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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
The interesting Tawny Owl visiting saga continues on the fourth day with 3 visits to the post, one of which was followed by the bird attacking at the meadow site, apparently diving into the collapsed mouse hole. We never got to see the outcome of the pounce. The return to the post was about 10 minutes later.
The last pic of the Tawny Owl on this night shows them facing the other way into the rough-cut 'meadow' where we suspect that most of the Fieldmice (Wood Mice) and voles now live - we see very few in the camera looking at the Meadow site
In the margin between the farm crop and the main road this over 2 metre long
trench appeared overnight. It doesn't seem to have been touched since.
Our guess is this a mole tunnel has been dug out by a badger hoping to
catch the mole. We doubt that it had any success, and didn't bother to try
Mole nurseries are substantial mounds, so this isn't an attack on youngsters.
A few metres from the house a patch of soft mud captures this perfectly formed paw print as evidence of Brock's night-time passage.
All the Ladybirds we have seen so far have been 7-spot Ladybirds - no signs of Harlequins yet, but that won't last.
An overwintered Peacock Butterfly is enjoying some of the early blossom. The wings are a bit tatty from what looks like multiple bird pecks, but that won't stop this butterfly completing their life cycle to make eggs for the next generation. Its a fragile existence isn't it?
4 days running now we have seen a Tawny Owl (we think the same individual each time)
landing on the Meadow post for a hunt. Five times on each of the first two visits, once on the
third day, and three on the last including a visit to the meadow site.
The following two nights saw no visit.
We suspect that this is a female in the middle of laying a clutch of eggs, and badly needed the fuel and protein of a few tasty mice and voles.
Rook eyesight seems to be binocular, so like humans they can't see behind them!
A handful of corn on the top of this concrete road-block attracts a dozen or more
Corvids within a minute even if none are visible as we walk away.
Should we feel 'watched' by something other than the Farm's CCTV?
Similar behaviour at the mound 12 minutes later, though this time about 50-50% Jackdaws and Rooks. The male Pheasant neither intimidates the Corvids, nor vice-versa despite desiring the same food.
Aren't male Mallards in breeding colours exquisite?
It always seems such a shame that by the time visitors to public parks get to see them in the summer, their vibrant colours have returned to 'eclipse'.
This Fox walks along the edge of Round pond as the pair of Mallard Ducks keep their
distance on the water.
The gap between predator and prey is rather bigger than it look from this angle.
Male and female Reeves' Muntjac Deer have been making intermittent visits. This male was walking down one of the grass paths, stopping for a momentary groom before continuing on his way. We kept still as he passed - him either not noticing us or just confident that we are 'mostly Harmless'.
We don't see many Jays - so this one-off rather attractive pic is a pleasure to show you.
A Great Tit sings from one of the hundred or so young Lombardy Poplars along
the farm road. For once we were close enough for some of his song to just make it
through our now 'cloth ears'.
The bird didn't move along the twig - its just a pleasant montage.
Along the concrete edge by the garage door White Violets appear each year.
The first daisy sighted - probably bigger than life size even on a 'phone display.
If you watch TV wildlife documentaries you can't have failed to see 'Squirrel intelligence'
tests made of ropes, boxes and other tricks they have to solve for a peanut or similar.
Here is one of our equivalents is by way of a mass of peanuts frustratingly locked away from the Squirrel but not the birds.
Squirrels mainly use persistence and then memory to solve these problems. In the final pic you can see that the Squirrel probably remember that the knob on the top of the lid is sometimes the gateway to food heaven!
A nicely profiled Grey Squirrel eating a slice of tomato. In this detailed crop we can clearly see the bottom lower tooth.
Normally when we arrive back to find a Squirrel at the bait bag, the Squirrel waits a moment before running off with their prize. But this one had the cheek to dive back into the bag to grab a bit more before scuttling away.
"Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud"
This Magpie has been making the most of the mud at the hedge bottom to probe for invertebrates. Their beak might almost have been 'painted' with mud!
Just this one Moorhen visited the hedge bottom twice during a morning.
One more Moorhen image this week - passing through the Woodland site.
A brown shape in the middle of the farm crop at first seems so low that we thought it must be a Fawn or Hare - but the ears are wrong for either.
The Deer decided it didn't like our approach and took off into a run out of our sight. It turns out that this is a Chinese Water Deer who had found a deep tractor rut to hide in, in the perhaps 15cm high crop.
Much more detail of the 5th image of the Chinese Water Deer.
The west face of a Cherry tree in front of the house is erupting with flowers. Here is a twig hosting the stages from white sphere to open flower.
Can't resist this little clump of Primrose flowers by the garage. Their cheerful faces always brighten our day.
This female Mallard Duck spends about half a minute pecking furiously at this
clump of pond-edge vegetation. We never discovered what she was after. At this
time of year the females are often feeding frantically - making eggs is an
energy and protein sapping business.
A few days later a Grey Squirrel was standing in the morning half-light digging into the same clump while standing in the water.
Her accompanying male Mallard just stands or floats on watch. Here he was apparently feeling a bit stiff and had a stretch that makes us want to stretch in similar manner - rather like Yawning being 'catching' even between species.
The female Mallard Duck has vanished from the main pond, and now these two male Mallard Duck are back to frequenting the whole site as a pair. We don't ever see them fighting even when pursuing the same female. So 'friends', or more likely brothers.
Here are the three species of Tits we normally see, as named in the title.
That feeder needs refilling ...
This old camera bag is a great hit with the Squirrels now they have discovered
that there is food inside. OK, we could do up a clip - but actually its rather fun to
come back and see what been pulled out already.
On the left you see the replacement Peanut feeder for the nearly empty one with the 3 tits in it. This one still have the original red paint job on the lid.
Here about an hour later you see the replacement Peanut feeder being raided by a Grey Squirrel who managed to get the top off. Back to a cable tie to hold this one on - the spring clips intended to provide the security rusted away years ago.
A Fox vs. Badger confrontation.
The Fox is already crouched (bottom left) before the badger becomes more than a pair of reflecting eyes. As the Badger emerges from behind the tree they too stop and we have a face-off. Adult Fox - Badger conflicts normally end up the worse for the Fox. This is the last we see of the encounter - we hope they avoided a needless fight.
A first of consecutive overnight light snowfalls fortunately didn't hang around to the ends of the following days.
Next morning sees another fall of snow which quickly melted.
The venerable weeping Silver Birch in the back garden catches the snow on the top, but the lower twigs retain their attractive brown.
Two Wood Pigeons, one mostly hidden behind the other, sport a near perfect reflection in the still water of the main pond.
A Robin catches their reflection in the flood water resulting from
The positioning of the camera frame means most of the water is below the frame, so we try to give an impression of 'more water' in the paint package. The actual bird reflection is untouched.
Two nights with snow fortunately didn't hang around for long. The second shower was accompanied by a strong East wind, and you can see here the snow has stuck to the east side of these trees, but also left a 'tree snow shadow' on the west side. The morning was overcast - the dark is not a sunshine shadow.
A most welcome return visitor is this Moorhen - or maybe two. Over 20 hours we got about 12 sightings, of which we kept 8, and show most of them here.
We glimpsed the first Polecat for months at the end of February 2 weeks, but now get a couple pics worth showing. On the left they cross the ditch at the south, and 3 minutes later we assume that same individual takes a selfie about 50m away at the meadow site.
This is an amazing pic to get from a cheapish trail camera.
The dog must have been moving fast - the dog is not present on the previous or next frame.
The dog's owner appears to be the brown directly above the black area on the dog's back. The dog was photographed nowhere else on the site, so we assume that the owner called the dog back immediately.
A midnight moment - the fox takes a drink as the pair of Mallard Duck watch from a safe place on the water.
2 nights later we see that the Mallard Duck pair may be regularly spending the night on Round Pond. They are here keeping their distance from a pair of Badgers stopping by for a drink.
Grey Squirrels have a bad reputation as being flea-ridden tree-rats. But its not from lack of effort in their grooming.
This Grey Squirrel has found the way into the bait bag (a decades old dilapidated
camera bag!) and could eat anything it wanted.
What did they pick? A piece of strawberry.
One of the male Pheasants with one of his Harem by the Duck Pond goes in for a set of exaggerated postures intended to impress the female. Trampling down the Snowdrops doesn't seem to be an issue.
Here at the hedge bottom a few days later we see (probably the same) male pheasant courting a different female.
An hour later this male Pheasant has just seen off a Grey Squirrel, and isn't he proud of himself!
This Badger spent several minutes with muzzle deep in the leaf litter.
This Badger visits the Hedge bottom site.
There hasn't been a single week this winter when we haven't seen a badger.
These two beautiful Wood Pigeons remind us of a Pas de deux.
Actually ballet seems very artificial compared to the elegance of these two.
Wood Pigeons may be a scourge, but their beautiful matt feathers seem to set Pigeons apart from most common birds.
This pair of Badgers continue to spend a lot of time romping, or whatever, at the Round Mound and near the east hedge gap
This Badger seems to be climbing the tree near the South hedge, but thinks
better of it and crosses the dry ditch into our patch.
Looking through our 30 years of rainfall records for Februaries we see 5.8cm this year, the lowest since 5.4cm in 1993. The average is about 40cm, peaking at 66.8 in 2001 - a quite different expectation.
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