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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Jul 2023

This male Roe Deer makes a majestic entry at the south hedge gap.
We are not impressed by his 'choice' of necklace.

Ref: BU7_20230604_0716_173 Roe Deer male in dappled sunlight with grass stem hanging from antlers (adjusted crop).jpg

Breakfast was enhanced on this morning by the male Reeves' Muntjac Deer having his 'breakfast' along the edge of the main pond viewed from the kitchen.

Ref: DF5_20230606_0618_002 Muntjac Reeves Deer male at front of main Pond.jpg

At a different scale, work in the vegetable bed came to an instant halt on discovering this Toad under a weed. We released it onto the bank of Duck pond. It could have stayed in the long grass, but chose to dive into the water.

Ref: D71_20230605_1308_010 Toad found in vegetable bed released on bank of Duck Pond.jpg

30 Jul 2023

The highly photogenic Fox Cubs photographed themselves at least 30 times over 4 days. Here is an assortment

Ref: E63_20230604_1838_378+2332_385_FB1 Fox Cub visits in evening light (left) and darkness (accurate montage).jpg

A montage - whether the same or different cubs is hard to judge.

Ref: E64_20230604_2108_258+20230603_0300_134+20230604_2110_259_FB2 Fox Cub visits to Woodland site (montage).jpg

Foxes following an adult suggests that this is the 'new' fox family. Mum or Dad has entered through the hedge gap showing 3 pairs of glowing eyes. After crossing the ditch the adult stopped along with one of the cubs, while another Cub goes dashing off to the right.

Ref: BU7_20230604_2211_202+204 Fox enters south hedge with 2 Cubs - one of which runs off to right (montage).jpg

This montage of Fox cub visits in evening light (18:15 - left) and early night time (22:20 - right) gives us a good look at the Foxes Iris changing to suit the lighting - vertical slit while light and wide open circle in the dark

Ref: E63_20230605_1816_087+20230607_2219_229_FB1 Fox Cubs showing day (left) & night eye irises 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

29 Jul 2023

Dock plants (to most people just weeds!) don't get much appreciation.
Their thin flower spikes include hundreds of tiny florets

Ref: D72_20230602_1301_036 Stems of Dock flowers (crop 2).jpg

The Oxeye Daisies are starting to flower, and along come a few insects to feast. What appears to be a Bee is in fact a hoverfly - an Eristalis.
Oxeye daisy flowers are actually a multiple flower head - the yellow section containing hundred of tiny flowers, while the white petals are another form of flower, the whole assembly making a visually attractive magnet for insects.

Ref: DF3_20230603_1344_015 Bee feeding on Oxeye Daisy flower head (crop 2).jpg

This appears to be a Greenbottle enjoying a similar Oxeye Daisy flower.

Ref: DF3_20230603_1345_016 Greenbottle Blowfly feeding on Oxeye daisy flower head (crop 2).jpg

A new insect for us, lurking on a twig, is a 1.5 cm (half inch) Wasp Beetle. It is a Wasp Mimic as a form of defence.

Ref: D72_20230602_1547_061 Wasp Beetle about 15mm body (Clytus arietis).jpg

28 Jul 2023

The Spindle Ermine Moth infestation this year is not as bad as last year (we estimate about 30% of last years) , but some of the trees are very badly smothered.

Ref: D72_20230602_1300_024 Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillar infests whole tree (crop with insert).jpg

Illustrating the damage Spindle Ermine Moths do, here is a silky bagful of soon to leave caterpillar along with half a leaf completely stripped.

Ref: D72_20230602_1300_028 Spindle Ermine Moth Caterpillar infestation (ID only).jpg

27 Jul 2023

A family (of we guess 8) of the usually reticent Long-tailed Tits spent several minutes feeding in the Willow trees at the back of the Duck Pond while we stood still at the front. The fast moving little birds. and all those willow leaves and twigs, made it difficult to get a decent pic, but here are a couple of this delightful little bird. Both of these are 'new' this Spring. The red rim of the eye is normal.

Ref: DF3_20230604_1505_057 Long-tail Tit juvenile in willow tree at Duck Pond.jpg

Ref: DF3_20230604_1509_069 Long-tail Tit juvenile in willow tree at Duck Pond.jpg

26 Jul 2023

The female Chaffinch has an unfortunate Crane-fly in her beak.
We have thousands of crane-flies - almost anywhere you look you can find one.

Ref: E6C_20230530_1653_054_FB4 Chaffinch female with cranefly in beak.jpg

We have not seen much of Blackbirds, so its nice to see this male in apparently good condition.

Ref: E63_20230531_0519_138_FB1 Blackbird male at hedge bottom.jpg

25 Jul 2023

A female common Blue Damselfly perched in hazy sunshine.

Ref: DF3_20230528_1333_451 Common Blue Damselfly female blue form perched on leaf.jpg

A female Broad-bodied chaser in the evening sunlight gave us a few minutes to enjoy her - albeit some 4 metres away over impenetrable brambles. The male has similar body form but the body is powder (literally) blue.

Ref: DF3_20230521_1751_509 Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly female 4 of 4 (crop).jpg

24 Jul 2023

Fox Cub(s) over midnight. Their fur is now turning into the classic Foxy Red and their faces taking on the fiercer more pointed look of the adult fox. Taken 20 minutes apart the different tints of the fur suggest that this is two individuals.

Ref: E64_20230527_0014_197+20230526_2353_196_FB2 Fox Cub(s) visits to Woodland site over midnight (accurate montage).jpg

These two Fox Cub visits are 4 hours apart over midnight.

Ref: E63_20230528_0333_157+20230527_2251_247_FB2 Fox cub(s) visits to Woodland site over midnight (montage).jpg

Another Fox cub learning his craft - we wouldn't want to be at the end of that stare.

Ref: E63_20230530_0124_076_FB1 Fox juvenile at hedge bottom (crop 2).jpg

A glimpse of a brown shape at the back of the pond induces a stampede to an upper floor window to see this adult fox stalking the back margin of the pond. We didn't see him catch anything, but he was out of sight before and after these moments, so may have.
A new Fox family with obviously younger cubs has been glimpsed around the sites - this adult may be from either family.

Ref: DF3_20230528_1015_362+365+360 Fox adult hunting along back of main pond (montage)jpg.jpg

23 Jul 2023

The outside of the East hedge smothered in Burnet Rose flowers. Downwind of this patch is like walking into a perfume shop!

Ref: DF3_20230526_0858_017 Burnet Roses in East hedge (orig & final).jpg

A Burnet Rose flower with petals fallen make an interesting abstract shape. The stamens are shadowed on the leaf to it's right.

Ref: DF3_20230526_0858_021 Burnet Roses in East hedge - flower and stamens detail.jpg

22 Jul 2023

This Moorhen (Vee-beak) is one of the Moorhen we think may have a nest on Round Pond island. Here they are caught in a rather awkward looking twist one way while looking the other way.

Ref: E64_20230523_0553_078_FB2 Moorhen (Vee-beak) turning at Woodland site.jpg

Next early morning the same Moorhen has caught and is carrying a worm for a chick. If the Moorhen was going to eat it themselves it would have gone 'straight-down-the-hatch'

Ref: E64_20230524_0556_138_FB2 Moorhen Vee-beak) catches worm at Woodland site 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

A few of this years first brood of Moorhen chicks are occasionally spotted at the back of Round pond where is a gently shelving mudbank. The little chick makes ripples in the water.

Ref: DF3_20230524_1248_053 Moorhen chick paddling in Round Pond.jpg

A few of this years first brood of Moorhen chicks are occasionally spotted at the back of Round pond where is a gently shelving mudbank. Keeping still in the mud allows the still water to catch their reflection.

Ref: DF3_20230524_1249_071 Moorhen Chick on North bank of Round Pond with reflection.jpg

21 Jul 2023

We lost track of the Moorhen family after the second adult joined in to help the single parent. Here see one adult followed by 5 chicks of about the right age.

Ref: BU5_20230522_0826_010_SC1 Moorhen adult followed by 5 chicks by Round Pond (crop).jpg

The 'replacement' adult was feeding 3 of the 8 chicks a week ago, so it is possible that there are still all extant and that this is the second group.

Ref: E64_20230526_2007_190_FB2 Moorhen visits with up to 3 chicks at Meadow Site 3 of 3 (crop).jpg

20 Jul 2023

The occasional sighting of a distant Chinese Water Deer is here supplemented by this male visiting Round Pond.

Ref: BU5_20230524_1910_407_SC1 Chinese Water Deer male visits Round Pond poss for a drink.jpg

A third male Roe Deer has appeared, and doesn't he look majestic.

Ref: BU5_20230522_0123_423_SC1 Roe Deer male by edge of Round Pond.jpg

19 Jul 2023

Green Woodpeckers are back to frequenting the Meadow Post. This beautiful male lands on the side - tail acting as a third landing 'leg'.

Ref: D01_20230525_1209_012_FB6 Green Woodpecker male landing on Meadow post.jpg

Here a female Green Woodpecker pays an evening visit. If they are nesting here we don't know where, but do hope for the 'patter of tiny claws' in the fullness of time.

Ref: D01_20230525_1920_056_FB6 Green Woodpecker female landed on Meadow post.jpg

18 Jul 2023

Another 'sweet' little Fox Cub - learning how to kill to survive.

Ref: E64_20230523_0339_074_FB2 Fox Cub hunting at Woodland site.jpg

Many hours later this Fox Cub heads for the South hedge gap with a sizeable looking prey item in the obviously not-so-tiny mouth.

Ref: BU7_20230523_2216_076 Fox Cub carrying small prey item towards south hedge gap.jpg

It hasn't rained here since the coronation (3 weeks), but this Fox's fur is sodden. No-mow May means that even the grass paths become dew-drenched each morning.

Ref: E64_20230526_0403_093_FB2 Fox Cub at Woodland site presumably wet from dew-soaked grass.jpg

17 Jul 2023

Concluding the 4 day Saga of the Roe Deer
Here is the second half of his final run across the Farm Road.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_278-289 Roe Deer male bounds across Farm Road into crop 11+13+15+17+19+22 of 22 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

A detail from the above

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_280 Roe Deer male bounds across Farm Road into crop 13 of 22 (crop).jpg

The male Roe Deer stuck his head above the crop for a last look - perhaps to check that we were not chasing him, and he then 'disappeared'.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_297 Roe Deer male checks on photographer from inside farm crop.jpg

16 Jul 2023

Day 3 of the 4 day Saga of the Roe Deer
Having taken a few steps toward us the male Roe Deer obviously decided that discretion was better than valour, and streaked back to the farm crop to disappear within. This is the odd-numbered frames at 7 fps, except for skipping one frame as he slowed.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_268-289 Roe Deer male bounds across Farm Road 01+03+05+07+09+11+13+15+17+19+22 of 22 (accurate montage).jpg

Here are bits of the montage in shorter sections (for more detail) and some stills from the even numbered frames.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_268-276 Roe Deer male bounds across Farm Road into crop 01+03+05+07+09 of 22 (accurate montage).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_277 Roe Deer male bounds across Farm Road into crop 10 of 22 (crop).jpg

15 Jul 2023

Day 2 of the 4 day Saga of the Roe Deer
Undeniable evidence: Caught speeding!

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_132 Roe Deer male bounding over Farm Road by speed limit sign 7 of 8 (crop).jpg

Instead on continuing into the crop, the Male Roe Deer stopped and stared at us as if he didn't know what to do.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_153 Roe Deer male stops to stare at cameraman.jpg

To our surprise he decides to cross back over the Farm Road, before another session staring at us.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_174-196 Roe Deer male bounding over Farm Road to East Hedge 13+16+18+19 of 19 (slightly stretch montage).jpg

Even more surprising was that he then started to walk tentatively towards us.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0811_246 Roe Deer male edges toward cameraman along East hedge 6 of 6 (crop).jpg

14 Jul 2023

Here starts the 4 day Saga of the Roe Deer on Sunday 28 May.
A quiet day sandwiched in before a UK bank holiday, so very little traffic or other disturbances. Here at about 05:30 (early morning) the trail cam catches a glimpse of a pair (not a montage) of Roe Deer browsing on the long grass inside our patch

Ref: BU8_20230528_0625_153 Roe Deer female followed by male.jpg

An 8 a.m. walk around the perimeter of our 2 acre 'paradise' surprised us with seeing the female Roe Deer leap into the crop. Never spotted again & no photo. But the male appears right by our east hedge (left here) and to set off in the same direction as the female into the crop over the Farm Road on the right.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_106+108+110 Roe Deer male trotting towards Farm Road 1+3+5 of 5 (spread montage).jpg

First having to cross the concrete Farm Road.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_126-133 Roe Deer male bounding over Farm Road by speed limit sign 1+3+5+8 of 8 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

More detail of the image on the left. When we see such pics we are always amazed that Roe Deer don't get their legs tangled up.

Ref: DF3_20230528_0810_126 Roe Deer male bounding over Farm Road by speed limit sign 1 of 8 (crop).jpg

13 Jul 2023

This male Muntjac Deer stops in front of the trail cam for a groom. His new Antlers are growing apace.

Ref: BU7_20230525_1455_012+005 Muntjac Deer male growing new antlers grooming near South hedge gap (montage).jpg

Five minutes after his groom, we catch the male and female Reeves' Muntjac Deer aligned in a way your couldn't get even if you planned for it. The female is nearest the camera.

Ref: BU7_20230525_1501_045 Muntjac Reeves Deer male (behind) and female near South Hedge Gap (crop).jpg

12 Jul 2023

After a few minutes circling in a weak thermal the Red Kite started to depart. But the Rooks started to take exception to Kites presence. Most of these in-air pursuits are more 'threat' than substance, but on this occasion (the first time close enough to us to see, let alone photograph) the Rook managed to grab one of the tail feathers of the Red Kite who really obviously took exception and twisted round to see off the annoyance with his fearsome claws.
We don't have anything static to accurately align the images, so the pairs of bird images are arranged mainly for clarity and to fit them into a single image by horizontal overlapping. We have all 14 original frames should anybody be interested.

Ref: DF3_20230521_0832_242-252 Red Kite pursued by Rook who grab a Kite feather 02+04+06+10+12 of 14 (impression montage @7fps).jpg

This image (5 of 14) would fit between the second and third pair of birds in the montage.

Ref: DF3_20230521_0832_245 Red Kite pursued by Rook who grab a Kite feather 05 of 14 (crop).jpg

A few minutes earlier the Kite glided by perhaps 50 metres away, underside lit by the morning sun.

Ref: DF3_20230521_0829_043+045+047 Red Kite gliding 1+3+5 of 5 (approx montage @7fps).jpg

Here undisturbed by the 'pesky' Rooks, we see a few moments of powered flapping flight.

Ref: DF3_20230521_0829_074-078 Red Kite turning in flapping flight 1-5 of 5 (montage).jpg

11 Jul 2023

Our now (and hopefully continuing) annual appearance of Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies (the common name of the species) is underway. Their usual appearance on the sunny side of the inner hedge near the South east corner is this year limited to just a couple of insects, but they are also appearing at various sunny patches on warm days.

Ref: DF3_20230520_1245_060+1246_064 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly female perched on leaf flutter down to lower leaf (montage).jpg

Perched Demoiselle Damselflies normally perch with all four wings aligned to produce a rather dark effect. This female Beautiful was repeatedly flicking her wings providing an opportunity to appreciate the subtle colour of mixed overlaps.

Ref: DF3_20230522_1550_013 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly occasionally fluttering wings.jpg

In this montage we see male (top) and female Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies. This is a montage of the two about half a metre apart on the same bush.

Ref: DF3_20230522_1552_021+1557_022 Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies male (top) + female (montage).jpg

10 Jul 2023

Installing utility poles in the centre of hedges is great for avoiding them cluttering up agricultural fields where they slow down the seemingly endless series of sprays, but as you see here the tractor flails can't cut right up to the poles.
Don't despise tractor flails - they are the only practical method of hedge management open to farmers - a flailed hedge is a lot better than no hedge. Even a previous eco-friendly owner of the Farm was going to get the hedges hand laid and cut, but it never happened.

Ref: D72_20230519_1017_010 May bush in blossom climbing 11kV power pole (orig & final).jpg

To the north runs a 200 metres long Hawthorn hedge that apparently wasn't cut at the end of last year. Lovely!

Ref: DF3_20230522_1526_002 Hawthorn Hedge 200m metres in bloom (crop).jpg

The Hawthorn blossom has been really spectacular this year. This mass is growing over our east hedge from a few metres inside.

Ref: D72_20230519_1248_410 May trees in blossom at north of meadow (orig & final).jpg

Over the pastures to the North west, the Buttercups are having a great time!

Ref: DF3_20230521_0846_372 Field covered in Buttercups far to NW (orig & final).jpg

09 Jul 2023

Some of the Fox Cubs seems to have become quite independent, and can be seen on their own at various sites. Some visit the high resolution sites despite the camera noise and flash.

Ref: E64_20230519_0118_052_FB2 Fox Cub at Woodland site (crop 2).jpg

As well as Fox cubs on there own, we also see single Cubs following one of Mum or Dad.

Ref: BU7_20230519_2134_128 Fox Cub follows mother entering at south hedge gap.jpg

This sequence is a Fox cub on the crop margin along the north-south hedge to our south.

Ref: DF3_20230521_1048_419+413+410+403 Fox Cub exploring field Margin to South (approx montage).jpg

A Fox Cub apparently on his own at the Woodland site.

Ref: E64_20230522_0255_214_FB2 Fox Cub at Woodland site.jpg

08 Jul 2023

The 'ugly woodcrete' nestbox on main pond island is successfully housing a family of Blue Tits. The Blue Tits seem to tolerate us at the edge of the pond so we can snatch a few pics of the parents industrious activities. Here we see one of the parents with 2 green 'grubs' ready to be delivered to the box.

Ref: DF3_20230518_1634_043 Blue Tit with 2 grubs in beak about to to feed chick in Main Pond Nest Box.jpg

The entrance hole to the Blue Tit box is unintentionally smothered in Hazel tree leaves, and completely invisible from the house. There is only one viewpoint where we can snatch a pic of their doings from around the 'back' of the pond. Fortunately at about 8 metres away we don't seem to bother the busy birds in the slightest so we can get a little record of the events. First a an accurate montage of an adults arrival at 8 fps (about .125 Seconds between images)

Ref: D72_20230519_1034_171-173 Blue Tit flies to nest box with food for chicks (accurate montage @8fps).jpg

The parents keep the nest (relatively) clean by taken away Fecal Sacs that the youngster produce.

Ref: D72_20230519_1240_264 Blue Tit leaving nest box with Fecal Sac.jpg

The Next mouthfuls arrives

Ref: D72_20230519_1240_279 Blue Tit at nest box hole with grub in beak.jpg

07 Jul 2023

Red Campion is flowering in many locations. This pristine male Brimstone Butterfly makes the most of the nectar.

Ref: DF3_20230518_1044_022 Brimstone Butterfly male feeds on Red Campion flower.jpg

Another visitor to Red Campion is this Small White Butterfly.

Ref: D72_20230519_1302_412 Small White Butterfly feeding on Red Campion flower.jpg

This Green-veined White Butterfly is basking on a leaf.

Ref: DF3_20230520_1259_089 Green-veined White Butterfly (1st of 2023).jpg

At last we get to see a female Orange-tip Butterfly, here on the right of the male. They share the wonderful intricate green tracery on the underside of the wing.

Ref: D72_20230519_1302_415+DF3_20230521_1615_458 Orange-=tip Butterfly male (left) and female feeding on Red Campion (montage).jpg

06 Jul 2023

In the 'flower' bed east of the conservatory the light catches this near perfect spider's web accented by fine dew. The circular strands seem very closely spaced, but when you see the size of the builder in the middle it more that the web is a huge construction for such a tiny creature.

Ref: DF3_20230510_0754_018 Spider on dew soaked web with very close rings (cop + 4 x insert).jpg

Aquilegia are delightful flowers that insects adore. Although most samples are now cultivated, they are native in most of Europe.

Ref: DF3_20230520_1312_308 Aquilegia flowers.jpg

05 Jul 2023

We celebrate the return of Breeding Moorhens
Moorhen rarely return to their incubation nest, and instead build a series of 'Brood nests' to keep the youngsters dry and safe at night. Normally the 2 parents make different brood nest for their group of charges, but our single parent is just building one big one for the whole contingent.

Ref: DF3_20230517_0912_012 Moorhen Chicks in Brood platform built in new Hop sedge clump in Duck Pond (crop + insert).jpg

Wanting to see what is going on, we set up a Camcorder to watch for a few hours. After about an hours adult came for a look at the kit, decided it was 'mostly harmless', and then proceeded to frantically collect morsels from the water surface. The chicks remained hidden in the Hop-sedge throughout.

Ref: BU8_20230517_1042_355 Moorhen investigates Camcorder recording Duck Pond.jpg

This single bird made about dozen passages across the water in the remaining 20 minutes, sometimes avidly pecking at the water to pick up food items invisible to the camera.
This is a cropped screen dump from the 4K image.
Here is a 10 second video of one pass collecting food - at the actual speed it happens:-
17 May 2023 Moorhen nest on Duck Pond - Adult hurridly collecting food for chicks (12MB)

Ref: PC2_20230517_13XX_001 Moorhen (line-beak) on Duck Pond taking food to hidden chicks at left (video capture).jpg

Three days later we discover that a 'new' Moorhen has joined our single parent and is helping with the brood. Both sexes know how to Brood and feed youngsters (normally sharing the duties) and second broods are often assisted by juveniles from the first brood, so a bird coming to help, and possibly hope for a second brood in due course, is not particularly surprising.
Here is a 36 second video of one pass collecting food:-
20 May 2023 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - new adult joins feeding 36s.mp4 (64MB)

Ref: PC2_20230520_xxxx_002 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - new adult joins feeding.jpg

04 Jul 2023

We celebrate the return of Breeding Moorhens
Next day we see the first 2 hatched chicks. Normal Moorhen behaviour is for incubation to start after the first 2 or 3 eggs and then continue, causing the first few chicks to appear on the same day, and the rest to follow piecemeal. 'Mum' normally takes the initial hatchlings off to start feeding making an overnight 'brood' nest, leaving the male to brood and raise the rest.
But it seems that this is now a 'one-parent' family, because all of the chicks stayed around the nest until all were hatched. We haven't recently seen two adults around at the same time. Both sexes (visually indistinguishable) can incubate, feed and defend their charges, so we don't know whether it was Mum or Dad that survived A litter of 4 Fox Cubs about 60 metres away could catch Hares, and may well have also taken one of the Moorhen.

Ref: D73_20230513_1249_047 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - 2 Chicks hatched (crop).jpg

Next day we see 5 little heads looking out of the nest.

Ref: DF3_20230514_0928_012 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - 5 Chicks visible (crop).jpg

Half an hour on one of them has decided that it is time to climb out of the nest to investigate 'water'.

Ref: D71_20230514_1007_007 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - 5 Chicks visible one climbing out of nest (crop).jpg

All but one chick left the nest in the next two hours, leaving one plus an egg. About the same time next day there is just one chick in the nest and the egg has gone. The last to hatch gets known as the 'Runt'.
More tomorrow ...

Ref: DF3_20230514_1210_007+20230515_1244_019 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - 1 Chick + Egg - next day last chick (montage).jpg

03 Jul 2023

We celebrate the return of Breeding Moorhens
This year Moorhen successfully nested on the 'Duck Pond'. The first hint of such activity was seeing the heightened aggression of the Moorhen towards any other creature near the water. Here we see one of the adults chasing away a Grey Squirrel.

Ref: BU8_20230418_1611_187+188+1612_189 Moorhen chasing away Grey Squirrel at Duck Pond 1-3 of 3 (approx montage republish).jpg

The nest turned out to be built in a clump of badly anchored Hop Sedge - the dominant plant in the Duck-shaped Pond Here we see the nest with 4 eggs - probably 4 days in to clutch laying. The nest is tilting alarmingly away from this viewpoint with the extra weight on top. We expected an imminent collapse into the water, but a seeming endless supply of new nesting material was ferried in and kept the nest viable.

Ref: DF3_20230429_1117_081 Moorhen nest at Duck Pond - 4 eggs (crop republish).jpg

Another piece of vegetation arrived to build up the nest. At the top of the montage a Grey Squirrel decides on a quick exit.

Ref: BU8_20230501_1139_028+030 Moorhen carrying nesting material to nest on Duck Pond - chance Grey squirrel (montage republish).jpg

14 Days after seeing the nest with 4 eggs, it now has 7 eggs visible (we believe 8 altogether). The incubating bird always detects the humans before we can see them, and quietly slides off into the water and 'vanishes'. We only bother the bird long enough for a quick picture before leaving them in peace for the day.
More tomorrow ...

Ref: D72_20230512_1002_033 Moorhen nest on Duck pond - 7+ eggs (crop).jpg

02 Jul 2023

These two Bee-flies spent about a minute perched on concrete near the house buzzing their wings like mad but going nowhere. Suddenly they flew off and we lost site of them. We have to assume that this is some sort of courtship ritual, but attempts to find more information on-line found only research papers from Australia which have an obviously different species with the same name.

Ref: DF3_20230517_1238_077 2 Bee-flies stationary on concrete spend a minute vibrating wings 2 of 2 (crop).jpg

First seen 4 days earlier (14 May 2023) as a single infested stem of a Spindle tree, we now see that this years infestation of Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars has moved to several Spindle trees and the sunny side of the south hedge. The Caterpillars appear identical to last years.

Ref: DF3_20230518_1040_012 Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars Infesting a few metres of south face of south hedge (crop + insert).jpg

The Green Shieldbugs are doing well this year. Here is one on a damaged leaf showing some lovely colours at the damage.
What this inherited spiky leafed shrub is called we have never tried to find out!

Ref: D72_20230504_1320_050 Green Shieldbug.jpg

01 Jul 2023

Getting bolder every night here are three moments of Fox Cubs at the hedge bottom. The 'perfection of these young creatures means we can't even try to tell the 4 apart.

Ref: E63_20230516_2105_159+0306_097+20230517_0059_162_FB1 Fox Cubs at hedge bottom (montage).jpg

Just this one visit to the Meadow Site.

Ref: E6A_20230516_2329_151_FB5 Fox Cub at Meadow site.jpg

A selection of a dozen moments at the Woodland site.
That's Fox cubs visiting all three ground level high-resolution cameras.

Ref: E64_20230516_2334_144-20230517_2352_217_FB2 Fox cub(s) visit to Woodland site on 2 nights around midnight (montage).jpg



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