My best ever Kingfisher plus Raven, Buzzard and Peregrine!

  Since my last post a couple of weeks ago I've photographed a few good birds on my travels around Somerset and Dorset but nothing rare or unusual. This I do not mind at all! I am perfectly happy taking photo's of common species as much as I am of...

  Since my last post a couple of weeks ago I've photographed a few good birds on my travels around Somerset and Dorset but nothing rare or unusual. This I do not mind at all! I am perfectly happy taking photo's of common species as much as I am of capturing rare ones! Ultimately I am a bird lover, a nature lover, of all kinds!
   I really enjoy the challenge of trying to take good pictures of the nature I come across. Sometimes the pictures are not the greatest, but I enjoy capturing them anyway! A lot of nature photographers will 'bin' photo's that I happily choose to share on this blog! I will share record shots, even if they're distant, a bit blurry, a bit dark or whatever! I've said many times that this blog is a record of what I have seen not a collection of photographic excellence!
    However, the aim is to get as close to perfect as I can, knowing full well that this desire is impossible. For example, I never tire of photographing common birds as I am always trying to improve on my best shot of a particular species.
 One such bird is the Kingfisher.
In the past I haven't had much luck with this very popular but difficult bird to photograph. In the last few weeks my luck has changed a little and I've managed more photo's than all the years previously put together, culminating in probably my best ever shots a few days ago at Bishops Palace in Wells!
    Now let me make it clear. There are some absolutely magnificent Kingfisher shots uploaded to photo sites every day, but the vast majority of these will be staked out, many hours of research and watching their movements, setting up hides and waiting and waiting, will be involved in getting these shots. Some will even be 'baited'. A practice thought by many to be unethical where fish are put in a tank and lowered into a river under a perch that Kingfishers are known to frequent. All underwater shots of Kingfishers are baited. Sometimes the tank isn't even lowered into the river, but just above it so the camera can be set up and primed on a tripod so that the shutter can be released by remote control as soon as a Kingfisher dives into the tank!
    I don't have the time to stake out Kingfishers and wait for them to perform or pose to get my photo's.
   So please bear in mind, my Kingfisher shots are gained by walking about in a likely habitat, camera in hand and hoping to get lucky! A much harder challenge, and the reason I was very happy with the shots I managed at Bishops Palace. My best Kingfisher shots to date! :)

Another bird that I managed to get my best shot of this week was a Raven at West Bay in Dorset.
  West Bay is the setting of the popular TV series 'Broadchurch' and is beautiful! The iconic golden cliffs are amazing to see in the flesh! Unfortunately they were dredging the harbour floor whilst I was there and it was making quite a stench! There were dead fish in their thousands in the black silt, and the Gulls were going mad for them!
    The Raven was by a cliff edge on a grassy bank. I've rarely seen a perched Raven, mostly they're high above in flight, 'kronking' loudly! It let me get quite close, unfortunately the sun was behind it and not behind me, but I managed to edit the pics to bring out some detail in the bird. I'm still happy with the shots. Ravens are magnificent intelligent birds, our largest corvid. :)

Also photographed in the last couple of weeks was a Buzzard tucking into a bird on a hedge near Castle Cary in Somerset, Fieldfares at sunset on the Somerset Levels, a Peregrine Falcon at RSPB Greylake and Black Headed Gulls at Cheddar reservoir.
   Below are pics of all mentioned above plus Rock Pipit, Robin, Curlew, Snipe, Ringed Plover, Roe Deer and more..... enjoy! :)

     ^Above^ - The Kingfisher at Bishops Palace in Wells Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Ravens at West Bay in Dorest.

     ^Above^ - Buzzard enjoying a meal near Castle Cary in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Peregrine Falcon at RSPB Greylake in Somerset, UK.

     ^Above^ - Blackbird enjoying berries at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Moorhen at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Robin at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Mallard at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Feral Pigeon at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Black Headed Gull and workman at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Autumn at Wells.

     ^Above^ - Female Kestrel at RSPB Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Black Tailed Godwit at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Chiffchaffs at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Lapwing at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Golden Plovers at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Great White Egret at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Lapwings and Golden Plovers at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Male Reed Bunting at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Snipe at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Shoveler at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Mallards at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Wigeon at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Female Stonechat at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker at Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Rock Pipit at West Bay.

     ^Above^ - Herring Gulls at West Bay.

     ^Above^ - Cormorant at West Bay.

     ^Above^ - Starlings at West Bay.

     ^Above^ - Curlew at Portishead in North Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Ringed Plovers at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Dunlin at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Dunlin and Ringed Plover at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - House Sparrows at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Black Headed Gulls at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Linnet at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Meadow Pipit at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Pied Wagtail at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Pochard at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Mute Swans at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Greylag Goose at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Portishead.

     ^Above^ - Male Pheasant near Kingsbury Episcopi in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Mistle Thrush near Castle Cary.

     ^Above^ - Robin near Castle Cary.

     ^Above^ - Little Egret near Othery in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Roe Deer near Aller in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Mandarins at Cheddar reservoir.

     ^Above^ - Balck Headed Gulls in evening light at Cheddar reservoir.

     ^Above^ - Great Crested Grebe at sunset at Cheddar.

     ^Above^ - Mallards at Cheddar.

     ^Above^ - Autumn leaves at sunset at Cheddar.

     ^Above^ - Reflective hybrid duck at Cheddar.

  ^Above^ - Fishermen at sunset at Cheddar.

     ^Above^ - Inquisitive dog looking out over Cheddar reservoir.

     ^Above^ - Pied Wagtail near Yatton in North Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Fieldfare near Yatton.

     ^Above^ - Sparrowhawk at Stathe in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Robin at Stathe.

     ^Above^ - Goldfinch at Stathe.

     ^Above^ - Flock of Starlings at Stathe.

     ^Above^ - Blackbirds at Stathe.

     ^Above^ - Flock of Fieldfares at sunset near Middlezoy in Somerset.

     ^Above^ - Lapwings and Starlings opposite Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Sunset at RSPB Greylake.

     ^Above^ - Sunset scenes near Middlezoy.

     ^Above^ - The impressive cliffs at West Bay!

     ^Above^ - Impressive sailing ship in the Bristol Channel at Portishead.