Return to moorhen home page

Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Mar 2023

A decades old Corkscrew Hazel near the house has exploded with Catkins.

Ref: DF3_20230227_1402_013 Hazel tree corkscrew outside conservatory mass of Catkins.jpg

A more detailed pic also shows the tiny red flowers that 'hope' to catch the Pollen from another Hazel.

Ref: DF3_20230227_1401_010 Hazel tree corkscrew outside conservatory mass of Catkins (detail crop of Catkins & flowers).jpg

Deep in the 'weeds' beneath the Hazel tree grows another 'weed' - a Wild Violet.

Ref: DF3_20230227_1403_019 Wild Violet (1st of 2023).jpg

30 Mar 2023

The male Sparrowhawk lands on the kitchen bird table.
We haven't seen the female for a few weeks - this may be good or bad.

Ref: E60_20230227_1220_008_FB3 Sparrowhawk male on kitchen bird table (crop).jpg

We missed the sound of this bird strike on an east facing window of the conservatory. The wing span is about 80cm - the most likely source is a Wood Pigeon, but it could also be the male Sparrowhawk.
No telltale scatter of feathers to examine - good - at worst a bad headache.

Ref: DF3_20230226_0944_109+114 Bird window impact powder image 80cm Wingspan (montage as insert).jpg

29 Mar 2023

Enormous bill, Tiny seed.

Ref: E63_20230226_1256_254_FB1 Rook with corn grain in tip of beak.jpg

The biggest risk for the Dunnock is being stepped on, but why take the chance.

Ref: E63_20230226_1501_295_FB1 Pheasant male walking through hedge bottom as Dunnock flees.jpg

28 Mar 2023

A short visit from a Barn Owl to the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20230225_0151_017-0152_019_FB6 Barn Owl 2 minute visit to Meadow Post (Montage @400mS+60S).jpg

What may be just the one individual Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) spends an hour feeding at the woodland site.

Ref: E63_20230224_1938_163+1853_159+1942_165_FB1 Mouse visits at Hedge bottom (accurate montage over 1hr).jpg

Without visiting the Meadow Post on the same night we see this Tawny Owl diving into the hedge bottom site, possible targeting that Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) we saw a couple of days before.

Ref: E63_20230226_1819_310_FB1 Tawny Owl hunting at Hedge Bottom (crop).jpg

27 Mar 2023

The Snowdrops have been a real delight this year.

Ref: DF3_20230224_1603_002 Snowdrops on NW bank of main pond (orig & final).jpg

A much smaller clump at Duck Pond is better lit and easier to get close-up photos.

Ref: DF3_20230226_0744_076 Snowdrops on bank of Duck Pond.jpg

26 Mar 2023

This is something we have not seen before - a Reeves' Muntjac Deer splashing through a pond. On the right edge a female Reeves' Muntjac Deer is already on the Round Pond island, as the male, dutifully following, splashes his way across the water. 2 further pics in the sequence (typically 3 seconds later) show no signs of either Deer, but are clearly properly timed from the ripples still spreading. We wondered whether the Fawn has been secreted on the island, but a check next day with a small Thermal imager didn't show any unexplained 'hot spots'.

Ref: BU5_20230219_1218_007_SC1 Muntjac Reeves Deer male crosses pond to follow female onto island 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

Next day we again see the male dutifully following the female, this time in a less spectacular setting past the Duck shaped pond.

Ref: BU8_20230220_1146_049-051 Muntjac Reeves Deer pair walking by Duck Pond (montage).jpg

25 Mar 2023

First a not very welcome night-time visitor at the meadow site - our first Rat for months. Once we have seen Rats we make sure we don't leave out food near the house that they could find.

Ref: E6A_20230222_2054_406+2150_405+2057_407_FB5 Rat visiting Meadow site over 8 minutes (montage).jpg

But now a visitor missed for several weeks, this Tawny Owl makes an at least 5 minute visit. We didn't get to see the bird hunting at the nearby Meadow site.
GO GET THAT RAT! But a Rat is too big for any UK Owl.

Ref: D01_20230223_2115_053-2119_061_FB6 Tawny Owl 5+ minute visit to Meadow Post 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

24 Mar 2023

Outside the study window Long-tailed Tits visited the peanut feeder in relays, stopping in this tangle of bramble and other hedging plants to wait their turn. This montage over about 10 minutes is probably different individuals.

Ref: D5C_20230221_1037_029+1036_013+1028_002 Long-tailed Tits waiting in hedge to access peanut feeder (montage).jpg

23 Mar 2023

One Squirrel will attack anything that gets near.
Another quietly ignores arrivals even when they are so close they could easily attack.
How can the bird be sure the Squirrel isn't in an attacking mood. 'Theory of Mind?'

Ref: E63_20230220_1421_105_FB1 Grey Squirrel feeding with Robin very close to head.jpg

A few minutes later the brave Robin flies off with his prize.

Ref: E63_20230220_1426_106_FB1 Robin flying from Hedge bottom with seed as Grey Squirrel continues to feed.jpg

22 Mar 2023

The Robin over the stone is actually in the air without the bird on the ground (back to us) apparently being concerned.

Ref: E63_20230220_0648_065_FB1 Robin pair at stone with shadows (crop).jpg

Two days later we see what is probably another pair of Robins not fighting, this time at the Meadow site.
Robin territories here seem to be about a 20-30m radius here, about the distance between these two sites.

Ref: E6A_20230222_1440_366_FB5 Robin pair at Meadow site.jpg

21 Mar 2023

We spotted this male Reeves' Muntjac Deer in our orchard as we left for a walk, but he quickly departed. We find him on the grass outside our south hedge. He gave us a look, but just decided to ignore us and continues his foraging, at one point starting to walk closer to us.

Ref: DF3_20230221_0848_072-0849_103 Muntjac Deer male walking across south grass margin (montage).jpg

After crossing the concrete track he makes a bee-line for the farmers crop ...

Ref: DF3_20230221_0849_116 Muntjac Deer male walking onto crop margin.jpg

... where he took only a couple of mouthfuls before wandering on.
Reeves' Muntjac Deer here rarely seem to eat much of any one thing, much preferring to eat a wide mix of grass, leaves and twigs.

Ref: DF3_20230221_0851_139 Muntjac Deer male eating a little of the crop.jpg

The Deer finally makes it to the west boundary hedge, gives us a withering stare, before disappearing into the hedge.

Ref: DF3_20230221_0851_145+142+146 Muntjac Reeves Deer male arrived at hedge & decides to go through (spread montage).jpg

20 Mar 2023

Our stock of small apples continues to be a favourite of anything that can carry them off.

Ref: E64_20230219_0852_377_FB2 Grey Squirrel carrying away small apple.jpg

The stalk end of pear makes a decent meal for this Grey squirrel.

Ref: E64_20230222_1448_244_FB2 Grey Squirrel nibbling tip of Pear.jpg

19 Mar 2023

We sometimes mention that some birds can build nests incredibly quickly. Here in just 24 hours the nest just up and left of centre changes from a few twigs to big enough for the female to 'try it out'.

Ref: D72_20230218_0939_004+DF3_20230219_0858_013 Rook nest construction over 24 hours 1+2 of 2 (montage).jpg

This Rook was watching us suspiciously, unusually lined up ALONG the wire.

Ref: DF3_20230220_0950_017 Rook perched longways along 11kV cable.jpg

A genuine single frame of three Rooks lined up over a nest with a fourth trying it out.

Ref: DF3_20230220_1341_020 3 Rook over and 1 in Rooks nest.jpg

18 Mar 2023

The regular male Reeves' Muntjac Deer eats some Blackberry leaves, somehow avoiding, or resistant to, the thorns.

Ref: BU9_20230216_1441_024_SC2 Muntjac Reeves Deer male eating Blackberry leaves at end of orchard.jpg

Two moments of our male Reeves' Muntjac Deer at the South hedge. The males little tusks look rather more robust when viewed from 'underneath' as we see on the right.

Ref: BU7_20230218_0706_023+022 Muntjac Reeves Deer male at south hedge (montage).jpg

17 Mar 2023

A couple of hours after dark this Badger makes their way into our patch at the south hedge. More usually Badgers are first seen entering at the east hedge.

Ref: BU7_20230212_2000_058-060 Badger entering over ditch at south hedge gap (montage).jpg

Near the East hedge we catch this pair of Badgers 'Romping, play fighting or mating'.
A web search indicates that February is the peak mating time, but the females typically delay implantation until December. for a 7 week gestation.

Ref: BUA_20230222_1930_151+154-156_SC8 2 Badgers near east hedge gap romping or mating (montage).jpg

Half an hour later what we assume is the same pair still 'mucking about', this time at the bottom of the Round Mound.

Ref: BU2_20230222_2001_326_SC7 2 Badgers at Round Mound.jpg

16 Mar 2023

Two of the Viburnum Burkwoodii bushes are in full flower. The range of colours in each flower-head varies from dark red to almost white.

Ref: D72_20230213_1240_013 Viburnum burkwoodii flower head.jpg

This year there seem to be clumps of Snowdrops to be found hiding all over the meadow area and orchard. Here it seems that we have two species in separate groups.

Ref: D72_20230213_1052_005 Snowdrops (mixed species) at bottom of Apple tree in Orchard.jpg

A little detail from an untidy clump hiding at the bottom of a willow Tree currently overwhelmed by Blackberry bushes

Ref: D72_20230213_1255_026 Snowdrops at base of Willow tree south of meadow (crop 2).jpg

The newly cleared pond now sports several metres of Snowdrops in flower along the North East bank. This patch has gradually expanded from a single clump over a couple of decades - a slow but sure progress

Ref: DF3_20230211_0955_181 Snowdrops along NW bank of main pond with reflection.jpg

15 Mar 2023

An unusual time for 'our' Fox to visit - bang on Noon, so possibly a female with lots of cubs to grow or feed.

Ref: BU7_20230212_1203_046-048 Fox hunting by south ditch (montage over a few seconds).jpg

Four hours later what may be the same Fox makes their way towards the south exit.

Ref: BU7_20230212_1638_053 Fox.jpg

14 Mar 2023

We think the same Badger visiting first the South ditch ...

Ref: BU7_20230209_1850_012 Badger near east hedge gap.jpg

... spending several minutes rummaging around at the hedge bottom ...

Ref: E63_20230209_2004_128-2009_131_FB1 Badger visits hedge bottom for 8 mins 4+5+2 of 5 (montage).jpg

... and then making a visit to the Woodland site.

Ref: E64_20230209_2047_109_FB2 Badger at Woodland site.jpg

13 Mar 2023

New Fawn Continued ...
Once the Fawn has apparently exhausted the current supply of milk, the pair wander off in the direction the male went.

Ref: DF3_20230210_0950_145 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 46 of 65 (crop).jpg

Here is a detail of the wobbly Fawn.

Ref: DF3_20230210_0952_162 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 53 of 65 (crop).jpg

Mum and Fawn arrive at the east hedge and the automatic trail-cam catches another image of the Fawn.

Ref: BUA_20230210_0956_041_SC8 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 57 of 65 (crop 2).jpg

The last we saw of the pair is of them, without the male, walking down the access track on the West side only about 5 minutes later. Since then we have seen the female a few times, but not with the Fawn - we hope that she has just 'parked' the Fawn somewhere for safety in the daytime as deer do.

Ref: BU3_20230210_1001_059_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 60 of 65 (crop).jpg

12 Mar 2023

At 09:45 in the morning we come across this sight - a very wobbly and wet Fawn sucking on Mums teats. The bottom of the fawn shows a red patch we assume to be the bitten through umbilical cord. Mum spends a lot of effort licking over the fawn who is wet all over despite their having been no rain - we have to assume amniotic fluid.

Ref: DF3_20230210_0946_033 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 11 of 65 (crop).jpg

The Fawn seems already adept at sucking the milk, and at times got quite vigorous to get out the 'last drop'. Mum has noticed us standing still perhaps 10 metres away, but seemed to consider our presence 'harmless'.

Ref: DF3_20230210_0946_049 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 18 of 65 (crop).jpg

Dad (presumably) strolls in and we can only describe his viewing of the Fawn as 'proud Dad' sharing for a moment in the licking duties. The male (with antlers) is on the left.

Ref: DF3_20230210_0948_073 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 29 of 65 (crop).jpg

Dad wanders off 40m towards the east hedge gap while the Fawn gets really busy moving from teat to teat. You can see 2 of the teats against the white fur above the Fawn's muzzle.
More tomorrow ...

Ref: DF3_20230210_0949_114 Muntjac Reeves Deer newborn Fawn with mother & father 41 of 65 (crop).jpg

11 Mar 2023

Two rather nice portraits of probably the same Badger on visits 2 nights apart. Here they are at the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20230207_2001_174_FB1 Badger at hedge bottom.jpg

Two nights on after midnight this second visit turned into a minor disaster when they knocked over and smashed some equipment at another site.
Enjoy seeing Badgers - just accept what they blunder into!

Ref: E64_20230209_0143_219_FB2 Badger at Woodland site - then knocks over IR sensor for FB4 at Tree Stump 1 of 2.jpg

10 Mar 2023

Perched among the budding Cherry this female Chaffinch is probably protected by the surrounding wood from one of the many Sparrowhawk attacks we see many times a day.

Ref: DF3_20230205_1233_080 Chaffinch female in budding cherry blossom.jpg

09 Mar 2023

Here is a first for us - a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) has opened a sunflower seed and is just about to eat the Kernel from the 'opened' case held in their paws.

Ref: E63_20230204_1820_343_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) holding opened sunflower seed (crop).jpg

The left pair of Field Mice and the right pair are accurately montaged about 10 minutes apart. The mouse second from the left has a patch of white fur on their rump that is also not as sleek as the remaining fur.

Ref: E6A_20230206_1841_148+1829_146_FB5 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) - 2 original pairs left and right - one with white fur patches (acc montage).jpg

Next night another appearance of the white furred Mouse.

Ref: E6A_20230207_1837_301_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) - one with white fur patches.jpg

Remembering something like about a patch of white fur on a mouse, we trawled our archive, and from our early photos we found some unpublished pics from February & Mar 2005. So here is the clearest of the set resurrected from 18 years ago - 28 Feb 2005!
The filename doesn't match our current date and time style.

Ref: d3e_11444 fb1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) with white patch on back 2005feb28_22-41-00 (crop).jpg

08 Mar 2023

One sort of assumes that a Grey Squirrel leaping at you would make anything move. But apparently not - we suspect that the Pheasant did a quick turn and kick back with a spur that the Squirrel didn't expect!

Ref: BU5_20230204_1306_350-352_SC1 Grey Squirrel fails in attack on Pheasant male (montage).jpg

In 5 minutes we catch 3 instances of presumably the same Grey Squirrel and female Pheasant disagreeing about who can have the food. The action moves in pairs from left to right, the last including the last sighting of the Pheasant until the next day.

Ref: E64_20230208_1648_205+1652_206+1653_207_FB2 Grey Squirrel attacks Pheasant female 3 times in 5 minutes 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

07 Mar 2023

Some of the meadow is a brush of dead grass in which we surprise this male Reeves' Muntjac Deer.

Ref: DF3_20230204_1249_026 Muntjac Reeves Deer male (healing tops of rear legs) looking back at camera.jpg

Over the wet ditch and out onto the farm land.

Ref: BU7_20230128_1327_088-090 Muntjac Reeves Deer male approaching south hedge gap with scraped back legs (approx montage).jpg

06 Mar 2023

This gorgeous male Green Woodpecker stops for a look around the Meadow Site.
The missing tail is off the left of the original frame.

Ref: E6A_20230203_1535_197_FB5 Green Woodpecker male (crop).jpg

05 Mar 2023

If you enjoyed the Sparrowhawk bathing from a few days earlier, here is the sequel from a few days later.
A lovely reflection from the almost still bird - the moment the bathing starts the water is too rippled to make a coherent reflection.

Ref: PK1_20230203_1111_333 Sparrowhawk bathing at SW side of main pond 01 of 18 including reflection (crop).jpg

Ref: DF4_20230203_1112_016+113_053+055+068 Sparrowhawk bathing at SW side of main pond 03+08+09+13 of 18 (montage).jpg

This time the take-off was from just in the shallow water a bit further along the bank.
Right to left - crouch down and spring into flight!

Ref: DF4_20230203_1113_069-072 Sparrowhawk bathing at SW side of main pond 14-17 of 18 Takeoff (montage @7fps).jpg

04 Mar 2023

A Great Tit standing expectantly on the hedge bottom stone.

Ref: E63_20230202_0754_011_FB1 Great Tit on stone at hedge bottom.jpg

A female Blackbird at the meadow site unusually gives us a look at the underside of her tail - more contrasty than the whole of the rest of her.

Ref: E6A_20230202_1306_073_FB5 Blackbird female showing detail of underside of tail.jpg

A little Fracas at the hedge bottom - Robin + male Blackbird + Dunnock.

Ref: E63_20230203_1356_168_FB1 Robin + Blackbird male + Dunnock fracas.jpg

We just enjoy mixes of our visiting species NOT fighting!

Ref: E63_20230206_1639_072_FB1 Pheasant female + Wood Pigeon + Magpie at hedge bottom.jpg

03 Mar 2023

A flock of about 100 sheep has been systematically moved from field to field to our SW and South to eat the untidy crop obviously grown for them and as a green mulch. They have here arrived in the field across the main road. Rooks are equally enjoying the recently exposed ground. These 3 Sheep were strangely moving about pushing together to make a sort of 12 legged 3 headed creature. They could move apart but most of the time seemed to enjoy the comfort of each others presence.

Ref: DF3_20230201_0909_110 Sheep and Rooks in field over road to west inc 3 sheep moving as one (orig & final).jpg

02 Mar 2023

In just 6 minutes we get three Corvid landings - a Rook. then a Jackdaw and then a different Rook. Between each first-second, third-fourth, and fifth-sixths images 400mS has elapsed.

Ref: D01_20230130_1524_009+010+1528_013+014+1529_015+016_FB6 Rook + Jackdaw + Rook landing over 6 mins (montage).jpg

Red Kites have, in our 30 year tenure, become a delight to watch, thanks to an army of enthusiasts working on their re-introduction. When the sun is low in the sky, as here, the underside of the birds are struck by an ever changing pattern of light and shadow.

Ref: DF3_20230131_1532_091+095+098 Red Kite turning in flight changing light of low sun over underbody (montage).jpg

01 Mar 2023

Great Tit with a sunflower seed in the beak tip.

Ref: E6A_20230129_1029_453_FB5 Great Tit with Sunflower seed in beak.jpg

At last a decent pic of a Long-tail Tit, here perched on a sloping Willow twig.

Ref: DF5_20230130_1357_004 Long-tailed Tit on Willow twig.jpg



Return to image of the day

Newer page of archive          Older page of archive