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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

23 Apr 2024

A Red Kite glides overhead catching the low early morning sunlight.
Thanks to those volunteers who helped this bird's return to our skies.

Ref: DF3_20240329_0557_002 Red Kite in flight.jpg

22 Apr 2024

In the now fenced-off field to our south we spot this Chinese Water Deer nibbling the fresh leaves on the hedge.

Ref: R70_20240328_0709_050 Chinese Water Deer eating fresh leaves from hedge.jpg

After a while, and we think nothing to do with our presence, the Deer wandered off and finally walked through the 'impenetrable' hedge into the adjacent field.

Ref: R70_20240328_0710_085+087+088+099+117 Chinese Water deer leaves field through hedge (approx montage).jpg

21 Apr 2024

Magpie(s) have been routinely collecting blackthorn twigs from the south hedge.

Ref: BU7_20240326_1130_076-078 Magpie carrying Blackthorn twig across grass near south hedge gap (accurate montage).jpg

Gliding majestically overhead this Red Kite rode the wind making minor adjustments to their tail orientation. This is an accurate montage at about 8 fps lined up on the cloud edge, fortunately never quite overlapping

Ref: R70_20240328_1000_056-060 Red Kite gliding overhead @8fps (accurate montage).jpg

20 Apr 2024

Good grief - how much more vivid can a bird's markings get.
We have not 'wound up' the colours on this Great Tit - flash lit at the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20240323_0753_096_FB1 Great Tit with vivid plumage.jpg

As the leaves start to unfurl over the woodland area of the 2 acres, the light changes from almost as well lit as the meadow to an increasingly dark and secretive vista. This wood pigeon takes a morning selfie on the tree-stump now very loose in the ground and propped up by lumps of wood.

Ref: E6C_20240324_0814_043_FB4 Wood Pigeon in Tree-stump.jpg

19 Apr 2024

This Great Spotted Woodpecker spends at least 5 minutes on the kitchen bird table peanut feeder moving backwards and forwards between the post and the peanuts. Here is a 'simplified' sample.
Our theory - the bird has been there much longer and is so full of nuts he has to wait for them to 'go down' before he can cram in any more!

Ref: PK1_20240322_0723_928-0728_014 Great Spotted Woodpecker male intermittently feeds from Kitchen feeder over 5 mins 14+04+13+18 of 22 (montage).jpg

7 days later, now bathed in some sunshine, probably the same male Great Spotted Woodpecker continues to make the most of this 'seemingly endless' supply of rich food.

Ref: PK1_20240329_0651_110 Great Spotted Woodpecker at peanut feeder.jpg

18 Apr 2024

Suddenly, and delightfully, at least two Hares have reappeared on our patch, here at the south-west and east hedge gaps within a couple of minutes of each other in the morning.

Ref: BU7_20240322_0609_194+BUA_0627_072_SC8+BU7_0629_198 2 Hares at SW and East hedge gaps (montage).jpg

On the evening of the next day this shaggy Hare turns by the ditch.

Ref: BU7_20240323_1804_278+280+282 Hare sitting on grass swivels 90 degrees (montage).jpg

Some weeks we are lucky enough to spot a Reeves' Muntjac Deer browsing on the main pond island where we can watch (and photograph) through the Kitchen window.

Ref: DF3_20240325_1656_005 Muntjac Reeves Deer female foraging on main pond island.jpg

Badger near the East hedge gap, lolling sideways in thoroughly relaxed mood.

Ref: BUA_20240327_0106_252_SC8 Badger sitting quietly near East hedge gap.jpg

17 Apr 2024

It looks like this Rook likes peanuts - there seem to be very few creatures that don't!
How does this Rook hold all those disparate seeds in their inflexible beak?
That's what tongues are for!

Ref: E64_20240321_0733_002_FB2 Rook picking up food items at Woodland site.jpg

Looks like 'Mr & Mrs. Rook' are out at their favourite restaurant.

Ref: E64_20240321_1313_019_FB2 Rook pair at Woodland site.jpg

It's that time of year to see endless changes of incubation duty. For us it is mainly Rooks inside our patch that we mostly spot. These change overs are often accompanied by what look to us like little domestic 'spats' - who wants to spend hours sitting on eggs?

Ref: DF3_20240323_1233_051+053 Rook with partner moves across to incubate 1+3 of 3 (montage).jpg

Rook and Photographer in a state of mutual tolerance.

Ref: DF3_20240327_1019_063 Rook on twig watching photographer.jpg

16 Apr 2024

Out first Snakes-head fritillary this year is a white one in shade for most of the day. The curving leaves are a delicate delight ...

Ref: DF3_20240320_1303_059 Snakes head fritillary white flower - first of 2024.jpg

... but so are the delicately mottled flower petals.

Ref: DF3_20240320_1304_069 Snakes head fritillary white flower - first of 2024.jpg

A very early clump of Cuckoo flowers in the soggy end of the Main pond.

Ref: DF3_20240320_1604_079 Ladys Smock (Cuckoo Flower) (aka Cuckooflower) 1st of 2024.jpg

15 Apr 2024

Eye caught by movement on the bird feeder managed to see a couple of feathers drifting down.
That's a successful Sparrowhawk attack!
Looking for the perpetrator found the Sparrowhawk on some grass outside the conservatory, viewed though the glass.
First a bit of context - you can see the yellow breast of either a Blue Tit or Great Tit underneath the bird.

Ref: D5C_20240320_1039_003 Sparrowhawk male clutching Blue Tit or Great Tit in claws 1 of 7 (crop).jpg

The sad little creature in the talons was obviously not dead yet, and the Sparrowhawk was waiting for his talons to do their job. After about a minute the prey stopped struggling and the hawk flew off with it to we know not where.

Ref: D5C_20240320_1039_005+1040_007+012+017 Sparrowhawk male clutching Blue Tit or Great Tit in claws 2+3+5+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

14 Apr 2024

2 Rooks in what might be called an "ABBA' moment.

Ref: E6A_20240318_1619_033_FB5 2 Rooks at Meadow site in interesting pose (crop 1).jpg

Another take on the same photo as a tighter crop of the same original photo.

Ref: E6A_20240318_1619_033_FB5 2 Rooks at Meadow site in interesting pose (crop 2).jpg

13 Apr 2024

A few views of a distant Chinese Water Deer in this still fallow field. This appears to be a female or immature male judging by the lack of Tusks and the typical damage to the fur on the back of the neck makes female more likely.

Ref: DF3_20240316_1503_140+143+1504_144+150 Chinese Water Deer female in field to east 1-3+5 of 5 (montage).jpg

This female Blackbird seems to have 'bagged' an earthworm. This is the only pic the automatic camera got of the events.

Ref: E63_20240321_0712_136_FB1 Blackbird female poised over unearthed Earthworm.jpg

12 Apr 2024

All of the Mallard Ducks on the site this year are intolerant of humans, and fly away as soon as they sight us. This male flew by and the cameraman managed to keep the bird over the single focal point for about of this 1 second of flight. By good fortune the incredibly close spacing is absolutely genuine. The camera decided it needed to re-adjust focus between frames 5 and 6 causing the extra half bird length gap in this accurate montage.

Ref: DF3_20240316_0801_115-121 Mallard Duck male flying from pond @7fps 1-7 of 7 (accurate montage).jpg

Detail of frame 4 as the male Mallard made a typically gentle quack. We describe females as having 'lungs of brass'.

Ref: DF3_20240316_0801_118 Mallard Duck male flying from pond @7fps 4 of 7 (crop).jpg

Detail from the last frame as the bird flies into the less cramped sky.

Ref: DF3_20240316_0801_121 Mallard Duck male flying from pond @7fps 7 of 7 (crop).jpg

11 Apr 2024

As we go through the hedging arch from the original house garden into the 2 acre patch we bought and planted, this glorious blackthorn bush/tree currently greets us with this wall of blossom.

Ref: DF3_20240316_0754_049 Blackthorn tree north of triumphal arch (orig & final).jpg

This Marsh Marigold has burst into flower protected by the brambles at the east end of the main pond.
The Deer will soon find the flowers - apparently delicious!

Ref: DF3_20240315_1025_004 Marsh Marigold in Main Pond (first flowering of 2024).jpg

10 Apr 2024

If you are going to use your whole body to call out to the world you might as well choose absolutely the highest tip of the chosen tree.

Ref: DF3_20240316_0738_038 Rook calling from highest tip of tree (crop 1).jpg

At one of the Rook nests visually accessible within our patch saw this Rook (we assume the male) arriving at the nest with nothing in his beak. He descends to the nest sitting female to give what we call an 'Incubation feed' from his crop (like courtship feeding but carries on during egg laying and incubation).
Is her final call 'MORE!' or more kindly 'THANKS!'?

Ref: DF3_20240316_0756_059+0757_064-106 Rook pair at nest incubation feeding 1-3+5-7 of 7 (montage).jpg

Whatever we 'do' to this image we can't make out the details. There are obviously two Rooks, one facing us and the other facing away. And they obviously not pleased to see each other!

Ref: E64_20240320_1059_069_FB2 2 Rooks squabbling at Woodland site (crop).jpg

09 Apr 2024

At last a decent pic of what seems to be the only male Pheasant currently around the site.

Ref: E64_20240315_0801_089_FB2 Pheasant male stomping across Woodland site (extended crop 2).jpg

A crop from the above - aren't I magnificent?

Ref: E64_20240315_0801_089_FB2 Pheasant male stomping across Woodland site (detail crop 3).jpg

This male Pheasant walked quietly across the adjacent fallow field and upon reaching the field margin performed his call - flap - stomp sequence, for once caught on camera.

Ref: DF3_20240316_1507_152-155+157-158 Pheasant male display calling at edge of field to east @7fps 1-4+6-7 of 7 (montage).jpg

08 Apr 2024

In the early afternoon hazy sunshine what is probably a Reeves' Muntjac Deer mother and her now well grown Fawn browsing quietly together by the filled-to-the-brim Duck Pond.

Ref: BU8_20240313_1333_269 2 Muntjac Reeves Deer sharing grass at front of Duck Pond.jpg

To the west of the hedge bottom site is a (for humans) impenetrable patch of blackberry dead stems and fresh growth that a Muntjac Deer can walk through without hesitation.

Ref: D71_20240311_1025_027 Muntjac Reeves Deer hiding in brambles near hedge bottom site.jpg

4 Hours later we see possibly the same Reeves' Muntjac Deer back in the 'secure' area behind the Garage where Mum regularly left her Fawn for the day when the fawn was young.
Noticing the freckled ears - we suspect we might learn to identify individuals.

Ref: D71_20240311_1416_041 Muntjac Reeves Deer by garage Water Butt.jpg

07 Apr 2024

Arriving at the main pond startled this pair of Mallard ducks. It appears that the female (right) took off about a second before the male. Accurately positioned birds shown in their genuine relative positions during about 1 second of the pairs flight.

Ref: DF3_20240307_1607_123-128 Mallard Duck pair flying from main pond 01-06 of 14 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

When we first saw the 3 images in this original trail cam sequence (which to be fair was quite badly underexposed) we thought 'just the male'. After correcting the brightness the female ahead of the male because just about visible despite her amazing camouflage.

Ref: BU9_20240311_1555_014_SC2 Mallard Duck pair walking down orchard path.jpg

06 Apr 2024

A Red Kite wheels overhead, their head and body turn taking just over 1 second.

Ref: DF3_20240307_1310_049+053+055+057 Red Kite turning in gliding flight (montage over about 1 second (impression montage).jpg

Another 1.5 second on the Red Kite is close to above the photographer.

Ref: DF3_20240307_1310_067 Red Kite gliding overhead.jpg

05 Apr 2024

Herons have become only occasional sightings since we lost all our amphibians (whatever the cause) that they used to hunt. This is an accurate montage at about 7 frames per second accurately aligned using the blurred tree branches in the foreground.

Ref: DF3_20240307_1303_010-012 Heron in flight 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

The middle moment stand-alone

Ref: DF3_20240307_1303_011 Heron if flight 2 of 3 (crop).jpg

The tree sweeping through the frame kicked the camera off focus, and here we pick up the heron a few seconds on into the flight. Here we have no reference to accurately align then pics, so we just try to make it look attractive.

Ref: DF3_20240307_1304_032-036 Heron if flight 1-5 of 5 (impression montage @7fps).jpg

04 Apr 2024

A Great Tit with their shadow.
This year Great Tits substantially outnumber Blue Tits.

Ref: E63_20240301_1334_081_FB1 Great Tit feeding at hedge bottom.jpg

A male Chaffinch looking so proud.
His colouration indicates 'ready to go' - bring on the girls!

Ref: E63_20240308_0733_056_FB1 Chaffinch male in breeding plumage.jpg

We are a still seeing just this one Redwing, usually as here at the hedge bottom.

Ref: E63_20240311_1755_038_FB1 Redwing.jpg

On several days a 'Charm' of about 15 Goldfinches decorate the young Lombardy poplar trees lining the Farm Road. As we walk along the group migrates to the next tree further along and so on. Here are three of the lovely little birds.

Ref: DF3_20240314_1605_006 3 Goldfinches (of about 15) moving tree to tree in Lombardy poplars along Farm Road.jpg

03 Apr 2024

A small group of Long-tailed Tits spends a couple minutes feeding on peanuts outside the study. They take it in turns waiting in the bushes a couple of metres away and visiting the feeder.

Ref: D5C_20240226_0844_013+006 Long-tail Tit queueing for Peanut feeder (montage).jpg

The trusty camera focussed on the Meadow Post caught this short visit of a male Green Woodpecker.

Ref: D01_20240306_1532_057_FB6 Green Woodpecker short visit to meadow Post.jpg

02 Apr 2024

Another Red Kite gets the GO AWAY treatment from a local Rook.
The layout of these 4 pairs of birds probably bears no resemblance to reality - read bottom right up and left as pairs of birds.

Ref: DF3_20240306_1103_069-072 Rook Chasing away Red Kite 1-4 of 4 (impression montage @7fps).jpg

But the relationship between these two is absolutely genuine. The Red Kite (left) looks back at what they will consider to be the 'annoying pest'

Ref: DF3_20240306_1103_070 Red Kite looks back at pursuing Rook (crop).jpg

01 Apr 2024

"Do you like my twig?"
We might have rendered this in 'mouth unable to move' speech like dentists can follow with ease, but the Magpie can't speak human anyway!
Then again, maybe this is the avian version of a 'Handlebar Moustache'.

Ref: D01_20240305_1408_042_FB6 Magpie stopping at Meadow Post with long twig across beak.jpg



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