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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Sep 2022

These two male Migrant Hawker Dragon flies are NOT a montage. We watched one of these land to hang in the hedge, and the camera found two almost perfectly aligned as you see here. The cameraman really did think he was getting some sort of double image, but quickly realised not, to get this pic. Trying to get a better angle induced one to take off. The other either took off unseen or just used it's camouflage to stay hidden.

Ref: DF3_20220821_1736_175 2 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly males hanging from hedge branch (crop).jpg

29 Sep 2022

A couple of visits to the Meadow post by this Tawny Owl about 20 minutes apart.

Ref: D01_20220820_0251_099+0319_105_FB6 Tawny Owl visits to meadow Post 1+4 of 6 (montage).jpg

It is unlikely to be just chance that at almost the same moment we start to see Fieldmice (Wood Mice) (and a few voles) disporting themselves at the Meadow camera site about 10 metres away?
Here a selection with a pair of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) in each natural frame.

Ref: E6A_20220820_0318_098-20220822_0153_243_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at FB5 - 4 pairs (montage).jpg

Here we just had some fun picking from the remainder of the 23 frames. Most of the these are Fieldmice (Wood Mice) except for Voles 1st & 3rd from the left.

Ref: E6A_20220820_0421_103-20220821_2158_238_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) & Voles at FB5 (montage).jpg

28 Sep 2022

This 'Little Brown Bird' (we think a Reed Warbler) is outside the conservatory picking off the spherical 'drupelets' from blackberry fruits. The bird is as well disguised in these 4 sequential images as it was trying to find it in the camera viewfinder!
Drupelet is what seems to be the official spelling although Druplet is freely used.

Ref: D72_20220817_1159_041+045+048+050 Reed (q) Warbler picking one drupelet from a Blackberry fruit 1+2+5+6 of 6 (montage).jpg

27 Sep 2022

Near the end of the night this lovely Tawny Owl lands on the perch at the kitchen window.
Whether the natural interference of the Blackberry stem enhances or degrades the pic of the Owl is open to question, but it made it clear it was time to exercise the secateurs!

Ref: E60_20220815_0445_023_FB3 Tawny Owl landing on kitchen perch after visit to Meadow post 15m before (crop).jpg

The day before this Tawny Owl lands at the Kitchen bird table & perch 90 minutes after midnight

Ref: E60_20220814_0131_011_FB3 Tawny Owl aerobraking to land on kitchen perch.jpg

26 Sep 2022

There seems to be a single Buzzard hunting the area to our North and West using the 11kV cables and crossbar system as hunting perches. Normally when the Buzzard decides to move we get a flight of at least 100 metres (typical spacing of the poles) but this one did a short 'hop' of a couple of metres from a cable to the top of a cable insulator mount. It seems that Buzzards CAN perch on the cable, but prefer a larger surface area.

Ref: D72_20220813_0724_059-071 Buzzard flying from 11kV cable to crossbar 1+3+6+8+13 of 15 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

This nervous female Kestrel doesn't like us walking down the Farm Road 50m away, and flies 100m from the nearer pole to the next one along.

Ref: D72_20220815_0650_168-170+172+174 Kestrel female landing on 11kV crossbar (accurate montage @8fps)jpg.jpg

25 Sep 2022

A juvenile Green Woodpecker - one of three foraging on a grass area bordering the Farm Road.

Ref: D72_20220814_0711_106 Green Woodpecker juvenile on Farm Road grass margin inside bend.jpg

One of the juvenile Green Woodpeckers. We think they are magnificent - and you can believe they evolved from dinosaurs.

Ref: E6A_20220816_1521_106_FB5 Green Woodpecker juvenile at Meadow site.jpg

Typical 'teenager' in a sulk - no I won't look at the camera!

Ref: E6A_20220815_0710_200_FB5 Green Woodpecker juvenile.jpg

24 Sep 2022

We haven't seen much of anything on the Meadow post in this second batch of heat-wave days, so particularly pleased to see a Tawny Owl spending two and a half hours hunting on our site.
Here the Tawny Owl has arrived with a Shrew in the beak. In the next frame (not shown) the shrew has gone, presumably 'down the hatch'.

Ref: d01_20220809_0132_019_fb6 tawny owl hunts from meadow post over 150m including catching shrew 03 of 16 (crop).jpg

An hour later presumably the same Tawny Owl landed face to camera on the Kitchen window perch.

Ref: e60_20220809_0229_006_fb3 tawny owl hunts from meadow post over 150m including catching shrew 09 of 16 (crop).jpg

23 Sep 2022

More usually found here around ponds and low over the meadow, Southern Hawker Dragonflies mostly hawk at lower heights and slightly more predicable paths. But usually seen singly

Ref: D72_20220808_1224_228 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in flight (crop).jpg

Ref: D72_20220808_1225_262-267 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in flight 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Detail from the 3rd from the right montage above.

Ref: D72_20220808_1225_264 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male in flight 3 of 6 (crop).jpg

22 Sep 2022

Continuing the celebration of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies.

Ref: D72_20220808_1217_171-174 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male in flight 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Ref: D72_20220808_1216_158-164 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Walk the Line!

Ref: D72_20220808_1215_148-154 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

21 Sep 2022

Most years we get a good show of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies at the south end of the access track, and in the evenings over the meadow. Here is a little sample, starting with Migrant Hawkers near the gate.

Ref: D72_20220808_1213_034-037 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

Here we caught a male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly finishing sucking a midge dry and dropping the empty exoskeleton. That dot below the 3rd from the left Dragonfly is the dropped insect you can see just being released in the second pic. Immediately the prey has gone the legs move back to their aerodynamic position.
Frame rate is 8 fps throughout this selection

Ref: D72_20220808_1214_084-087 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male eating and discarding midge 1-4 of 5 (accurate montage).jpg

The nice sweep of the Migrant Hawker Dragonfly at the bottom is supplemented by another Dragonfly flying in from the top of the frame.

Ref: D72_20220808_1215_118-125 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight 3-10 of 10 (accurate montage 2).jpg

20 Sep 2022

A female Holly Blue butterfly feeding on late blackberry flowers. This is a new emergent - they have two broods a year.

Ref: D72_20220806_1442_065 Holly Blue Butterfly female 2nd brood on blackberry flower.jpg

This single female 'haunted' the side of the garage for 3 days. Here she catches the shadow of an adjacent unopened head of blackberry flowers to make an interesting pattern.

Ref: D72_20220806_1626_089 Holly Blue Butterfly female 2nd brood on blackberry flower with shadow of buds on wing.jpg

The first Green-veined White Butterfly this year.

Ref: D72_20220808_1112_003 Green-veined White butterfly female (1st of 2022).jpg

19 Sep 2022

A single spike of Lords and Ladies berries.
We wondered whether anything eats them, and a web search reveals that the whole plant is poisonous to humans and animals, the berries especially so. There is no antidote, and people have died.

Ref: D72_20220806_0818_021 Lords and Ladies fruit spike.jpg

Outside our south hedge is this grass margin. The only thing we could find that doesn't look dead is this seemingly indestructible but stunted Oxford Ragwort plant. A poppy we had been following just withered and died. Seeing this got us thinking about Cinnabar Moths and their caterpillars which feed on this plant, and of which we have seen none at all, and its now the end of their caterpillar's growth period.

Ref: D72_20220806_1102_030 Ragwort in Grass Margin (orig).jpg

Drought and heat-waves do unusual things to normally passive items. Here the hedge running south from the blocked gate shows a pattern of growth variation reflecting the different plants in the hedge, and some hint of the planting pattern used at least 100 years ago.

Ref: D72_20220807_0922_154 Hedge to south of block gate showing individual plants within.jpg

18 Sep 2022

An adult Great tit aerobrakes to land on the stone.

Ref: E63_20220804_1755_099_FB1 Great tit flying in to hedge bottom stone.jpg

Chaffinches are aggressive birds, the males especially so.

Ref: E63_20220805_0924_142_FB1 2 Chaffinch males in flight skirmish.jpg

A female Blackbird seems to be almost gleeful as she pecks at the ground at the meadow site. The thin fibrous material you see on the ground is Badger fur.

Ref: E6A_20220809_0919_081_FB5 Blackbird female picking up food on desiccated grass at meadow sie.jpg

17 Sep 2022

In the last few days we have heard the Green Woodpecker 'Yaffling' around the plot, got a few glimpses, always of a juvenile. This one at the meadow site is casting a beady eye on the offerings.

Ref: E6A_20220806_1724_183_FB5 Green Woodpecker juvenile (crop 2).jpg

2 days later possibly the same juvenile Green Woodpecker at the Meadow site.
a few days later a circular walk outside our patch saw 3 juvenile Green Woodpeckers simultaneously on the grass margins to the farm road. A good year for them!

Ref: E6A_20220808_1317_021_FB5 Green Woodpecker juvenile at meadow site.jpg

If you live in a town you are more likely to see Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A few sightings at the peanut feeder are supplemented by this pic of a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker stopping off at the Meadow post.

Ref: D01_20220804_0913_007_FB6 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile on Meadow Post.jpg

16 Sep 2022

In the warm sunshine a few Migrant Hawker Dragonflies were hawking up and down the concrete track. Roy can't resist photographing them in flight even if it does mostly produce hundred of blurred or blank frames.

Ref: D72_20220803_1629_139-141 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight - right to left @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

A female left to right.

Ref: D72_20220803_1629_153-155 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight - left to right @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

A female again right to left - the first is a bit disguised against foliage.

Ref: D72_20220803_1748_304-306 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female in flight - right to left @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

Out venerable garage provides a clear backdrop for this male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly flying right to left and in two frame (fifth of a second) has turned completely round to fly the other way. What manoeuvrability!
Of course the cameraman didn't react quickly enough to the reversal and camera panning left lost the insect out of frame :-(
Want to try for a still image yourself: Even top-end autofocus is hopeless unless the background is bland sky, and auto exposure usually goes badly wrong. So you need a camera with lockable manual focus and ability to set shutter speed, aperture and ISO rating in manual mode. Even low-end SLRs can do this although the frame rate will be low.. Typical sunny day settings Shutter 1/1250 Aperture F9 ISO 640 Lens 50 - 100mm focussed about 5 metres away. Shutter button: high-speed continuous.
As you spot a dragonfly flying towards your focus distance, start taking frames until it has passed your focus distance. If you can't follow the action in the viewfinder just learn to point the camera 'blind' with lower enough zoom that it keeps the insect 'in-frame'. Expect a huge failure rate and check that your 'aim' keeps insects mostly in-frame. If you have any successes please send them along!

Ref: D72_20220803_1749_356-362 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly male in flight turns back in 200mS (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

15 Sep 2022

A 'pair' (one female and the other male - but they don't pair up for more than mating) of Migrant Hawkers were warming themselves in a well chosen sunny spot at the corner of a hedge. Here the male is in the foreground with the blurred female behind and left. The insects are only about 10cm apart, but close-up focus is very sensitive to distance.

Ref: D72_20220801_1514_021 2 Migrant Hawkers perched in Hedge tree at blocked gate 5 of 9 (crop).jpg

Here are the same pair more as human brains re-construct the images it gets from the eyes flitting between the two and re-focussing without you noticing. So this is a montage of camera frames focussed on each insect in turn. Hope that you will enjoy this 'impression'.

Ref: D72_20220801_1514_030+033 2 Migrant Hawkers in Hedge at blocked gate (female over male) 9 of 9 (accurate montage for focus).jpg

14 Sep 2022

A few minutes before midnight this elegant male Roe Deer visited the East of our patch. Firstly a drink - now a couple of metres from the edge :-(

Ref: BU5_20220731_2349_227+229+231_SC1 Roe Deer male walks along edge of Round pond (montage).jpg

Then a passage over the Mound, completely ignoring the dead Badger (a second road-kill within a couple of weeks) as you would expect from herbivore.

Ref: BUC_20220731_2354_184+186_SC7 Roe Deer male walks past dead Badger 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage).jpg

And finally walking up to the camera near the east hedge gap.

Ref: BUA_20220731_2356_211+212_SC8 Roe Deer male walks towards camera (montage).jpg

13 Sep 2022

Round Pond seem to be the major source of water for the larger mammals. This pond is in real trouble - it has a slow leak for years but the water table in now so low that we lose an inch every day. We have decided to stop daily top-ups of several cubic metres, and in any case topping it up may soon be illegal due to a hose pipe ban, and have installed a makeshift drinking trough for animals that expect to find water.

Ref: BU5_20220731_1250_158-1256_182_SC1 Muntjac Deer male walks along inside of pond joined by female 1-3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

12 Sep 2022

The local female Sparrowhawk stops off briefly at the kitchen perch in the bright morning sunshine. The swinging Peanut feeder suggests that she either attacked a bird in it, or birds successfully fled in terror.

Ref: E60_20220729_1001_012_FB3 Sparrowhawk female on kitchen perch.jpg

The last few days has seen many passes a day of the female Sparrowhawk past the conservatory window on her pass of the kitchen and study peanut feeders. We rarely see her perched on either feeder, but the patient IR bean triggered camera at the kitchen window does occasionally see her land or fly by. This montage shows both in perhaps misleading pair of unrelated events - the bird in flight occurred 22 minutes before the landing bird, but it does make a striking montage.

Ref: E60_20220802_1914_009+1852_008_FB3 Sparrowhawk female on kitchen perch after flying away (accurate montage over 20 mins).jpg

11 Sep 2022

Probably the same fox appears almost every night at this grass patch near the Duck Pond. This hunting session lasted almost half an hour.

Ref: BU8_20220728_2058_028-2125_041 Fox hunting near Duck Pond over 27 minutes (montage).jpg

Probably the same fox appears almost every night at this grass patch near the Duck Pond. This hunting only lasted a couple of minutes, but here there was enough light for this selection to be in colour.

Ref: BU8_20220730_1946_127-1947_132 Fox hunting near Duck Pond (approx montage clockwise from bottom right).jpg

10 Sep 2022

Whoosh - this Magpie flashes their plumage as they skim over the Woodland site.

Ref: E64_20220728_1432_012_FB2 Magpie flying over Woodland site showing iridescent tail.jpg

These two Magpies seem to include an adult (left - judging by the long tail) but we have no idea what was going on. Every Magpie we see this year has had a moderate to heaving infestation of feather mites over the head.

Ref: D01_20220801_0822_060+0823_0620825_066_FB6 2 Magpies spending a few minutes on Meadow Post (montage).jpg

09 Sep 2022

We no longer see much of Great Spotted Woodpeckers on feeders near the house - at this time of year there is masses of 'natural' food available. But this juvenile sweeps in with aplomb to check out the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20220726_1934_211_FB1 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile landing at hedge bottom.jpg

Approaching midnight a bat flies over the kitchen window bird table flying towards the window and takes a selfie. The bat is closer to the camera than the woodwork (the Bat casts a shadow from the flash high inside the window) making them look larger than reality.

Ref: E60_20220727_2314_029_FB3 Bat flying over kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

08 Sep 2022

Many metres from the safety of the surrounding crop field, this juvenile Hare is nibbling on the grass and some weeds at the front (i.e. visible from the house) of the main pond. Left is a view eating a leaf in 'suck-it-in' style taken through the kitchen window. On the right through the window of a room above the kitchen with a more capable camera.

Ref: PK1_20220725_0633_122+DF3_20220725_0634_005 Hare juvenile eating weeds at front of main pond (montage).jpg

Hares now find it easy to hide from sight in the ripening (more like already ripe after the heat-wave) wheat, but after dark seem to like coming into our patch - for a change of diet?

Ref: BUA_20220720_2123_109_SC8 Hare near east hedge gap after sunset.jpg

07 Sep 2022

The Southern Hawker Dragonfly appears most years, and here is the first one we have spotted hanging on a blackberry stem up in a sunny hedge.

Ref: DF3_20220723_1252_191 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male (1st of 2022).jpg

A female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly perched in a hedge. The yellow 'T' shape behind the wings helps in identification when perched, and the atypically long pair of 'anal appendages' help here and when in flight.

Ref: D72_20220725_1638_002 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female perched in hedge.jpg

This Ermine Moth is perched a wooden posts. All of the Ermine Moths are beautiful creatures.
We expected this to be a Spindle Ermine Moth that invaded the Spindle trees and hedge several weeks ago, but the ID book assures us that it is most likely a Willow Ermine Moth, or maybe an Apple Ermine moth.

Ref: D72_20220715_1604_100 Willow ( (q) poss Apple) Ermine Moth perched on timber post (crop).jpg

06 Sep 2022

Rounding the side of the house on our way out for a walk reveals this female Kestrel on top of the 'phone pole across the track. She didn't immediately fly off, so we assume that this is the tolerant 'Grey Feather' who mostly ignores us. We waited patiently, and after a few minutes she flew off anyway. Here is the launch.

Ref: DF3_20220722_1612_016-020 Kestrel female taking off from telephone pole near house 1-5 of 7 (montage @ 7fps).jpg

Here is the middle image in more detail.

Ref: DF3_20220722_1612_018 Kestrel female taking off from telephone pole near house 3 of 7 (crop).jpg

A few minutes later we discovered where she had gone - round our SW corner and onto the top of the wooden mains power pole in the south hedge. She was enjoying a major preen of her beautiful feathers.

Ref: DF3_20220722_1620_034+036+1621_050+051 Kestrel female preening on wooden power pole on south boundary 2-5 of 6 (montage).jpg

05 Sep 2022

After the two-day heat-wave the weather quickly cooled overnight. To our surprise this female Kestrel arrived on the meadow post shortly after sunrise with some sort of Rodent in her beak - we guess a vole or Shrew. One minute later the Rodent was almost entirely inside the bird.

Ref: D01_20220721_0522_254+0523_256_FB6 Kestrel female or juvenile lands on meadow post with rodent in beak to swallow 1+3 of 4 (montage).jpg

At the meadow post each camera trigger generates 2 images - the first with the flash firing, and the second in natural light. At night the second frame is black, but here in very poor light it is possible to extract a poorly balanced image in which the rodent can be seen more clearly than in the high contrast flash images.

Ref: D01_20220721_0522_255+0523_257_FB6 Kestrel female or juvenile lands on meadow post with rodent in beak to swallow 2+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

04 Sep 2022

A juvenile Great Tit makes the most of the comparative cool of the morning, and the shade of the hedge, to root out some small seeds to eat.

Ref: E63_20220720_1039_154_FB1 Great Tit juvenile with small seed in beak.jpg

03 Sep 2022

This was at 8 a.m. on the first day of the heat-wave - the morning was already pleasantly warm - a portent of the events to come. Many of the normally mid-day visitors were already out making the most of this atypical weather. Here a Peacock Butterfly has the proboscis in a flower hidden by the one closest to the camera.

Ref: D73_20220718_0803_007 Peacock Butterfly feeding from Great Willow Herb flower.jpg

A more 'classical' view of the Peacock Butterfly.

Ref: D73_20220718_0804_017 Peacock Butterfly resting in hedge.jpg

A honey Bee working their way around a Teasel Flower head. They will often go round several times at different heights.

Ref: D73_20220718_0805_025 Honey Bee collecting pollen from Teasel flowers.jpg

This pristine Gatekeeper Butterfly is 'tucking into' a Blackberry flower. The temperature then quickly rose as the hot south wind supplemented the hot sun. By mid-day the skies and flowers were deserted in favour of finding a shady spot and staying there!

Ref: D73_20220718_0807_040 Gatekeeper Butterfly feeding on Blackberry flower.jpg

02 Sep 2022

Mid-morning the day before the heat-wave this Red Kite gave us a couple of minutes of delight as they glided and powered their way around us.

Ref: D72_20220717_1004_305-308 Red Kite in flight 1-4 of 4 (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

Ref: D72_20220717_1004_328-332 Red Kite in flight 03-07 of 14 (approx montage @8fps).jpg

The circles birds make are far too big to show in any detail so we have turned this flight into a design.

Ref: D72_20220717_1005_362-391 Red Kite gliding around thermal 1+3+5+7 of 9 (close spaced montage).jpg

The Red Kite finished with a flight low overhead - giving us a prey's eye view.

Ref: D72_20220717_1005_430+437+439 Red Kite gliding overhead 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

01 Sep 2022

The first Migrant Hawker Dragonfly we have spotted this year, this one a female just becoming mature, here 'caught' in flight.

Ref: D72_20220716_1131_119 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female becoming mature (first of 2022).jpg

A female Common Blue Damselfly in the so called 'Drab' or 'Common' form.

Ref: D72_20220717_0950_293 Common Blue Damselfly female Drab form (orig).jpg

This female Common Blue damselfly 'Blue' form is the most common here. She is perched on a Dead Clover flower usefully providing scale. She has yet to develop the full blue colour.

Ref: D72_20220721_1548_011 Common Blue damselfly female (blue form) on dead clover flower.jpg



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