Meet the winner of the Blogger Awards 2017

Last year, nature bloggers kept us enthralled with their wildlife tales and now our Bloggers of the Month have been whittled down to one.

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Meet the winner of the Blogger Awards 2017

 

The 13 Local Patch Reporters who won BBC Wildlife’s Blogger of the Month competition throughout 2017 made up our Blogger of the Year Awards 2017 shortlist. The judging panel of four natural history TV presenters – Gillian Burke, Lizzie Daly, Ben Garrod and Miranda Krestovnikoff  – had the tricky task of picking an overall winner.

The Local Patch blogs they read covered a range of wildlife topics, from tracking the seasonal changes in a garden to visiting UK nature reserves.

You can be a Local Patch Reporter too! Post your blog updates on our forum.

 

 

Heather Buttivant (Cornwall, UK) - Cornish Rock Pools

Cornish marine life is surprisingly rich. People often find it astonishing that it’s possible to see anemones, corals, starfish, lobsters, sharks and bizarre sea slugs with just a decent tide and a pair of wellies. My blog shares the thrill of discovering this alien world. 

I’m lucky to be part of a growing network of keen citizen scientists recording wildlife and promoting marine conservation. Knowing that my blog is inspiring others to try rockpooling and to protect our beaches keeps me going on those freezing winter days when any sane person would stay at home in the warm!

 

Highlight of the year

A rare sea slug enjoys a fish egg supper in a Cornish rockpool © Heather Buttivant

 

Fish eggs are fabulous things to photograph in early summer. If you catch them when they’re close to hatching you can see each baby fish staring out, its tail curled tight around its head like a scarf.

In May, my son and I were looking at rock goby eggs, which formed a black-specked carpet of grey. It was only when I saw a tentacle move that I realised that I had discovered the very rare sea slug, Calma gobioophaga, feeding on them. The species is under a centimetre long and was perfectly camouflaged. 

 

Judges' comments

Finally, an in-depth blog about intertidal wildlife! Everyone loves rockpooling – but this blog actually highlights how important rockpools are. I’m really pleased to see a platform for the public to learn about what they’ve seen and even contribute to science. Brilliant!

- Lizzie Daly

I love the idea that this whole blog focuses on one particular habitat in one particular area. Rockpools appeal to us all and have so much to offer, not only throughout the year but also monthly and even daily. This fun blog is jam-packed with a whole range of in-depth content, including sections on specific animal groups and tips for those wishing to discover the wonder of rockpools for themselves. The style is relaxed and informal but none of the quality is lost. I read this and immediately wanted to head to the nearest rocky coast!

- Ben Garrod

 

 

Dara (Fermanagh, UK) - Young Fermanagh Naturalist

I live in a beautiful part of Northern Ireland, and want to celebrate its beauty. Observing and writing my thoughts has become a very important part of my life (I have Asperger's). The platform has become a valuable communication tool.

Highlight of the year

It has to be observing the hen harriers on my local patch, especially when I saw two males fighting for territory.

Judge's comment

The maturity from 13 year old Dara is astonishing and his honesty about how nature has held him coping with Aspergers is humbling. I love his energy and focus in all things environmental and conservation - it’s so great to see future wildlife heroes in the making. 

Miranda Krestonivokoff

 

Alex (Oxfordshire, UK) - Appleton Wildlife Diary

My blog is a regular account of what happens on a local patch in Oxfordshire.   I use a camera-trap and photography to capture local and visiting wildlife, from insects and birds, to a range of mammals, including deer and badgers.

Highlight of the year

My wildlife highlight was finally finding a local little owl after months of hearing it, and even one of this year's young.

Judge's comment

This blog has been running for four years, since its creator was just ten years old. But don't make the mistake of thinking this is 'by a kid for kids' blog. Alex has taken the passion for his local patch and blogs in a wonderfully expressive style, emulating a private secretive diary. The photography is better than anything I could hope to achieve and the detail covered clearly shows the time, effort and dedication that has gone into this blog. This site really does inspire the reader to go out and explore the world around them. 

- Ben Garrod

 

Carol Donaldson (Kent, UK) - naturegirl

My blog is a mixed bag of my passions and interests, which include my work, garden wildlife and recipes for foraged food. I’d like my blog  to enthuse people and encourage them to protect wildlife.

Highlight of the year

Working with farmers in Kent as we have managed to double the number of lapwing chicks fledged from their land.

Judge's comment

Carol’s frank writing often​ had me laughing out loud. I have a hunch that we’d have plenty to chat about over a pint or two. 

- Gillian Burke

 

Elliot McCandless and Kirsten Brewster (Dundee, UK) - The Wildlife Journals

We started this blog to share some incredible wildlife encounters we had during an 15-week trip abroad. Since returning to Scotland we have tried to see some of the creatures on our doorstep and shed some light on their conservation status.

Highlight of the year

While exploring a loch for a place to photograph grebes a lone otter appeared. We’ll never forget the sight of it staring back at us through the reeds.

Judge's comment

I was really impressed by this blog. First and foremost the photography is beautiful and used to tell each story very succinctly. There’s plenty of content on a variety of species too. Each story tells an intimate tale of experiences photographing each species, laced with interesting facts and video footage. A really professional blog well done Kirsten and Elliot. 

- Lizzie Daly

 

Celia Dillow (Somerset, UK) - tracks and trails and puppy dog tales

My blog celebrates the birds and beasts of the gorgeous Somerset Levels and moors. It is an area of beauty and rare habitats, which is full of history and astonishing wildlife.

Highlight of the year

While visiting Aller Moor, a turquoise dart flew towards me and away. The kingfisher repeated this until I moved and it could return to its fishing post.

Judge's comment

I love the use of language in this blog: conversational and personal. I felt as though I was walking with CeeDee on her rambles, foraging with her and smelling and tasting the countryside as she was. Her descriptions of adventures in the great outdoors made me smile! 

Miranda Krestonivokoff

 

The judges

Gillian Burke is a biologist and presenter on BBC Two’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch. She lives in Cornwall with her two children.

 

Lizzie Daly is a wildlife and children’s TV presenter. She is completing her Masters degree in the electroreception of arthropods.

 

Ben Garrod is an evolutionary biologist, great ape conservationist and presenter. He regularly contributes to BBC Wildlife’s Q&A section.

 

Miranda Krestovnikoff is a biologist, trained diver and wildlife expert on BBC One’s The One Show. She is also president of the RSPB.

 

Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine

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