Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Birds, Insects & Bats in flight (outdoors) Page 32

Image Taken on 01 May 2010 at 10:30    Image of day on 04 Jun 2010

We watched these 2 birds for some time in a thermal to our North. We didn't realise that one was an Osprey until later. Neither did we appreciate how fast they were rising in the thermal until we started making this montage with the top bird starting at 'constant height' but realised that the cloud features were moving downwards!. So using some cloud edges (out of frame) as a new reference we see these birds rising and then tumbling down as they manoeuvre round each other. Frames are about 200mS apart except the last pair at about 600mS. The Wingspan of both birds is about 1.5m and they are rising about one third of a wingspan per frame or 2.5m/sec = 6 mph all without a flap of the wing

Ref: 20100604_df1_20100501_1030_185-190+193 osprey & buzzard sparring in thermal 08-13+16 of 18 (approx montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Oct 2008 at 09:42    Image of day on 13 Nov 2008

Almost a week to the hour since the previous sighting we arrived at the corner of our patch to see an/the Osprey again with another huge fish, this time a little closer to us than before. One of our email group suggests that the fish is a carp. There were a couple of rooks about but not close enough to be in frame.

Ref: 20081113_dc1_20081028_0942_009 osprey in flight with fish (web crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2006 at 12:15    Image of day on 20 Aug 2006

The swallows have returned to feeding over our own and the surrounding fields. Now the youngsters have gained some skill in the air they chase after the parents and sometimes get fed on-the-wing. They ascend together and transfer the insects near the top of the sweep - the moment shown here. Its all over in an instant and very hard to film or photograph.

Ref: 20060820_d10_20060811_1215_025 parent feeding young swallow in flight (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Jul 2011 at 10:12    Image of day on 01 Sep 2011

This Peacock butterfly was repeatedly irritated by the hover-flies and kept flicking it's wings when they got close.

Ref: 20110901_df1_20110722_1012_042 peacock butterfly and 4 hover-flies on perennial sow-thistle (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jul 2018 at 11:20    Image of day on 04 Sep 2018

Hover-fly, Peacock Butterfly, and a Soldier Beetle all caught by chance in the same frame.

Ref: 20180904_df3_20180714_1120_067 peacock butterfly feeding on thistle flower as hover-fly is about to land and solder beetle to right(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Dec 2010 at 08:27    Image of day on 23 Feb 2011

During an extended frozen period birds will frequent places they would not normally visit. Here are a couple of montages of a female and then a male pheasant arriving on the kitchen window perch to pick up dropped peanut fragments. The female even had a go at extracting her own from the metal feeder but her beak has the wrong shape to succeed.

Ref: 20110223_d3b_20101222_0827_043+0829_045_fb3 pheasant female landing & walking on perch by peanut feeder (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 03 Feb 2013 at 13:55    Image of day on 31 Mar 2013

Pheasants are hardly 'nimble', but they can make it onto perches more readily that one might think. We caught images like this several times over a week.

Ref: 20130331_d36_20130203_1355_070_fb4 pheasant female landing on tree-stump(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Dec 2015 at 14:02    Image of day on 28 Jan 2016

About a week later 2 visits by the male Pheasant an hour apart, both made too early to catch the daily delivery of food.

Ref: 20160128_d36_20151226_1402_052+1502_055_fb4 pheasant landing on tree-stump an hour apart (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Mar 2014 at 16:32    Image of day on 21 May 2014

Two startled female pheasants calling and fleeing in the flowering Rape-seed crop attracted the male who flew to their location over our heads - we only rarely get this chance of a pheasant in flight.

Ref: 20140521_df2_20140329_1632_102 pheasant male flying overhead into rapeseed field to guard startled females (selected) 1 of 5 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Dec 2010 at 15:01    Image of day on 23 Feb 2011

Here is the male. Quite a lot of supplementary feeding with corn will have helped see them through the desperate times.

Ref: 20110223_d3b_20101222_1501_056+1516_059_fb3 pheasant male landing & walking on perch by peanut feeder (adjusted montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 04 Feb 2013 at 08:44    Image of day on 11 Mar 2013

We are not sure what the male pheasant in the foreground is up to (except maybe displaying to the female in the background), but it gives an opportunity to examine the incredibly intricate plumage at the 'back'. Look at the shapes, colours & textures normally hidden.

Ref: 20130311_d5c_20130204_0844_011_fb2 pheasant male landing (q) at log as female walks away (crop)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Dec 2011 at 08:46    Image of day on 22 Jan 2012

This male Pheasant makes an unexpectedly elegant landing on the kitchen window perch. These 2 frames taken within the same minute.

Ref: 20120122_d3b_20111215_0846_003+004_fb3 pheasant male landing on peanut feeder perch 1+2 of 2 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Oct 2010 at 17:57    Image of day on 14 Dec 2010

A quite common occurrence - a robin threatening chaffinch male.

Ref: 20101214_d3a_20101009_1757_125_fb2 pheasant male sitting + chaffinch male landing (q) + attacking robin in flight (crop 3)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Oct 2010 at 17:57    Image of day on 14 Dec 2010

But here you see the event in its original context, which somehow changes everything.

Ref: 20101214_d3a_20101009_1757_125_fb2 pheasant male sitting + chaffinch male landing (q) + attacking robin in flight (crop 1)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2013 at 09:13    Image of day on 15 May 2013

The now warm slates have brought out the insects from underneath and this pied Wagtail catches some sort of fly for the camera. The 2 images at the right are only about one fifth of a second apart, the last about 1 second later

Ref: 20130515_df1_20130407_0913_281+282+288 pied wagtail catching insect in flight over roof 1+2+8 of 8 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 10 Oct 2016 at 11:11    Image of day on 25 Nov 2016

The Pied Wagtails are back on our roof, hunting the insects warmed under the slates and emerging for the waiting Wagtails to try to catch. This fly looks like 'the one that got away'. Each bird and fly are accurately positioned relative to the roof and each other, but spread out along the right.
The left hand fly was over the edge of the first frame so we have 'photoshopped' in a whole fly at the correct place, along with the sky above.

Ref: 20161125_df3_20161010_1111_454-454 pied wagtail on roof ridge hunting fly in flight 1-3 of 3 (left to right montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 12 Oct 2008 at 18:41    Image of day on 30 Oct 2008

A Pipistrelle bat in flight at night (see 14 Oct 2008 for unexpected daytime visit). We have discovered yet another loft access hole (that looks too small even for a bat but we have watched them use it). Unfortunately the Long-eared bats didn't show this year.

Ref: 20081030_da1_20081012_1841_049 pipistrelle bat in flight(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Oct 2008 at 15:17    Image of day on 11 Nov 2008

In this following frame the bat has it's tail covering it's mouth probably adjusting the bite on the fly. It was 'banking' with wings vertical by then, but its so hard to interpret that we have turned the image to 'normal' to help you work it out.

Ref: 20081111_dc1_20081024_1517_068 pipistrelle bat in flight (turned 90 left) with tail membrane pulled over mouth (web version)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Sep 2008 at 18:04    Image of day on 14 Oct 2008

45 minutes before sunset this single pipistrelle bat spent at least 15 minutes over the ponds and rough grass hunting insects. Good for us for some pictures of a species so small and fast that it is hard to get anything at night, but not so good for the bat who must be very hungry to come out so early. He seemed to get a good feed. Didn't see him/her the next evening.

Ref: 20081014_dc1_20080926_1804_140 pipistrelle bat in flight before sunset (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Oct 2008 at 15:17    Image of day on 11 Nov 2008

Almost a month after the last occurrence we saw a Pipistrelle bat in the day time - this time about 3 p.m. The bat has what looks like some sort of fly in it's mouth. Shortly after this it disappeared back into the loft through an 'impossibly' small slit.

Ref: 20081111_dc1_20081024_1517_067 pipistrelle bat in flight with insect in mouth in daytime (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg




Comments and requests for image use

To make a comment, ask for information or to request a full resolution image, send us an email including the reference or the date for the image you are interested in.

All initial contacts should be made using the icon below:-

Mail Us