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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: D01_20230324_2152_039_FB6+E6A_2156_172_FB5+D01_2205_049_FB6 Tawny Owl hunts mouse hole from Meadow Post (montage).jpg

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

Ref: D01_20230324_2222_067_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 visits to meadow post in 35 minutes 8 of 8 (crop).jpg

29 Apr 2023

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 again.
Mole nurseries are substantial mounds, so this isn't an attack on youngsters.

Ref: D72_20230323_0653_016 Dug-out mole tunnel over 2m long by Badger (q) on crop margin south of Farm entrance (orig & final).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230327_1051_080 Badger footprint in soft mud near house (orig & final).jpg

28 Apr 2023

All the Ladybirds we have seen so far have been 7-spot Ladybirds - no signs of Harlequins yet, but that won't last.

Ref: DF3_20230322_1013_005 7-spot Ladybird on Blackberry Leaf (1st of 2023).jpg

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?

Ref: DF3_20230322_1053_046 Peacock Butterfly (tatty overwintered) feeding on hedge blossom.jpg

27 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: D01_20230322_0132_066_FB6 Tawny Owl makes 5 visits to Meadow Post midnight to Dawn 01 of 14 (crop).jpg

Ref: D01_20230322_0133_068-20230324_0406_021_FB6 Tawny Owl hunting from Meadow Post over 3 days (montage).jpg

Ref: D01_20230322_2103_175+20230322_0133_069_FB6_FB6 Tawny Owl makes 10 visits to Meadow Post over 2 night (montage).jpg

26 Apr 2023

Rook eyesight seems to be binocular, so like humans they can't see behind them!

Ref: E6A_20230315_1315_205_FB5 Rook at Meadow site looking backwards.jpg

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?

Ref: D72_20230310_1248_002 14 Rooks + 1 Jackdaw attracted to corn on concrete block.jpg

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.

Ref: BU2_20230310_1256_034_SC7 14 mixed Jackdaws & Rooks + 1 Pheasant Male on Round Mound.jpg

25 Apr 2023

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'.

Ref: E6A_20230319_0721_222_FB5 Mallard Duck male visits meadow site around sunrise.jpg

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.

Ref: BU5_20230318_0558_055_SC1 Fox walks along bank of Round Pond past Mallard Duck pair.jpg

24 Apr 2023

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'.

Ref: DF3_20230318_1208_123+121 Muntjac Reeves Deer male on grass path 2+1 of 2 (montage).jpg

23 Apr 2023

We don't see many Jays - so this one-off rather attractive pic is a pleasure to show you.

Ref: E64_20230318_0816_120_FB2 Jay (crop).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230318_0921_078+081+091 Great Tit singing from young Lombardy Poplar tree (montage left to right).jpg

22 Apr 2023

Along the concrete edge by the garage door White Violets appear each year.

Ref: DF3_20230317_1243_047 White violet along front of garage door.jpg

The first daisy sighted - probably bigger than life size even on a 'phone display.

Ref: DF3_20230319_1308_165 Daisy a few metres north of farm entrance.jpg

21 Apr 2023

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!

Ref: D5C_20230316_1258_024-1300_031 Grey Squirrel attempting to break into Peanut feeder outside study (montage).jpg

20 Apr 2023

A nicely profiled Grey Squirrel eating a slice of tomato. In this detailed crop we can clearly see the bottom lower tooth.

Ref: E6C_20230311_1507_053_FB4 Grey Squirrel eating tomato with lower tooth visible (crop 2).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1405_016+017+020+1406_025 Grey Squirrel raiding bait bag 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

19 Apr 2023

"Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud"

Ref: E63_20230314_0956_130_FB1 Pheasant female on muddy hedge bottom site (orig & final).jpg

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!

Ref: E63_20230315_1524_236_FB1 Magpie with beak coated in mud.jpg

18 Apr 2023

Just this one Moorhen visited the hedge bottom twice during a morning.

Ref: E63_20230310_0835_047+1211_054_FB1 Moorhen visits to hedge bottom (accurate montage over 4 hours).jpg

One more Moorhen image this week - passing through the Woodland site.

Ref: E64_20230315_0616_083_FB2 Moorhen at Woodland site.jpg

17 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1633_050 Chinese Water Deer secreted in tractor rut of winter Wheat.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1635_071-076 Chinese Water Deer fleeing over Winter Wheat crop 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Much more detail of the 5th image of the Chinese Water Deer.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1635_075 Chinese Water Deer fleeing over Winter Wheat crop 5 of 6 (crop).jpg

16 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1354_002 Cherry blossom in bud + opening + open bloom.jpg

Can't resist this little clump of Primrose flowers by the garage. Their cheerful faces always brighten our day.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1404_008 Primrose clump in full flower.jpg

15 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: PK1_20230313_0700_258 Mallard Duck female repeatedly pecking at weed clump at back of main pond.jpg

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.

Ref: PK1_20230313_0701_313-326 Mallard Duck male stretching on main pond 1+2+4+5 of 6 (montage).jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230314_1512_034 2 Mallard Duck males who seem to be friends.jpg

14 Apr 2023

Here are the three species of Tits we normally see, as named in the title.
That feeder needs refilling ...

Ref: PK1_20230311_1231_248 Blue Tit _Long-tailed Tit + Great Tit.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230311_1313_048 Grey Squirrel eating fruit raided from bait bag.jpg

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.

Ref: E60_20230311_1419_037+1428_038+1435_040_FB3 Grey Squirrel breaks into top of Peanut Feeder 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

13 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: BUA_20230310_2131_042_SC8 Fox and Badger face-off at east hedge gap 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

12 Apr 2023

A first of consecutive overnight light snowfalls fortunately didn't hang around to the ends of the following days.

Ref: E6A_20230309_0956_024_FB5 Pheasant female with ice spangled back at the moderately snow covered meadow site.jpg

Next morning sees another fall of snow which quickly melted.

Ref: D01_20230310_0751_194_FB6 Wood Pigeon on Meadow Post in snow (full frame).jpg

The venerable weeping Silver Birch in the back garden catches the snow on the top, but the lower twigs retain their attractive brown.

Ref: DF3_20230310_0900_001 Snow and Ice covered top of weeping Silver Birch.jpg

11 Apr 2023

Two Wood Pigeons, one mostly hidden behind the other, sport a near perfect reflection in the still water of the main pond.

Ref: PK1_20230308_1356_167 2 Wood Pigeons (one hidden behind other) feeding on edge of Main Pond island with reflection.jpg

A Robin catches their reflection in the flood water resulting from thawing snow.
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.

Ref: E63_20230310_1347_075_FB1 Robin at hedge bottom reflected in flood water.jpg

10 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: D72_20230309_0714_015 Trees with snow shadow & streak of snow down opposite side (crop).jpg

09 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: E63_20230308_1036_189_FB1 Moorhen(s) visits over 20 hours 1 of 8 (crop).jpg

Ref: E63_20230308_1424_214+1036_189+1208_198_FB1 Moorhen(s) visits over 20 hours 4+1+3 of 8 (accurate montage).jpg

Ref: E64_20230308_1750_220+1749_219+20230309_0641_221_FB2 Moorhen(s) visits over 20 hours 7+6+8 of 8 (montage).jpg

08 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: bu7_20230307_0151_001+e6a_0154_074_fb5 polecat enters at south hedge & 3 mins later reaches meadow site 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

07 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: BU7_20230305_1006_127 Dog leaping over ditch - no other sightings (crop).jpg

06 Apr 2023

A midnight moment - the fox takes a drink as the pair of Mallard Duck watch from a safe place on the water.

Ref: BU5_20230305_0014_042_SC1 Fox drinks from Round Pond as Mallard pair keep away.jpg

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.

Ref: BU5_20230307_2010_033_SC1 Badger pair on bank of Round Pond with Mallard Duck pair on water.jpg

05 Apr 2023

Grey Squirrels have a bad reputation as being flea-ridden tree-rats. But its not from lack of effort in their grooming.

Ref: E60_20230302_1443_008_FB3 Grey Squirrel grooming tail.jpg

Ref: E64_20230306_1453_028_FB2 Grey Squirrel Grooming.jpg

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.

Ref: DF3_20230304_1350_192 Grey Squirrel inside bait bag eating strawberry end.jpg

04 Apr 2023

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.

Ref: BU8_20230302_0744_004-06 Pheasant male displaying to female (montage).jpg

Here at the hedge bottom a few days later we see (probably the same) male pheasant courting a different female.

Ref: E63_20230306_1613_058_FB1 Pheasant pair at hedge bottom (orig & final).jpg

An hour later this male Pheasant has just seen off a Grey Squirrel, and isn't he proud of himself!

Ref: E64_20230306_1723_042_FB2 Pheasant male after chasing away Grey Squirrel (orig).jpg

03 Apr 2023

This Badger spent several minutes with muzzle deep in the leaf litter.

Ref: BUA_20230224_0502_057_SC8 Badger with snout deep under leaves.jpg

This Badger visits the Hedge bottom site.
There hasn't been a single week this winter when we haven't seen a badger.

Ref: E63_20230308_0008_167_FB1 Badger (crop).jpg

02 Apr 2023

These two beautiful Wood Pigeons remind us of a Pas de deux.
Actually ballet seems very artificial compared to the elegance of these two.

Ref: E63_20230224_1457_128_FB1 2 Wood Pigeons in elegant positions at hedge bottom (crop).jpg

Wood Pigeons may be a scourge, but their beautiful matt feathers seem to set Pigeons apart from most common birds.

Ref: DF3_20230302_1019_013 Wood Pigeon sunning themselves on branch.jpg

01 Apr 2023

This pair of Badgers continue to spend a lot of time romping, or whatever, at the Round Mound and near the east hedge gap

Ref: BU2_20230302_0310_168_SC7 2 Badgers romping at bottom of Round Mound.jpg

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.

Ref: BU7_20230302_0432_058+060 Badger clambering up tree before crossing dried out ditch (accurate montage).jpg



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