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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 May 2022

A male Yellowhammer in all his breeding season glory.
Noticing a mark on his beak, we suddenly realised that breeding male Yellowhammers have a similar blue coating on the beak to that we see on Chaffinches. Here it is more visible because part of it has been chipped off. In all that glory of yellow it is easy not to notice a small patch of blue.

Ref: E63_20220426_1010_073_FB1 Yellowhammer male with blue beak coating partly chipped away.jpg

What is presumably a 'pair' of Moorhen scratch around at the woodland site at first light. We don't know what these secretive birds are doing here, and we are playing the 'waiting game'. The wonderful red and yellow bills maintain their colour throughout the year.

Ref: E64_20220428_0540_179_FB2 2 Moorhen at woodland site.jpg

30 May 2022

We first saw a Holly Blue butterfly 6 days before this pic.
You can see both sides of the wing with similar colour but different markings.

Ref: D72_20220424_1222_073 Holly Blue Butterfly male (first seen 18apr2022 - visual ID only) 3 of 3.jpg

We noticed that this male kept fluttering by this white feather caught in the foliage, but it didn't fool him long enough to land.

Ref: D72_20220424_1220_064 Holly Blue Butterfly male sometimes attracted to white feather caught in bush (orig).jpg

29 May 2022

This Bee-fly was feeding on Green Alkanet flowers along the edge of the concrete access track. You can see here how useful the long proboscis is on these flowers. This is two pics of the same individual as they worked along the 10m strip of flowers.

Ref: D72_20220424_1211_048+1212_058 Bee-fly feeding on Green Alkanet flower 1+5 of 7 (montage).jpg

This male Orange-tip butterfly is feeding on a Garlic Mustard flower. This plant is where the females lay their eggs so that it acts as the food plant for the caterpillars, but the Butterflies feed on any flower they can manage.

Ref: D72_20220424_1347_115 Orange-tip Butterfly male feeding on Garlic Mustard flower.jpg

A male Small White Butterfly with proboscis deep in a Dandelion.

Ref: D72_20220424_1223_075 Small White Butterfly male feeding on Dandelion flower.jpg

A male Large White butterfly perched on a Hazel leaf. At the front of the head you can just see the coiled up Proboscis.

Ref: D72_20220424_1338_079 Large White Butterfly male perched on Hazel leaf.jpg

28 May 2022

A Tawny Owl makes a lovely touchdown on the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20220423_0101_137_FB6 Tawny Owl 2 minute visit to Meadow Post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

A Tawny Owl about to land on the Kitchen Window perch.
The Owl has flown along the sense beam line so the camera has triggered 'early'. If it landed blocking the beam line then (on this camera setup) it wouldn't be photographed again, so we don't know how long the owl stayed.

Ref: E60_20220422_0341_044_FB3 Tawny Owl flying in to land on Kitchen perch (crop).jpg

27 May 2022

NO! - I'm staying here

Ref: E60_20220422_1604_062_FB3 Chaffinch male defending position on Kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

Normally corvids (here Rook and Magpie) get along quietly, but here a little skirmish near the Duck-shaped pond got caught by the trail cam at the pond. First thought might be that the Rook on his back is losing the contest, but by turning over the Rook provides the best use of both beak and claws. The fracas could only have lasted a few seconds.

Ref: BU8_20220421_1638_079+080 2 Magpies attacking Rook near Duck Pond 1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

26 May 2022

Sightings of running Hares are a rarity here.
Walking south up the slope of the Farm Road caught this Hare (and us) unawares somewhere near the east or north hedge of our patch, and the Hare sprinted across the Road in front of us and vanished into the crop. Here we capture the moment at about 8 fps accurately positioned - you see about half a second of the sprint here

Ref: D72_20220424_1045_003-007 Hare sprinting across Farm Road 1-5 of 5 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

A repeat of the obvious frame from above at better resolution.

Ref: D72_20220424_1045_004 Hare sprinting across Farm Road 2 of 5 (crop).jpg

25 May 2022

An unexpected sighting of a female Reeves' Muntjac Deer standing in a tractor rut in the field to our east.

Ref: DF3_20220418_1319_046 Muntjac Reeves Deer female standing in tractor rut in crop (crop).jpg

She wasn't pleased to see the humans, and made a lively exit.
Trying to catch the sequence was made harder by the discovery that the camera was still in 'exposure framing' mode - taking 3 pics in quick sequence at different exposures and then stopping. Hence this montage's variable quality as the paint package magics away the different exposures but not other variations.

Ref: DF3_20220418_1320_053+054+055 Muntjac Reeves Deer female leaping through crop (Hor stretched montage @7fps exposure framed).jpg

The camera restored to 'normal' (this camera takes a few seconds to select and load a new group of settings) she has made it to near the edge of field, 'pronking' her way to prove she is fit and not worth chasing. As if we could!

Ref: DF3_20220418_1320_056-064 Muntjac Reeves Deer female running and pronking through crop (acc montage alternate frames @7fps).jpg

24 May 2022

We have at least 3 male Reeves' Muntjac Deer visiting. This one was at the main pond chomping away at the vegetation.
If only we could get him to thin the overgrowing Iris plants!

Ref: DF4_20220416_1203_003 Muntjac Reeves Deer male outside kitchen window (crop 2).jpg

Don't remember ever seeing a Grey Squirrel collecting green grass, here mixed with a little of the dry stuff. Off to the Dray we don't doubt.

Ref: D36_20220426_0722_021_FB4 Grey Squirrel gathering green and dead grass for bedding.jpg

23 May 2022

Male Mallard ducks really are magnificent before they moult into 'eclipse' for the summer. You don't usually see the Speculum (the blue Rhombus) in the resting bird.

Ref: PK1_20220416_1011_283 Mallard Duck male standing on edge of main pond with speculum exposed.jpg

Our new male Pheasant (Silverback) still rules the roost.

Ref: E63_20220424_0946_379_FB1 Pheasant male silverback.jpg

22 May 2022

The Rind from half of an Avocado pear is worth stealing away to eat in peace.

Ref: E64_20220415_1608_108_FB2 Grey Squirrel runs off with half Avocado Pear Rind.jpg

This Grey Squirrel is spread out to catch the warmth of the sun, and probably the UV rays needed to manufacture vitamin D.

Ref: PK1_20220420_1045_332 Grey Squirrel sunbathing on bird table.jpg

This Grey squirrel is the first to the just placed 'bait' on the tree-stump.

Ref: D36_20220420_1752_048_FB4 Grey Squirrel first to freshly baited tree stump.jpg

21 May 2022

This male Roe Deer (of 3 individual males seem in the last couple of weeks) spent 20 minutes wandering around the site. The Deer entered at the south hedge (but NOT at the camera that monitors the normal hedge gap), walked diagonally to near the East hedge gap, went back to visit the mound, then the woodland feeding site (the coloured pic), Round Pond and finally walks past the Duck-shaped pond. Where he went then we have no idea.

Ref: BU9_20220419_0305_043_SC2-BU8_20220419_0328_107 Roe Deer male 4 points in velvet at 6 cams in 20 mins 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

More detail of portrait that the male Roe Deer took of himself in the 3 a.m. darkness.

Ref: E64_20220419_0326_052_FB2 Roe Deer male with 4 points in velvet visits 6 cameras in 20 minutes 4 of 6 (crop).jpg

20 May 2022

Goldfinches seem to be breeding somewhere on our patch. Here a male declares his territory from the top of a conifer.

Ref: DF3_20220418_1111_029+032 Goldfinch singing in top of conifer (montage).jpg

A male Chaffinch declares his territory from the side of a hedge.

Ref: DF3_20220420_1524_127+129 Chaffinch male singing in Rowan tree (montage).jpg

19 May 2022

Crab apple blossom is a delicate delight

Ref: DF3_20220418_1110_020 Crab Apple Blossom (crop).jpg

Ref: DF3_20220418_1111_035 Crab Apple Blossom (crop).jpg

We inherited just this one 'Red' apple tree with the house. The blossom is red. the wood is red, the fruit is red. After a very poor show and no fruit at all last year, we hope for better this year.
Red apple crumble looks odd but tastes good!

Ref: DF3_20220420_1522_120 Red Crab Apple blossom.jpg

18 May 2022

A ball of desiccated leaves to line the new nest.

Ref: DF3_20220415_0907_008+009 Rook flying with nesting material 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

17 May 2022

Butterflies tend to look for somewhere already warm to bask. This means they make for the ugliest human surfaces that they can find!

Ref: D72_20220414_1254_038 Comma Butterfly perched on Orange plastic barrier at blocked gate.jpg

Butterflies tend to look for somewhere already warm to bask. This means they make for the ugliest human surfaces that they can find!

Ref: D72_20220414_1300_052 Peacock butterfly perched on Corrugated Iron.jpg

The first Speckled Wood Butterfly we have seen this year.

Ref: DF3_20220417_1512_065 Speckled Wood Butterfly - first of 2022.jpg

Here a Comma Butterfly (comma marks on the dark bottom of the wings hidden here) making an attractive contrast with the fresh green leaves.

Ref: DF3_20220417_1522_067 Comma Butterfly on hedge.jpg

16 May 2022

Near the duck-shaped pond masses on Molehills have degenerated into patches of soft mud. Here is a Badger's rear paw print, complete with deep holes that the impressive claws have sunk into the mud.

Ref: DF3_20220410_1009_438 Badger hind paw print in soft mud.jpg

A Badger walks through the Meadow site a couple of hours before midnight.
Several Badgers visit the site so this probably not the individual that left the paw print

Ref: E6A_20220413_2208_310_FB5 Badger.jpg

15 May 2022

One of the female Reeves' Muntjac Deer ambles quietly along the edge of Round Pond. The pair of Mallard Ducks watched unperturbed barely moving their heads as the Deer turns away.
The Ducks are aware that the worst a small Deer is likely to do is accidentally step on them. As usual the female duck is well camouflaged - she sits on the left of the male blending almost perfectly with the muddy bank.
Birds are NOT bird-brained - think of the mental processes necessary to differentiate this small Deer from a similarly sized Fox.

Ref: BU5_20220413_1723_368-371_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female walks edge of Round Pond past Mallard Duck pair on bank (montage).jpg

14 May 2022

One of currently visiting Foxes seems to like sitting down on the grass at the front of Round Pond

Ref: BU5_20220411_2147_177-180_SC1 Fox walks by Round Pond and sits down (montage).jpg

Is the Fox salivating at the thought of a nice bite of Duck?
Click Leap and collect?

Ref: BU5_20220421_0246_399_SC1 Fox watching Mallard Duck pair.jpg

13 May 2022

This Moorhen has moved to traditional habitat - weed clogged water.

Ref: PK1_20220410_1142_992 Moorhen foraging in water of main pond.jpg

12 May 2022

A new nest being started in the Black Poplars needs more twigs to build it.
Here a new twig, complete with tiny fir cone, is transported up to the heights.

Ref: DF3_20220410_1613_450+462 Rook flying to new nest with unwieldy forked twig 03+15 of 27 (montage).jpg

Next day a trail cam catches this Rook picking up a long piece of Blackthorn twig way out of balance for the bird to fly with.
Elsewhere we watched how a Rook managed unbalanced loads. About 10 times a Rook picked up a long twig away from the balance point, drop it, and immediately pick it up again. About the tenth attempt found a reasonably central point and the Rook flew off with their prize. It would seem that Rooks can't estimate where the centre of balance is, and substitute persistence as a means of getting the job done!

Ref: BU7_20220411_1002_005 Rook picking up Blackthorn twig but too unbalanced to fly yet.jpg

11 May 2022

The first sighting this year of a Moorhen.
It was quite a shock as this one suddenly landed on the low hedge outside the Living Room window.

Ref: DF5_20220410_0915_024+027 Moorhen walking along hedge top outside livingroom window 1+4 of 4 (spread montage).jpg

Ref: DF5_20220410_0915_034 Moorhen on hedge top looking back.jpg

The bird walked carefully along the rather sparse hedge.
Here you see one 'cycle' of the bird right leg.

Ref: DF5_20220410_0915_040-044 Moorhen walking along hedge top outside livingroom window 04-08 of 11 (spread montage @7fps).jpg

Well this (not montaged) pic at the edge of the right frame tells us that after our initial surprise, 3 days later there are at least two Moorhen on the site. They may be nesting on the already overgrown pond island, or in trees where the nest may escape the attention of Corvids or a Fox

Ref: BU5_20220413_1324_310_SC1 2 Moorhen at Round Pond (ID only).jpg

10 May 2022

One of the male Reeves' Muntjac Deer looks back at the photographer along 'Butterfly Alley' - a sun drenched path between a low hedge (left) and a wall of conifers on the right.

Ref: DF3_20220409_0947_222 Muntjac Reeves Deer male looking back down Butterfly Alley.jpg

A couple of minutes later the male Reeves' Muntjac Deer is eating twigs on a hawthorn bush.

Ref: DF3_20220409_0949_239+240+243 Muntjac Reeves Deer male eating hawthorn twigs 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

09 May 2022

At this time of year Yellowhammers provide some moment of vivid yellow around the hedges. This is a male spending a few seconds on the hedge top.

Ref: DF3_20220409_0940_211+212+215 Yellowhammer perched on hedge top (montage).jpg

Yellowhammers in flight seem to create more of a yellow flash than you might expect. Here we see that the brown patterned wings cover the vivid yellow body when not in flight.
On the ground the normally vivid male Chaffinch (with breeding coloured blue beak) is largely eclipsed by the bird above him.

Ref: E63_20220409_1657_279_FB1 Yellowhammer male flying over Chaffinch male.jpg

08 May 2022

Few sightings of Little Egrets recently until this one flew by at high speed in the North East direction, and disappeared from sight.

Ref: DF3_20220408_1745_153 Little Egret in flight.jpg

These 3 pics are at 7 frames per second - this is a big bird to be flying with this much separation between frames.

Ref: DF3_20220408_1745_163-165 Little Egret in flight passing white cloud 3--5 of 5 (montage impression @7fps).jpg

Successive frames, lower then upper.
Natural spacing with no cloud detail would be guesswork, so we had a little 'artistic' moment.

Ref: DF3_20220408_1745_158+157 Little Egret in flight passing white cloud 2+1 of 5 (montage for detail).jpg

07 May 2022

This female Kestrel was on the wooden power pole at out south boundary. She got interested in something in the grass margin outside, and dived down out of sight.

Ref: DF3_20220408_1502_040-043 Kestrel female hunting from wooden power pole 1-4 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Only slightly expecting the bird to return, the camera stayed on the post, and about a minute later the bird returned, now with a worm in her right claws. A moment later the worm went 'down the hatch'

Ref: DF3_20220408_1503_051+053+056+063+069 Kestrel female returns pole with worm in claws to eat 01+03+9+13+19 of 21 (montage).jpg

We don't often catch sight of a male Kestrel.
This one was 100m north of our patch hunting from one of the 11kV crossbars.

Ref: DF3_20220412_1132_017 Kestrel male hunting from 11kV crossbar.jpg

06 May 2022

The crafty Fox remembers the Road-kill Pheasant left at this site, and keeps coming back to see what else there may be!

Ref: E6A_20220405_2120_230_FB5 Pheasant male road killed left in meadow for Fox is quickly replaced 12 of 14 (crop).jpg

A 'compact' portrait of the lovely Silverback Pheasant that quickly replaced the previous dominant male.

Ref: E63_20220407_1042_032_FB1 Pheasant male - Silver Back.jpg

05 May 2022

The King is Dead. Long Live the King
The sad death of our dominant male Pheasant.
12 pics in 2 blocks of 6 document the event as the various mostly automatic camera caught the events. Bottom left of the first block was the first we knew of the event as we walked by our access to the main road.
Each photo is time stamped as xxx_yyyymmdd_hhmm_...

E6A_20220404_1824_113      01 of 14
     The new male Pheasant occasionally on the site for some days.
BU3_20220404_1835_138_SC6  02 of 14
     The dominant male Pheasant on the access track to main road.
BU8_20220405_1300_220      03 of 14
     The last sighting of the dominant male, here full of himself calling at Duck Pond.
DF3_20220405_1612_123      04 of 14
     The dominant male road-killed in the previous 3 hours.
BU3_20220405_1613_157_SC6  05 of 14
     Yours truly dodged the traffic to collect the body.
DF3_20220405_1615_124      06 of 14
     The sad remains left at the meadow site.

Ref: E6A_20220404_1824_113-20220405_1615_124_FB5 Pheasant male road killed left in meadow for Fox is quickly replaced 01-06 of 14 (montage).jpg

E6A_20220405_1704_180_FB5  08 of 14
     Rooks had a look at the remains.
E6A_20220405_1715_182_FB5  09 of 14
     The new male may have no idea that this was once his rival.
E6A_20220405_1816_204_FB5  10 of 14
     Several Magpies took away beakfuls.
E6A_20220405_2039_229_FB5  11 of 14
     We see a Fox - the remains now gone dragged off somewhere.
BUA_20220405_2330_166_SC8  13 of 14
     3 hours later this Fox is carrying part of the remains.
BUA_20220405_2348_169_SC8  14 of 14
     18 minutes later the head end of the dead bird is carried away.

Ref: E6A_20220405_1704_180-2348_169_FB5 Pheasant male road killed left in meadow for Fox is quickly replaced 08-11+13-14 of 14 (montage).jpg

By next day the new 'King' was fully established all over the plot. Calling every few minutes (we hear over the CCTV). Here he flew up onto the kitchen bird table - something the previous bird had never done. Although the automatic camera caught the event (back to camera) we took a few frames while he was picking up some corn, and then jumping down.

Ref: DF3_20220406_1015_132+1016_136+137 Pheasant male lands on kitchen bird table 2+6+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

04 May 2022

A first 'here' is this Ruddy Shellduck - where 'here' is a field to our North West. The bird stayed for at least 20 minutes just turning the head side to side and calling.
The RSPB recorder for this area says he hasn't seen one for years. Seen again at the same place 10 days later (14 April 2022), but as of 04 May 2022 no further sightings.

Ref: DF3_20220403_0931_085 Ruddy Shelduck male calling in small field to NW 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

03 May 2022

A Robin perched in a Hawthorn hedge whose leaves are just starting to emerge.

Ref: DF3_20220403_0921_064 Robin in Hawthorn hedge just starting to leaf.jpg

A Great Tit stops off on the stone.
If the bird wasn't so small the markings would be considered startling.

Ref: E63_20220331_0732_003_FB1 Great Tit.jpg

02 May 2022

This female Reeves' Muntjac Deer takes her portrait.

Ref: BU7_20220401_1129_137 Muntjac Reeves Deer female near south entrance.jpg

This male Reeves' Muntjac Deer wanders quietly over the grass at the front of Duck-shaped Pond.

Ref: BU8_20220401_1523_239+241+246 Muntjac Deer male browsing near Duck Pond (approx montage).jpg

This male Reeves' Muntjac Deer comes into the site and starts with a forage in the ditch.

Ref: BU7_20220402_1616_214+218 Muntjac Reeves Deer male entering site at south and foraging in ditch (montage).jpg

01 May 2022

The female Kestrel visited (or stayed in) out patch for at least 3 hours.

Ref: DF3_20220331_1556_017 Kestrel female 3 afternoon visits over 3 hours 3 of 7 (crop).jpg

The female Kestrel visited (or stayed in) out patch for at least 3 hours.

Ref: D01_20220331_1659_051+1700+053_FB6 Kestrel female 3 afternoon visits over 3 hours 4+6 of 7 (montage).jpg

A few days later we find her again, this time perched on a tree branch at the east boundary.

Ref: DF3_20220404_1232_062 Kestrel female in budding Cherry tree.jpg



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