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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Jun 2022

A male Brimstone butterfly 'tanking up' from a Red Campion flower.

Ref: DF3_20220519_1621_080 Brimstone Butterfly male feeding on Red Campion flower.jpg

A Peacock Butterfly feeding on a Buttercup almost entirely hidden by the insect. On the adjacent Buttercup we see two female Thick-legged Flower Beetles. The females don't have the characteristic legs bulges that give the species their name.

Ref: D72_20220518_1237_072+073 Peacock Butterfly on Buttercup + 2 Thick-legged Flower Beetle (oedemera nobilis) females on Buttercup (accurate montage for focus).jpg

This Tortoiseshell Butterfly must have overwintered, and while faded and a bit pecked was still flying well, here re-fuelling on a Buttercup.

Ref: DF3_20220522_1045_101 Tortoiseshell Butterfly (very worn) feeding on Buttercup.jpg

29 Jun 2022

We still don't know where the nest is, but this little fellow is still hard at work finding stuff to build it up.

Ref: E64_20220513_0928_134+20220514_0844+245+20220513_0721_126_FB2 Moorhen carrying nest lining materials west over Woodland site 3+5+2 of 6 (montage).jpg

Our diligent Moorhen making his way back 'empty beaked' as usual.

Ref: E64_20220515_0647_302_FB2 Moorhen steps over woodland log.jpg

Presumably the same Moorhen is still relentlessly carrying nesting and (left & latest image) food across the woodland site towards the main pond. Either the nest is in the pond very well disguised, or is up a tree hidden by leaves. Either way we hope the Rooks don't find it!

Ref: E64_20220521_1130_190-20220519_0827_009_FB2 Moorhen crosses Woodland site to west with nesting & food over 3 days (montage).jpg

Timing of between 4 and 8 minutes between carrying stuff across and coming back unladen suggests that this is the same bird. Moorhen are hard working little creatures we greatly admire.
This is web site after all!

Ref: E64_20220520_1853_148+1406_095+20220521_0649_168_FB2 Moorhen returning from west never with anything in beak (montage).jpg

28 Jun 2022

A 'four-spotted chaser' Dragonfly - this is the first we have seen for since 2012 (10 years ago) and are delighted to see one again. We couldn't find any larval cases around the pond where they used to breed, but we are not good at spotting these things.
In May 1999 we photographed the emergence sequence of this insect (using a slightly different common species name) you can see at

Ref: DF3_20220519_1458_068 Four-spotted Chaser female - first of 2022 (crop).jpg

27 Jun 2022

This Hairy Dragonfly was initially disturbed while cutting overhanging brambles and he flew away. Returning a couple of hours later with no real expectation of finding the insect again, he had returned to its favoured sun-warmed patch for this photo. Hairy Dragonflies are one of the earliest to appear each year. Dragonflies rest with their wings outstretched as you see here.

Ref: D72_20220518_1240_078 Hairy Dragonfly male - 1st of 2022 (crop).jpg

Damselflies perch with their 4 wings aligned along their backs. Here a female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly with aligned wings casting a deep shadow.

Ref: DF3_20220519_1236_013 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female perched on leaf with intense shadow.jpg

Here we catch a male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly momentarily fluttering his four wings as they sometimes do when perched.

Ref: D72_20220518_1245_098 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly fluttering wings.jpg

26 Jun 2022

We came across this Azure Damselfly perched on a leaf sucking dry a midge (or something) it had caught. Perhaps half a minute later he dropped the 'empty' husk you can see below him.

Ref: DF3_20220517_1538_079+085 Azure Damselfly male sucking fluid from prey item & then dropping it (montage).jpg

25 Jun 2022

This one of the thousands of buttercups around is right by the back-door. This moth is about 9mm across - one of a family of micro lepidoptera that are fascinating but size makes them hard to study.

Ref: DF3_20220517_0846_031 Small Yellow Underwing Moth (Panemeria tenebrata) (typically 9mm) feeding on Buttercup (crop).jpg

This Green Carpet moth landed inside a bush. The green colour of the insect soon becomes bleached - this is the greenest one we have ever seen, though this might be enhanced by light being tinged by the surrounding foliage.

Ref: DF3_20220517_1540_086 Green Carpet Moth.jpg

The first appearance this year of a 'Scorpion Fly' - this is a female that doesn't have the scorpion-like tail tip that gives the species it's name.

Ref: DF3_20220517_0846_033 Scorpion Fly female - 1st of 2022.jpg

24 Jun 2022

We haven't seen a Stock Dove for many months. This one has made several appearances since this moment of discovery.

Ref: E60_20220516_1956_021_FB3 Stock Dove landing on Kitchen perch - 1st of 2022.jpg

Next evening the Stock Dove visits again for this rather Quirky portrait.

Ref: E60_20220517_1852_055_FB3 Stock Dove landing on Kitchen perch.jpg

Another hour on a third landing for the Stock Dove, this time with a Wood Pigeon already perched. Similar size but different eye colour, no white flash and different coloured beak.

Ref: E60_20220517_1947_056_FB3 Stock Dove about to land next to Wood Pigeon.jpg

23 Jun 2022

The first Burnet Rose this year - 2 weeks earlier than last year.
This species has an abundance of perfume you can smell from yards away.

Ref: DF3_20220514_1417_029 Burnet Rose hosting Bumble Bee (1st of 2022 - 2 weeks earlier than 2021).jpg

A Dog Rose delicately spangled with raindrops.
This classic 'first rose of spring' has only a hint of perfume.

Ref: D72_20220516_1548_009 Dog Rose after rain.jpg

22 Jun 2022

This hare about 50m away didn't seem bothered by us, and carried on as usual.

Ref: DF3_20220515_0846_039 Hare on field margin south of hedge near Pineham Farm 01 of 10 (crop).jpg

The Hare moved onto the mown patch in the field margin and ambled about before disappearing into the rank grass.

Ref: DF3_20220515_0847_046-054 Hare on field margin south of hedge near Pineham Farm 02-10 of 10 (aligned montage).jpg

Wondering whether the Hare might appear on the other side of the hedge we took a look, but instead found a couple of Red-legged Partridges. Not pleased to see us they quickly took flight low over the crop. The horrible yellow is the farmer's weed-killing the edge of the crop.

Ref: DF3_20220515_0848_061 2 Red-legged Partridges on field margin North of hedge.jpg

21 Jun 2022

A 'pin-up' shot of the most mature (well best Antlers anyway) male Reeve's Muntjac Deer.
Note his tiny Tusk (Marie calls them 'Vampire Bambis'!) and torn but healed ears.

Ref: E6A_20220513_1901_172_FB5 Muntjac Reeves Deer male (full Antlers) head detail.jpg

The long Antlered male Reeves' Muntjac Deer quietly browsing across the end of the orchard.

Ref: BU9_20220515_1105_244+246+1106_248_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male browsing across end of orchard (montage).jpg

2 days later we get a closer view of an approach towards the camera.

Ref: BU9_20220517_0712_067+070_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male browsing at end of orchard (accurate montage).jpg

A female Reeves' Muntjac Deer browses quietly along the edge of Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20220516_1850_063+066+067_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female browses along edge of Round Pond (montage).jpg

20 Jun 2022

One patch of the south side of the south hedge becomes a 'nursery' for hundred of what we think are Ermine Moth caterpillars. The caterpillars 'hide' behind sheet of silk in groups a a few dozen.

Ref: D72_20220512_1351_014 Silk meshes in south facing hedge (poss Ermine Moth caterpillars) with 2x insert 1 of 3.jpg

The stretch of hedge showing the density of the clusters

Ref: D72_20220512_1353_029 Silk meshes in south facing hedge (poss Ermine Moth caterpillars) 3 of 3.jpg

5 Days later there is not a caterpillar to be seen.
The previously occupied areas are completely stripped of leaves.

Ref: DF3_20220517_1046_038 Patches of hedge stripped of leaves by Ermine Moth Caterpillars (orig & final).jpg

19 Jun 2022

Not yet quite dark, and Reynard is already on the prowl.

Ref: BU8_20220511_2037_196+198+199+2038_202 Fox visits Duck Pond 1+3+4+7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

A Fox most definitely 'on the hunt'.

Ref: BU5_20220513_2016_280_SC1 Fox creeping up on prey - ears pricked.jpg

This Fox is hunting at the end of the Orchard at 2 a.m.
Is the front leg raised ready to pounce?

Ref: BU9_20220517_0155_053_SC2 Fox hunting in grass at end of Orchard.jpg

18 Jun 2022

We have been assuming that if Moorhen are nesting then they are on the more remote Duck Pond, Round Pond, or a tree in that area. Here 4 times over 24 hours we see this Moorhen obviously carrying transporting nesting material towards the main pond near the house.

Ref: E64_20220511_0952_145-20220512_0636_252_FB2 Moorhen carrying nest materials to west over Woodland site 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

17 Jun 2022

No, not a still from Disney's Bambi, but capturing a moment of peace at Round pond.
Bottom upward we see the now 'finished' Daffodils, one of female Reeves' Muntjac Deer, Cow Parsley, Dock, Forget-me-not and Garlic Mustard. Oh, and some grass to fill the gaps.

Ref: BU5_20220510_0934_134_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female + Daffodils + Cow Parsley +Dock + Forget-me-not + Garlic Mustard.jpg

16 Jun 2022

It seems that the male Pheasant (Silverback) will defend his patch from this otherwise aggressive Grey Squirrel.

Ref: E63_20220508_1758_295_FB1 Grey Squirrel and pheasant male confrontation at hedge bottom (orig & final).jpg

A sort of 'Aerial Ballet' but with claws and teeth!

Ref: E6A_20220506_1637_154_FB5 2 Grey Squirrels squabbling watched by distant Wood Pigeon.jpg

"What Me - chase off innocent little birds, other squirrels or annoy the Pheasants?"

Ref: E63_20220509_1641_051_FB1 Grey Squirrel reaching sideways.jpg

15 Jun 2022

Out on a dull morning shortly after an 'invisible' sunrise we unexpectedly find a Heron on the grass margin outside the South hedge. This patch is an especially good place to feed on worms, and about 10 Rooks were also spread over the area probing the ground.

Ref: DF3_20220508_0544_299 Heron outside east hedge takes off towards camera (@7fps erratic) 03 of 55 (crop).jpg

The Heron sees us and decided to leave, but unexpectedly flies towards us before veering to the right to fly over the south-east corner of the hedges.
These are close to accurately positioned. The camera was struggling to maintain focus in the poor light, the gaps between frames was somewhat erratic.

Ref: DF3_20220508_0544_335-337 Heron outside east hedge takes off towards camera (@7fps erratic) 33-35 of 55 (approx montage).jpg

As the bird turned the corner against the bland sky, the bird gets caught in the swirling wind and started to make all sort of interesting twists. We have no way of building an accurate flight montage, so here an interpretation of about 1 second of flight. These are in proper left to right order but unknown relative positions.

Ref: DF3_20220508_0544_340+343-345 Heron outside east hedge takes off towards camera (@7fps erratic) 38+41-43 of 55 (impression montage).jpg

Finally the Heron starts flying North down the East hedge and we have some trees to provide a frame of reference for accurate positioning.

Ref: DF3_20220508_0544_349-351 Heron outside east hedge takes off towards camera (@7fps erratic) 47-49 of 55 (accurate montage).jpg

14 Jun 2022

A Red Cardinal Beetle - the first seen in 2022.

Ref: DF3_20220507_1628_280 Cardinal Beetle.jpg

Two Snails on old Teasel stems. You can see the form of the shell patterns are the same, but the intensity and consistency are very variable.

Ref: DF3_20220508_1045_422+1046_425 2 Snails on dead Teasel stalks (montage).jpg

13 Jun 2022

An Orange-tip Butterfly feeding of the (blue!) flowers of Green Alkanet. The insects Proboscis extends right to left from the insects head, down the edge of the petal and then into the flower.
Enjoy the intricate green on white pattern on the lower surface of the wings.

Ref: DF3_20220506_1331_200 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Green Alkanet Flower (crop).jpg

Two views of a female Holly Blue Butterfly. Females have much darker markings on the wings tips than the males.

Ref: DF3_20220507_1628_281+286 Holly Blue Butterfly female (montage).jpg

A remarkably pristine Speckled Wood Butterfly, probably fresh out of the Chrysalis. This species has 3 broods per year and we see them throughout the summer.

Ref: DF3_20220508_1615_440 Speckled Wood Butterfly.jpg

12 Jun 2022

At least one Brown Hare is visiting out little patch. Here 20m away near the garage ...

Ref: DF3_20220505_1801_135 Hare in long grass near garage.jpg

... and 15 minutes later right outside the Patio doors of the 'study'.

Ref: DF3_20220505_1815_143 Hare outside study patio doors.jpg

A different individual Hare we think, judging by the different markings on the ears. This one bounding to the spot before stopping completely still.

Ref: BU9_20220506_1916_043+045_SC2 Hare (juvenile (q)) at end of orchard (accurate montage).jpg

11 Jun 2022

First Odonata (Dragonflies et al) this year is the now annual uncanny visitation by Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies started on the especially warm Saturday 14 May 2022. Only a handful seen - all but one in the 'usual' place near the South East corner in the parallel south facing hedges. Mixed sexes of obviously immature individuals.

Ref: DF3_20220514_1419_038 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies female (left) + male immatures - first of 2022 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

10 Jun 2022

This Horse Chestnut tree across a field has delighted us for the last 30 years with this generous show of candles.

Ref: D72_20220505_0706_026 Horse Chestnut tree near Pikes Farm in full bloom (crop).jpg

Our own Horse Chestnut trees from an assortment of sources are only just starting to flower. This is the first candle we spotted from the outside of our south hedge some 5 metres up the tree.

Ref: D72_20220505_0706_027 Horse chestnut candle (ist of 2022).jpg

09 Jun 2022

This Roe Deer makes another short passage through our patch, here stopping for a drink from the Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20220503_0018_141_SC1 Roe Deer male with bare antlers at edge of Round Pond.jpg

The final view of the male Roe Deer finds him reaching up for some fresh foliage near the east hedge gap.

Ref: BUA_20220503_0036_087_SC8 Roe Deer male reaching up east inner hedge to eat leaves 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

This smaller male Reeves' Muntjac Deer at the same camera can't reach as high!

Ref: BUA_20220504_2007_162_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer male staring upwards in east hedge gap.jpg

08 Jun 2022

This has been a great year for seeing Orange-tip butterflies, possible because the area is now 'infested' with Garlic Mustard 'weeds'. Garlic Mustard is the caterpillars food plant (so where the females lay their eggs) but they also feed on the flowers as well as those of Dandelions and most other flowers.
This pic catches the insects proboscis curving round into a flower, and also shows the very different top and bottom of the wing. The green tracery on the bottom of the wing is absolutely beautiful, and provides good camouflage when resting in foliage with the wings closed upwards.

Ref: DF3_20220430_1627_056 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Garlic Mustard flower - both sides of wing showing (crop).jpg

The male Orange-tip Butterfly woos a female Small White butterfly. They spend about a minute fluttering around each other before they spot their mistake and part 'amicably'.

Ref: DF3_20220430_1333_021 Orange-tip Butterfly male courts Small White female (q).jpg

07 Jun 2022

For years we have been putting dead mice on this tree-stump, only to see Squirrels completely ignoring them, and Magpies (previously Jackdaws) taking them away.
Not having recently caught anything other than live mice (released elsewhere) we suddenly get this single image of a Squirrel apparently swallowing some sort of rodent we are sure we didn't leave there.
A WWW search indicates that Squirrels prefer nuts and seeds but will eat a rodent if they can catch one. But our experience suggests that it will not eat them as carrion.

Ref: D36_20220429_1857_053_FB4 Grey Squirrel with Rodent in mouth (crop 2 with 2x insert).jpg

06 Jun 2022

Hi There!

Ref: E60_20220429_1803_030_FB3 Wood Pigeon lands behind another on Kitchen bird table.jpg

The perch on the kitchen window feeder is clamped in place. Obviously the clamp has become a bit loose and the arrival of this heavy bird is the 'final straw' to dislodge it. Birds must forever try to land on branches that bend or break, so the Pigeon probably didn't give it another thought.

Ref: E60_20220502_1414_009_FB3 Wood Pigeon dislodges perch clamped to bird table.jpg

"I'm sure there was more room here before".

Ref: E60_20220502_1749_015_FB3 Wood Pigeon pair squeezed onto small bird table after perch collapses.jpg

05 Jun 2022

Couldn't resist this largely accurate montage of this Moorhen crossing over the log at the woodland site over a day and following night. At the right end is a moment of a genuine pair feeding together - the other four are solitary visits.

Ref: E64_20220429_0717_139-20220430_0541_229_FB2 Moorhen at Woodland site over 22Hrs - genuine pair at right (montage).jpg

A Moorhen again crossing the Log at the Woodland site, this time moving away from the camera but looking back. The land / weed-clogged water compromise feet are well displayed.

Ref: E64_20220501_0704_282_FB2 Moorhen crossing woodland site looking back at camera.jpg

04 Jun 2022

The female Chaffinch on the ground doesn't look the least 'ready-to-flee'.

Ref: E63_20220428_1850_116_FB1 Dunnock attacking Chaffinch female (orig).jpg

"You should see the other guy!"

Ref: D36_20220429_1838_052_FB4 Robin with feathers lost in fight.jpg

03 Jun 2022

Over 30 minutes the camera catches probably the same Grey Squirrel chasing away probably the same Moorhen.

Ref: E64_20220428_1838_099+1910_108_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacking Moorhen twice in 30m (montage).jpg

At the hedge bottom we have a more even contest - squirrel teeth and claws vs. Pheasant spurs. Looks like the Pheasant eventually 'won' the skirmish.

Ref: E63_20220429_1822_202+1826_203+1828_204_FB1 Grey Squirrel and Pheasant male skirmishes over 6 mins 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Rear feet already off the ground as this Grey Squirrel starts his leap at some poor unfortunate interloper out of the cameras view.

Ref: E63_20220418_1737_057_FB1 Grey Squirrel leaping from top of stone.jpg

02 Jun 2022

This male Roe Deer spent several hours wandering around the plot, taking a variety of IR monochrome Selfies as he went. This is the only one at a hi-resolution site. We count 3 Antler points (per Antler), one of which has just started to emerge from the 'velvet'.

Ref: E63_20220427_0040_144_FB1 Roe Deer male - 3 points in velvet just starting to emerge (crop).jpg

01 Jun 2022

Sad event of the week is the death of one of the female Mallard Ducks. Left to right:-

1  12:48  Our last sighting of what may be her, walking over the Woodland site.
2  20:35  A Fox showing excessive interest in the Duck-shaped pond, appearing several
times at irregular intervals.
3  20:51  Probably the same fox walking over Round Mound.
4  21:36  The Fox walks past the camera at the end of the orchard carrying a dead female Mallard Duck.

Five days later we spotted a female Mallard Duck, dutifully followed by 'her' male, entering the main pond by the house. We really have no idea what is going on!

Ref: E64_20220425_1248_031_FB2-BU9_2136_061_SC2 Fox kills & carries away Mallard Duck female 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

Next day this very obviously 'Red' Fox walks up to the Duck Pond, and spends at least a minute sitting, we are sure not really admiring the Daffodils!

Ref: BU8_20220426_1944_181+183+1945_184 Fox walks to edge of Duck Pond and sits down 1+3+4 of 4 (accurate montage).jpg



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