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Friday, 7 June 2019

Barn Owl, baby Avocets, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and my book to come!

It's been 4 weeks since my last blog post, which is longer than I usually go without posting, but I'd taken quite a few photos and hadn't got around to sorting through them all!
  Quite a few of the photos were of birds in my garden, where there had been quite a bit of activity with young ones following their parents to the feeders.

  One evening I was thrilled to see and photograph a Barn Owl on the Somerset Levels! A Facebook contact had told me of its wherabouts and that night I went to try and find it with my other half, Nick.
  We got the directions wrong though, and walked the wrong way up the river!
A Red Kite went over and a Cuckoo called, but no Barn Owl after an hour. Just as the light was starting to fade, my phone beeped.... I had another message from the woman who told me about the Owl... she said she was watching it right now!
   We half ran/speed-walked back the way we came, past where we'd parked the car and a little further on where we bumped into the woman and her husband. She said the Owl had just flown off! Typical!

   We walked on anyway and could see the Barnie way off in the distance, quatering the fields. Far too far to photograph. It disappeared behind a treeline and after waiting 10 minutes decided to make our way home, disappointed. The Sun had long gone, and night was crawling in. Making our way back to the gate, I turned around for one last check and noticed the Owl much closer flying alongside a hedge, coming our way!!
 I ran back towards it, keeping low, using the hedge as cover and got some pics of it as it approached, then it disappeared out of sight the other side of the hedge. I crept slowly around and peering over the tall grass, I came face to face with the magnificent Barn Owl, sat in a tree! Standing on tip-toes  I managed a photo in the developing darkness, before it flew off along the hedgerow, continuing it's hunt. Pure magic!!

   I went back the following evening but did not get lucky again, instead I found a pile of feathers close to where I had seen it the previous night which looked suspiciuosly like Barn Owl feathers! I was quite concerned, until 2 nights later the lady who had found it messaged me again saying it was back! Such a relief!

  In other news, I've decided to write a book showcasing some of my photos after encouragement from my wonderful Twitter followers! I found a Publisher, but had to find quite a lot of money for a first print run! Again, one of my Twitter followers suggested I tried a GoFundMe campaign to see if I could raise the money that way. I'd never tried this before, and I'm not the kind of person who would normally ask others for financial help, but set one up in my lunchbreak to try and raise £1000 towards original printing costs, offering signed copies of my book when completed and mounted prints as 'thank yous' for donating.
    To my total amazement, I raised the required amount within 30 hours!!
My Twitter and Facebook followers are so generous and supportive of my bird photography, I am truly blessed! I now need to get on and compile the photos and write the book!!

Below are pics of the Barn Owl, some of my garden birds and young, plus shots of Cuckoo, Pied Flycatchers, Spotted Flycatcher, Jay, Garden Warbler, Wood Warbler, a bald Great Tit (Which made the BBC West news!), baby Avocets and lots, lots more!!

PS.... This blog has just passed a quarter of a million views!!! Thank you for looking!! :D

^Above^ - The beautiful Barn Owl!

^Above^ - Baby Avocets!

^Above^ - A video of a baby Avocet feeding!

^Above^ - Adult Avocets.

^Above^ - Avocets chasing away a Grey Heron!

^Above^ - Sedge Warbler at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Goldfinch at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Kestrel at Blue Anchor.

^Above^ - Pied Wagtail at Blue Anchor.

^Above^ - Rook at Blue Anchor.

^Above^ - Pied Flycatchers at Hodders Combe on the Quantock Hills.

^Above^ - Redstart at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Grey Wagtails at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Blackbirds at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Female Blackcap at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Coal Tits at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Willow Warblers at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Wood Warbler at Hodders Combe.

^Above^ - Juvenile Blue Tits and parents in my garden.

^Above^ - Bald Great Tit in my garden.

^Above^ - Blackbirds in my garden (A juvenile in the bottom pic).

^Above^ - A male Blackbird singing with a Snail and worm in its beak!

^Above^ - Green Woodpecker in my Somerset village.

^Above^ - Female House Sparrow in my village.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my village.

^Above^ - Swallows in my village.

^Above^ - Spotted Flycatcher at RSPB Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Blackcaps at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Chiffchaff at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Wren at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Jackdaws in my village.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my village.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Male Blackcap on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Mistle Thrush on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Red Kite on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Common Cranes on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Kingfisher on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Cuckoo on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Female Blackcap on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Come back!!! Woodpigeon and Grey Heron on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Great Tits on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Fox on the Somerset Levels. (With Magpie!)

^Above^ - Loving Magpies at Woolavington.

^Above^ - Buzzards formation flying on the Somerset Levels!

^Above^ - Herring Gull on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Goldfinches outside my work office!

^Above^ - Stock Doves.

^Above^ - Wren at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Oystercatchers at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Shelducks at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Shelducks, Ringed Plovers and a Little Egret at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Red Legged Partridge near Cerne Abbas in Dorset.

^Above^ - Pheasant making a getaway near Cerne Abbas.

^Above^ - Juvenile Moorhen at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Jackdaws in my village.

^Above^ - Juvenile Rook in my village.

^Above^ - House Sparrows in my village.

^Above^ - Juvenile Great Tit in my village.

^Above^ - Juvenile and adult Goldfinches in my village.

^Above^ - Blackbirds in my village.

^Above^ - Rabbits in my village.

^Above^ - Robin in my village.

^Above^ - Starling in my village.

^Above^ - Swifts in my village.

^Above^ - Collared Doves in my village.

^Above^ - Singing Chaffinch in my village.

^Above^ - Dunnock in my village.

^Above^ - Blue Tits by the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.

^Above^ - House Sparrow with Dragonfly prey at the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.

^Above^ - Jay at RSPB Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Pochard at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Grey Herons at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Gadwalls at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Garden Warbler at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Dunnocks at Ham Wall (Juvenile in the bottom pic).

^Above^ - Cetti's Warbler at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Bullfinches at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Female Blackbirds at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Blackcaps at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Chaffinches at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Coal Tit at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Cormorants at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Greenfinches at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - House Sparrows at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Goldfinches at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Great White Egret at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Great Tits at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Juvenile Long Tailed Tits at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Tufted Ducks at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Wren at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Speckled Wood Butterflies at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Four Spotted Chaser at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Mating Damselflies at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Reed Warbler at the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull outside my office.

^Above^ - Wrens in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Starling in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Collared Doves in my garden.

^Above^ - Coal Tits in my garden (Juvenile, bottom pic)

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my garden.

^Above^ - Red Kite flying over my garden.

^Above^ - Robins in my garden.

^Above^ - 2 different evenings, same view of Burrow Mump on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Somerset Levels sunset.

^Above^ - Flies swarming on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Somerset scenes.

^Above^ - My love, Nick, looking for the Barn Owl.

^Above^ - My best mate Geoff Head.

^Above^ - Inquisitive Dog eyeing me up on the Somerset Levels!