Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

28 Feb 2023

... Continued.
A Sparrowhawk stopped for a bathe in the main pond, visible from the house window.

Ref: DF4_20230129_0933_050 Sparrowhawk bathing in main pond 24 of 82 (crop).jpg

Finally the bird clambered on to the bank, had a shake, and flew off into the Woodland obscurity.

Ref: DF4_20230129_0935_178-0936_206 Sparrowhawk bathing in main pond 66+76+78-80 of 82 (impression montage).jpg

Finally a portrait of him on the bank.
This turned out not to be an isolated instance. A major effort to clear the pond of being choked by Irises roots has opened up a line-of-sight to this end of the pond. A few days after these photos we had a 'repeat performance', so these sessions might be a regular feature of these images.

Ref: DF4_20230129_0936_204 Sparrowhawk bathing in main pond 78 of 82 (crop).jpg

27 Feb 2023

A Sparrowhawk stopped for a bathe in the main pond, visible from the kitchen window despite some obstructions.

Ref: PK1_20230129_0935_252 Sparrowhawk bathing in main pond 75 of 82 (crop).jpg

From an upstairs window we get a better view of the Sparrowhawk's bath-time routine.
More tomorrow ...

Ref: DF4_20230129_0933_022-0935_178 Sparrowhawk bathing in main pond 09+21+66+36+58+55 of 82 (montage).jpg

26 Feb 2023

Magpies gobble up peanuts and hold them in their beak with the tongue.
Pigeons on the other hand swallow them straight away - when they eat a lot their breasts bulge out as we discovered while watching a Pigeon eating dozens of peanuts.

Ref: E63_20230128_1255_201_FB1 Magpie collecting peanuts in beak.jpg

This montage shows a pair of Magpies landing on the fallen branch laying on the Round Mound. The bird on the right shows a remarkable level of iridescent colour on the tail. We have often wondered whether the flash at high resolution sites selectively highlights the colours, but here a trail-cam with no visible light flash shows just as startling effect.

Ref: BU2_20230122_1255_004-005_SC7 2 Magpies flying to Round Mound - one bird shows iridescence without flash (accurate montage).jpg

25 Feb 2023

The local Buzzard (a quite large bird) slightly dwarfed by all the 11kV cable supports.

Ref: D72_20230127_1259_024 Buzzard on 11kv cable at blocked gate.jpg

This Rook flew a dozen or so metres along the side of the 11kV cables before turning in to land on the most distant cable. The landing images are spread along the cable.
The cable discontinuities reflect that even in quiet weather these heavy cable are continuously swaying, and don't match up between shots.

Ref: DF3_20230131_1042_032-050 Rook flying along 11kV cable turns to land on one (stretch montage including cable sway).jpg

24 Feb 2023

This pair of Badgers (NOT a montage) stop by the brim full Duck Pond for a drink.

Ref: BU8_20230126_2133_045 Badger pair at Duck Pond.jpg

This montage shows just one Badger foraging over the Mound.

Ref: BU2_20230127_0154_137+156_144+146_SC7 Badger foraging over Round Mound (approx montage).jpg

A rather nice portrait of one of the visiting Badgers.

Ref: BUA_20230128_0402_064_SC8 Badger near east hedge gap.jpg

23 Feb 2023

Judging by the shadow on the Pheasant, that attacking claw is not far from it's target.

Ref: E64_20230126_0835_015_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacking Pheasant female.jpg

"What me - attack a poor harmless Pheasant?
Grey Squirrels have a love - hate relationship with humans here. They are basically wary of us, but know that we are a source of easy to find food. So they tend to run away to the safety of a tree-trunk and then peer round the side so as not to miss any goodies going.

Ref: DF3_20230131_1053_064 Grey Squirrel hiding from humans.jpg

22 Feb 2023

There isn't much food left at the hedge bottom, and these two birds are prepared to fight over access.

Ref: E63_20230125_1530_341_FB1 Dunnock in flight threatening Chaffinch female on ground.jpg

21 Feb 2023

By the Duck Pond the trail-cam catches a pic this Hare surveying the scene. The yellow pipe is a 19mm hosepipe (so larger than typical garden hoses) that transports pumped water from a gutter filled water butt to top up this pond. That's when the water isn't frozen solid and the 50m pipe also blocked by ice!

Ref: BU8_20230124_1519_125 Hare standing by house gutters feed pipe to Duck Pond.jpg

After a couple of distant sightings we see this Fieldfare out on the main pond ice pecking up corn.
There are about 50 quartering the surrounding countryside, but, unusually, going over pics of the groups doesn't find any Redwings - usually accounting for about 10% of Fieldfare flocks.

Ref: DF5_20230125_1126_027 Fieldfare on Iced-over Main Pond.jpg

20 Feb 2023

This Red Kite doesn't seem at all bothered by us, and is happy to climb in thermals right next to us.

Ref: DF3_20230124_1304_072-099 Red Kite circling in small thermal (selected montage).jpg

Rooks are really noisy birds!

Ref: DF3_20230124_1329_132 Rook calling from Black Poplar tree.jpg

19 Feb 2023

A Fox checks over the frozen ground, probably disappointed at the lack of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) and Voles who tend to stay underground when the condition are poor.

Ref: E6A_20230123_1944_194_FB5 Fox hunting on heavily frosted ground.jpg

2 days later overnight the thaw finally arrives. Between 18:44 and 05:03 the next morning the camera was triggered by Fieldmice (Wood Mice) an amazing 74 times - compared to a norm of 5 to 10. Here is a small sample.

Ref: E6A_20230125_1844_490-20230126_0503_563_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) re-appear on night of thaw 1-6 of 6 from 74 images (approx montage).jpg

It seems unlikely to be chance that a Tawny Owl made the first visit to the close-by Meadow Post for the first time since the frosts started. We didn't pick up any pics of the bird's successful hunt, but suspect that the Owl may have done quite well 'off camera'.

Ref: D01_20230126_0406_131_FB6 Tawny Owl visit to Meadow Post.jpg

18 Feb 2023

Chaffinches are suddenly more 'visible' than for the last few months. Here, trying to get a portrait of this male not yet in breeding plumage and beak, the camera instead catches this lift-off.

Ref: DF3_20230123_1227_029+030 Chaffinch male flies from twig (slightly spread montage).jpg

Here are male (left - with pink beak out of breeding colours) and female Chaffinches.
Don't compare sizes which have been adjusted to be about the same size.

Ref: DF3_20230124_1303_040+043 Chaffinch male (winter colours) + Chaffinch female (montage at adjusted scale).jpg

17 Feb 2023

A few sightings of Long-tailed Tits in the trees are very difficult to photograph here - one sight of the human and they magically 'vanish'. But they can't see us in the Kitchen with the light turned off, so we get a chance at a photo or two in the shade of the house. Here are two Long-tailed Tits and one (blurred) Blue Tit at the peanut feeder. Long-tailed Tits understand Peanut feeders but never stay more than a minute or two.

Ref: PK1_20230124_1342_893 2 Long-tailed Tits on kitchen peanut feeder.jpg

Here one Long-tailed Tit makes a delayed departure on the arrival of humans, for which the cameraman caught these two moments about 140mS apart. Wildlife programs are forever telling us how herds of animals confuse predators who need to concentrate on one individual, and it seem that flock of birds in flight has a similar effect on the 'Photographer' species.

Ref: DF3_20230120_1541_078+079 Long-tailed Tit flying from twig (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

16 Feb 2023

We think that this is the same Badger visiting the Woodland site in the small hours, and a couple of hours after dark on the same day, the Meadow site.

Ref: E64_20230121_0342_153_FB2+E63_1939_254_FB1 Badger visits to woodland site and same evening the hedge bottom (montage).jpg

Here what looks like the same badger wandering over the Round Mound several times.
The positions on the mound are real but the apparent 'progression' is chance.

Ref: BU2_20230120_0328_104+0506_106+107+2202_165_SC7 3 Badger visits to Round Mound in 1 day (approx montage).jpg

A Badger stops by at the woodland site in the hope of at least a snack. We don't know whether the Badger gobbled down the very obvious Banana peel.

Ref: E64_20230123_0151_057_FB2 Badger pushing up ground debris by fallen branch.jpg

15 Feb 2023

One of the female Pheasants at the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20230119_1558_089_FB1 Pheasant female at Hedge bottom.jpg

Next day, also at mid-afternoon we see one of the males - a larger bird than the females but shown here at a smaller scale to include the Grey Squirrel apparently letting the Pheasant be.

Ref: E63_20230120_1404_137_FB1 Pheasant male and Grey Squirrel together.jpg

One of the male Pheasants is seen here 'squiring' one of his 'ladyloves' on the bank of the solidly frozen surface of Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20230122_1509_089_SC1 Pheasant pair on edge of Round Pond.jpg

14 Feb 2023

Some of the behaviour of Grey Squirrels is agonisingly human.

Ref: E63_20230119_1331_051_FB1 Grey Squirrel holding apple in paws to eat.jpg

This Grey Squirrel is out in sub-zero temperatures gobbling up the food scattered outside the back door. We don't often get to see the open mouth - usually hidden by the paws while nibbling corn.
The orange cable powers the heated water tray much used by birds and mammals.

Ref: DF3_20230121_1338_158 Grey Squirrel eating corn outside conservatory door.jpg

13 Feb 2023

This Magpie looks like it is gliding down from a perch on the top of the Meadow Post down to the 'Meadow' photo site.

Ref: D01_20230119_1319_015+016_FB6 Magpie glides down from meadow post (accurate montage over 400mS).jpg

12 Feb 2023

Both the Jackdaw (smaller bird) and the Rook seem to have been intending to land on the Meadow post. Size wins!

Ref: D01_20230118_1309_088+089_FB6 Rook lands on Meadow Post as Jackdaw aborts own landing (montage over 400mS).jpg

11 Feb 2023

A male Reeves' Muntjac Deer overfills the camera frame feeding at the woodland site.

Ref: E64_20230117_1600_132_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male rear view of feeding at Woodland site (crop 1).jpg

In a detail from the extended image we see that the little tusks look really tough and ready for a fight - males use their tusks in dominance disputes. The male's Antlers are also used in fights, even though they only have them for some of each year.

Ref: E64_20230117_1600_132_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male rear view of feeding at Woodland site (crop 2 - tusk detail).jpg

We don't often get an outdoor view of Reeves' Muntjac Deer that lasts very long -
'Human - flee!'.
But this female was less bothered than the others and just quietly walked away.

Ref: DF3_20230118_1256_137 Muntjac Reeves Deer female quietly walking out of sight of humans.jpg

10 Feb 2023

Here a Red Kite is hunting (unsuccessfully while we watched) over the farm Wheat crop.

Ref: DF3_20230116_1400_003+006+007 Red Kite turning in flight while hunting over corn crop (impression montage) @7fps.jpg

Ref: DF3_20230116_1400_008 Red Kite in flight hunting over corn crop.jpg

Ref: DF3_20230116_1400_025+028+031 Red kite turning in flight to avoid trees (contracted montage).jpg

09 Feb 2023

Perhaps 20 metres high, this Magpie is nicely framed by the curved twigs of this 30 year old Black Poplar.

Ref: DF5_20230119_1249_019 Magpie in top of Black Poplar tree.jpg

This Robin at the hedge bottom includes an almost complete reflection in the water that floods the path between camera and subject as run-off from the farm fields to our east.

Ref: E63_20230116_1028_037_FB1 Robin on hedge bottom stone with reflection.jpg

08 Feb 2023

All that pristine fur with mud all over the paws they manage to keep off the white chest.

Ref: E6A_20230116_0852_013_FB5 Grey Squirrel feeding by muddy hole.jpg

On the Kitchen bird table we spot what looks like the female Grey Squirrel with the wonky right eye, here looking very 'knocked up'!

Ref: E60_20230118_1131_051_FB3 Grey Squirrel female (bad right eye (q)) appearing pregnant.jpg

Another apple get the Squirrels 'take-away' treatment.
Is the second Squirrel at the left edge watching or preparing an ambush?

Ref: E63_20230118_1315_308_FB1 Grey Squirrel carrying off small apple watched by another.jpg

07 Feb 2023

A Tawny Owl here spend at least 5 minutes on the meadow post at the end of the night.

Ref: D01_20230115_0637_133-0641_141_FB6 Tawny Owl visit to Meadow Post over 5+ minutes 1+5+3+4 of 5 (montage).jpg

Next day shortly after dark this Tawny Owl makes a short visit.

Ref: D01_20230116_1720_041-1722_45_FB6 Tawny Owl 3 minutes visit to Meadow Post 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

06 Feb 2023

This pair of Badgers seem to have spent about an hour wandering the sites together.

Ref: BUA_20230115_0257_139+138_SC8 Badger pair near east hedge gap (accurate montage upper right first).jpg

At the bottom of the mound things get more boisterous.
Courting is a rough game for badgers!

Ref: BU2_20230115_0345_320+0342_312_SC7 2 Badger rough & tumble for 4+ minutes at bottom of mound (accurate montage right first).jpg

Next day after midnight this solitary Badger wanders over the Round Mound.

Ref: BU2_20230116_0111_420+0122_422+0348_431_SC7 3 Badger visits to Round Mound over 3 hours (accurate montage).jpg

05 Feb 2023

This landing Wood Pigeon provides a rather nice view of the top of her wings.

Ref: D01_20230113_1510_045_FB6 Wood Pigeon landing on meadow post showing plumage on top of wing.jpg

Spring is 'round the corner' and its time for the birds and  bees  mammals to start the first overtures of 'romance'. This includes trusting your potential partner not to be crashing into you.

Ref: E60_20230114_1148_028_FB3 Wood Pigeon landing next to another catching standing birds shadow.jpg

The bird at the back (with eye shut) is still folding their wings.

Ref: E60_20230114_1548_031_FB3 Wood Pigeon landing next to another catching standing birds shadow.jpg

A pair of Wood Pigeons getting 'Romantic'.

Ref: DF5_20230102_0935_002+0936_006+013 Wood Pigeons courting in young Silver Birch tree1- 3 of 3 (montage).jpg

04 Feb 2023

A perky male Blackbird

Ref: E63_20230109_1109_052_FB1 Blackbird male at hedge bottom.jpg

A raindrop spangled male Blackbird walks across the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20230111_1422_257_FB1 Blackbird male with water spangled tail stepping across hedge bottom.jpg

The  early  mid-afternoon bird get the worm.
OK - its way out of focus and off the edge of the frame, but its a fun moment to catch - except for the worm.

Ref: E6A_20230108_1418_357_FB5 Blackbird female with worm in beak (crop).jpg

A pair of Blackbirds seem to own the territory including both the hedge bottom and meadow sites (about 30 metres apart).

Ref: E63_20230105_0930_022_FB1 Blackbird male looking at food on ground.jpg

03 Feb 2023

Dunnock tries to chase away Robin

Ref: E6A_20230108_1217_305_FB5 Dunnock in flight challenges Robin on ground.jpg

Robin tries to chase away Great Tit

Ref: E63_20230108_1436_539_FB1 Robin in flight challenges Great Tit on ground (crop 2).jpg

A Robin perhaps a metre above the hedge bottom aerobraking to land.

Ref: E60_20230106_1643_019_FB3 Robin in flight over Kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

02 Feb 2023

From about 100 metres away we get this photo of a pair of Chinese Water Deer relaxing in the grass. The left deer is a female and the right (with a generous sized 'tusk') is the male.

Ref: DF3_20230108_1233_041 Chinese Water Deer female (left) and male on crop margin to east (crop).jpg

01 Feb 2023

One or more Foxes visit on most nights, this one providing a rather nice portrait in the IR lit blackness.

Ref: BUA_20230107_2041_089_SC8 Fox near East hedge gap.jpg

The ditch at the SW corner is now partly flooded - it seems from other blurred messes of photos that the Fox simply jumps over it rather than getting his paws and lower legs wet with the cold and muddy water.

Ref: BU7_20230110_0419_052 Fox about to jump over partly flooded ditch.jpg

MIDNIGHT! - time for the current male Reeves' Muntjac Deer to enter our patch and continue his nightly forage.

Ref: BUA_20230111_0005_070_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer male foraging under leaves at midnight.jpg

An hour or so after midnight the male Reeves' Muntjac Deer walks by the side of the Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20230112_0138_297_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer male on bank of Round Pond.jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive