Saturday, 18 July 2015

Chatterley Whitfield - Red-footed Falcon

The holiday in Seahouses had put the mockers on (what would have been a short drive from home!)  to Chatterley Whitfield where a very obliging 1st summer male Red-footed Falcon was playing to the crowds on a daily basis and showing supremely well! A long drive on the Saturday of my return finished with a minor detour and it was no surprise to find it showing well on arrival!

Here's the usual haunt!

Every now and then flying in search of prey.....

Coming right at me!

Or hovering.....

Return to the wire shots apenty!

Together with the balancing act!

Steady does it....

Best Red-foot forward!

It wasn't showing as well as it had during the previous week, but one's not going to grumble, especially as I didn't expect it stick for a week! And with a decent forecast for the Sunday, a return might be on the cards!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dolphins, Grey Seals and a Moth!

Grey Seals are a fixture around the outer islands but at this time of year there is always the chance of Bottlenose Dolphins? These are believed to be the pod (or part of it) from the Moray Firth area? They delayed the boat trip 'out' but no-one was complaining :-)

I always find these 'difficult' in the extrem, you have to be one step or leap ahead and it definitely helps to keep the focal length small! These were taken with my landscape lens zoomed to 135mm.

Mother and calf , soooo cute!

And the only vague success I had with the 300mm lens was this shot of a puffin! Getting out of the way smartish!

Then it was full steam to check out the the Grey Seals.....

Now I couldn't describe the adults as being cute?

But the youngsters certainly are!

There was a surprise in store on Staple Island. I've never photographed one of these and such a shame it was quite worn! I don't think Garden Tiger is a regular on the Farnes??

Farne Islands - Arctic Terns

Puffins were to take a back seat today (well nearly!) as I concentrated on a variety of birds and other inhabitants! Whilst I saw five species of Tern here last year, it was down to the usual three with Arctic Tern being the most abundant. Here's a few pics of  'em......

Getting ready to walk the gauntlet?

Surprisingly accommodating, I never got  hit once (apart from white stuff!)

Fish carrying was obligatory!

And of course flight!

Small fish....

Medium sized.....

An interesting angles being contrived!

These two seemed to getting on famously....

But I never worked out whether this was food pass or a mugging!

Dolphins, Seals and other seabirds to follow......

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Farne Islands - Puffins and Puffling

Been a little quiet of late due to a family holiday based in Seahouses which was mainly devoted to Castles and beaches! I did manage a couple of boat trips and the first one gave me a couple of hours on Inner Farne. The Farnes are a magical place with thousands of seabirds, seals etc. but I unashamedly spent most of an hour spent on Inner Farne photographing Puffins!! As I haven't got enough?

Individuals posing......

A few flight / landing shots too!

 Always amusing to see how a pair 'billing' attracts a crowd of onlookers!

 But the highlight for me was a sight I'd never seen before (and according to a warden rarely seen in daylight!)  A brief emergence of a Puffling from it's burrow!!

A quick wing flap - looks like the open sea is beckoning??

But it was followed by a retreat to safety down below!

Perhaps he/she was waiting for fish?? That's coming next......

Farne Islands - Puffins and fish!!

Time to try and put all the ingredients together for interesting Puffin pics? Fish and flight to be precise! It sets the individual out from the crowd?

Individuals loafing around with their bill full maybe fed up of the attentions of Gulls probably lurking near the burrow?

Might as well take the weight off ones feet!

But the real action and challenge is freezing the flight of incoming birds, bills stuffed with food for their young! With up to 400 beats per minute at 50 mph it isn't exactly point and shoot!

Frame fillers, slowing down for glide in.....

Or maybe an occasional head on shot? The wind direction was not very helpful in that respect!

And finally a close up or two, ensuring the maximum number of eyes on view!

A mixed cloud / blue sky day weather wise! The good news is the sun will be shining all day tomorrow and I'm on the all day trip......