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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Oct 2023

Shepherding - 21c Style!
The main picture shows the van at the far hedge to bring back 4 sheep along the hedge, but they have already started moving - possibly the dogs did the trick. The insert taken a few seconds later shows the van returning to the main flock - you can see his two dogs as well as 2 sheep.

Ref: D71_20230908_1101_020+021 Shepherd in field far to north in Land Rover + 2 dogs 2+3 of 4 (montage).jpg

Ref: D71_20230908_1104_023 Shepherd in field far to north in Land Rover + 2 dogs 4 of 4 (orig).jpg

About 100 Straw bales 'litter' the crop fields, and on one perhaps 50m away this Wheatear didn't take flight.
We rather like the idea of a Wheatear on Wheat bales

Ref: DF3_20230904_1553_014 Wheatear perched on top of distant straw bale.jpg

30 Oct 2023

This female Kestrel is becoming a regular visitor around the area, but so far not often at this post.

Ref: D01_20230908_0836_007+008_FB6 Kestrel female 2 minute visit to Meadow Post 1+2 of 3 (montage).jpg

Next day the female Kestrel makes a fly-by.

Ref: DF3_20230909_1046_037-041 Kestrel female in flight @7fps 4-8 of 8 (approx montage @7fps).jpg

A Red Kite flyover- quartering the land to his right and then left.
About 1 second of flight here - tightly montaged for effect.

Ref: DF3_20230914_1032_045+048+050 Red Kite flying overhead 1-3 of 3 (close spaced montage).jpg

29 Oct 2023

We used only to see Comma Butterflies in the autumn feeding on rotting windfall apples. Now we see them intermittently through the year as they produce a mid-year brood before the autumn brood which over-winters to breed in the Spring. This one has their wings open a little, so you get a good view of the underwings including the white marking that gives the insect their name, plus a strip of the orange along the top of the wings. The scalloped edge of the wings is an amazing camouflage.

Ref: DF3_20230904_1606_021 Comma Butterfly perched on Blackberry leaf - wings slightly open showing underwing comma marking.jpg

A female Common Darter Dragonfly perches on the seed head.

Ref: DF3_20230903_1257_109 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched on seed head.jpg

Migrant Hawker Dragonflies have this year outnumbered all of the other species combined.

Ref: DF3_20230904_1550_007 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female perched on dead blackthorn twig.jpg

28 Oct 2023

Most years one or more Buzzards decides that the crossbars for the 11kV power cables make good hunting perches.
Only young birds perch on the wires - the wider angle iron section is presumably easier on the feet for the full weight bird. And it doesn't sway in even light winds.

Ref: DF3_20230901_1614_002 Buzzard on 11kV crossbar over bridleway to north.jpg

A Red Kite flies by.

Ref: DF3_20230902_1602_055 Red Kite in flight.jpg

27 Oct 2023

On the left a juvenile Robin starting to develop their red breast.
On the right an adult - Robins are very territorial so most likely Mum or Dad.

Ref: E63_20230831_1953_096+1935_095_FB1 Robin juvenile and adult on hedge bottom stone (montage).jpg

A juvenile Blackbird stops off at the Meadow site.

Ref: E6A_20230904_1036_025_FB5 Blackbird juvenile at Meadow Site.jpg

26 Oct 2023

A juvenile male Green Woodpecker spends a few minutes on the meadow post.

Ref: D01_20230901_1446_062+1445_060+1442_058_FB6 Green Woodpecker male juvenile spends 5 minutes on Meadow Post (montage).jpg

We seem to be rather fond of our skittish Green Woodpeckers - more usually heard (fleeing away and calling) than seen. This is a adult male showing front and back.

Ref: D01_20230906_0954_034+0953_032_FB6 Green Woodpecker male young adult on Meadow Post (montage).jpg

25 Oct 2023

In the small hours a pair of Reeves' Muntjac Deer quietly forage along the concrete access track.

Ref: BU3_20230831_0322_142+144+0323_147+148_SC6 Muntjac Reeves Deer pair foraging on access track (montage).jpg

While the Wheat crop is standing tall (actually much shorter nowadays than the crops of our Childhoods) a Muntjac Deer could be making this journey and we would never know. To the saying
    "As clear as Bird nests in Winter"
we would like to add
    "As clear as a Muntjacs after Harvest".

Ref: DF3_20230828_0706_009+004+0707_019 Muntjac Reeves Deer male browsing newly harvested crop (accurate montage).jpg

24 Oct 2023

The Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are back at the Hedge Bottom. On this night just the single visit

Ref: E63_20230828_2139_018_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) at hedge bottom.jpg

Two night after the solitary Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) sighting we captured over a dozen moments of single and pairs of Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at the hedge bottom over one night. We had a little fun montaging some of them.

Ref: E63_20230830_2155_134-20230831_0457_143_FB1 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at Hedge bottom over one night (approx montage).jpg

23 Oct 2023

Holly Blue Butterflies appear in cycles as they produce new generations through the year. This one is enjoying a feed from a mint flower.

Ref: DF3_20230827_1307_288 Holly Blue Butterfly feeding on mint flower along with large fly.jpg

Shieldbugs and Squashbugs are interesting visitors. Here the larger and sharp insect is a Dock Bug just over half-an-inch long we found in a bowl of just picked Blackberries - actually our most productive wild harvest.

Ref: D71_20230827_1316_035 Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus) about 14mm long in bowl of Blackberries.jpg

In the same bowl of blackberries were several Woundwort Shieldbugs, only about a quarter of an inch long.
Bowls of fruits and other harvests are spread out on a tray for a day to let any animate life escape the washing and cooking.

Ref: D71_20230827_1315_016 Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris fabricii) about 6mm long in blackberry pot (ID only).jpg

22 Oct 2023

This Red Kite fly-by turns into a glide ...

Ref: DF3_20230826_0949_058-060+066-069 Red Kite in flight @7fps 1-3+4-7 (discontinuous) of 7 (2 accurate montages).jpg

... until a local Rook takes exception.

Ref: DF3_20230826_0950_139-142 Red Kite in flight harassed by Rook @7fps 2-5 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

More detail of the above with the obvious choice of Red Kite, along with the accompanying Rook shown a little closer than reality for clarity.

Ref: DF3_20230826_0950_140 Red Kite in flight harassed by Rook @7fps 3 of 7 (adjusted crop).jpg

21 Oct 2023

We are currently seeing male and female adults and juvenile Green Woodpeckers, so our 'local' pair must have had a successful summer's nesting of at least 2 youngsters.

Ref: D01_20230825_1825_069_FB6 Green Woodpecker juvenile male lands on Meadow Post.jpg

Ref: D01_20230825_1857_071_FB6 Green Woodpecker just juvenile female lands on Meadow Post.jpg

Ref: D01_20230826_0843_084_FB6 Green Woodpecker juvenile male pecking top of Meadow Post.jpg

As we approach the south field we often disturb a Green Woodpecker that has been probing the soil, flying either into our patch or away across the field. This one flew behind this 11kV power pole and didn't appear on the other side. Waiting a minute or two was rewarded by this beak tip peering around the lower left of the pole.
What a mix of brutalic human and elegant nature.

Ref: DF3_20230827_0934_201 Green Woodpecker hiding behind 11kV power pole.jpg

20 Oct 2023

An atmospheric Fox stalking through the orchard just before midnight.

Ref: BU9_20230824_2352_022_SC2 Fox leaving orchard.jpg

What looks like a nearly full grown 'perfect' young Fox takes his selfie.
This may be one of the cubs raised in the earth of 'Round Mound' earlier this year.

Ref: BUA_20230826_1524_048_SC8 Fox nearly full grown near east hedge gap.jpg

19 Oct 2023

A young hare bounding through the meadow site.

Ref: E6A_20230819_0735_107_FB5 Hare youngster passing through meadow site.jpg

We startled the regular Hare in this area, but only managed these two pics as they ran behind the ever growing mound of farm top soil.

Ref: DF3_20230822_0751_072+073 Hare running from field margin past soil dump into our patch (accurate montage).jpg

The Hare, with particularly dark ears, seems to frequent the end of the orchard and area immediately outside despite it now being more like a building site.

Ref: BU7_20230823_1850_096+1846_092 Hare pauses at end of orchard before departing through south hedge gap (accurate montage).jpg

18 Oct 2023

Photographed about 10 minutes apart we twice see this juvenile Green Woodpecker picking over the meadow site.

Ref: E6A_20230823_1429_189+1438_191+_FB5 Green woodpecker male juvenile 10 minute visit to meadow site (montage).jpg

A Detail from the above.
We really can believe that birds descended from Dinosaurs!

Ref: E6A_20230823_1429_189_FB5 Green woodpecker male juvenile 10 minute visit to meadow site (head detail).jpg

17 Oct 2023

This is the first (and so far only) sighting of a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) for weeks - fortunately a rather delightful effort.

Ref: E63_20230821_0415_182_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) at Hedge bottom (1st for many weeks).jpg

On the same hedge-bottom stone but at rather different scale, this rather obviously male Grey Squirrel gazes at the automatic camera.

Ref: E63_20230820_0936_124_FB1 Grey Squirrel male upright on hedge bottom stone.jpg

Here out on the Farm Road it is a human behind the lens.
Why hope for a human hand-out - there's 100 acres of corn 'fresh on the stalk' all around.

Ref: DF3_20230822_0754_078+090 Grey Squirrel spots humans on Farm Road (montage).jpg

16 Oct 2023

Here is the start of a little story that we only know in parts. Here Roy is photographing something originally intended for the archive, having spotted a dead young Rabbit on the edge of one of the many holes in this mound.

Ref: BU2_20230817_1624_015_SC7 Roy Photographing dead Rabbit on Round Mound (orig & final).jpg

2 days later the trail cam watching the mound catches this Buzzard landing right over the dead Rabbit (right image), now to be found about 3 metres from our original sighting without any indication in the 2 days of photos of what moved it.
Later we get to see the Rabbit in the bird's talons (middle image) and then perched on the fallen branch (centre) and 15 minutes later a much reduced carcass in the talons on the top of the fallen branch.

Ref: BU2_20230819_1433_081+1417_077+076_SC7 Buzzard visits Round Mound to pick up dead Rabbit 07+03+02 of 13 (montage 2+3 acc).jpg

3 hours later we catch the Buzzard on the mound again, possibly as two visits but more likely a single visit. Accurately montaged, even though the camera flipped to IR lighting between the two moments. No sign of any Rabbit remains.

Ref: BU2_20230819_1742_089+1735_085_SC7 Buzzard visits Round Mound again 12(IR)+08 of 13 (montage).jpg

15 Oct 2023

A pristine Green-veined white - at this time of year it must be the second of the years two broods.

Ref: DF3_20230816_1252_032 Green-veined White Butterfly.jpg

A Holly Blue Butterfly perched on the edge of an Ivy leaf.

Ref: D71_20230819_1227_043 Holly Blue Butterfly on Ivy leaf.jpg

14 Oct 2023

A moment of snail passion - we left them in peace on their carpet of slime.
Snails are Hermaphrodites - both sexes at the same time.

Ref: D71_20230819_0910_019 Snails mating on field margin.jpg

A major dearth of ladybirds this year, and so far all are original UK species.
The shiny carapace shows a reflection of the photographer outlined by the sky.

Ref: D71_20230819_0911_026 7-spot ladybird with silhouette of photographer reflected on carapace.jpg

13 Oct 2023

This Sparrowhawk made a short visit to the Meadow Post an hour or so after sunrise. This looks like a female, but more probably a new juvenile, sussing out the area.

Ref: D01_20230817_0701_001_FB6 Sparrowhawk prob Juvenile landing on meadow post 1 of 2 (crop).jpg

This Red Kite, flying into a moderate breeze, glided slowly overhead with attention clearly scanning the surrounding area. Humans aren't edible for a Kite so of no interest!

Ref: DF3_20230819_1554_060+070 Red Kite hunting in slow glide overhead (impression montage over 1300mS).jpg

A Red Kite gliding by in a strong cross-wind.
Accurate positioned at about 7 fps.

Ref: DF3_20230822_1213_088-092 Red Kite gliding overhead in crosswind (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

12 Oct 2023

Scarlet Pimpernel is mainly found here growing over disused concrete tracks

Ref: DF3_20230811_1315_095 Scarlet Pimpernel clump.jpg

To really appreciate the tiny flowers you have to get really close.

Ref: DF3_20230811_1316_101 Scarlet Pimpernel detail + insert.jpg

11 Oct 2023

20 minutes of Grey Squirrel's activity at the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20230813_0941_197-1004_202_FB1 Grey Squirrel at hedge bottom over 20 minutes (approx montage).jpg

It may be more difficult to balance on the limited area of the bird table mount with the table detached, but this squirrel stops for a good scratch on it anyway.

Ref: E60_20230815_1638_024+022+025_FB3 Grey Squirrel grooming on Kitchen bird table post top (montage).jpg

10 Oct 2023

Exiting the house this Wood Pigeon caught the eye as if 'in the spotlight'.

Ref: D71_20230810_0712_007 Wood Pigeon catching sunlight in conifer by garage.jpg

It looks like this juvenile Wood Pigeon is fresh out of a nearby nest and has crash landed in the hedge at the front of the house. He seems to instinctively 'know' that the best way of avoiding detection is to keep perfectly still. We almost missed spotting them.

Ref: D71_20230814_1214_013 Pigeon youngster on blackberry hedge at front of house.jpg

09 Oct 2023

Lots of invertebrates like to use this corrugated iron sheet to get warmed up from the sun-warmed metal. This is a female Common Darter Dragonfly.

Ref: DF3_20230812_1006_128 Common Darter Dragonfly female perched on corrugated iron sheet.jpg

A male Common Darter Dragonfly on the cut tip of a Blackberry stem.
Darter Dragonflies are intermediate in size between Damselflies and Hawker Dragonflies and hunt in a different style to both.

Ref: DF3_20230812_1252_166 Common Darter Dragonfly male on tip of cut blackberry stem.jpg

08 Oct 2023

Over the Wheat crop in the field north of our patch several Migrant Hawker Dragonflies swoop and swerve in the search of midges. These two were close enough for the photographer to get both flights in frame at the same time.

Ref: DF3_20230816_1303_042-047 2 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly females in flight over wheat to Nth 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

At the time we couldn't see that the Dragonfly at the top left was busy carrying a midge, undoubtedly sucking it dry for the nutritional fluid. Here are 3 of the pics from the montage in more detail.

Ref: DF3_20230816_1303_044-046 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly in flight carrying prey in mouth 3-5 of 6 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

Its easier to see the detail of a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly when perched in a hedge.

Ref: DF3_20230811_1307_079 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female.jpg

This time we find a female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly awaiting her Portrait.

Ref: DF3_20230813_1218_196 Migrant Hawker Dragonfly female.jpg

07 Oct 2023

A mid-morning encounter between us and the current male Reeves Muntjac Deer. He wasn't pleased to see us, but not panicky enough for a high speed departure. Perhaps we are considered 'Mostly Harmless'.

Ref: DF3_20230817_1039_006 Muntjac Reeves Deer male in woodland (crop).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230817_1039_006 Muntjac Reeves Deer male in woodland (head detail).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230817_1039_007 Muntjac Reeves Deer male in woodland (crop).jpg

Ref: DF3_20230817_1039_007 Muntjac Reeves Deer male in woodland (head detail).jpg

06 Oct 2023

In one walkabout of our 2 acre patch we find two dead trees attracting a carpet of fungus growing from the roots.

Ref: DF3_20230807_1437_013 Fungus carpet around base of dead tree.jpg

Its not really autumn yet but various Fungi have been appearing in many shady corners.

Ref: DF3_20230811_0850_043 Fungi in shade south of Duck Mound.jpg

05 Oct 2023

This Yellow Slug climbs over the stone.

Ref: E63_20230811_0103_059_FB1 Yellow Slug climbing stone at hedge bottom.jpg

A couple of days later we find this similar sized slug struggling across the dry and dusty concrete farm road. We took his picture (also with a size reference not shown) before picking them up and moving to safety of a hedge.

Ref: DF3_20230813_0858_182 Slug 11cm long crossing Farm Road before moving to hedge.jpg

04 Oct 2023

The fall of the Kitchen Bird table resulted in 3 visits on the same night by this Tawny Owl.

Ref: E60_20230810_2348_010_FB3 Tawny Owl visits to crossbar of fallen Kitchen feeder 3 of 8 (crop).jpg

Ref: E60_20230811_0052_013_FB3 Tawny Owl visits to crossbar of fallen Kitchen feeder 6 of 8 (crop).jpg

Ref: E60_20230811_0055_014_FB3 Tawny Owl visits to crossbar of fallen Kitchen feeder 7 of 8 (crop).jpg

We left the feeder 'broken' for a week in the hope of a similar flurry of visits but we were disappointed. But in the following week there were 3 Tawny Owl visits to the Meadow Post, each for 5 or more minutes.

Ref: D01_20230817_0121_128+129+0125_136_FB6 Tawny Owl 5+ minute visit to meadow post 1+2+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

03 Oct 2023

This male Southern Hawker was dashing around over the (rather low) surface of the main pond. Here is just over a second of flight, including a pause for 4 frames (at top right - only one shown) before dashing off in the reverse direction. The rightmost image shows his blurred head turning in preparation for the banking.

Ref: DF3_20230810_1515_025-033 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male flies low hovers & swerves @7fps 1+2+4+7-9 of 9 (approx montage).jpg

Another moment during the 4 frame hover (not included in the montage).

Ref: DF3_20230810_1515_030 Southern Hawker Dragonfly male flying low over main pond and swerving 6 of 9 (crop).jpg

02 Oct 2023

We hear Green Woodpeckers more often than we see them.
Here is a rather dynamic moment of a male launching from the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20230810_1302_015_FB6 Green Woodpecker male launching from Meadow Post.jpg

It seems that we have another brood of Robin around the hedge bottom.
The ID book suggests that pairs may have three broods.
Poor Mum!

Ref: E63_20230810_0811_003+20230813_0611_180_FB1 Robin juvenile(s) on stone at hedge bottom 3 days apart (montage).jpg

01 Oct 2023

Shortly after midnight the entering Fox suddenly detects (most likely with those wonderful ears) some unfortunate creature, and swings round for a proper look. In the soil it could be a beetle, worm or whatever - the Fox isn't fussy.

Ref: BUA_20230724_0039_028-030_SC8 Fox probably hears prey and turns to investigate (montage).jpg

Rather than squatting or sitting, this good sized Badger is what we have to describe as 'lounging' near the east hedge gap.

Ref: BUA_20230810_0006_116_SC8 Badger near East hedge gap lounging on ground.jpg

At the back of the main pond this female Reeves' Muntjac Deer is chomping away of blackberry leaves.
Presumably not Ouch if you are a Deer

Ref: SP1_20230810_0458_153_SP1 Muntjac Reeves Deer female eating blackberry leaves.jpg



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