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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A Sparrowhawk stopped for a bathe in the main pond, visible from the house window.
Finally the bird clambered on to the bank, had a shake, and flew off into the Woodland obscurity.
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.
A Sparrowhawk stopped for a bathe in the main pond, visible from the kitchen window despite some obstructions.
From an upstairs window we get a better view of the Sparrowhawk's bath-time routine.
More tomorrow ...
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.
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.
The local Buzzard (a quite large bird) slightly dwarfed by all the 11kV cable supports.
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
The cable discontinuities reflect that even in quiet weather these heavy cable are continuously swaying, and don't match up between shots.
This pair of Badgers (NOT a montage) stop by the brim full Duck Pond for a drink.
This montage shows just one Badger foraging over the Mound.
A rather nice portrait of one of the visiting Badgers.
Judging by the shadow on the Pheasant, that attacking claw is not far from it's target.
"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.
There isn't much food left at the hedge bottom, and these two birds are prepared to fight over access.
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!
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.
This Red Kite doesn't seem at all bothered by us, and is happy to climb in thermals right next to us.
Rooks are really noisy birds!
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the female Pheasants at the hedge bottom.
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.
One of the male Pheasants is seen here 'squiring' one of his 'ladyloves' on the bank of the solidly frozen surface of Round Pond.
Some of the behaviour of Grey Squirrels is agonisingly human.
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.
This Magpie looks like it is gliding down from a perch on the top of the Meadow Post down to the 'Meadow' photo site.
Both the Jackdaw (smaller bird) and the Rook seem to have been intending to land on the Meadow post. Size wins!
A male Reeves' Muntjac Deer overfills the camera frame feeding at the woodland site.
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.
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.
Here a Red Kite is hunting (unsuccessfully while we watched) over the farm Wheat crop.
Perhaps 20 metres high, this Magpie is nicely framed by the curved twigs of this 30 year old Black Poplar.
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.
All that pristine fur with mud all over the paws they manage to keep off the white chest.
On the Kitchen bird table we spot what looks like the female Grey Squirrel with the wonky right eye, here looking very 'knocked up'!
Another apple get the Squirrels 'take-away' treatment.
Is the second Squirrel at the left edge watching or preparing an ambush?
A Tawny Owl here spend at least 5 minutes on the meadow post at the end of the night.
Next day shortly after dark this Tawny Owl makes a short visit.
This pair of Badgers seem to have spent about an hour wandering the sites together.
At the bottom of the mound things get more boisterous.
Courting is a rough game for badgers!
Next day after midnight this solitary Badger wanders over the Round Mound.
This landing Wood Pigeon provides a rather nice view of the top of her wings.
Spring is 'round the corner' and its time for the birds and
mammals to start the first overtures of 'romance'. This includes
trusting your potential partner not to be crashing into you.
The bird at the back (with eye shut) is still folding their wings.
A pair of Wood Pigeons getting 'Romantic'.
A perky male Blackbird
A raindrop spangled male Blackbird walks across the hedge bottom.
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.
A pair of Blackbirds seem to own the territory including both the hedge bottom and meadow sites (about 30 metres apart).
Dunnock tries to chase away Robin
Robin tries to chase away Great Tit
A Robin perhaps a metre above the hedge bottom aerobraking to land.
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.
One or more Foxes visit on most nights, this one providing a rather nice portrait in the IR lit blackness.
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.
MIDNIGHT! - time for the current male Reeves' Muntjac Deer to enter our patch and continue his nightly forage.
An hour or so after midnight the male Reeves' Muntjac Deer walks by the side of the Round Pond.
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