Catching up.....

06th October 2012
As the title suggests this is just a little catch up on a few things I photographed during the miserable summer we've had. First up, I attempted to photograph the local Swift population again. I'm fortunate enough to have a good number of these birds nesting nearby and they often come screaming over the top of my house and garden, so as soon as the weather was good I grabbed the camera and stood in the back garden firing away.

As you all know Swifts are like bullets and are very difficult to photograph in flight but I came away with quite a few images I was happy with..





In this image below, the Swift is just about to catch an insect which is in the top left corner of the picture.. I still haven't captured a decent shot of one with it's mouth open yet, try again next year I suppose... :-)



I also tried for some more Common Tern reflection shots, again this proved to be very difficult with the constant bad weather we have had. I made several trips to my local reservoir but the water was way too choppy to get any decent images with reflections, I decided on one more visit with the weather forecast looking good for early morning start. On arriving at first light I noticed a gentle ripple on the lake, not good I thought but as I'm here I might as well have a look around. Fortunately it was the right choice, I found a nice sheltered corner without a ripple in sight and the water was like a mirror..









Skomer Island was the next field trip, I had 2 friends with me on this visit - Phil and Tony. The plan was to travel down on the Monday morning set up camp in a nearby campsite and then go for a look around the coast line. Skomer isn't open to the public on Mondays except bank holidays so travelling down on the Monday would give us a chance to relax, set up camp and get to the Island ticket office first thing on Tuesday morning without being shattered from the long drive. Again the weather forecast was looking grim for the next few days and it had also forecast the Monday to be bad but as soon as we got near the coast it was beautiful..

Camp set up we headed of to the coast line in search of something to photograph, it wasn't long before I found myself perched on top of the cliffs trying to photograph the Gulls..

Taken with the Iphone...





Speaking to a few birdwatchers that were walking around, we were told of some Choughs that were further along the coast line so we upped sticks and went for a look. Sure enough there was a about twenty or so of these birds feeding on the cliff tops and never having photographed one before I was keen to get one in front of the viewfinder.

Talk about leading us on a merry dance, everytime you got to within a certain distance away from them they would either fly off or move back a few feet. Even when crawling along on your belly they would let you get near but not near enough, after a few hours I came away with only one usable image...



Tuesday morning we woke up to thick fog and to be honest I didn't think we would get out to the island, we went down to the ticket office and they said the boat was running but the skipper would assess the conditions and then make a decision.

Iphone image again... :-)


Thankfully he was happy with what he could see and we boarded the boat, I couldn't see a thing through the fog but he's made the trip so many times it must be second nature to him, still, I made sure I was as close to the life raft as possible..

Once on the island we made our way over to the Wick to get some Puffin shots, unfortunately the thick fog kept blowing in off the sea and it made it extremely difficult getting images, one minute you could see Puffins and the next minute they disappeared in a blanket of fog..





I was starting to get a little bit frustrated and with the arrival of 200 screaming kids I decided to go back to the other side of the island and try for some flight shots.
The fog wasn't as bad this side of the island but it still ruined the nice blue backgrounds you normally get from the sea..







I went for some head on shots but only managed about three decent images with this one being the pick of the bunch...



Wednesday morning and we woke up to it lashing down, SIGH! Phil and Tony went to the shops to get some food while I went down and got the tickets for the island. While waiting for Phil and Tony to come back I noticed a few Swallows perched up looking a tad cheesed off,I must admit this summer was having that effect on everyone and I'm sure animals and birds must think the same way. Anyway,one Swallow seemed to have a favourite perch so I made my way slowly over and gabbed a few shots of the poor little thing..



As I was standing there snapping away another one landed to my right on some bramble and I swear it was shouting out at the rain to p$%& off...



Arriving on the island I decided to stay around the landing area as I really wanted some Razorbill images, the rain cleared by early afternoon and it was turning out to be a nice day. The Razorbills were hard work though, I just couldn't get clean images or poses I liked..



I gave up in the end and moved down to the waters edge where I'd seen some Puffins and Razorbills on the water...





Standing at the waters edge I could see the Razorbills flying just above the waters surface heading towards a cliff face to my right where they were nesting so I decided to try and get some flight shots.





I spent the rest of the afternoon photographing the Razorbills filling up several memory cards...





We also had a surprise visitor in the shape of this Seal which we weren't expecting but it was a nice end to the day..




Back to the campsite for the final night, I took out the wide angle lens and photographed the amazing view we had..



Thanks for looking...