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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
One of the female Kestrels spends a few minutes hunting the area using the usual fly along a bit and then hover for a few seconds. Spacing is closer than reality.
One of the more interesting moments in one of the Kestrel's hovers. Kestrels always face into the wind when they hover and apparently can not hover in still air. A well established common name is the 'Windhover'.
Away the female Kestrel goes - this one accurately spaced using the foliage for reference - a bit over half a second of flight.
Starting at our South west and disappearing at our South East, this Buzzard wings their way
through the sky.
All of these montages are accurately positioned at about 7 frames per second.
A closer look at the first three moments
After the farm Harvest dropped corn bonanza there is not much to feed on in the fields where there is no quick access to safety cover. So at least this Hare is enjoying the sanctuary of our little 2 acres
2 weeks later this Hare seems to be almost 'resident' at this South West corner.
2 days later an obviously different Hare makes one of their regular visits to the East hedge gap about 150 metres from the hedge gap above.
At the North East corner of the Garage, behind a bramble hedge, the Reeves' Muntjac Fawn and we appraise each other.
The Fawn isn't panicked, and quietly moves to the back of the garage out of sight.
The Reeves' Muntjac Fawn is growing well. An interesting 'gait' - opposing corner legs raised simultaneously.
The hedge behind the photo 'stage' at the hedge bottom is now completely devoid of hedging stems through years of attrition by the many wild visitors. So this male Reeves' Muntjac Deer can just walk through from the path behind. But right at the left edge of the camera frame as seems inevitable.
After the Buzzard on the meadow post, the next day brought a series of Red Kite fly-overs and circles in Thermals.
A genuine close-spaced selection of a single circle of this Red Kite climbing in a Thermal. The sequence starts top right and ends middle right where the bird is a bit higher and appears a bit smaller.
More detail of the top-right image - the photographer feels 'spotted'.
A busy couple of days for Buzzard(s) visiting the Meadow Post.
On the bird table outside the kitchen window we see this Grey Squirrel doing what they do best - eating.
This Grey Squirrel has raided the compost bin to carry away a piece of cooked Pink Fir Apple potato peel.
We have watched Grey Squirrels burying freshly fallen (and we are sure 'helped down') conkers. Here we see a Squirrel digging up something to eat. Despite taking dozens of frames during several excavations we still don't have a clear pic of the item unearthed - but it is probably a conker!
This Grey Squirrel at the hedge bottom is holding some sort of nut - possibly a Hazelnut from a nearby tree.
In some fitful sunshine this slightly tatty Small White butterfly sips nectar from an equally late arrived Dandelion growing from one of the hundreds of tons of stripped soil dumped outside our south hedge.
After a summer of very few Ladybird sightings, but almost all of them as native 7-spot, we can't decide whether to be pleased or sorry to find about 50 of the invasive Harlequin Ladybirds on the south wall of the house. Here are a couple of them along the edge of the 'Patio Doors'. Unlike the UK varieties, Harlequin individuals vary enormously in appearance.
Fungi are fascinating (and VERY important members of the wildlife community) but we have no expertise in identifying them.
The Reeves' Muntjac Deer Fawn is gradually becoming more precocious. Here we see them at the end of the Orchard, unfortunately awkwardly lit.
6 hours later the Reeves' Muntjac Deer Fawn finally make a visit to a high resolution camera site.
The Fawn is now ready for a close-up.
A detail from the same original frame.
We came across this female Kestrel surrounded by at times up to 4 Magpies (never all on camera at once) scattered in the branches around her. They were not really making an effort to mob her, but she wasn't at all pleased with the interruption to her hunt. These two images taken from slightly different viewpoints.
The Kestrel stayed on as we walked round the corner of our patch were she was clinging to a branch of this swaying conifer. Maintaining a stationary eye position in flight is carried to a similar behaviour when perched on moving perches. Here the perch is swaying left and right, and the body and neck compensates to keep the eyes still and focussed on their target.
One of the female Kestrels stopped for almost exactly a minute (the repeat rate of the camera auto-watching the post) so we could build this rather attractive montage of this lovely bird.
A portrait of one of the female Kestrels standing on one foot on the gently swaying 11kV power cable over the Northern Bridleway. She watches us go by before continuing her hunt.
We do loathe having the outside of our south boundary being turned into a
building yard, but every cloud may have a silver lining if you look hard enough.
This Kestrel uses the top of the heaps of broken concrete as a convenient hunting perch.
Over a quarter of an hour, this Buzzard made two landings of the Meadow Post, each including an at least 5 minute stay.
This is half a second after the first image.
The second landing (right) along with the regaining of balance half a second later (right then left).
A couple of more 'static' moments of the Buzzards visits
Are you familiar with those 'rotating around the action' sequences in SF movies
(e.g. The Matrix), made by firing off dozens of SLR cameras in sequence?
Well here is our walking pace version of the same thing, travelling almost 180 degrees around this very tolerant female Kestrel perched on a conifer inside the SE corner of our patch. She is about 5m up the tree, far from the top, photograph from the outside.
90 minutes later found this female Kestrel using the footrests of the disused Telephone pole for a hunt. We have seen this behaviour before, but for some reason not last year. We know that we have at least 2 female Kestrels hunting around the area, and think that this is the 'other' one to the tolerant individual. She flew off across the adjacent field and landed on an 11kV crossbar to the south.
Here is a more detailed pic of this female Kestrel just before launch.
A glimpse of a bird on the top of one of the rubble piles now 'gracing' the outside of our south boundary turns out to be another female Kestrel, our first positive ID that there are two female Kestrels. She dived to the unpromising ground (basically tractor flattened hardcore) but she didn't seem to catch anything.
A glance from the SE corner at the field margin to our east show this Buzzard on (what turned out to be) a dead Rabbit from which the bird has already taken some lumps of meat. He spotted the humans and tried to take off with the prize, but it was obvious over a couple of tries that it was too heavy for the bird.
Next morning we spied this Red Kite on the same kill. The Kite grabs a lump of meat and powers their way away. The shadowed area is from the hedge just out of crop.
Meat still clamped in one of the talons, the Red Kite makes their exit.
This female Kestrel and we stood watching each other, when suddenly a beam of sunshine lit her for a few seconds.
A minute later she decided to depart. The montage is accurate, but the branch she was perched on sprung back up as she left - the white bar is to excuse the end of the branch 'being in the wrong place'.
A ghostly airliner haunts the sky.
A humid morning outlines this, among many, spiders webs.
A large (about 30cm across) and finely spaced Spiders web.
While picking up some wind-blown rubbish Marie spotted this fungus glowing INSIDE a cavity in a many decades old apple tree.
A good shake-out of the feathers probably settles them comfortably.
The wet breast tells us that this Wood Pigeon is 'shaking out' after a morning bathe.
An early morning visit by this Buzzard to the meadow Post lasts at least 5 minutes. Left and centre are about half a second apart, and the bird hunting on the right 3 minutes later. At this time we had started clearing the Meadow back from scrub to rank grass - starting at the base of this post, so it is probably now a become more productive place to hunt.
The middle pic in a more glorious crop.
Another moment from the same visit.
Its not been warm enough in the last few days to tempt out even the Migrant Hawker Dragonflies, who seem to fly at lower temperatures than our other regulars, but there are several Common Darter Dragonflies of both sexes making the most of their final weeks.
One of several Common Hawker Dragonflies that spend time on this corrugated iron sheet, this female gives a double dose of her lovely wings - the real wings echoed in the shadow on the iron.
This male Migrant Hawker warms on a twig in the fitful sunshine.
The beautiful vivid Blue/Cyan colour is the real appearance.
Our current male Reeves' Muntjac Deer takes his portrait at the
Woodland site. The 'lips' below his eye in this pic is his scent gland
he uses to 'perfume' tips of sticks and similar.
It always seems a dangerous place to aim for stick so close to then eye, but many deer use the same arrangement so it must have advantages.
Just after midnight Mum and Fawn have a moment of 'gentle contact' as they amble past the Round Pond.
A couple of minutes after passing through the south hedge into the area the farm owner has turned into a builder's yard including about (500 tones of earth and numerous heaps of hardcore and sand) our little family returns - we suspect that they decided it was better 'inside'.
After midnight the little family (Fawn + Doe + Buck) wandered about the east side of our patch.
Walks around the patch just don't get to see Hares in the fields, now stripped of the growing wheat they can use as a refuge. A few seem instead to be making the most of the comparative cover and largess of our little patch. We particularly like this portrait at the Woodland site.
Round pond is currently dry, and we are seeing Hares, Squirrel and Deer visiting the water trough. No way near enough rain yet to raise the water table to re-fill the pond.
This male Common Darter dragonfly perched on an old wood bench is busy sucking the juices from some unfortunate midge.
A really poor year for Ladybirds here this year -
this is the first we have noticed for weeks.
It's a 7-spot Ladybird - a common UK species rather than the almost absent Harlequins.
This looks like the juvenile male Green Woodpecker has almost transitioned to adulthood. This is two visits - on the left sequential frames a minute apart, and the right hand landing 40 minutes later, now looking much sleeker but many details indicate the same bird.
A male Green Woodpecker (possibly one of this years sprogs) seems intent on pecking at the now badly split top of the Meadow Post.
The Fawn is Back!
On the left the Fawn is following Mum from the 'building site' outside through the hedge gap to follow her over the dry ditch.
On the right of the white bar (included in this accurate montage so as not to imply that the Fawn is looking back at Mum) we get a view of the Fawn looking at nothing we can see in the original pic.
15 minutes later the camera at the east hedge gap catches the Reeves's Muntjac Mother and Fawn moving past the camera at enough speed to blur the image.
As the daylight dwindles, 'our' male Reeves' Muntjac Deer stops for a groom on the grass patch near the south hedge gap. His enormous tongue is deployed to groom his face, and the small tusk shows up rather well.
The (new) local female Kestrel sometimes perches on the top of this disused telephone pole. She ignored us for a couple of minutes before quietly 'moving on' to a new hunting perch - see where in a moment. This is accurately spaced at 7 fps except for the bird on the pole.
5 minutes later we see her on the 11kV cross bar some 300m north. Rooks habitually chase off any Kestrel they see, but the Jackdaw (above) chose to co-exist without a hassle.
We didn't get any closer, but the female Kestrel decided to move on, flying past us at full flying speed, again accurately montaged at 7 fps.
Two days later we see the female Kestrel again. She seems to be getting used to us being 'mostly harmless'.
These two Comma Butterflies almost seem to be having a little battle. The insect on the right clearly shows his proboscis only partly furled or unfurled.
The Comma Butterfly on the left 'won' the encounter and quickly got back to feeding. An inadvertent fly didn't disturb the Butterfly.
The previously generation of Red admiral Butterflies enjoyed feeding on the Blackberry flowers, and may even have fertilised the fruit from which this one is taking their fill.
A close look at a Red Admiral Butterfly with his figure-of-eight cross section
proboscis deep between Blackberry druplets.
Blackberries are actually known as an 'aggregate fruit 'composed of small druplets.
In just one day (including a night) we see this Grey Squirrel make 6 almost identical
passages across the Woodland photo site, each time carrying a conker.
The Squirrel may have taken dozens more by a different route.
There are a Red and normal Horse-Chestnut trees a few metres from this site - a search found no signs of any conkers on the surround woodland floor - the Squirrel is doing a thorough job!
Just these two cherries make for a bit of variety. But the Conkers will store much better and provide more nutrition - the Squirrel will be pleased he made the effort in the privations of Winter.
One of about 4 groups of similar fungi fruiting bodies in a few square metres.
A couple of fallen branches (one probably cut to release it from other branches) only a few metres apart are of the same wood but an obviously a different species of bracket fungus.
A Hawker Dragonfly does a hairpin turn in about half a second.
Mallow flowers grow in convenient cracks along the edge of the access track. While photographing this pair of open and opening flowers we didn't even notice that there was a Green Shieldbug perched on the group of buds. Good Camouflage.
While touring the cameras to exchange photo-cards we came across this Comma Butterfly perched on the camera that 'watches' the Round Mound. On this cold morning the insect is torpid, and we managed to open the camera door it is perched on, exchange the photo card, and close up again without obviously disturbing the creature. It was gone later in the warmer day.
Our first (and so far only) sighting of a Reeves' Muntjac Deer Fawn, here near the east hedge gap. We have seen neither in the following weeks and assume that they are just elsewhere.
On the morning after the above pic, the male spends a couple of hours wandering around the 2 acres. It is likely that this is the Fawn's father who is imaged by one or more cameras on most nights at the moment.
This Reeves' Muntjac Deer wins the staring contest.
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