Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Redstarts, Swifts, Little Owl and Badger from one of the best wildlife photography blogs in the world!

You read the Title right!
Before any accusations of big-headedness, I don't call my own blog one of the best, these are the words of the lovely people at 'Feedspot', who compiled a list of the top 100 wildlife photography blogs in the world. I came in at 8th place! Top 10! Crazy!
     They ranked the blogs with criteria including Google search rankings, Facebook and Twitter popularity, quality and consistency of posts and opinion of their own editorial staff.
Click this link to see the top 100;

The Top 100 wildlife photography blogs in the world

   Of course, this is only one websites opinion, I doubt I'm even in the top 8000 in reality, but it's very pleasant knowing that my work is appreciated somewhere, and for some people, I'm doing something right! :)

 Ok. On to the animals and birds!
 Since my last post 2 weeks ago I've attempted to photograph Swifts in Bruton, Somerset. Every bird photographer knows how big a challenge this is! Swifts are well....um....swift!! They're one of the most appropriately named birds in the bird kingdom!
  They were chasing each other about above the towns rooftops, screeching and screaming as they went! I had to delete a lot of the resulting photos I can tell you! I did manage some half decent captures though.
  A few days later I attempted to photograph a similar bird in flight at Panborough on the Somerset Levels...the Swallow! They were hunting insects low over a field and I stood in a gateway and tried to photograph them when they came close enough!  Amazingly, after I posted one of the pictures on my Facebook nature page HERE , a lady commented that she had seen me photographing the Swallows as I had been stood opposite her house, and the birds were nesting in her porch!! Such a small world!!

 I also visited Holford Combe on the Quantock Hills in Somerset in search of a Pied Flycatcher. Alas, I had no luck with this elusive bird, but I did manage to see and photograph a family of Redstarts! Wonderful little birds! I had to use high ISOs  and low shutter speeds here as it was very shady under the tree canopy with shimmering dappled light here... very challenging photographic conditions! Also seen here were Siskins, young Bullfinches, Garden Warblers, Grey Wagtail and Green Woodpecker.

 Finally, a close encounter of my garden visiting Badger, mentioned in the last blog post.
   Before bed one evening my other half Nicola noticed the Badger on the lawn in the dark! I grabbed my older Nikon D7200 camera as it has a 300mm lens on and a flash! We opened the back door and crept out onto the patio. The Badger ran to the back of the garden and hid amongst the plants, but it didn't leave!
    My other half sat on a patio chair, and I went and laid on my belly with my camera at the front of the lawn. Within a minute or so, the Badger stuck it's head out of the vegetation and ventured back out onto the lawn, looking for peanuts that we had put down for it. It snuffled about the lawn and came within 2 or 3 metres of me, but didn't mind the camera clicking and flashing away at it!
  What a wonderful experience being so close to an enigmatic wild animal, right on my doorstep! :)

Below are pics of most described above, plus some others since my last blog post including Little Owl, Red Kite and Long Tailed Tits;

^Above^ - Badger on the lawn in my Somerset garden!

^Above^ - Swifts at Bruton in Somerset.

^Above^ - Swallows at Panborough in Somerset.

^Above^ - Male Redstart at Holcombe Combe on the Quantock Hills.

^Above^ - Female Redstart at Holford Combe, about to feed a youngster in the bottom 2 pics.

^Above^ - Young Grey Wagtail at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Young Bullfinch at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Siskins at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Garden Warblers at Holdford Combe.

^Above^ - Young Song Thrush at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Wren at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Swallows at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Squirrel at Holford Combe.

^Above^ - Fledgling Blackbird in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Red Kite above my garden!

^Above^ - Cute Mallard duckling at Backwell Lake in North Somerset.

^Above^ - Grey Heron at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Female Mallard at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Muscovy duck at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Dragonfly in flight at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Damselflies at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Little Owl near Bleadon in Somerset.

^Above^ - Greylag Geese near Wedmore in Somerset.

^Above^ - Female House Sparrows at Panborough.

^Above^ - Pied Wagtail at Panborough.

^Above^ - Male Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Collared Dove in my garden.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at Somerton in Somerset.

^Above^ - Red Admiral butterfly on Valerian in Somerton.

^Above^ - Calendula and blackfly in Somerton.

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