Return to moorhen home page


Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jul 2022

A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly coils up his proboscis until it completely disappears.


Ref: DF3_20220614_1400_317+318+320 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly rolling up Proboscis 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

The first sighting of a Small Heath Butterfly this year - choosing a piece of wind-blown rubbish to perch on :-(


Ref: DF3_20220615_0926_479 Small Heath Butterfly (1st of 2022) perched on windblown rubbish.jpg

30 Jul 2022

On an Oxeye daisy flower are 3 Thick-legged Flower Beetles. Only the 2 males here have the leg bulges.


Ref: DF3_20220612_1220_240 3 Thick-legged Flower Beetle on Oxeye Daisy Flower.jpg

A pretty pair of Dog Rose flowers, already bleached white by the sunshine.


Ref: DF3_20220610_1107_014 2 Dog Rose flowers bleached by sunlight.jpg

29 Jul 2022

We seem to have Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonflies this year, here perched on the warm Corrugated Iron sheet intended to attract snakes underneath.


Ref: DF3_20220612_0919_212 Black-tailed Skimmer fame on corrugated Iron sheet.jpg

A Few Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies are still to be found in the middle of warm days. Here a male ...


Ref: D72_20220613_1223_031 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

... and here a female with wings misaligned so you can see 3 of the 4 pseudo-pterostigma. 'Pseudo' because they are white rather than the usual dark - in this species (and the Banded Demoiselle) only the females have any mark at this position.


Ref: DF3_20220615_1102_532 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female with wings slightly offset.jpg

28 Jul 2022

Each year a Mullein plant pops up from a crack in a concrete block blocking the unused end of our access track. This year the block-bound plant has been 'invaded' by Mullein Moth Caterpillars who have stripped the plant of leaves and left it to wither.
Will we see the plant again next year? Most probably!


Ref: DF3_20220610_1641_023-20220613_1239_047 Mullein in concrete crack hosts Mullein Moth caterpillar 3+2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

27 Jul 2022

In the early morning (5.30 a.m.) this Wagtail diligently gathers insects to feed the chicks.


Ref: DF3_20220612_0532_060+064+065 Pied Wagtail collecting small insects (accurate montage).jpg

Out before the world gets too busy, this Pied Wagtail is tearing about collecting food from the grass margin. Hundreds of frames not shown never got to see the bird actually picking up some interesting item.


Ref: DF3_20220614_0818_266+267 Pied Wagtail takes off with insects in beak 2+3 of 3 (impression montage).jpg

26 Jul 2022

Lots of rain in the last few days, and we often see Grey Squirrels using their tails as 'umbrellas' - even though the rain seems to have stopped.


Ref: D36_20220603_1611_031_FB4 Grey Squirrel using tail as umbrella.jpg

This female Grey squirrel is enjoying a major grooming session in a sun-warmed cleft. In other shots nipples are clearly visible - her tummy is swollen enough that she is probably pregnant. Yet more of the little blighters!


Ref: D72_20220604_1733_029 Grey Squirrel female grooming in sun warmed cleft of tree.jpg

Banana skin is a favourite for some of the squirrels.


Ref: E63_20220604_1849_196_FB1 Grey Squirrel eating Banana peel held in paws.jpg

10 minutes apart we assume the same Grey Squirrel practises looking innocent and twee.


Ref: E63_20220605_1640_019+1726_029_FB1 Grey Squirrels visiting hedge bottom (montage).jpg

25 Jul 2022

The human infrastructure in rural areas is full of posts and overhead power and phone cables. The animals don't care how the perches get there, they just use them like any tree branch.
Lots of birds stop over on this very old concrete power pole.


Ref: DF3_20220607_1539_063-068 Magpie launching from concrete electricity pole 1+2+4-6 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

This Chiffchaff is utterly dwarfed by the 11kV power cable high overhead.


Ref: DF3_20220612_0537_073 Chiffchaff dwarfed by 11kV power cable.jpg

24 Jul 2022

Mum Great Spotted Woodpecker breaks and collects a peanut fragment and flies off to cram it into the ever-open beak of her youngster waiting in the trees behind.


Ref: PK1_20220612_1350_950-998 Great Spotted Woodpecker female collects broken peanut & flies off with it 1-4+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

A day after the mother Great Spotted Woodpecker was photographed collecting bits of Peanuts at the Kitchen Window feeder, we catch this moment of what we assume is the same adult taking a just extracted piece of peanut and giving it to the juvenile below.
We never get the extraction phase at the site - Mum is always hidden by the tube of nuts!


Ref: D5C_20220613_0813_010+003 Great Spotted Woodpecker female feeding juvenile 2+1 of 2 (montage).jpg

23 Jul 2022

At he hedge bottom site you can cram your beak with peanuts ...


Ref: E63_20220611_1647_146_FB1 Magpie at hedge bottom with peanuts in beak.jpg

... and something like a minute later, stops off on the way home before braving the nest-full of screaming youngsters!


Ref: D01_20220611_1658_157_FB6 Magpie with beak crammed with peanuts with huge Dog Rose bush in background.jpg

22 Jul 2022

An earlyish morning (7 a.m.) walk finds this Hare on alert almost 100 metres away.. We started walking towards the Hare who inexplicably moved across a concrete track towards us, and then gradually folded back the wonderful ears before crouching down in the short grass probably hoping to be rendered invisible. This sequence is a construct to show the change in position of the hare, including major relocations and approximate changes of scale from both the Hare and the humans moving. But this 3 minutes of change is a genuine reflection of what happened in a strange sort of slow-motion.


Ref: D72_20220609_0656_005-0658_017 Hare on alert crouches down before running off 1+3+4+6+7 of 19 (impression montage).jpg

Eventually the Hare seemed to realise that his hiding posture was doing no good at all, so ran off into the crop out of frame to the left. One and a quarter seconds of the run shown here.


Ref: D72_20220609_0658_021-031 Hare on alert crouches down before running off 08-18 (alternate) of 19 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Away from the Road, Hares hang around a little longer. This one is crouched at the edge of the crop watching us.


Ref: DF3_20220612_0907_138 Hare crouching by wheat crop with whiskers splayed symmetrically.jpg

21 Jul 2022

From behind a hedge on one side of the main road this Yellowhammer could only see our heads and didn't take fright as he sang to the world. Unfortunately traffic noise completely obliterated his song for us. - a known problem for birds nesting near roads and in towns.


Ref: DF3_20220607_0836_007+008+011 Yellowhammer male singing in top of hedge across main road (montage).jpg

20 Jul 2022

Our industrious moorhen here gives a good view of the multi-purpose legs and feet in various positions.


Ref: E64_20220602_1435_028+1024_015_FB2 Moorhen stepping over log showing multiple foot positions (montage).jpg

19 Jul 2022

Two badgers at the hedge bottom site - we think a youngster and Mum or Dad off the right side.


Ref: E63_20220529_2124_380_FB1 2 Badgers sharing hedge bottom.jpg

2 hours later this Badger has a look at the offerings. More than likely not either of the 2 we saw together.


Ref: E63_20220529_2353_381_FB1 Badger at hedge bottom (orig & final).jpg

Sitting by the Round Pond seems to be a favourite bit of behaviour for this fox who seems to be gazing upwards at an overhanging branch of a large cherry tree.
Perhaps a Pheasant is almost irresistibly perched in the elevated sanctuary.


Ref: BU5_20220607_0240_163+165_SC1 Fox sitting under cherry tree gazes upwards 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

18 Jul 2022

After weeks of absence to female Sparrowhawk comes in to land on the Kitchen Window perch as the evening darkens.


Ref: E60_20220605_1954_008_FB3 Sparrowhawk female landing on Kitchen Window Perch.jpg

Three days later in mid-afternoon the female Sparrowhawk makes another visit.
Photographically inferior but lovely to see.


Ref: E60_20220608_1303_142_FB3 Sparrowhawk female landing on Kitchen window perch.jpg

17 Jul 2022

The Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies are to be found in well separated spots of shelter and sun. There are far fewer than last year when at least 50 spent midday on a south facing stretch of hedge.
We notice that these delicate creatures (in fact Damselflies in general) seem to remain pristine - presumably they do not frequent bramble patch where the prickles tend to damage wing edges.
Here is a male ...


Ref: DF3_20220603_1019_077 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly male.jpg

and here a female.


Ref: DF3_20220603_1026_090 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female.jpg

A female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly managing to perch on 3 leaves simultaneously - and still look elegant.


Ref: D72_20220604_1733_017 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female perched on 3 leaves.jpg

16 Jul 2022

So far the ONLY direct evidence we have that there are Moorhen chicks about - the black blob on the right is definitely a Moorhen chick.


Ref: BU5_20220603_1755_289_SC1 Moorhen adult runs to find more food for chick on Round Pond bank - first chick of 2022.jpg

Another adult Moorhen taking food in the opposite direction - so there must be another brood hatched even if we don't know where it is.


Ref: E64_20220604_0518_182_FB2 Moorhen with insect in beak (crop).jpg

Our busy Moorhen here carrying food across the Woodland site for the chicks hidden in a nest somewhere. Left to right the bird seems to be carrying Unknown, a large fly and a small damselfly we can't ID.


Ref: E64_20220606_1132_102+0802_084+20220605_1827_021_FB2 Moorhen carrying food to chicks (montage).jpg

15 Jul 2022

Mum Great Spotted Woodpecker flies off, 4 minutes later returning with a beakful for her youngster.


Ref: E60_20220603_1323_074+1327_075_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female leaves juvenile returning in 4 mins with food (montage).jpg

More detail of Mum about to stuff the food into juniors open gape.


Ref: E60_20220603_1327_075_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker female feeds juvenile on perch (close crop).jpg

The Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker flies in to land next to Mum.


Ref: E60_20220604_2019_113_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile flies over female on perch.jpg

14 Jul 2022

These crazy shapes pieces of twig are the result of last years hedge cutting. Farmers generally use a flail cutter which smashes the wood to small pieces, but our manually handled electric pole cutters leave the pieces whole.


Ref: D01_20220602_1658_045_FB6 Magpie on Meadow Post manipulating long awkward twig for nest.jpg

FEED ME.


Ref: E63_20220607_1705_123_FB1 Magpie feeding juvenile.jpg

13 Jul 2022

This pristine Hare is probably a youngster inexperienced in the dangers of being near Humans. Over a few minutes this one wandered up the Farm Road towards us until perhaps 10 metres away. The Hare turned sideways and stopped, assessing the 2 stationary creatures (us) standing on the grass.


Ref: D72_20220602_0650_146-167 Hare ambles towards us along Farm Road but runs back 02+05+08+11+14+16 of 34 (acc montage @8fps).jpg

Deciding that it was time to depart with a soupcon of haste, the Hare did an about-turn and accelerated off.
The first image pics are about 375mS apart and still quite close
This image shows gaps of about 250mS apart and more spread out anyway


Ref: D72_20220602_0650_168-181 Hare ambles towards us along Farm Road but runs back 17+20+22-30 (alts) of 34 (acc montage @8fps).jpg

12 Jul 2022

We recognise this male Reeves Muntjac Deer from the length and curve of his Antlers and facial markings, so are confident that each of these pics is of the same individual losing first one and then the other Antler over 2 days.
Top Left:       BUA_20220527_0210_044_SC8  27 May 2022 02:10 Both Antlers present
Top Right:     BU9_20220528_1029_047_SC2  28 May 2022 10:29 Left Antler absent
Bottom Left:  BU8_20220528_1203_161           28 May 2022 12:03 Right antler rubbed with rear hoof
Bottom Right D72_20220529_1735_006           29 May 2022 17:35 Both Antlers gone
We guess that in the bottom left pic the remaining antler was becoming loose and was irritating the Deer.
We remember years ago in a wildlife film seeing a large antler falling from a much larger deer, and the surprise the animal showed at the suddenly unbalanced head. We doubt that the small Antlers of Muntjac Deer have a serious unbalancing effect.


Ref: BUA_20220527_0210_044_SC8-D72_20220529_1735_006 Muntjac Reeves Deer male loses both antlers in 2 days (montage).jpg

11 Jul 2022

Harlequin Ladybirds are very variable - even the two bottom left obviously know that the different markings don't matter!


Ref: DF3_20220527_0900_031-0902_037 Harlequin Ladybirds 1-4 of 4 (montage from 3 minute selection).jpg

A female Scorpion Fly - so no 'scorpion' tail.


Ref: DF3_20220529_0931_035 Scorpion Fly female.jpg

10 Jul 2022

Clouds are interesting at this time of year, and the human pattern-creating brain can't resist seeing things in the patterns.
Here we imagine a cable (probably a contrail) through the sky with Swallows fluttering around it.


Ref: DF3_20220527_1118_043 Cloudscape - ghost Swallows gathering on cable (cloud & contrail moving as one) (orig & final).jpg

On a grander scale we imagine a snow-topped mountain surrounded by a ring of cloud at a lower altitude, like you really see around volcanos.


Ref: D72_20220601_1625_104 Cloud mountain in snow surrounded by ring of cloud (crop).jpg

And then there are the abstract moment in the sky.


Ref: DF3_20220529_0524_175 Sunrise over pineham farm (orig & final).jpg

09 Jul 2022

A Tawny Owl stops on the tree stump in the woodland.


Ref: D36_20220528_0353_040_FB4 Tawny Owl landing on tree stump (crop).jpg

08 Jul 2022

Here a dozen Spindle Ermine Caterpillars seem to arrived at the 'End of their tether' - quite literally.


Ref: DF3_20220527_1241_062 Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars clumped at end of vertical silk thread.jpg

The Saga of the Spindle Ermine Moth seems to be nearing it's end. Under a leaf we find this 100 or so in a clump.


Ref: D72_20220531_1015_039 Ermine moth caterpillars clustered under leaf.jpg

A metre away we find dozens more clinging to this vertical thread.
This has been an exceptional year for these moths. The adults are said to be about from June to September, so we hope they provide good feeding for the new crop of birds building up their bodies ready for Winter.
And the moths are rather pretty as well!


Ref: D72_20220531_1016_040 Ermine moth caterpillars hanging on vertical silk thread.jpg

The mass showing this year of Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillar has effected every one of our Spindle Trees - we haven't counted, but we planted 25 about thirty years ago and most of them 'took'. Damage varies from perhaps 30% loss of foliage to about 10 of the trees stripped completely bare of leaves.


Ref: DF3_20220607_0844_020 Spindle Ermine Moth Caterpillars wrapped in Spindle leaves.jpg

07 Jul 2022

A couple of Magpie landings.
The bird on the left seems to have some sort of food pellet in the beak.
If one of our neighbours tells us what it is we will insert the info here.


Ref: D01_20220530_1030_008+_0846_003_FB6 2 Magpie landings on Meadow post one with food pellet in beak (montage over 2Hrs).jpg

Its looks like its nest building time again for this Magpie.


Ref: D35_20220601_0815_067 Magpie carrying hedge cutting for nest.jpg

06 Jul 2022

The colour of some mature Damselflies is quite remarkable. If they were not so small they would be lauded as amazing.


Ref: DF3_20220527_1253_077 Azure Damselfly male perched on grass blade.jpg

This rather pretty Micro-Moth has no common name. The out-of-proportion antennae are many times the length of the insects body.


Ref: DF3_20220527_0903_039 Micro-moth Nemophora degeerella perched on leaf.jpg

The species of this Hover-fly is uncertain.
References images with similar markings all have much more dominant black.
Pleased to meet you even if we don't know what you are!


Ref: DF3_20220528_0911_159 Hover-fly (maybe Helophilus pendulus) (crop).jpg

05 Jul 2022

Cinnabar Moths seem to be unusually plentiful this year.


Ref: DF3_20220527_0858_028 Cinnabar moth on short grass.jpg

How you usually (don't) see Cinnabar moths - hiding behind and under leaves.


Ref: DF3_20220527_1236_051 Cinnabar Moth clinging to underside of grass blade.jpg

A 'Blood-vein Moth hiding in foliage.
The 'Blood vein' is just coloured scales - nothing nasty.


Ref: DF3_20220527_1455_103 Blood-vein Moth (timandra comea) (orig).jpg

04 Jul 2022

We didn't hear her ourselves, but here a female Reeves' Muntjac Deer greets the day. She may be calling a fawn - see next image.


Ref: BU7_20220525_0635_037 Muntjac Reeves Deer female barking at end of orchard 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

The morning provides awful lighting for this first Reeves' Muntjac Fawn this year, quietly following Mum towards the rising sun.


Ref: BUA_20220601_0558_122+123_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer fawn with mother (montage for clarity).jpg

03 Jul 2022

Continuing the story of the Ermine Moth caterpillars: a walk down a 20 metre long path found our way blocked by about 20 silk threads hanging from a Spindle Tree about 4 metres above. Clinging to the thread were hundreds of caterpillars we have to believe to be Spindle Ermine Moths. Much harder to photograph than to see, here is an attempt to catch the hanging wall of threads.


Ref: DF3_20220528_0905_131 Spindle Ermine moth caterpillars (Yponomeata cagnagella) cling to metres long 20 silk threads on Spindle Tree 1 of 4 (crop).jpg

Looking up we see the same nets of silk we saw in the hedge, but this time several metres up in the Spindle tree.


Ref: DF3_20220528_0906_142 Spindle Ermine moth caterpillars (Yponomeata cagnagella) cling to metres long 20 silk threads on Spindle Tree 3 of 4 (crop).jpg

2 days later only a few of the threads used by the Spindle Ermine Moth Caterpillars remain. Here a camera flash makes them clearer.


Ref: D72_20220530_0708_050 Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars on hanging silk threads.jpg

This is the clump of Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars in the middle of the above image, but photographed with flash from the other side.


Ref: D72_20220530_0708_051 Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars on hanging silk threads.jpg

02 Jul 2022

Isn't it wonderful how birds can manipulate their feathers?
The tail is spread into almost a complete semi-circle.


Ref: D01_20220525_1128_181_FB6 Wood pigeon settling wings after landing with tail fully spread.jpg

We rarely get pictures of birds leaving the Meadow post (a technical matter) so were surprised to get these two usable moments 3 hours apart.


Ref: D01_20220524_1142_078+79_FB6 Wood Pigeon lands on Meadow Post displacing another (mirrored montage over 400mS).jpg

We rarely get pictures of birds leaving the Meadow post (a technical matter) so were surprised to get these two usable moments 3 hours apart.


Ref: D01_20220524_1448_092+093_FB6 Wood Pigeon launching from Meadow Post (approx montage over 400mS).jpg

01 Jul 2022

At 75 minutes after sunset it is almost completely dark. This Tawny Owl arrives on the meadow post carrying some sort of Black Bird in his right Talons. It's unlikely to be Rook or Jackdaw, and there is not enough white to be a Magpie, too small for a Moorhen, so our best guess is a male Blackbird. The image to the right is 1 minute later. Another minute later both had departed.
The Owl may have landed on the kitchen perch or Tree stump to eat it, but as Murphy's law would have it, this was the night that the RCD tripped on the North side camera cabling in thunderstorm, so we will never know.


Ref: D01_20220519_2215_051+2216_053_FB6 Tawny Owl on Meadow Post with Black Bird prey in right talons 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

 


 

Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive