Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heading North for Sea Birds - Bass Rock Gannets

It was an early start at the harbour in Dunbar the following day, for a trip out to Bass Rock. Grey conditions unfortunately preveiled again but gratefully improved later in the day. As we headed out Bass Rock loomed in the distance looking as if frosted in snow but which was in fact a covering of sea birds. Bass Rock is the largest single island colony of gannets with over 150,000 birds present.
As you can imagine being amongst so many birds provided plenty of photo opportunities so I will probably spread the shots over several posts.
As we travelled, numbers of gannets alongside the old trawler started to increase.
After some briefing instructions on landing regarding approach and welfare of the birds, we headed off in search of gannets. I often find it slightly daunting when confronted with large numbers of birds. In such crowded situations producing potrait photos of individual birds can be difficult. So for this post I will concentrate on those potraits and leave the action for the later ones.

They are impressively large birds close to, and while taking these shots, birds with a 6ft wing span clumsily land and take off around you.

This bird chose the wall of the old island chapel as a quieter place to nest on.

and away from the crowded conditions below
In the densely crowded areas there are frequent disputes
together with moments of quiet affection between pairs amongst the chaos.
I will finish this post with a couple more gannet potraits and another impressive bird that I photographed during the visit, the Greater Black-Backed Gull.


kjpweb said...

Interesting birds, these Gannets. They look so different from what we are used to. While all the pictures are great - the 1st is just a home run! Bravo!
Cheers, Klaus

Ecobirder said...

It must be cool being able to visit large bird colonies. You certainly took some great pictures.

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies. It was unfortunate the light was not better on the boat journey out as there would have been some nice take off shots to be had.




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