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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Red Kite at Frome, Newts in my Somerset garden and fighting Badgers!

I didn't take many photo's this week, so this will be a kind of budget Blog post!
  All in all, just too busy! Work and family commitments come first. If only I could somehow split myself in half, my photography loving half would spend every spare minute out in nature, where I am truly comfortable and relaxed.
    It was still a good week though, as I photographed a Red Kite for the first ever time!
Unfortunately it was quite distant and into the sun for the most part, so the pictures aren't great, but I was still thrilled! I'd only ever seen a Red Kite 5 or 6 times in my life!
    When I posted one of the pictures to my Facebook Nature page (HERE) it was clear from the comments that Red Kites are a common sight in many parts of England now, however here in Somerset they are still pretty rare. Surely it's only a matter of time before they start thriving here as they have in other places, and I can't wait, as they are stunning beautiful and graceful birds of prey!
   A real conservation success story!
The Red Kite was just outside Frome, and a Raven wasn't as pleased to see it as I was, and kept mobbing it in flight!
  Earlier in the week my other half Nicola was moving some bricks about in the garden when she found a couple of tiny Newts sheltering underneath them! I grabbed my macro lens and laid on the lawn and took some portrait shots of the tiny creatures, before Nicola carefully put them back safely where they had been found.
    Another wildlife occurrence by my house this week involved fighting Badgers..... inside our neighbours little shed!! I was in the bathroom late at night when I heard a commotion and banging just outside! I wondered what the hell it was, thinking at one stage it was cats scrapping! I opened the bathroom window and glared out into the darkness but couldn't see anything, but I could hear growling and squealing and what sounded like someone hammering from within the shed 3 metres below! Nicola appeared from outside the back door, stood on a box and looked over the fence with a torch 'Hey, pack it in you 2' she said..... the door flung open and a Badger shot off down our neighbours garden, the other one disappeared through a hole at the back of the shed and made off in the opposite direction! Badgers have been fighting right in the middle of our close in recent weeks, and they've been waking people up damaging fences in the middle of the night!
 I still love them though. Badgers were in our Close long before houses were built here in the early 90s..... We are on their territory, not the other way around!
   I didn't get any photos of the Badgers, but I'll share some shots that I got of one a few years ago when it used to visit my garden regularly (After making a hole in the fence!!)

Below are some record shots of the Red Kite, the Badger in my garden from 2011, the Newts and a few other shots from the last week, including Little Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Reed Bunting;
















^Above^ - Red Kite at Frome in Somerset, being mobbed by a Raven in some pics.















^Above^ - Newts in my Somerset garden.













^Above^ - Badger in my garden from 2011.



^Above^ - Squirrel at RSPB Swell Wood in Somerset.


^Above^ - Coal Tit at Swell Wood.


^Above^ - Great Tit at Swell Wood.




^Above^ - Herons at Swell Wood.







^Above^ - Magpie at Swell Wood.


^Above^ - Falling Nuthatch at Swell Wood.






^Above^ - Little Grebe at RSPB Greylake.


^Above^ - Great White Egret at Greylake.


^Above^ -  Male Pintail at Greylake.




^Above^ -  Wigeon at Greylake.


^Above^ -  Teal at Greylake.


^Above^ -  Coot at Greylake.


^Above^ - Redshank at Greylake.







^Above^ - Dunnocks at Greylake.







^Above^ - Male Reed Buntings at Greylake.


^Above^ - Wren at Greylake.



^Above^ - Male Pheasant near Bruton in Somerset.



^Above^ - Little Egret near Shapwick Heath in Somerset.


^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull on my works office roof in Bridgwater, Somerset.




^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker in my garden.



^Above^ - Woodpigeon in my garden.


^Above^ - Blackbird in the flowering cherry tree in my garden.



^Above^ - Collared Doves in my garden.


^Above^ - Lesser Celandine at Swell Wood.


^Above^ - Magnolia sunrise, seen from my front door in Somerset one morning.


^Above^ - Finally, our very old Cat Tao in our garden....she's 21 years old soon!!