Return to moorhen home page
Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
A decades old Corkscrew Hazel near the house has exploded with Catkins.
A more detailed pic also shows the tiny red flowers that 'hope' to catch the Pollen from another Hazel.
Deep in the 'weeds' beneath the Hazel tree grows another 'weed' - a Wild Violet.
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.
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.
Enormous bill, Tiny seed.
The biggest risk for the Dunnock is being stepped on, but why take the chance.
A short visit from a Barn Owl to the Meadow Post.
What may be just the one individual Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) spends an hour feeding at the woodland site.
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.
The Snowdrops have been a real delight this year.
A much smaller clump at Duck Pond is better lit and easier to get close-up photos.
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'.
Next day we again see the male dutifully following the female, this time in a less spectacular setting past the Duck shaped pond.
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.
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.
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.
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?'
A few minutes later the brave Robin flies off with his prize.
The Robin over the stone is actually in the air without the bird on the ground (back to us) apparently being concerned.
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.
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.
After crossing the concrete track he makes a bee-line for the farmers crop ...
... 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.
The Deer finally makes it to the west boundary hedge, gives us a withering stare, before disappearing into the hedge.
Our stock of small apples continues to be a favourite of anything that can carry them off.
The stalk end of pear makes a decent meal for this Grey squirrel.
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'.
This Rook was watching us suspiciously, unusually lined up ALONG the wire.
A genuine single frame of three Rooks lined up over a nest with a fourth trying it out.
The regular male Reeves' Muntjac Deer eats some Blackberry leaves, somehow avoiding, or resistant to, the thorns.
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.
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.
Near the East hedge we catch this pair of Badgers 'Romping, play fighting or
A web search indicates that February is the peak mating time, but the females typically delay implantation until December. for a 7 week gestation.
Half an hour later what we assume is the same pair still 'mucking about', this time at the bottom of the Round Mound.
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.
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.
A little detail from an untidy clump hiding at the bottom of a willow Tree currently overwhelmed by Blackberry bushes
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
An unusual time for 'our' Fox to visit - bang on Noon, so possibly a female with lots of cubs to grow or feed.
Four hours later what may be the same Fox makes their way towards the south exit.
We think the same Badger visiting first the South ditch ...
... spending several minutes rummaging around at the hedge bottom ...
... and then making a visit to the Woodland site.
New Fawn Continued ...
Once the Fawn has apparently exhausted the current supply of milk, the pair wander off in the direction the male went.
Here is a detail of the wobbly Fawn.
Mum and Fawn arrive at the east hedge and the automatic trail-cam catches another image of the Fawn.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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 ...
Two rather nice portraits of probably the same Badger on visits 2 nights apart. Here they are at the hedge bottom.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Next night another appearance of the white furred Mouse.
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.
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!
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.
Some of the meadow is a brush of dead grass in which we surprise this male Reeves' Muntjac Deer.
Over the wet ditch and out onto the farm land.
This gorgeous male Green Woodpecker stops for a look around the Meadow Site.
The missing tail is off the left of the original frame.
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.
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!
A Great Tit standing expectantly on the hedge bottom stone.
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.
A little Fracas at the hedge bottom - Robin + male Blackbird + Dunnock.
We just enjoy mixes of our visiting species NOT fighting!
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.
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.
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.
Great Tit with a sunflower seed in the beak tip.
At last a decent pic of a Long-tail Tit, here perched on a sloping Willow twig.
Return to image of the day
Newer page of archive Older page of archive