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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A male Brimstone butterfly 'tanking up' from a Red Campion flower.
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.
This Tortoiseshell Butterfly must have overwintered, and while faded and a bit pecked was still flying well, here re-fuelling on a Buttercup.
We still don't know where the nest is, but this little fellow is still hard at work finding stuff to build it up.
Our diligent Moorhen making his way back 'empty beaked' as usual.
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!
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 moorhen.me.uk web site after all!
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 http://www.moorhen.me.uk/dflyem.htm
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.
Damselflies perch with their 4 wings aligned along their backs. Here a female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly with aligned wings casting a deep shadow.
Here we catch a male Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly momentarily fluttering his four wings as they sometimes do when perched.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We haven't seen a Stock Dove for many months. This one has made several appearances since this moment of discovery.
Next evening the Stock Dove visits again for this rather Quirky portrait.
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.
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.
A Dog Rose delicately spangled with raindrops.
This classic 'first rose of spring' has only a hint of perfume.
This hare about 50m away didn't seem bothered by us, and carried on as usual.
The Hare moved onto the mown patch in the field margin and ambled about before disappearing into the rank grass.
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.
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.
The long Antlered male Reeves' Muntjac Deer quietly browsing across the end of the orchard.
2 days later we get a closer view of an approach towards the camera.
A female Reeves' Muntjac Deer browses quietly along the edge of Round Pond.
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.
The stretch of hedge showing the density of the clusters
5 Days later there is not a caterpillar to be seen.
The previously occupied areas are completely stripped of leaves.
Not yet quite dark, and Reynard is already on the prowl.
A Fox most definitely 'on the hunt'.
This Fox is hunting at the end of the Orchard at 2 a.m.
Is the front leg raised ready to pounce?
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.
No, not a still from Disney's Bambi, but capturing a moment of peace at Round
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.
It seems that the male Pheasant (Silverback) will defend his patch from this otherwise aggressive Grey Squirrel.
A sort of 'Aerial Ballet' but with claws and teeth!
"What Me - chase off innocent little birds, other squirrels or annoy the Pheasants?"
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.
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
These are close to accurately positioned. The camera was struggling to maintain focus in the poor light, the gaps between frames was somewhat erratic.
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.
Finally the Heron starts flying North down the East hedge and we have some trees to provide a frame of reference for accurate positioning.
A Red Cardinal Beetle - the first seen in 2022.
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.
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.
Two views of a female Holly Blue Butterfly. Females have much darker markings on the wings tips than the males.
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.
At least one Brown Hare is visiting out little patch. Here 20m away near the garage ...
... and 15 minutes later right outside the Patio doors of the 'study'.
A different individual Hare we think, judging by the different markings on the ears. This one bounding to the spot before stopping completely still.
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.
This Horse Chestnut tree across a field has delighted us for the last 30 years with this generous show of candles.
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.
This Roe Deer makes another short passage through our patch, here stopping for a drink from the Round Pond.
The final view of the male Roe Deer finds him reaching up for some fresh foliage near the east hedge gap.
This smaller male Reeves' Muntjac Deer at the same camera can't reach as high!
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
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.
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'.
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.
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.
"I'm sure there was more room here before".
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.
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.
The female Chaffinch on the ground doesn't look the least 'ready-to-flee'.
"You should see the other guy!"
Over 30 minutes the camera catches probably the same Grey Squirrel chasing away probably the same Moorhen.
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.
Rear feet already off the ground as this Grey Squirrel starts his leap at some poor unfortunate interloper out of the cameras view.
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'.
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.
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!
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