wildlife

Under the Feeder

A red squirrel is sitting sideways on, with sunflower seed hulls scattered about on the ground. She is facing the camera with her front paws holding a seed to her mouth . There is fresh green grass behind her and a few dried old brown autumn leaves.
Under the feeder

We don’t hang bird feeders any longer due to the risk of spreading disease, but in the days when I did, we were visited by opportunistic red squirrels. They joined the mourning doves on the ground, scavanging for dropped seeds, but had the advantage of being able to climb the pole to get direct access. This was taken in April one year. It’s another few months until we see the Spring, but it will come. Have a lovely day, friends! She features on my Wildlife Gallery.

Barred Owl

A brown, dark brown and white owl is looking at us over his shoulder as he sits on the bare branch of a tree. His face is shaped like a heart with the circles around his eyes.
Barred Owl

Today is a good day for a barred owl photo. When we had bird feeders in our front garden, we used to see hawks waiting in the branches to pounce on unsuspecting goldfinches and the like which I didn’t appreciate. Owls, though, come out later and so they watch for mice that are probably making nests in our car brakes and the like. They’re welcome to them.

On one occasion (maybe this one),  that owl was sitting on that branch when a squirrel ran almost up to him!  It stopped in surprise and beat a hasty retreat. The owl didn’t move. It just watched it go. It happened too fast for me to catch it in a picture.

I have to say, one of my favourite moments, walking in the woods was when an owl flew right over my head,  going ahead of me and landing on a branch a few yards away. The amazing thing was that it was absolutely silent. But I thought I felt the air from its wings as it flew over me,  so close. What marvellous creatures they are.

I love this face. Here’s looking at you! Happy Owl Day.

You can see more of my animal and bird photos on my Animals gallery here.

Northern Crescent Butterfly

Pearl Crescent Butterfly, Phyciodes tharos - Ellie Kennard 2016
Northern Crescent Butterfly, Phyciodes cocyta – Ellie Kennard 2016

Phyciodes cocyta

This is a common butterfly around here in the summer, but I was really pleased to get this photo of it as it rested on the path. The patterns on its wings are finely drawn and the tips of its antennae are tiny orange balls (hard to see in this photo, to be fair). Rupert (our Cornish Rex cat) tried to catch it and almost succeeded (which is what drew it to my attention) but I managed to save it and put it safely out of his reach (he is on a long leash) so it could get over the shock and fly away. Have a lovely week everyone, full of lovely butterflies!