Featured~Blow me away~Bird Blogger of the Week

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by dAwN FiNe on March 25, 2011 · 2 comments

in Birding Western Palearctic

Howdee all,

We are still in Florida..enjoying the warmth, hiking, birding and checking out the natural springs in the Ocala National Forest.. We leave next week for a two day drive to North Carolina where we will stay for a month, before heading to~two great Birding Festivals in May. ~The New River Birding and Nature Festival and The Biggest Week in American Birding.~I cant wait! Warbler heaven!

Anyway…Lets get to it…This week I am Jazzed to introduce you to a Bird Blogger that I came across while on Twitter.

~Featured Bird Blogger of the Week~

~Charlie Fleming of Wildlife in a Suburban Garden~

I am just Blown Away by Charlie’s photos and I think you will be too! Charlie spends hours waiting patiently for the right moment~to get that perfect shot. He uses a bird blind and special clothing in order to get closer to the birds he is photographing.  When I first started reading Charlie’s blog he was stalking Kingfishers..Yeah, like in that awesome photo above^^that’s quite a battle…I have the link to that story below..and its definitely a must read. Anyway~ Charlie was very much into getting the best Kingfisher photos he could. ..Lately~Charlie has been stealth-fully stalking Dippers…you must go to his blog to see all the latest nest building Dipper photos.  I have just a sampling of Charlie’s blog posts below, I highly recommend perusing his blog or going to Charlie’s Pbase gallery. You can find Charlie as @Subgarden on Twitter.

Read more about Charlie in his own words …..

Born Derby, England 1950. I have always had a passion for wildlife. My father had a love of birds and as a young child I remember being taken on

~Charlie Fleming~

country walks to The Peak District National Park and other interesting places in Derbyshire. My father could find nest sites very easily, a skill which he had learned as a child in an age when this was considered the normal thing to do. He would show my brother and I the nests of Dunnocks and small finches and we quickly learned to tell the difference between a Song Thrush nest and a Blackbird.

I remember the first time I saw a Magpie which at the time in 1955 was a rare and not often seen bird. That was a good day because we also watched the first Grey Squirrel. Imagine a time when magpies and Squirrels were rare!!!!!!! I started this blog because of my passion and as a way of exploring my surroundings and sharing my love of nature.

The environment is a free resource and one that we can all enjoy, we all have a share, we all own it in equal measure. No organization or government body owns it more than you and I. Its ours and we should treat it with the respect that we treat something we own and love. Armed with just a pair of eyes and ears and perhaps a couple of legs we can all enjoy the things around us.

My other passion and interest in life is my beloved LYMPSTONE SOUTH WEST TELECOMS BAND> As an Associate of The Royal College of Music ARCM, I am the musical director and have been for ten years. In that time we have won loads of contests including the Fourth Section National Title. We compete in the First Section of the National Gradings and perform concerts all over Devon and further afield.

I do not consider myself a photographer, just a  naturalist who uses a camera to record what he sees. You wouldn’t call yourself a Violinist just because you owned a Violin.

My camera is a Pentax K5 and I usually use a Sigma  300mm 2.8 Prime lens. Also a Pentax 200m SDM lens if I am going to be close enough. I would like a 500 prime (but I bought a car in stead)!

Please enjoy these featured posts…click on the links to go to the original post.

February 07, 2011
More Nuthatch photos
“What an absolutely wonderful session I had this afternoon, thoroughly enjoyable, rewarding, fulfilling and lots of great photographs taken. I am rapidly falling in love with Nuthatches…….. what beautiful birds, so full of character and so handsome to match.”
Dawn says..Just gorgeous photos…you must check out the post for more!

January 12, 2011
Red Breasted Merganser on the Exeter Canal

“When I saw them I approached cautiously until they were used to me and they remained right in front of me. They carried on fishing and one eventually caught  a nice plump perch after repeatedly diving.  My patience, and his, paid off.  I was thrilled to watch him and really satisfied with myself because I had predicted the great photo opportunity that his success would present.  Apart from that,  they are lovely to see , so comical and very handsome.”
Dawn says…More awesome photos in the post and the eating of the “plumb perch”…

January 08, 2011
Waxwings – Marsh Barton Devon

“So what was I to do but sit on the low wall next to the tree and take some photos.  The berries have all but gone now so, even if they stay until they have all gone I doubt if they will last until the end of tomorrow. I had the birds almost all to myself this afternoon, and they were coming down to within 6 feet of me as I sat very quietly. Really special and truly amazing.”
Dawn says…Check out more magnificent waxwing photos..gobbling berries..love the pink backgrounds..go see what I mean!

December 25, 2010
Devon Redwings

“My garden has been alive with birds this last week and very soon, the object of every birds desires…. the cotoneaster berries….. will run out and then who knows what the redwings are going to eat.”
Dawn says…Super shots…go see for yourself!

December 06, 2010
Snow Bunting – Plectrophenax nivalis

“I was on my way to Exminster Marsh. I bumped in to a Cornish birder, John who had made the journey specially. Even though I always prefer to do my bird watching on my own it was good I suppose, that I could show him the exact spot that the bunting had been seen.. When we approached the area there was no sign of it at first and I resigned myself for disappointment…… then suddenly I caught sight of it not too far away. What an absolutely stunning bird and something I will remember for ever!’
Dawn says…I am digging the frost here….More Snow Bunting photos ..check out the post to see…

October 24, 2010
More underwater action

“It’s hard to put in to words how difficult the whole thing is, so many elements need to be in place and all work as you want them to. The most important thing of course, is the Kingfisher because without her putting in a show, then there is no point to any of it.  To be there at the right time is difficult to predict and necessitates so much sitting around with my feet and legs covered in cold muddy water, up to the knees.  Yesterday evening was just starting to become unbearable, I hadn’t had a visit from her and the fish were performing well, I had been in the hide for well over an hour when suddenly, there she was.”
Dawn says…You must read this post to see how Charles gets photos like this…Very cool!

October 22, 2010
Kingfisher photo quest….. more!

“I had been at the hide since 7.45 and almost smack on 8, there she was again, just at the same time that she had shown up on two previous mornings.  She lingered for a bit and caught a fish in the tank and then left for  20 minutes or so, to obviously try elsewhere.  Then she came back and for the next 40 minutes she was  with me, doing all the things that you would die to see.  She posed beautifully, she caught fish in the brook, she caught fish in the tank and she bobbed about looking through the tank at them. All the time, the light was getting better and better and I was getting, consequently better and better pictures.”
Dawn says…I think Charles is the King of Kingfisher photos..How about you? Check out this post..you wont regret it…

September 28, 2010
Kingfishers and Rock Pipits

“I think these Kingfisher photos posted here today (from yesterday), show how, even in the exact same location of the exact same subject, a photograph can be so different depending on the prevailing light. We seem to have almost Autumnal colours now which gives the pictures a lovely look.”
Dawn says…Stunning…more Kingfisher and a Pipit in the post…

September 21, 2010
Black-tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa islandica

“This is going to be one of those really interesting photographic entries to the blog because yesterday I had just about the best session that I have had for quite some time.  It all started on Sunday when Jenny and I decided that we couldn’t carry on being the slobs that we have become and went out for a long walk to exercise our slovenly selves. It was a nice walk and we stopped off here and there to have a look at potential sites for birding and photography on the way.  So yesterday, I went to one of the places discovered, and it turned out to be fantastic.  It was made doubly good by the really good light. I erected the pop-up chair hide and sat and waited for the birds, disturbed on my arrival, to return.”
Dawn says…Check out his post to see what birds returned to be photographed…

September 07, 2010
Sparrowhawk – Acipiter nisus

“Grey Wagtails landed so close to me that for ages I couldn’t get a shot of her because the lens couldn’t focus on her when she was that close. It was interesting to watch her feeding. She found a Caddis Fly Larva in a case. She stripped it and then ate the, now exposed tasty looking grub. In the photos below you can see the larva in the case and then out and ready to eat.”
Dawn says…If you want to see the Caddis Fly Larva in and out of the case……check out the post…Way Cool!

March 02, 2011
Dipper – Cinclus cinclus

“I decided that enough was enough today and bought myself a ‘gillie suite”. This is basically a full suite, including a massive hood, made up of strips of cloth and camouflage material. Snipers wear them to conceal themselves. I was a bit reticent to go this far but I have been thinking for ages that this might do the trick.  You have just got to get close enough to birds (and other wildlife) if you want to take the kind of pictures that I want. I was quite excited when I approached the river, would it work like I hoped? Well the answer is here!!!!!!!”
Dawn says…Yes..that suit payed off…You must read Charles blog to see his latest Dipper photos!

July 24, 2010
Kingfisher fight to the death?

“The story behind these photos is a great one. I went to the brook at just after 10  (with a promise to my wife on our 39th Wedding Anniversary, that I would be back by 11…..  no chance!)  I was literally in the hide for 30 seconds when I saw a flash of blue in front of me.  When I looked out, on the long low perch there was  not one, but two Kingfishers, I am still not 100% sure if they were both females or not but undoubtedly they were both juveniles. What then transpired had me riveted for 2 whole hours because that’s how long it took this battle to simmer and then start.”
Dawn says….Wow..more photos of this Kingfisher battle in Charles post…..Does the Kingfisher drown?

I hope you enjoyed Charlies blog and visit often…

Please keep those emails coming with suggestions of Birding Blogs you would like to see featured here. Nobbiecat(@)gmail(.)Com

Don’t forget to leave a comment. Bloggers love feedback.

Happy Birding!

All permissions for this post and photos were given by Charlie Fleming

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  • Larry N

    Unbelievable photos! I want to read Charlie’s blog to see if I can find information about how he goes about getting close to birds for his photos.

  • Stephen Mostert

    Great pisc Charlie _ was great to chat to you in the hide in Cape Town!

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