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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
This visit by a Buzzard to the Meadow Post lasted for a quarter of an hour
By the middle of the visit we were aware of the bird, and went to enjoy the
sight from different viewpoints. The first was manually triggering the normally automatic
camera at the moment of take-off.
The next pic on this locked position camera is almost entirely out of frame.
From a downstairs window this hand-held camera could follow the action a bit better.
A Magpie hopping onto the fallen branch, the vertical iridescent tail helping to regain balance.
This immaculate Magpie stops off at the meadow post.
Grey Squirrels synchronised feeding?
The local female Sparrowhawk stops off on the Kitchen Window perch, undoubtedly after hoping to catch something tasty from the feeder below (out of crop).
A Grey Squirrel trying to play the Harmonica?
Reeves' Muntjac Deer appear most nights around the site. This male is rubbing his forehead on the ground. We assume that this is to rub-off the dead 'velvet' from the newly formed antlers.
Possibly the same male Reeves' Muntjac Deer chomping away at the
seemingly never ending supply of Blackberry wood.
Anyone fancy spiked stems for breakfast?
A week later we see this female Reeves' Muntjac Deer chomping away happily
on a spiky holly leaf!
What are their mouths made of?
One of those 'little moments' - the Pheasant walking along the edge of the pond spooks the Rook who flies over the Pheasant to land behind. We are sure the Rook is not frightened, but doesn't want to get 'steamrollered'. The middle pic shows the Pheasant twisting his head to watch the Rook pass by.
The Reeves' Muntjac Deer (left edge) ignores the fox that is presumably barking across the water.
Badgers appear most nights in various Trail cams, but only occasionally at one of these high resolution sites.
Sightings of Polecats at the high resolution sites are fairly rare, so this one is a welcome addition.
A Fox skulks along the edge of the Duck-shaped Pond, stops for a drink in an atypical place, and then stops for a stare across the water at the island.
A bit of a mystery as this Fox apparently exits our site onto the concrete
access track with something quite large in the mouth. The first image
is overexposed, but the remainder give an idea of the size of the prey item.
We at first thought it might be a Pheasant, but the regular male has since been
seen 'present and correct', and a female has also appeared.
Large Rabbit, Hare, Large Pigeon?
After watching a Fox take a Stoat in a recent 'BBC TV 'Winterwatch' (you can catch it on YouTube) we could believe that the prey is almost anything!
A short savage storm late last year that brought down or broke several of our trees, impacted much of the local area - damaged hedges and trees can be found within a mile or two. Rooks normally see about half of one years nests survive for refurbishment come the Spring, but the 50 or so nests in the large Rookery to our west were completely stripped of nests in the storm. Hence unusually we see the trees all with freshly constructed nests. This is one of the 3 main nesting trees.
A pair of Rooks stop off on the local 11kV cables.
The Long-tailed Tits have at last started using the Kitchen peanut feeder where no direct sunlight (as opposed to sun or bright sky flaring the camera) provides opportunities for some pics. There seem to be 6 birds in this little group, taking turns in the feeder - here are 4 of them.
Several perched nearby waiting their turn ...
It seems a long time since seeing a sharp photo of an in-flight skirmish. Here a Robin (left) and Great Tit think it worth a little conflict to take control of the food on offer.
A male Chaffinch looking eagerly through the scraps.
A few hours of sunshine brought out a pair of Grey Squirrel sociably sunbathing, grooming and eating a few catkins on the far side of the main pond.
About the same time next day some more sun brought out first this couple of Grey Squirrels ...
... soon joined by another pair who spent some time playfully chasing each other up and down the willow tree. All 4 are in this pic if you look hard.
One of the female Kestrels lands on the meadow post. Hardly visible as she lands, there is some sort of rodent in her right claws. Over the next 4 minutes she devours part of her catch. She probably flew off with the remains - what's left is too big to eat, and kestrels normally have a little rest after a big meal before flying on.
A detail between the bottom two images in the montage.
Some of the rodents fur is stuck to her beak.
Three days later we see the right claw of this female Kestrel firmly grasping some incautious rodent that we are sure the Kestrel was going to devour on the post top. But as she went to land a Magpie was already making for the post (or making for the Kestrel's prey - you decide!) so the Kestrel aborted the landing and flew off out of sight.
Our lovely Pheasant stepping over the branch at the Woodland site.
The male Pheasant still out after sunset.
This drenched fox hopes for an easy meal.
A fox walking quietly across the bottom of the mound on the last trip of the night.
More usually we see a Fox on the mound an hour after dark. This individual seems to check under the bottom slab every night. It used to be the primary entrance to the Rabbit warren in the mound, but is now blocked with leaves. The main entrance is now at one end of the mound, but perhaps the smell of 'Rabbit' still drifts from the hole.
A little before dawn this Fox again visits the disused rabbit hole on the Mound. Lots of pics of this suggest that one or more foxes check this hole every night.
This Grey Squirrel seems to have started at one end of a banana peel strip - will it finish the whole thing? We have no idea what transpired.
From Grey Squirrels breaking into peanut feeders we have moved to 'wanton
destruction' of the 'grain bag'. We hung up the bag in its normal place and half
an hour later a return to the bag finds this!
The munching Squirrel waited until the human was about a metre away before making a hurried departure.
Verdict: VERY Guilty - in flagrante delicto
A claw in the side would probably make our faces screw up in pain as well.
We can find no reference to Blue Tits eating Lichen, so this may be an unusual
moment to catch on camera.
On the left is the bird with a beakful of Lichen from the branch they are perched upon, and on the right an enlarged and exposure adjusted detail of the bird actually lifting the lichen from the branch.
Having eaten several pieces of Lichen, the Blue Tit perches quietly.
This Buzzard seems to have chosen areas north to south of our patch as their current feeding area. The bird didn't seem bothered by us about 70m away, but eventually decided to try a different hunting perch and here flew another 50m away to another set of cables, this time rubber covered 'mains' cables, to carry on the hunt, moving along that set of cables periodically.
A 'loving couple' of Rooks high in a Black Poplar.
The Tree's buds are already starting to swell from which Catkins will emerge.
Black Poplars produce Catkins weeks before first leaf.
Black Poplars seem to be a dead-end species - all of our trees are male, and we understand that females smell awful when flowing so are not planted. A quote from https://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
The number of Black Poplars has been falling steadily for many years and
there are a few thousand of them left in Britain. Less than 10% of the remaining
trees are female and these are increasingly hybridizing with commercially grown
poplar cultivars, creating highly variable offspring. It is its ability to regrow new
trees from broken branches and roots that keeps the species alive in the wild.
Broken branches is exactly how the 6 giant Black Poplars in our patch came about, cut from the branch of a tree along the access track, cut into 6. All 6 'took'.
The male Pheasant just fitting the photo frame.
You get a good view here of the 'spurs' on the back of the strong legs.
Hours later we see the male Pheasant again, using a 'wing assist' to jump up onto the fallen tree on the Mound.
The male Pheasant walks quietly along the edge of Round Pond.
This Badger quietly ruffling through the leaf litter, decides to visit the pond for a drink.
This Badger a few days later taking a selfie at the Woodland camera site.
The local female Sparrowhawk is undoubtedly feeling the cold, so out early to find something ready-heated to eat :-(
As the day draws to a close this female Kestrel visits the Meadow Post with a short-tailed Vole for what is probably her final meal of the day.
The female Kestrel returned 8 minutes later for a couple of minutes, this time 'empty clawed'
A Pleasant surprise to see a Tawny Owl making a 5 minute visit to the Meadow post a few hours after dark.
One of the at-least 3 male Reeves' Muntjac Deer takes a selfie in the dark of the night while stepping over the fallen branch.
It's quite hard to pick out the outline against the similar colours and randomly
patterned leaf litter, as this solitary female Reeves' Muntjac Deer quietly browses.
She looks like she is smiling, but that's anthropomorphism for you.
15 minutes later, and 70 metres away, probably the same individual spent a few minutes grooming on the island of the main pond
This Tawny Owl makes a welcome visit to the meadow post, staying for about 8 minutes. Past experience suggests that this was just one of many stops on the numerous other hunting perches around the site.
Rooks really are interesting creatures.
We know birds don't have 'expressions', but you try to tell this Rook that!
A Rook landing on the Meadow Post. Ahead of this is a cloud of midges
A serendipitous moment as the sun makes a shadow of this Rook so precise that at first viewing looks like two birds.
This male Pheasant doesn't argue with a belligerent Grey Squirrel.
These 2 Grey Squirrels are often seen sharing a feeding site.
Here they spent 15 minutes sharing the largess.
Individual Grey Squirrels seem to have huge variability in behaviour towards both members of their own species and other species.
One of our Foxes offering a head and shoulders portrait.
Love the whiskers!
An hour before sunrise, this Fox stops off for a drink from the now easily accessible water, complete with reflection.
Possibly the same Fox 24 minutes apart - first near the east entrance ...
... and then at Round Pond with a very similar upward gaze.
Out of the Kitchen windows this extreme orange sunrise lit up the whole
It was quite eerie.
Unknown to us at the time, the same light was playing on this Magpie who was stopping off at the Meadow Post.
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