Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Aug 2023

A female Green Woodpecker stands at the log at the Meadow site and gazes upwards.

Ref: E6A_20230703_2004_181_FB5 Green Woodpecker female looking upwards at Meadow Site.jpg

Green Woodpeckers seem to be very active when on the top of the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20230704_1236_144+1239_146+1245_150_FB6 Green Woodpecker male visits to meadow post (montage over 10 minutes).jpg

A little size comparison exercise. Green Woodpeckers are quite a bit bigger than the more common (in general - just not this year here) Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Left to Right:- Male Green, Female Green, Juvenile Great Spotted (which is a similar size to the adult).

Ref: D01_20230704_1335_160+1441_164+1444_166_FB6 Green Woodpecker male + female + Great Spotted juvenile (montage).jpg

Two rather different aspects of the same male Green Woodpecker.

Ref: D01_20230705_1508_203+1509_206_FB6 Green Woodpecker male on Meadow Post (montage 1 minute apart).jpg

30 Aug 2023

The male Reeves' Muntjac Deer with antlers in velvet spend a few minutes foraging by the now much water-depleted Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20230702_1518_027+1519_028+035_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer male browsing at edge of Round Pond (accurate montage).jpg

20 minutes later the Deer has arrived at the Duck Pond where he walks down the bank for a drink. This pond doesn't leak but evaporation takes it's toll. It is topped up by water pumped from a water-butt with a catchment area about a third of the roof, but we will need a long wet period to really raise the level.

Ref: BU8_20230702_1541_017+021+1544_023 Muntjac Reeves Deer male pauses at Duck Pond for a drink (accurate montage).jpg

29 Aug 2023

The fluffed up male Green Woodpecker is using his tail as a 'third leg'

Ref: D01_20230628_0918_338_FB6 Green Woodpecker male perched on side of Meadow Post.jpg

A male Green Woodpecker on the meadow post. Probably 2 different visits 15 minutes apart (right then left).

Ref: D01_20230702_0937_004+_0924_002_FB6 Green Woodpecker male visits to Meadow Post (montage over 13 minutes).jpg

28 Aug 2023

The Hare then set about an 8 minute long wash-and-brush-up session.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0708_066-0715_114 Hare grooming on edge of Farm Road for 8 minutes 1-6 of 6 (montage).jpg

Another moment from the 8 minute groom

Ref: DF3_20230703_0713_091 Hare grooming on edge of Farm Road for 8 minutes.jpg

Finally deciding to depart, the hare lolloped across the concrete towards the grass outside our east hedge.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0716_125+126+128+130+133 Hare running across Farm Road @7fps (accurate montage).jpg

The Hare decided to go through the hedge into our patch, but surprisingly reappeared at the same place, only to scamper away, mostly hidden by the uncut grass, to vanish around the North East corner into the crop or a 'proper' entrance to our patch.
Young hares can undoubtedly walk straight through uncut pig-net, and this hare may remember when it didn't matter where you walked through!

Ref: DF3_20230703_0717_140 Hare against our east hedge.jpg

27 Aug 2023

An early Monday morning walk came across this Hare standing on the Farm Road aligned with a 10 mph speed limit sign. We stopped still to watch from about 50 metres away.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0708_021 Hare sitting on Farm Road with speed limit sign.jpg

The Hare left the concrete road and started an amble towards the camera ...

Ref: DF3_20230703_0708_032+035+038+040 Hare running towards camera (approx montage @7fps).jpg

... this montage continuing with a repeat of the same image Right and here left.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0708_040+043+050+052+055 Hare running towards camera (impression montage).jpg

The land by the Farm Road has shrunk so that the step up is now about 30cm (a foot) high.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0708_058+063 Hare stepping up onto Farm Road (accurate montage).jpg

26 Aug 2023

A reliable patch of Rose of Sharon appears again this year. We love the generous sized (perhaps 8cm across) and busily stamened flowers.

Ref: DF3_20230629_1544_059 Rose of Sharon flower fully open.jpg

White Convolvulus flower appear each year along one side of the east-west path across the centre of the meadow. This photo also caught a Marmalade Hover-fly making the most of the nectar.

Ref: DF3_20230702_1219_010 Convolvulus white flowers (1st of 2023) with Marmalade Hover-fly.jpg

Patches of Ragwort pop up at random over the meadow. We expect the Cinnabar Caterpillars to soon appear, and then the vivid red and black moths that emerge.

Ref: DF3_20230702_1220_016 Ragwort flowers (1st of 2023).jpg

25 Aug 2023

A few times we have come across this distinctly under-sized Grey squirrel at the base of a young Lombardy Poplar. Here they are systematically stripping unripe Wheat heads of their seeds The Squirrel left as we walked down the concrete track, and the insert shows the remains of their efforts.

Ref: DF3_20230703_0718_181+0719_185 Grey Squirrel (small youngster) eats Wheat seeds under Lombard Poplar 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230703_0718_181 Grey Squirrel (small youngster) eats Wheat seeds at base of Lombard Poplar 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

These two young Grey Squirrels already have one food supply sorted - always check this hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20230628_1639_037_FB1 2 Grey Squirrel juveniles.jpg

An adult Grey Squirrel spread-eagled on a sunny branch in the south hedge couldn't care less about the 2 humans 10 metres away. "This is the life!".
If this is a 'mum' squirrel, we completely understand her point of view.

Ref: DF3_20230629_0939_009 Grey Squirrel sprawled in tree branch in south hedge.jpg

24 Aug 2023

This Red Kite glided lazily overhead.
These 16 images are accurately montaged at about 7 frames per second, so about 2 and a half seconds of flight.

Ref: DF3_20230627_0954_019-034 Red Kite gliding overhead (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

A detail from the centre of the above.

Ref: DF3_20230627_0954_025-027 Red Kite gliding overhead (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

23 Aug 2023

This is our first sighting of an Emperor Dragonfly for 3 years.
Positioning is accurate at about 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20230625_1251_222-224 Emperor Dragonfly female in flight (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

The middle pic in the montage at a more easily identifiable scale.

Ref: DF3_20230625_1251_223 Emperor Dragonfly female in flight 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

A Brown Hawker Dragonfly veering upwards to avoid the cap wearer This camera-lens pairing is a little faster at 8 fps.
The black at the bottom left isn't a privacy thing - following the insect just didn't catch the cap-wearers head!

Ref: D71_20230625_1611_071-075 Brown Hawker Dragonfly in flight @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

Brown Hawker Dragonflies really live up to their name - brown bodies and brown wings really do look 'brown' in flight even at a glimpse.

Ref: D71_20230625_1613_181 Brown Hawker Dragonfly female - 1st of 2023 (ID only).jpg

22 Aug 2023

We have both male and female Green Woodpeckers visiting the Meadow Post. This is the female with a black stripe under her eye.

Ref: D01_20230623_1835_115+1837_120_FB6 Green Woodpecker female landing on Meadow Post & later preening (montage).jpg

This is the male with Red outlined with black under the eye.

Ref: D01_20230624_0911_156+0933_158_FB6 Green Woodpecker male (left) and female (montage 22 minutes apart).jpg

Here the female landed and within half a second was already calling.

Ref: D01_20230624_1324_171+172_FB6 Green Woodpecker female lands on meadow Post and starts calling 1+2 of 2 (montage over 500mS).jpg

The above pair of images were recorded about half a second apart and we couldn't resist making this silly animated GIF to show the effect.

Ref: D01_20230624_1324_171_FB6 Green Woodpecker female lands on meadow Post and immediately calls 1+2 of 2 (animation).gif

21 Aug 2023

This Hare just inside the East hedge gap seems to be biting off the leafy part of this solo weed on the otherwise barren ground.

Ref: BUA_20230624_0726_132_SC8 Hare near East hedge gap biting top of weed 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

This Hare about 100m away from us across the south margin decides to depart and gave a nice little illustration of 'high jump' as they left.

Ref: DF3_20230626_1619_007-010 Hare jumping from south grass border onto Farm Road (slightly stretched montage @7fps).jpg

20 Aug 2023

An adult Fox near the south hedge gap, very much on the hunt.

Ref: BU7_20230623_1701_020 Fox near south hedge gap early evening.jpg

Three days later the same or another adult Fox inspects the leavings at the hedge bottom site.

Ref: E63_20230626_0036_332_FB1 Fox adult at hedge bottom.jpg

19 Aug 2023

"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

Ref: E60_20230622_1743_017_FB3 Wood Pigeon pair watching something.jpg

3 immaculate Wood Pigeons check over the Meadow feeding site.

Ref: E6A_20230627_1621_167_FB5 3 Wood Pigeons at Meadow site.jpg

18 Aug 2023

This year we have two major patches of Oxeye daisies - this one by the Meadow camera (far end in this pic) and another near the north edge of the meadow.

Ref: D72_20230619_1218_013 Oxeye Daisies covering about 20 sq m east of Meadow photo site (orig & final).jpg

The wonderful intricacies of a Thistle Flower-head.

Ref: DF3_20230622_1015_010 Thistle in bud and flower on same stem.jpg

The Blackberry plants are all starting to flower.
Flower petals range from white to the deep pink we see here.

Ref: DF3_20230625_1237_079 Blackberry blossom with pink petals.jpg

17 Aug 2023

This Fir Cone appeared a few days earlier, and finally this Grey Squirrel has decided that it is worth the trouble to rip apart for the seeds within.

Ref: E63_20230621_0913_096+0916_097_FB1 Grey Squirrel picks up Fir Cone and start to eat it (montage).jpg

The hot sun beats down on the bird table in the summer months. This Squirrel spent at least 10 minutes hanging over the bird table soaking in the warmth and falling in and out of a drowse.

Ref: PK1_20230621_0947_954+968+956 Grey Squirrel repeated dozes in warm sunshine on kitchen bird table (montage).jpg

From not having seen any Great Tits for months, we now have at least 5 Great Tit youngsters feeding around the Kitchen Window.
Where's the fifth? Just the tail appears below.

Ref: PK1_20230621_1629_025 5 Great Tit juveniles on Kitchen Peanut feeder.jpg

16 Aug 2023

Both female and male Green Woodpeckers are visiting the site - most usually caught on camera on the Meadow Post. This is the female - no red stripe under the eye.

Ref: D01_20230618_0909_240+0911_242_FB6 Green Woodpecker female on side of Meadow Post 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

Here the male Green Woodpecker with red stripe under the eye.

Ref: D01_20230619_0601_362+0602_363_FB6 Green Woodpecker male on side of Meadow Post (montage).jpg

Giving an indication impression of the actual size of creatures in photographs is something that doesn't seem to have been solved. Here are a Green Woodpecker and a Blackbird at the same scale.

Ref: D01_20230617_0850_157+0939_161_FB6 Green Woodpecker male & Blackbird male size comparison (montage).jpg

15 Aug 2023

An adult Fox stops by the Duck Pond for a drink. The image nearest the centre looks particularly fierce.

Ref: BU8_20230618_0903_151+153+0905_154-155 Fox stops at Duck Pond for a drink (approx montage).jpg

Two trail cameras catch a Fox time-stamped 2 minutes apart (we try to keep them accurate to a minute) we have to assume that between a visit to the Round Pond (left) and passing the Duck Pond the Fox captured an unwary bird, from it's size we guess a Rook or Jackdaw.

Ref: BU5_20230619_2247_041_SC1+BU8_20230619_2249_043 Fox at Round Pond seen with prey item at Duck Pond 2 mins later (montage).jpg

A pristine fox, we think a growing cub from our first earth, stares suspiciously at the low-glow infrared lamp.

Ref: BUA_20230621_2201_157_SC8 Fox staring at trail camera.jpg

14 Aug 2023

This female Roe Deer spent about 40 minutes wandering around the site before exiting at the same point she arrived

Ref: BU7_20230616_2042_030-2122_034 Roe Deer female enters at south + visits ponds + exits at south (montage over 40m).jpg

After midnight on the same night we see the female Roe Deer for 10 minutes.
The final shot looks amazingly similar to the start of the sequence above - while building the montage we initially thought we had made a mistake - but it is a genuine second moment.

Ref: BU5_20230617_0445_145-0455_052_SC1 Road Deer female visits Round + Duck Ponds + Orchard + tree at south (montage over 10m).jpg

20 minutes later the female Roe Deer is on the concrete access track exiting the hedge at the left. There is an animal-worn trail through the hedge here, but the barbed wire and Pig-net fence may be passable for smaller creatures but not for a Roe deer without the space to make a running leap. So she has probably entered the ditch out of sight of the camera, and chosen to cross back to the track at this conveniently sparse point.

Ref: BU3_20230617_0507_063_SC6 Roe Deer female exits hedge onto access track.jpg

13 Aug 2023

A second day photographing flying insects starts with this Meadow Brown Butterfly.

Ref: DA1_20230616_1319_065+20230614_1526_044_FT1 Meadow Brown Butterfly in flight with Red Campion (montage).jpg

Our 'won't fly for us' Poplar Hawk Moths have been supplemented by 2 or 3 Eyed Hawk-moths. Here you see the trick appearance of the 'eyes' used to frighten off an attacker.

Ref: DA1_20230617_1349_180+1435_430_FT1 Eyed Hawk-moth perched on box with eye-spots hidden and then exposed (montage).jpg

The Eyed Hawk-moth was a bit reluctant to fly for us, but we got a few frames which actually had a moth in them.
Here is a montage of two flights, the right image shows the underside of the moth, and the left the top of the moth (with the eyes) because the moth is flying inverted.

Ref: DA1_20230617_1359_236+1433_401_FT1 Eyed Hawk-moth in flight - both sides of eye spots (montage in inverted & normal flight.jpg

The catch also included a few Small Elephant Hawk-moths. Here is a montage of this colourful not-so-little delight.

Ref: DA1_20230617_1413_301+300_FT1 Small Elephant Hawk-moth in 2 flights (montage).jpg

12 Aug 2023

The Burnished Brass Moth has patches of iridescent scales that really do shine brightly when the light and viewer angles are appropriate. Here we got lucky in-flight.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1408_164+1331_044_FT1 Burnished Brass Moth with Blackberry buds (montage).jpg

Here the Burnished Brass Moth is flying upside down - we often see images of insects flying inverted.
To small insects the viscosity of air must be a bit like Humans in water - the sense of up and down becomes blurred.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1410_176+1331_046_FT1 Burnished Brass Moth in inverted flight with Blackberry leaf (montage).jpg

Here is a Burnished Brass Moth sitting quietly in the standard insect 'Pill-box' The camera was angled to catch the 'brass' iridescence at its maximum, but without any 'photo fiddling'.

Ref: D71_20230616_0730_011 Burnished Brass Moth in box.jpg

Upon release the Burnished Brass Moth chose a bit of stem lying of the ground. Here the shiny areas are just a dull green, the same appearance as seen in many ID books.
Why would anybody call it 'Burnished Brass'?

Ref: D71_20230616_0731_013 Burnished Brass Moth on ground detritus.jpg

11 Aug 2023

The Moth trap catch this time was something between 200 and 300 moths - a more typical number than the thousand or so a few days earlier.
This is a Scorched Wing Moth caught in two moments of flight.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1350_110+1352_119+1518+329_FT1 Scorched Wind Moth two flights with Cranesbill (montage).jpg

A Brimstone MOTH - in its own way just as beautiful as it's namesake Butterfly.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1355_127_FT1 Brimstone Moth with Field Mouse-ear Chickweed (montage).jpg

The Peppered Moth (on the large side for 'ordinary' moths) has this wonderful intricate pattern of black spots on white background.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1430_218+1433_239+1517_321_FT1 Peppered Moth in flight with Grass seed head (montage.jpg

After we released one of the Peppered moths he chose a desiccated Blackberry leaf to hide on. The camouflage really works rather well.

Ref: D71_20230615_1451_002 Peppered Moth chooses withered blackberry leaf to hide after release (crop 1).jpg

10 Aug 2023

After the finish of the Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies season we didn't expect to see any Banded Demoiselles, but unexpectedly came across the single individual male. He obliged with several elegant flights across our little photo-stage for us before we put him back where we found him.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1304_008_FT1 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male in Flight (crop).jpg

3 moments of flight constructed into an attractive montage.

Ref: DA1_20230615_1305_010+1306_013+016_FT1 Banded Demoiselle Damselfly male in Flight (montage).jpg

09 Aug 2023

This Spring's dearth of Butterflies since the glut of Orange-tip Butterflies is rather alarming. The only butterfly we see in more than one per hour is the Speckled Wood. Here are a couple of photos taken in our refurbished insects-in-flight camera kit

Ref: DA1_20230614_1521_039+1526_049_FT1 Speckled Wood Butterfly in flight with Red Campion Flower (montage).jpg

Ref: DA1_20230614_1526_043+1526_043_FT1 Speckled Wood Butterfly with Red Campion flowers (montage).jpg

08 Aug 2023

A young Grey Squirrel already practising leaping at some corvid just out of frame.

Ref: E63_20230613_1747_188_FB1 Grey Squirrel youngster chasing off (probably) Rook.jpg

And its not just one - here we have Double Trouble.

Ref: E63_20230613_1907_208_FB1 2 Grey Squirrel youngsters at hedge bottom.jpg

After months of absence a male Pheasant returns.
It doesn't take long for a Grey Squirrel to attack.

Ref: E64_20230613_1757_061+1822_069_FB2 Pheasant male (1st recent sighting) + attack by Grey Squirrel 25m later (montage).jpg

07 Aug 2023

This young Rook makes it very clear to the rather depressed looking parent that it wants F O O D !

Ref: E6A_20230613_1639_053_FB5 Rook juvenile begging from parent (crop 3).jpg

06 Aug 2023

We don't know where they nested, but a family (well so far one youngster and 'Dad) of Great Spotted Woodpeckers has appeared. This juvenile spent several minutes at the kitchen perch and bird-table making so many moves that we used separate cameras to try to catch the action.
This first is the automatic camera at the kitchen window being manually fired ...

Ref: E60_20230612_0940_010+014+015+0943_034_FB3 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile on Kitchen perch (stretched montage).jpg

... and this the Kitchen 'grab camera.

Ref: PK1_20230612_0941_750+758+0942_786+807 Great Spotted Woodpecker juvenile on Kitchen bird table (montage).jpg

Here, within 20 minutes, is most probably Dad on the Meadow post some 30 metres away.

Ref: D01_20230612_1008_021_FB6 Great Spotted Woodpecker male lands on Meadow Post.jpg

05 Aug 2023

Chickweed is just a 'weed'.
But that doesn't mean it can't have beautiful flowers.

Ref: DF3_20230608_1036_010 Field Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium arvense) flowers (crop 1).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230608_1036_010 Field Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium arvense) flower (crop 2).jpg

The Fox-and-Cubs are now starting their flowering in earnest. Gorgeous little blobs of sunshine.

Ref: DF3_20230608_1036_014 Fox-and-Cubs (Pilosella autantiaca) head of flowers.jpg

This pair of Dog Roses on the same branch show very different conditions - one freshly open and the other sun-bleached. We think that the lack of fertilising insects means the flowers stay open for longer, giving the UV from the sun time to do it's damage.

Ref: DF3_20230610_0932_106 Dog Roses - left fresh & right sun bleached.jpg

04 Aug 2023

An hour after dark - what's for 'breakfast'.
The naming of meals for nocturnal animals / night-working humans seems to quite a muddle!

Ref: E64_20230607_2258_183_FB2 Fox Cub hunting at woodland site (crop).jpg

A new Trail Cam at the back of the main pond catches this Fox on the hunt as darkness descends

Ref: SP1_20230612_2053_608_SP1 Fox adult hunting behind main pond - still except head for at least 9 seconds.jpg

One of the Fox Cubs alone at the Woodland site.

Ref: E64_20230614_0336_114_FB2 Fox Cub at woodland site.jpg

03 Aug 2023

Poplar hawk moths are big and take a while to warm up for flight, providing a chance to get this portrait 'in the hand' 'on the thumb'.

Ref: P10_20230611_0724_486 Poplar Hawk Moth perched on human hand face to camera (crop).jpg

These two pink apparitions are respectively a Small Elephant Hawk-moth (big by average moth standards) and the 'normal (bigger)' Elephant Hawk-moth. Although they share the same strange mix of drab green and purple pink their markings are distinct.
We wanted to know whether these two species were separately evolved (convergent evolution) or one evolved from the other. A hopeful paper at contains lots of detail, but without technical background in genomics the various charts don't divulge much. There is no 'summary' to help.
If any expert finds this and can help, we would be delighted to update this entry.

Ref: P10_20230611_0727_495+498 Small Elephant Hawk Moth + Elephant Hawk Moth (montage).jpg

02 Aug 2023

Trying to get a pic of the Caterpillar damage caught this pic of one of the more open areas of leaf canopy that just catches our fancy.

Ref: D72_20230602_1300_025 Woodland Canopy from edge of Meadow (orig & final).jpg

Morning light streams about 50 metres into the woodland.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0826_356 Morning sunlight streaming into woodland (orig & final).jpg

What's going to happen on this new day?

Ref: BUA_20230613_0834_030_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer male at east hedge shaded from morning sunlight.jpg

01 Aug 2023

First glimpsed probing soil in a recently mowed grass path, the male Green Woodpecker spent several minutes on the top of the Meadow Post. Spotting him on the CCTV caused a stampede to the room with the camera covering this post to fire off lots more pics (well over 100) of this event. Here are an assortment of pics taken in the 12 minutes of the birds vigorous activity.

Ref: D01_20230607_1015_150-1025_191_FB6 Green Woodpecker male spends 12 minutes on Meadow Post 01-04+06-07 of 15 (montage).jpg

Ref: D01_20230607_1025_192_FB6 Green Woodpecker male spends 12 minutes on Meadow Post 08 of 15 (crop).jpg

Ref: D01_20230607_1025_198-1027_247_FB6 Green Woodpecker male spends 12 minutes on Meadow Post 09-11+13-15 of 15 (montage).jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive