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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
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.
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
This female Kestrel is becoming a regular visitor around the area, but so far not often at this post.
Next day the female Kestrel makes a fly-by.
A Red Kite flyover- quartering the land to his right and then left.
About 1 second of flight here - tightly montaged for effect.
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.
A female Common Darter Dragonfly perches on the seed head.
Migrant Hawker Dragonflies have this year outnumbered all of the other species combined.
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.
A Red Kite flies by.
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.
A juvenile Blackbird stops off at the Meadow site.
A juvenile male Green Woodpecker spends a few minutes on the meadow post.
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.
In the small hours a pair of Reeves' Muntjac Deer quietly forage along the concrete access track.
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".
The Fieldmice (Wood Mice) are back at the Hedge Bottom. On this night just the single visit
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.
Holly Blue Butterflies appear in cycles as they produce new generations through the year. This one is enjoying a feed from a mint flower.
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.
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.
This Red Kite fly-by turns into a glide ...
... until a local Rook takes exception.
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.
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.
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.
An atmospheric Fox stalking through the orchard just before midnight.
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.
A young hare bounding through the meadow site.
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.
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.
Photographed about 10 minutes apart we twice see this juvenile Green Woodpecker picking over the meadow site.
A Detail from the above.
We really can believe that birds descended from Dinosaurs!
This is the first (and so far only) sighting of a Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) for weeks - fortunately a rather delightful effort.
On the same hedge-bottom stone but at rather different scale, this rather obviously male Grey Squirrel gazes at the automatic camera.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A pristine Green-veined white - at this time of year it must be the second of the years two broods.
A Holly Blue Butterfly perched on the edge of an Ivy leaf.
A moment of snail passion - we left them in peace on their carpet of slime.
Snails are Hermaphrodites - both sexes at the same time.
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.
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.
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!
A Red Kite gliding by in a strong cross-wind.
Accurate positioned at about 7 fps.
Scarlet Pimpernel is mainly found here growing over disused concrete tracks
To really appreciate the tiny flowers you have to get really close.
20 minutes of Grey Squirrel's activity at the hedge bottom.
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.
Exiting the house this Wood Pigeon caught the eye as if 'in the spotlight'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Its easier to see the detail of a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly when perched in a hedge.
This time we find a female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly awaiting her Portrait.
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'.
In one walkabout of our 2 acre patch we find two dead trees attracting a carpet of fungus growing from the roots.
Its not really autumn yet but various Fungi have been appearing in many shady corners.
This Yellow Slug climbs over the stone.
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.
The fall of the Kitchen Bird table resulted in 3 visits on the same night by this Tawny Owl.
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.
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.
Another moment during the 4 frame hover (not included in the montage).
We hear Green Woodpeckers more often than we see them.
Here is a rather dynamic moment of a male launching from the Meadow Post.
It seems that we have another brood of Robin around the hedge bottom.
The ID book suggests that pairs may have three broods.
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.
Rather than squatting or sitting, this good sized Badger is what we have to describe as 'lounging' near the east hedge gap.
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
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