Sunday, November 02, 2008

Autumn Storm Birds

I am fortunate to live in one of the few places in the country where the pelagic Leach's Storm Petrel can be blown into the shore with strong westerly or north westerly winds during the autumn. This is a bird I have not photographed before and during some recent strong winds some arrived, the first decent number of birds for a couple of years. They are very difficult birds to photograph, being about the size of a starling, and also due to the fact that you are trying to hold a camera steady during a raging onshore gale. Being dark birds they also really need the sun on them to show them at their best, which did not occur in my attempt for them but at least I managed to get some shots (although there is room for improvement but that will probably have to wait to next autumn now).
Its amazing to watch these tiny birds battling their way through ferocious winds and seas as they patter their way across the surface.
A couple of birds ended up being blown onto the beach briefly as they powered their way back out to sea.Hopefully the sun will shine when they hit the shore again and this brief encounter has provided me with useful experience for next time.


Klaus said...

Excellent - good detail in the dark areas despite the conditions!
Cheers, Klaus

T and S said...

Beautiful series given the constraints...Thomas

Rich Steel said...

Thanks Klaus and Thomas. IT may be a long wait till I get my next opportunity but I will be better prepared next time.



Anonymous said...

You are definitely in a very interesting place to find storm petrels coming to forage so close to shore. That's excellent!... along with excellent photos under tough conditions.

Fiona Barclay said...

Ah - Richard I've just found your lovely blog! Thanks for your help that day. My footage is MUCH worse than your lovely pics. Do email me your address and I'll send you a copy of the DVD.

Fiona (at birdguides dot com)

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the comments Bernie and Fiona. Glad you managed to get some footage Fiona and hope that your trawling up and down the M6 was worthwhile.




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