Wild Boar

Wild Boar, Forest of Dean, originally uploaded by Ben909.

This was taken last month at dusk. I'd spotted a group from some distance away, just as they were waking up for the night. After feeding the little ones they started to head off to where they were going, and I was spotted. This sow wasn't very pleased - note the swishing tail. This is the last photo from that evening as I respectfully walked away at that point. The coat of this boar is making the transition from the reddish brown colour of a juvenile boar to the black colour of the adult.

Badger Cub

Badger Cub, Forest of Dean, originally uploaded by Ben909.

This was taken on Thursday night in the Forest. It's one of at least six cubs that share a sett with at least two adults. The cubs emerged before the adults. The adults didn't hang about, heading off in to the Forest as soon as they came above ground, but I was able to spend a couple of hours watching the cubs.

New Toy

New Toy, originally uploaded by Ben909.

I've acquired a new toy :) It's a 35mm 'stealth' cam. I'll attach it to a tree somewhere in the forest and see what it captures. It's triggered by motion and has a reasonably powerful flash. It's not going to take any quality pictures, but it'll be fun to find out what it sees. I've got to find a suitable location first, and I don't know how long it will take for the film to fill, but expect some grainy date-stamped pictures some time soon :)

A new look!

This blog has been running for a year and 2 months, and I thought it was about time it had a fresh look. I wouldn't be surprised if I tinker a bit more with it (or maybe even completely change it again!), but for now I think this will do. In the time the blog has been running, my photography has improved quite a bit, so if you're new to the blog, stick with the more recent posts ;) As always, a wider range of my photos from beyond the Forest of Dean can be seen on my Flickr pages.
Finally, if anyone is reading this from my Tumblr pages, please note that I'll probably shut it down soon - it's best to use this address instead. The whole idea of Tumblr's aggregation of multiple sources is great, but I've found the pulls from Flickr to be too unreliable. My Tumblr site was always intended to be completely automated and for a while it worked perfectly, but lately too many of the items in the Flickr RSS just aren't coming through.

Wild Boar remastered (as seen on tv!)

It was a real treat for me to have some of my boar photos featured on Springwatch last night - my thanks to the BBC for wanting to show them. One photo provoked some discussion amongst the presenters about photoshop, and whether or not photos like this should be photoshopped. Personally, as far as wildlife photography is concerned, I tend to do little more than a bit of noise reduction and exposure correction where needed, and try to make the best of the situation around me when I shoot. It's not really practical to compose exactly as you might like when it comes to wild boar. I love all that Photoshop can do, despite my lack of ability with it, but I tend to reserve it for non-wildlife subjects. However, I thought I'd have a go at Chris Packham's suggestion of removing the offending blade of grass. I'm not sure if I've done a very good job, but it only took 10 minutes. I guess it doesn't particularly alter the 'honesty' of the picture as it is just a single blade :)

Here's a recording of the segment of the show....

Wild Boar (Sus Scrofa)

Wild Boar, Forest of Dean, originally uploaded by Ben909.

Another shot from last month. The piglets are born with characteristic brown and yellow stripes. These are lost at 3-4 months, in place of a reddish coat, which is eventually replaced by an almost black coat.