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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Peregrine Falcons at Church in Taunton!

Whilst surveying a job in the centre of Taunton this morning, I heard the unmistakable call of a Peregrine falcon above. Looking up I located not one, but 2 of these wonderful birds of prey on the impressive tower of St Mary Magdalene Church!
     Each bird had prey, probably pigeons, and were tucking in to their kills atop the stone carvings high up on the tower. What a fabulous sight to see in the centre of Somersets County town! (Unless you're a Pigeon!).
    Naturally I grabbed my camera and took some shots, which was tricky as the light was constantly changing, high winds were blowing the many clouds over the sun, so I was constantly messing with my camera settings, and inevitably had a too low shutter speed the handful of times they jumped off their perches and flew around the tower, carrying their bounty!
    I chuckled at one stage, when a Swift crawled out of one of the cracks of the stonework and flew off right next to one of the perched Peregrines, which jumped in surprise!!
    A few people came over and spoke to me, 2 or 3 of whom were local and either worked in or visited the church regularly. From them I learnt that these falcons had been here for a few weeks but had not bred. They are young birds, but there is hope that they will stay and attempt to breed next year! From the rings on the birds, they had discovered that one of the birds had come from Bath and the other from Exeter! So they obviously met in the middle and decided to set up home in Taunton! :)
       As I left, I photographed a Woodpigeon on a gravestone underneath the Tower and thought to myself  'Hope you are saying your prayers my feathered friend....'

To see a report of the Peregrines on the Churches own website, click HERE

^Above^ The Peregrines of St Mary Magdalene church!

^Above^ - Maybe this Woodpigeon underneath the church tower is not so happy to see the Peregrines!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bunnies, Butterflies, Badgers, baby Whitethroats and romantic Woodpigeons!

Continuing on from my last blog post, my camera has remained under-employed in the last 2 weeks.
   Lack of photographic opportunity, poor weather and absent Summer photo mojo have all combined to cause this. However, as always, there have been a handful of times when I have managed to take some pictures. One was yesterday evening during a break in the rain, when I walked around my Somerset village and photographed some of the Rabbits in the surrounding farmland, plus a couple of young Whitethroats skulking in a hedge. I also couldn't resist photographing some inquisitive Cows and their calves, as they posed so nicely and it would've been rude not to!
 A few days earlier I took my camera around my Aunts one evening and tried to photograph the Housemartins flying about above her garden, with varying results!
    Once again the Badger visited my Somerset garden, and is getting braver, coming closer to where I stand on the patio! My flashing and clicking camera doesn't bother it in the slightest, but it's so dark it's hard to focus on the creature!
    I also photographed some young Blue Tits and Great Tits at RSPB Greylake, a few different butterflies, namely Red Admirals, Whites and Gatekeepers, plus a romantic pair of Woodpigeons in Bridgwater!
 Below are some of the pics from the last 2 weeks;

^Above^ - Young Whitethroat in my home Somerset village.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my village.

^Above^ - Wild Rabbits on farmland in my village.

^Above^ - Gatekeeper butterflies in my village.

^Above^ - Red Admiral butterfly in my village.

^Above^ - Romantic Woodpigeons at Bridgwater in Somerset.

^Above^ - House Martins in my village.

^Above^ - Badger in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Young Blue Tits at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Young Great Tit at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Dunnock at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Female Chaffinches at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Gatekeeper at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - White Butterflies (and Bee!) at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Comma Butterfly at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Bees. Bumble Bees and wildflowers at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Herd of Fallow Deer at Stock Gaylard estate in Dorset.

^Above^ - Red Admiral Butterflies on Buddleia in my garden.

^Above^ - Cows and calves in my Somerset village.