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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

31 Mar 2024

In a strong and steady South East wind we enjoyed this Kestrel apparently just hanging on the wind without a wing flap in sight.
This 1 second of images show the mass of adjustments the bird makes to her wings, tail, and maybe even claws, to maintain the almost perfectly stationary head.

Ref: DF3_20240304_1444_018+021+024+025 Kestrel female hovers without flapping into strong steady wind (montage over 1 second).jpg

30 Mar 2024

These 4 pics rather simplify an interaction between Fox and Badger, and the Badger is obviously the winner of the pecking (or should it be biting) order.
Top Left: The Fox spent a few minutes at a scrape on the Round Mound before suddenly reacting to the arrival of a Badger coming up the mound.
Top Right: The Fox makes a hurried departure - thats the blur upper middle!
Bottom Left: The Fox watches from a distance as the Badger scrapes at the same place.
Bottom Right: 20 minutes later the Badger has gone and the Fox returns, but is already     reacting to something down the slope.
The target of their scrapes is a new Rabbit hole in this patch of the mound.

Ref: BU2_20240303_2150_398+2153_403+404+2216_431_SC7 Badger disturbs Fox at hole in Round Mound (montage).jpg

29 Mar 2024

High in a Black Poplar near the house, this Rook takes a disdainful look at the ground beneath.

Ref: R70_20240301_1600_028-030 Rook looks down from high perch (montage).jpg

Rook nests are in various stages of construction.
Here what looks like two twigs being transported to build the nest ...

Ref: R70_20240302_0929_099+100+115 Rook flying off with twigs for nest (impression montage).jpg

... and here another Rook carrying some nest lining to a more complete build.

Ref: R70_20240302_0909_056 Rook with beakful of nest lining showing bald patch on back of neck.jpg

High in a Black Poplar we get the feeling of disdain from this handsome Rook.

Ref: DF3_20240304_0953_007 Rook looking down from perch high in Black Poplar.jpg

28 Mar 2024

The female Kestrels are about, but not visiting the Meadow Post in the same numbers as the previous few weeks.

Ref: D01_20240301_1317_033_FB6 Kestrel female briefly landing on Meadow Post.jpg

The 'Blonde' female Kestrel perhaps 50m away across the fields hunting from one of the 11kV cables.

Ref: R70_20240303_1229_135+1228_131+1231_142 Kestrel female spending several minutes munting from 11kV cable (montage).jpg

27 Mar 2024

If you are hungry it doesn't matter that it is raining.
This is a Jackdaw ...

Ref: E6A_20240229_0820_045_FB5 Jackdaw foraging in rain.jpg

... and 3 hours later the rain has stopped for this Rook.

Ref: E6A_20240229_1105_052_FB5 Rook at Meadow site.jpg

This Rook makes a majestic landing on the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20240304_1015_004_FB6 Rook landing on Meadow Post in majestic pose.jpg

26 Mar 2024

Male Blackbirds are spectacular with their black plumage and brilliant yellow beaks, but the females have a quiet delight of their own.
Who's been probing the mud then!

Ref: E6A_20240228_1335_024_FB5 Blackbird female with Muddy beak.jpg

For a trail cam this is a remarkably good image of a Pigeon in flight.

Ref: BU7_20240306_1236_055 Pigeon aerobraking to land by flooded ditch.jpg

25 Mar 2024

From the kitchen window we see this magpie foraging about around the newly emerging Irises. The water provides an interesting reflection. The mild winter has allowed the Irises to reach about 30cm tall and it is still February.

Ref: PK1_20240225_1125_632 Magpie perched on Iris root with reflection in slightly rippled water.jpg

24 Mar 2024

Warming itself in the sunshine high on a south facing wall, is this large Bumble Bee, apparently the same species seen occasionally flying by over the last few days.

Ref: DF3_20240225_1037_113 Large Bumble Bee (prob Bombus Terrestris - Buff Tailed) warming on south facing wall.jpg

26 hours later (by chance to the minute) we see a member of the same species, possibly the same individual, rooting around in the grass outside the back door.

Ref: DF3_20240226_1237_011 Large Bumble Bee (Bombus Terrestris - Buff Tailed) on grass near back door.jpg

23 Mar 2024

A Rook guarding the phone cables?

Ref: DF3_20240224_1307_091 Rook on telephone cables.jpg

The landing Rook has no bad intentions towards the Pigeon, who nevertheless 'gets clear of the landing zone'.

Ref: BU5_20240225_1119_304_SC1 Rook landing behind startled Wood Pigeon.jpg

This magnificent Rook takes a selfie.

Ref: D01_20240226_1105_013_FB6 Rook on Meadow Post.jpg

22 Mar 2024

A Gourmet Squirrel checks out the Catkins on a Willow tree behind main pond.
"Yes - I can stuff myself on these"
Reminds us of a kid in a sweet shop!

Ref: DF5_20240224_1228_052 Grey Squirrel eating Willow Catkins from tree behind main pond 1 of 9 (crop).jpg

The same Squirrel spends several minutes selecting new Catkins and eating the smaller Catkins directly from the tree, while larger ones are pulled forward with a paw, bitten or broken off, and then eaten down the length like a Banana.

Ref: DF5_20240224_1228_054-130 Grey Squirrel eating Willow Catkins from tree behind main pond 2-4+6+8+9 of 9 (montage).jpg

In a more distant Willow tree two Grey Squirrels are quite close together as they feast on the barely open catkins.

Ref: DF5_20240224_1243_143+170 2 Grey Squirrels eating Willow Catkin buds from tree near centre of meadow 2+5 of 8 (montage).jpg

21 Mar 2024

This female Kestrel made 2 visits to the Meadow post in 6 minutes, firstly the image on the right and on the second visit returning with what looks like Short-tail Field Vole in her beak. She didn't stay to eat it on the top of the post.

Ref: D01_20240224_1215_059+1221_064_FB6 Kestrel female lands on Meadow Post with Vole in beak 5+1 of 5 (montage).jpg

This image of the landing Kestrel was taken about half a second after the image in the montage. The Kestrel has stopped, so the hanging vole swings forward.

Ref: D01_20240224_1221_063_FB6 Kestrel female lands on Meadow Post with Vole in beak 4 of 5 (crop).jpg

This Kestrel makes what looks like a slightly skewed landing in a blustery wind.

Ref: D01_20240223_1114_029_FB6 Kestrel making swerved landing on Meadow Post.jpg

This Kestrel seem to be landing into a strong north wind (from the left). Read this right to left.

Ref: D01_20240226_1122_023+024+1123_025_FB6 Kestrel lands on Meadow Post (montage over 500mS & 60 secs).jpg

20 Mar 2024

A calm morning moment as this pair of Reeves' Muntjac Deer spend a few minutes feeding at the hedge bottom. Neither is an adult male, but beyond that we could only guess.

Ref: E63_20240223_0800_052_FB1 2 Muntjac Reeves Deer feeding together at hedge bottom.jpg

A tranquil moment on the grass beside the Duck Pond - Reeves' Muntjac Deer and Grey Squirrel quietly feeding among two clumps of Snowdrops.

Ref: BU8_20240223_1110_160 Muntjac Reeves Deer grazing by Snowdrop clump + Grey Squirrel.jpg

Moving along the edge of the south ditch inspecting the flooding we cross from the original third-acre garden and orchard into the 2 acre patch of pasture we planted, and came face-to-face with this Muntjac Deer. The Deer was momentarily panicked but quickly seem to decide that we mostly harmless. The little creature watches us watching them, intermittently nibbling grass while keeping an eye on the humans. Eventually the Deer walking into the undergrowth beside the path, and for us 'vanished'

Ref: DF3_20240224_1025_049-057 Muntjac Reeves Deer on field paths 1-4 of 4 (montage).jpg

19 Mar 2024

One of the nightly Foxes hunting over the Round Mound.

Ref: BU2_20240220_0122_103+104_SC7 Fox walking down south side of Round Mound (accurate montage).jpg

An hour later this Fox looks like they stumbled at the Rabbit hole.

Ref: SP1_20240220_0201_062+063_SP1 Fox passing over Rabbit hole previously used as Fox Earth (montage).jpg

A rather Kooky moment as this Fox glances up at the red glow from the Trail cam currently watching the Rabbit hole. This camera's IR lamp is almost invisible, but it is only about 1.5 metres away.

Ref: SP1_20240220_1933_413_SP1 Fox looking at camera near Rabbit Hole.jpg

18 Mar 2024

We see a Polecat in some years- usually just a fleeting passage. Here it looks as if the Polecat has arrived from the left along the dry section of the ditch and clambered out to carry on the journey without going through the sticky mud where the ditch is blocked where it goes under the access track on the right.

Ref: BU7_20240205_0412_157-159 Polecat running along south hedge 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage).jpg

This newly arrived male Pheasant is BIG!
This is the three clearest pics of 7 pics over 3 days as he explores the whole site. Left: Woodland site; Top right: South West corner ditch; Bottom right: Back of main pond viewed from kitchen window.

Ref: E64_20240219_1406_039_FB2+BU7_20240220_1605_076+PK1_1636_529 Pheasant male new arrival - wide neck ring (montage).jpg

Right outside the living room window we keep seeing a Wren dashing about in the scruffy hedge. Here they are collecting moss as bedding for a nest.
We think the nest is about half a metre from the top of the hedge at the right end of the window, but are reluctant to have a close look from the outside for fear of triggering a desertion.

Ref: DF5_20240220_1145_021 Wren collecting nest lining - tail hidden by bird body.jpg

17 Mar 2024

At the moment if we get a sighting of a Chinese Water Deer the view usually consists of two ear tips sticking above the grass. If you are lucky you might spot another pair 10 or so metres away.
So this solitary Deer (or at least the only one standing up) was a pleasant surprise in the distance across the field to the east.

Ref: DF3_20240218_1420_189 Chinese Water Deer 200m away in field to east (crop + insert).jpg

Our second sighting this week of Chinese Water Deer are these two pairs of ears poking above the 'fallow' field, as described earlier!

Ref: DF3_20240220_1347_006 2 Chinese Water Deer resting in fallow field with only ears visible.jpg

16 Mar 2024

A detail from a clump of Snowdrops, showing the raindrops clinging to the petal tips. At the right edge one drop is shared by 2 petals.
No fiddling with a sprayer - genuine rain!

Ref: DF3_20240218_1042_179 Snowdrop clump after rain near Duck Pond (crop 2).jpg

An unfurling wild Rose leaf still drenched in morning rain.

Ref: DF3_20240218_1043_185 Rose wild leaf emergence after rain (orig).jpg

15 Mar 2024

A virtual 'down' of Hares. These images, probably of the same Hare each time, are assembled over 4 days. Real 'downs' (collective name for Hares) are pretty rare - they are rather solitary creatures.

Ref: BUA_20240201_1735_057-20240204_1744_240_SC8 Hare visits near East hedge gap (montage over 4 days).jpg

Around dawn this Hare stays still long enough for this decent portrait. We see Hares at this site several times a week - normally lolloping through making a blurred mess not worth showing.

Ref: BUA_20240221_0653_149_SC8 Hare crouching near east hedge gap.jpg

14 Mar 2024

A lucky timing as this Tawny Owl launches exactly 1 minute after landing. The empty post and the bird at the left are accurately positioned.

Ref: D01_20240216_2045_057+2044_055_FB6 Tawny Owl 1 minute visit to Meadow Post including launch 3+1 of 3 (montage).jpg

13 Mar 2024

One of the female Kestrels makes a 2 minutes visit to the Meadow Post. The final pic on the right looks like she is preparing to depart.

Ref: D01_20240217_1238_074+1239_075+076_FB6 Kestrel female 2 minute visit to Meadow Post 1+3+4 of 4 (montage).jpg

We DO know how lucky we are to see Kestrels on most days, both in the automatic cameras and in the trees or in flight as we walk the paths.

Ref: D01_20240221_1209_049-1221_064_FB6 Kestrel female making 2 5+ minute visits to Meadow Post (montage).jpg

After the above visit to the Meadow Post, she moves to the tall trunk of the pollarded willow behind the Duck Pond. We only have a trail cam here, so the images are not prime quality, but it is good to see her making the most of all the hunting posts, and this camera also more reliably catches moments of departure.

Ref: SP2_20240221_1233_061+1228_060+1227_057 Kestrel 6m visit to Duck Pond Willow pollard (montage intervals 6m + 9secs).jpg

12 Mar 2024

"What's that small bird on the top of the post?"
Oh - as you were - its the head of a woodpecker - twice. Different posts - different peckers - same illusion.

Ref: DF3_20240218_1039_166+D01_20240215_1440_011_FB6 Great Spotted + Green Woodpeckers on top of posts (montage arbitrary scale).jpg

Here a green woodpecker spends a few minutes probing the pollarded willow at the back of Duck Pond before launching back towards the centre of the meadow, beak tip lost out of frame.

Ref: SP2_20240216_1149_021+023+29+1152_025 Green Woodpecker on Willow Pollard at Duck Pond (approx montage).jpg

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker on the Kitchen Peanut feeder was disturbed by movement at the Kitchen Window, and flew to a nearby willow trunk to wait for the disturbance to end.

Ref: PK1_20240221_1233_582 Great Spotted Woodpecker male in willow tree at SW of main pond.jpg

11 Mar 2024

A few Fieldmice (Wood Mice) sightings at the hedge bottom. Mostly blurred images in rain, this pair (single frame) is by far the most attractive sighting as they share a midnight feast

Ref: E63_20240215_2314_083_FB1 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at hedge bottom.jpg

Just this one pic of a mouse at the Woodland site this week, and its another inexplicable leaping mouse.

Ref: E64_20240220_2324_087_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) in mid-leap at Woodland site.jpg

10 Mar 2024

Watching this Kestrel hunting on this 11kV crossbar is interrupted by this Rook arriving to remove this potential danger to their eggs-to-be.
Read top right downwards, then top middle to left (these accurately montaged). We omitted the Rook flying off after the top centre image to provide clarity.
This lot took over an hour to 'get right' on the screen so we hope you like it!

Ref: DF3_20240215_1250_007-1251_014 Kestrel chased from 11kV crossbar by Rook 1+2+4-8 of 8 (accurate montage @7fps).jpg

A closer look at the closest approach.

Ref: DF3_20240215_1251_011 Kestrel chased from 11kV crossbar by Rook 5 of 8 (crop).jpg

This is probably the same Rook that has just chased away a Kestrel, landing on one of the 11kV cables, perhaps with a glow of satisfaction at a successful eviction?

Ref: DF3_20240215_1251_022-030 Rook landing on 11kV cable (impression montage @7fps.jpg

09 Mar 2024

Returning from a walk we turn into the apology of a lawn to meet one of this year Fawn licking their face with their super-long tongue. If you haven't got hands their long tongue can even wipe over the eyes!

Ref: R70_20240214_1025_008 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn foraging in back garden (orig).jpg

A few pleasant minutes watching each other, as the Deer chomps away at some of the more exuberant grass stems.

Ref: R70_20240214_1026_026 Muntjac Reeves Deer Fawn foraging in back garden (crop).jpg

Perhaps a 10 or 20 times each year we catch an image of (only) a male Reeves' Muntjac Deer rubbing his forehead on grass like you see here. We assume its is something to do with the endless cycle of growth and shedding of his Antlers needing some help to remove the skin over the new ones, and later dislodging what are probably irritating end-of-use discards.

Ref: BU7_20240214_0244_080 Muntjac Reeves Deer male rubbing forehead on grass.jpg

08 Mar 2024

Great Tits (above) and Blue Tit match their adjectival names to some extent.
Actually nest box holes for these birds are very precise - 28mm for Blue Tits is too small for Great Tits that need 32mm, and can shared with Tree Sparrows.

Ref: E63_20240209_1318_071+1321+072_FB1 Great Tit on stone with Blue Tit below (accurate montage).jpg

A glowing Blue Tit lands on the kitchen perch

Ref: E60_20240213_0752_012_FB3 Blue Tit landing on Kitchen perch.jpg

This male Chaffinch is already resplendent with his quite positively blue coated beak ready to start the years breeding.

Ref: E63_20240212_1436_051_FB1 Chaffinch male landing on hedge bottom stone developing blue coating on beak.jpg

A small 'family' of Long-tailed Tits pops up momentarily around the house, but is intolerant of humans. So after seeing 4 on a peanut feeder at one though the study window, we catch this queuing bird waiting his turn.

Ref: DF3_20240214_1133_034 Long-tailed Tit on blossoming shrub.jpg

07 Mar 2024

Just a single Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) image at the hedge bottom this whole week, and it turns out to be this little delight.

Ref: E63_20240127_1810_284_FB1 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) eating from paws on hedge bottom stone.jpg

This week we see mice at two sites, but only one pic at each. Here a pair frisking about at the Meadow site ...

Ref: E6A_20240212_1943_084_FB5 2 Fieldmice (Wood Mice) at Meadow site.jpg

... while only 20 minutes later and some 80 metres away we catch this absurd moment at the Woodland site. The Mouse must have leapt this high - a drop from above would be vertically blurred and anyway would not yet have triggered the photo from the pencil-wide IR beam running perhaps 10cm over the ground.

Ref: E64_20240212_2008_052_FB2 Fieldmouse (Wood Mouse) mid leap at Woodland site.jpg

06 Mar 2024

The female Kestrels make regular visits to our patch, often to where we have no camera. Here one makes a spectacular landing on top of the Meadow Post.

Ref: D01_20240210_1337_053+054+1341_061_FB6 Kestrel female 5+ minute visit to Meadow Post 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

During the morning we thought that a single female Kestrel was spending a lot of time at the Meadow Post. Examining the photos show us that we had several visits by two different female Kestrels - first the one we have named 'Blondie' & then 'Brunette'.

Ref: D01_20240212_1005_003-1234_022_FB6 4 Kestrel female visits to Meadow Post during morning 1+3+4+7 of 7 (montage).jpg

05 Mar 2024

The new railings along all of the Farm boundaries provides some new places for wildlife to 'do their thing'. Here a Rook spent several minutes making sure the whole world knew of their presence.
The previous farm owners surrounded the land with posts and barbed wire, and the posts were very 'popular' with both Tawny and Barn Owls who hunted their way along from post to the next post or two. Whether this behaviour will return for this wooden style of railings we have yet to discover.

Ref: DF3_20240210_1250_109 Rook calling from farm railings along east side.jpg

Owls and many other birds make a bee-line for any post on which they can land - they get a 360 degree view of land to hunt.
On one night, though 4 hours apart, we see a Tawny Owl on the Pollard at the back of Duck Pond (the poor monochrome Trail cam image), and then a visit by probably the same Owl 4 hours later on the Meadow Post.

Ref: SP2_20240214_0013_026+D01_0434_061+062_FB6 Tawny Owl on Duck Pond pollard + 4hrs later on Meadow Post (montage).jpg

More detail from the centre image in the montage - not yet quite making full contact with the Meadow Post

Ref: D01_20240214_0434_061_FB6 Tawny Owl 5+ minute visit to Meadow Post.jpg

04 Mar 2024

A moment of perfect symmetry as this Wood Pigeon touches down.

Ref: D01_20240206_1222_087_FB6 Wood Pigeon lands on Meadow Post.jpg

A rather magnificent Wood Pigeon lands on the meadow post, not bothered by smoke from a nearby bonfire.

Ref: D01_20240210_1115_035_FB6 Wood Pigeon landing on Meadow Post against bonfire smoke.jpg

A dramatic and rather strange aerobraking Pigeon about to land at the Woodland site. The Wood Pigeon is 'caught' still a few centimetres from the ground.

Ref: E64_20240213_1534_103_FB2 Wood Pigeon aerobraking to land at Woodland site.jpg

03 Mar 2024

On most afternoons one window inevitably sees a few passages of a Sparrowhawk flash past. Occasionally one lands on the Kitchen perch. This time it appears to be the male, a smaller bird than the more often glimpsed female. Whether one or both flash past the window we have no idea.

Ref: E60_20240209_1452_032_FB3 Sparrowhawk landing on Kitchen perch (crop 1).jpg

A closer view of the male Sparrowhawk

Ref: E60_20240209_1452_032_FB3 Sparrowhawk landing on Kitchen perch (crop 2).jpg

02 Mar 2024

This year Snowdrops are flowering in abundance in many of their traditional places These are at the base of the largest (Apple) tree in the orchard. The clump on the left are every year behind the clump on the right.

Ref: DF3_20240209_1012_007 Snowdrops in flower at base of largest Apple tree.jpg

01 Mar 2024

A Reeves' Muntjac Deer visits the Hedge bottom in mid-morning.

Ref: E63_20240207_1055_006_FB1 Muntjac Reeves Deer at flooded hedge bottom (crop 1).jpg

In the camera version we discover that these Deer actually have quite long whiskers both above and below the muzzle.
We have photographed these deer for years and never caught the light just right to see them.

Ref: E63_20240207_1055_006_FB1 Muntjac Reeves Deer at flooded hedge bottom highlighting whiskers (crop 2).jpg

At the soggy woodland site this Reeves' Muntjac Deer visits near mid-day to pick up some of the remaining corn.

Ref: E64_20240209_1136_104_FB2 Muntjac Reeves Deer feeding on sodden woodland site.jpg



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