Badger, Forest of Dean, originally uploaded by Ben909.

It looks like the badger could well be on course to end up as the first victims of the new Tory (coalition) government. "Ministers are preparing to order targeted badger culls in England in a move that will delight farmers who believe it the prime factor in the spread of TB through their dairy herds – and enrage many animal welfare groups" (Link)... Are vaccinations really so difficult?
This photo is from last years archives.

Wild Boar Piglet

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

It was such a treat to be able to get so close to the boar on this occasion, but on occasion the inquisitive youngsters got a little too close for comfort (and for focussing!). They don't pose a risk in themselves of course, but that convenient black background is actually mummy boar, and she's quite big :)

55 at the 7

55 at the 7, originally uploaded by Ben909.

55 seconds at the River Severn. The Severn is the longest of the rivers in the UK and has the greatest water flow, and the greatest tidal range. And probably the most mud too. This was taken back in February this year.

Wild Boar (Sus Scrofa)

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

These two spent a minute or so chasing each other round and round the tree, playing rough and tumble.

Wild Boar, Learning From Mum

Wild Boar, Learning From Mum, originally uploaded by Ben909.

The boar are fully weaned by 3 or 4 months. Until then, they have plenty time to practice foraging for their own food. It was particularly nice to see these two rooting around side by side. The youngsters are deceptively strong, and are capable of getting almost as 'stuck in' as the grown-ups.

Wild Boar, Standing Proud

Wild Boar, Standing Proud, originally uploaded by Ben909.

This was taken at the same time as the previously posted shots. I was able to track them down again this evening, a couple of miles or so away from last time. They were much harder to get shots of tonight, but I still managed a few that I'm pleased with. I'll post a few more from the previous encounter first :)

Grace in the bluebells

Grace in the bluebells, originally uploaded by Ben909.

I think I may have missed the bluebells at their best - Many of them seemed a little tired and wilted today. Then again there were plenty that didn't appear to have opened yet too. Grace didn't seem to care :)

Slow Water

Slow Water, originally uploaded by Ben909.

Another shot taken from one of the rock shelves in the River Severn as the tide was turning, with Sharpness on the horizon.
242 seconds, F18, ISO100

Wild Boar

Wild Boar - Feeding Time, originally uploaded by Ben909.

As far as the little ones were concerned, it was always feeding time, but here the two sows led down on the grass, almost touching noses with each other, as ten thirsty mouths got stuck in. I've got to admit I'm still smiling about capturing this :)

Wild Boar Piglet

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

The little piglet seemed popular before, so here's another one. It's amazing to think it what it will grow in to in the near future. The sows must have been exhausted. They've been looking after 10 of these for the past 3 or 4 weeks, and they're full of energy and constantly hungry. This shot was taken during a brief respite from playing, fighting, digging, suckling, running around, and generally enjoying life.

Wild Boar

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

Here's one of the two proud Mums. Wild Boar are very elusive animals, and notoriously difficult to see. This will sound incredibly hypocritical in the context of these photos, but they shouldn't be approached, particularly when with their young. You can't outrun a wild boar! I've been watching the boar for about two years, and getting good natural shots of them exhibiting some of the behaviour I've captured has long been a goal of mine. A large number of the shots won't be going on Flickr, and all have been drastically reduced in size. I know a lot of people don't share my enthusiasm for the boar... I'll try to chuck in some non-boar photos soon :)

Wild Boar Feeding

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

One of the big challenges with photographing wild boar is capturing their natural behaviour. Most of their senses are superb, meaning that most of the time they'll be aware of you before you are of them. This is why so many of my past boar shots have shown the boar looking straight at me. Behaviour doesn't come much more natural than this - it was an absolute privilage to be able to see and photograph this scene. The piglets are about 3 or 4 weeks old, and will continue to suckle for a while yet. They're not picky about who they suckle from either - this is two litters and two mothers, but when it comes to feeding, neither the sows nor the piglets pay too much attention to whose mum is whose.

Wild Boar Piglet

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

Bingo! It's taken plenty of effort, but finally I've got a series of wild boar piglet shots I think I can be happy with. In fact, today I managed to watch behaviour (and photograph much of it) that I never imagined I'd be lucky enough to see.
This little chap is part of a sounder consisting of ten piglets and two sows. I posted a photo of one of those sows on April 22nd. There's a 50% chance that the black blob in the background of this shot is her. I've been on the trail of this group since, and today the effort paid off, more so than I could have wished for in fact. Long time followers of my blog will be used to my wild boar ramblings by now, and will be prepared for the slew of boar photos that will no doubt follow. In advance of me milking this, I apologise...

Common Lizard

Common Lizard, Forest of Dean, originally uploaded by Ben909.

The viviparous lizard or common lizard is a Eurasian lizard. It lives farther north than any other reptile species, and most populations are viviparous (giving birth to live young), rather than laying eggs as most other lizards do. The viviparous lizard feeds on invertebrates, mostly small insects. It shakes larger prey in its jaws before chewing it and swallowing it whole. In early spring, late autumn, and cool summer days it basks in the sun to reach its optimum body temperature.
wikipedia info

River Severn at Awre

River Severn at Awre, originally uploaded by Ben909.

Another shot from February. Taken from the banks of the River Severn at Awre.
30 seconds, F14, ISO100, ND110