20210816_1553_028+030+033+035 Kestrel female on gutter of living room window flies to 1st floor gutter 1(insert)+2+4+6 of 7 (approx montage).jpg

But no - her flight simply took her momentarily out of sight and then back over a roof ridge to land in the 1st floor gutter a few metres up and along from her previous perch. She spent several minutes staring at the ground from this vantage point before leaving to try another of her favourite perches.

Ref: D73_20210816_1553_051+1556_061-064 Kestrel female on 1st floor gutter flies away 2-6 of 6 (accurate montage).jpg

Once gone we continued the walk and came across the Kestrel perched on a support stay of our mains power pole, the first time we have seen her there. After a couple of minutes she flew from there onto one of her favourite hunting perches about 10m along the hedge - one of many footrests on a disused telephone pole ...

Ref: D73_20210816_1559_081+084+086-088 Kestrel female flies from mains power pole cable stay 1+3+5-7 of 7 (acc montage).jpg

... where she is a bit lower down than before, and on a more comfortable perch. This time she ignored us walking by 15m away and we didn't see her again for several days.

Ref: D73_20210816_1559_098 Kestrel female perches on disused telephone pole footrest.jpg

26 Sep 2021

The female Kestrel made a 16 minute visit that we became aware of at the time. So here is a mix of hand-held and locked focus camera pics. This set of 4 pics covers the whole event, a beautifully controlled landing, and defecating just before departure.

Ref: D01_20210815_1741_264-1756_317_FB6 Kestrel female 16m visit to Meadow Post group 2 01+10+13+15 of 16 (whole visit montage).jpg

The hand-held camera caught some of the more quirky moments of the Kestrel's visit

Ref: DF4_20210815_1745_009-1749_022 Kestrel female 16 minute visit to Meadow Post group 1 1-5 of 5 (hand-held montage).jpg

The automatic camera caught moments in the several minute preen.

Ref: D01_20210815_1751_281-1753_295_FB6 Kestrel female 16 minute visit to Meadow Post group 2 05-08 of 16 (preening montage).jpg

A final portrait before she flew off.

Ref: D01_20210815_1756_315_FB6 Kestrel female 16 minute visit to Meadow Post group 2 14 of 16 (crop).jpg

25 Sep 2021

The afternoon sunshine brought out a few Hawker Dragonflies. This is a male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly perched on a blackberry stem, photographed from the side.

Ref: D73_20210814_1521_114 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male.jpg

Next morning this male Southern Hawker Dragonfly is hanging from a dead twig in the hedge, warming in the sunshine to start the days hunting.

Ref: DF3_20210815_1006_003 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male with right wings scraped.jpg

Glistening in the afternoon sunshine, this male Southern Hawker Dragonfly warms himself in the fitful sunshine

Ref: D73_20210818_1610_214 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male perched in hedge.jpg

24 Sep 2021

The female Kestrel has made visits around and inside the site this week. Here she landed on the meadow post - stared intently at the ground around her for about 5 minutes before diving down out of sight.

Ref: D01_20210814_0751_188+0752_190+0754_192_FB6 Kestrel female 5 minute visit to meadow post 1+3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

Another of her favourite hunting perches is the nearby 11kV power cables.

Ref: D73_20210816_1109_018 Kestrel female hunting from 11kV cable.jpg

23 Sep 2021

A juvenile male Green Woodpecker probes the ground.
Although their favourite food is Ants, any small invertebrate will do!

Ref: E6A_20210812_1004_006_FB5 Green Woodpecker male juvenile probing ground.jpg

Over 40 minutes the automatic camera at the meadow post recorded visits first from a juvenile Green Woodpecker, then a Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, and finally probably the same Green Woodpecker, this time his beak not encrusted with mud. Even allowing for the GSW hanging from the edge, it is clear how much bigger the Green Woodpecker is than the 'Great Spotted'.

Ref: D01_20210817_0921_109+0944_114+1000_121_FB6 Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker juveniles visit meadow post over 40m (montage).jpg

22 Sep 2021

We think that this beautiful Tawny Owl made two visits to the post in five minutes.

Ref: D01_20210811_2242_158-2246_164_FB6 Tawny Owl visits to meadow post over 5 minutes 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

The reason for 2 visits seems to have been a failed attack - this moment appears to be an imminent launch but the Owl quickly returned with nothing.

Ref: D01_20210811_2244_160_FB6 Tawny Owl visits to meadow post over 5 minutes 2 of 4 (crop).jpg

20 minutes later we spot one frame with this glowing eye among a series of unexplained camera triggers at the front of the house overnight. Its the Tawny Owl standing in the gutter over one of the front bay windows.

Ref: AP1_20210811_2306_233_AP1 Tawny Owl perched on ground floor gutter (crop).jpg

21 Sep 2021

Some of the Oxford Ragwort has timed it's growth to make a decent flowerhead before the Cinnabar Caterpillars ravage the plant! The Gatekeeper butterfly you see, not badly disguised here, is the dominant brown butterfly at the moment.

Ref: D73_20210811_1051_022 Oxford Ragwort flowers with Gatekeeper Butterfly.jpg

A Peacock butterfly has his Elevenses on a teasel head. You can just see specks of pollen adhering to his double pipe proboscis.

Ref: D73_20210811_1053_035 Peacock butterfly feeding on Teasel with pollen specks on proboscis.jpg

20 Sep 2021

Two portraits of what we think are different male Reeve's Muntjac Deer. In the first pic one of the male's little 'tusks' is clearly visible.

Ref: E64_20210807_2349_204_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male with tusk visible.jpg

This visitor 2 hours later gives us a good view of his Antlers in Velvet, and his particularly dark facial mask.

Ref: E64_20210808_0213_206_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male.jpg

19 Sep 2021

Several Dragonflies patrol various areas on warm days, but mostly too high to get decent photo. This female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly stopped on a head-height Purple Loosestrife flower long enough to get a photo. Dragonflies have no interest in flowers beyond somewhere to perch.

Ref: D73_20210807_1502_010 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female perched on Purple Loosestrife flower.jpg

Migrant Hawker Dragonflies seem to fly at lower temperatures than other Hawker species we see here. This female has caught something held in her folded legs, and is eating it 'on the wing' as they do. The insert is the insect on the right.

Ref: D73_20210810_1750_037-040 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight with prey in legs 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage @10fps).jpg

A female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly sunning herself. Air temperature has been marginal for Odonata this week, and they all rest in the sunshine periodically to warm up.

Ref: D73_20210811_1032_010 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female perched in hedge.jpg

18 Sep 2021

This juvenile Green Woodpecker spent 15 minutes visiting the Meadow Post. This juvenile is just starting to show adult markings for a male. From about 30 images we choose these moments to show you.

Ref: D01_20210806_0635_004-0646_064_FB6 Green Woodpecker juvenile male visits to meadow post over 15m 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

We see several juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers visiting the peanut feeders for a quick high protein feed. These cages do block the Grey Squirrels, but this bird's long beak and slender head means that the cage is no barrier, and that's fine with us.

Ref: PK1_20210808_0927_350 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile feeding at kitchen peanut feeder.jpg

What seems to be a regular individual juvenile Green Woodpecker visited the Meadow Post. A few minutes after his last visit to the post we see him on the ground some 10m away triggering the 'meadow camera'.

Ref: D01_20210810_1023_055-1153_059+E6A_1157_044_FB5 Green Woodpecker visiting post and Meadow site over 90m 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

17 Sep 2021

We come across the female Kestrel hunting from a conifer at our east hedge. She finally got bored with us watching her and flew down the hedge and away.

Ref: DF3_20210807_0815_012+013 Kestrel female flying from conifer outside east hedge 1+2 of 4 (approx montage @7fps).jpg

16 Sep 2021

Green Woodpecker always look a bit grumpy (to us anthropomorphic humans). This juvenile spent a couple of minutes hanging from the edge of the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20210804_1628_177_FB6 Green Woodpecker juvenile on top edge of meadow post.jpg

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker also visits the meadow post, but prefers ...

Ref: D01_20210730_1439_119_FB6 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile at meadow post.jpg

... this peanut feeder, where it currently appears every day. Here caught in two of the many positions used to gain access to those inconveniently imprisoned peanuts.

Ref: D5C_20210805_1012_011+1024_026 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile on peanut feeder (montage).jpg

15 Sep 2021

A Southern Hawker Dragonfly buzzing around us stops for a few second on a clump of unripe blackberry fruits. The insects couldn't care less whether the fruit is ripe or not - it is a hunter and this is just 'any' perch.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1247_066 Southern Hawker Dragonfly female perched on un-ripe blackberry fruits.jpg

Migrant Hawker Dragonflies are smaller than most of the other Hawker species in the UK, but can fly at good speed, and perform the most amazing changes of speed and direction. The magnified insert is of the right hand image.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1304_127-129 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight @7fps 1-3 of 4 (accurate montage @7fps + insert).jpg

At the edge of the farmer's undoubtedly insecticide drenched bean crop, we find just this one female Common Blue Damselfly. This insect is a hunter of midges and the like, and lays eggs in the ponds, so is probably less effected by the chemicals than Bees, Butterflies and moths.

Ref: D73_20210731_1252_177 Common Blue Damselfly female blue form on dead weed in crop margin.jpg

14 Sep 2021

The fresh emergence of Brimstone Butterflies is upon us. This one has chosen a thistle flower for a tank-up.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1011_039 Brimstone Butterfly male (1st of 2nd emergence) feeding on thistle flower (crop 1).jpg

As the camera fires on this male Brimstone Butterfly he lifts off from the spike of Purple Loosestrife in the pond edge for this accurate montage.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1539_306+307 Brimstone Butterfly male takes off from Purple Loosestrife @7fps 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

The male Brimstone Butterfly flies to a closer plant where we can see his proboscis deep in the flower.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1539_311 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Purple Loosestrife.jpg

13 Sep 2021

This Holly Blue Butterfly makes it's second generation for the year, before laying eggs and making Pupae which hibernate through the winter to emerge as next years first generation.
Even quite similar Butterfly species use a wide range of 1, 2 or 3 generations per year, going through the winter as any of Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis or Adults. The diversity is amazing - your couldn't plan it!
If you are interested in such stuff we recommend to you a 1991 book 'The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland' by Jeremy Thomas & Richard Lewington ISBN 0-86318-591-6. It includes multi-sided illustrations of both sexes different generations and variations, and timelines for each stage of development.
Looking this up on Amazon, EBay & Google (in 2021) shows used original hardback copies for about UKP 7 inc. delivery, and that there is a revised edition (2019) for about UKP 20 which we haven't seen so can't comment.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1518_170 Holly Blue Butterfly (1st of 2nd emergence).jpg

A sighting of a male Holly Blue butterfly which has the top of the wings a blue rather than darker and black edged female.

Ref: D73_20210812_1044_010 Holly Blue Butterfly male (shows both sides of wing).jpg

12 Sep 2021

Exit from the house startled the female Kestrel, and it was soon threatening a Rook. But by the time the camera had found the action the tables had turned on the Kestrel, now being 'seen off' by the Rook.

Ref: DF3_20210803_1233_009-012 Rook threatening Kestrel female in flight 1-4 of 4 (impression montage @7fps).jpg

Next day the female Kestrel wasn't pleased to see us appear outside the south hedge, and made for the cover of an Ash tree growing in the hedge, where she made this nice silhouette.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1523_176 Kestrel female silhouetted in Ash tree.jpg

After the heavy rain, the softer ground has attracted the female Kestrel back to one of her regular hunting perches. She can dive down onto an area of 'maintained' grass to catch insects and worms.
After we pass she flew out of sight ...

Ref: DF3_20210804_1739_412 Kestrel female perched on disused Telephone pole footrest.jpg

... and 10 minutes later from the other side of the pole we were surprised to see this MALE kestrel on the top of the same pole. By normal Kestrel standards he looks a little 'washed out' so we suspect that this is a new generation bird - possibly her son.

Ref: DF3_20210804_1750_423 Kestrel male perched on disused Telephone pole top viewed from north.jpg

11 Sep 2021

Blackbirds are normally immaculate creatures, but has to be excused a little dishevelment during a moult.
Seeing the light coloured feathers made us wonder whether this was a long lived bird going grey. Average life is reported as 3.5 years but they have been know to live to 20 years. But various sources all agree that birds do NOT 'go grey' like humans do, but worn feathers can assume this greyish appearance.

Ref: E63_20210802_1331_023_FB1 Blackbird male.jpg

10 Sep 2021

Outside the kitchen we last year cut down a 5 metre hedge that was beginning to thrash against the top of the house. This Grey Squirrel pauses for a moment on a piece of the cut wood.

Ref: PK1_20210801_1643_325 Grey Squirrel on top of sawn off overgrown hedge.jpg

A face to face encounter between 2 Grey Squirrels. No animosity showing here.

Ref: E60_20210731_1827_090_FB3 2 Grey squirrels face-to-face on kitchen perch.jpg

An Aerial Grey Squirrel leaping across the sky to the right?

Ref: DF3_20210804_1308_149+150 Cloud in shape of running Squirrel (montage for width - no other processing).jpg

09 Sep 2021

Our lovely male Pheasant seems suddenly to have a shorter and thinner tail. Eyes open for the 'discarded' feathers!

Ref: E64_20210731_1834_115_FB2 Pheasant male having lost some tail feathers.jpg

2 days later we see the inevitable - a most definitely 'tail challenged' male pheasant.

Ref: E64_20210802_0740_005_FB2 Pheasant male with no tail feathers.jpg

08 Sep 2021

The 2020 Olympics (in 2021) were in progress when we obtained these two images, so here we could not resist concocting this accurately positioned montage of a Grey Squirrel doing a 'vault' over the stone.
The only snag is that the two pics are 20 minutes apart with other images (with no squirrel in them) in between!

Ref: E63_20210728_1907_103+1928_108_FB1 Grey Squirrel leaping to and from stone 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

While testing some camera lens configurations over a quarter of an hour in and out of the door 10m from this tree, this Grey squirrel simply lazed unconcerned through the whole affair. How to relax!

Ref: D5C_20210729_1732_004 Grey Squirrel resting in Conifer near house.jpg

07 Sep 2021

A Brown Hawker Dragonfly perches on a piece of dead wood high above a hedge.

Ref: D73_20210727_1428_022 Brown Hawker dragonfly perched on high twig.jpg

Another sighting of a Gatekeeper Butterfly enjoying one of the thousands of Blackberry flowers now offering their nectar and at the same time pollinating the flowers for us to harvest the fruit in the autumn.

Ref: DF3_20210729_1023_073 Gatekeeper Butterfly feeding on Blackberry flower.jpg

06 Sep 2021

A Hawker Dragonfly (we are not confident of the species) flies by us ...

Ref: D73_20210726_1437_011-014 Hawker Dragonfly catching insect in flight @10fps 1-4 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

... and suddenly swerves upward to catch an insect in the 'net' made with the legs before flying back the other way.
An unbroken sequence at 10 frames per second - Dragonflies can manoeuvre incredibly quickly.

Ref: D73_20210726_1437_015-018 Hawker Dragonfly catching insect in flight @10fps 5-8 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

Here we see the Hawker Dragonfly missing a catch in this accurate montage with both Dragonfly and insect moving downwards at 10 fps. This first version arrows the intended prey ...

Ref: D73_20210726_1438_026-298 Hawker Dragonfly misses catching passing insect @10fps 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage with arrows).jpg

... while this tighter crop shows more detail including the Dragonflies legs extending into a 'catch-net' and then closing after failure, both events lasting no more than 100mS (tenth of a second)

Ref: D73_20210726_1438_026-298 Hawker Dragonfly misses catching passing insect @10fps 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage centre detail).jpg

05 Sep 2021

This Fox makes a stealthy entrance through the south hedge in the small hours.

Ref: BU7_20210726_0132_169 Fox entering at SW corner.jpg

2 days later, shortly after sunrise, possibly the same fox meanders past the camera. The way the mix of IR and daylight catches the eyes produces some interesting effects

Ref: BU7_20210728_0549_091-093 Fox walking towards camera with eye detail 1-3 of 3 (IR montage).jpg

04 Sep 2021

The female Kestrel chose our patch for an hour's hunting.
First 'seen' flying over the meadow post, then spotted by the humans in the orchard, flies 100m to conifers overlooking the meadow - she seemingly likes this type of conifer, and is finally caught landing on the kitchen bird table, possibly with prey hidden from us in her claws.
The image on the right shows that some feathers types in her tail are not normal tail feathers. 2 years ago the same bird had one abnormally coloured tail feather so we named her 'Lady Grey Feather'. None of these tail abnormalities seem to bother her in the slightest.

Ref: D01_20210725_1335_331-E60_1450_166_FB6 Kestrel female (abnormal tail feathers) hunts round house for 1Hr 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

We have no record of seeing any Raptors at this sight before this moment of the female Kestrel landing - possibly to catch a rodent on the ground. We never got to see her claws or what was on the mound before she arrived - the montage looks nice as we have spread it out here, but in fact the bird landed directly over the wing-spread image so there may be a rodent hidden underneath.
You can again see the abnormal tail feathers.

Ref: BU2_20210727_1651_157+159_SC7 Kestrel female lands at base of Round Mound 1+3 of 3 (impression montage).jpg

03 Sep 2021

Juvenile Great Tits cluster on the perch outside the kitchen to wait for a feed. Here Mum or Dad arrives with another beakful.

Ref: D5C_20210725_1702_012-014 Great Tit juvenile (of 3) being fed by adult 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Four juvenile Great Tits serendipitously evenly spaced along the Kitchen perch.

Ref: D5C_20210726_1304_002 4 Great Tit juveniles waiting for a feed.jpg

This more mature juvenile Great Tit, now feeding itself, seems have picked up a ball of mud and now has to extract the seeds stuck in it.

Ref: E63_20210724_0929_222_FB1 Great Tit juvenile holding small ball of mud encrusted seeds.jpg

02 Sep 2021

Down in the undergrowth, slimy passion in the morning from this pair of snails.

Ref: PK1_20210724_0739_193 Snails mating.jpg

On the grass in the meadow, togetherness, Wood Pigeon Style.

Ref: E6A_20210722_1824_041_FB5 2 Wood Pigeons feeding together.jpg

Up in the sky this Red Kite is flying some 50m away.
This represents less than one second of flight.

Ref: DF3_20210729_1016_007-012 Red Kite in flight 4-9 of 9 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

01 Sep 2021

This year seems to have been exceptional for Small White Butterflies with dozens at a time fluttering over the meadow.
Perhaps they like the farmers bean crop!
Here 4 of them spiralling upwards in the sunshine in a fluttering courtship ritual.

Ref: D73_20210722_1235_028 4 Small White Butterflies spiralling upward in courtship flight.jpg

The four Small White Butterflies quickly split into 2 pairs - this is a montage of one of the pairs now fluttering downwards in close formation, the male (above) casting his shadow on the female.

Ref: D73_20210722_1235_038+039 Small White Butterfly pair courtship flight - male shadowing female 1+2 of 2 (montage @ 10fps).jpg



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