Saturday, July 11, 2009

Seabird Safari - Part 1

At the beginning of this week I headed up to the North-East of England to photograph some sea birds with my friends Steve and Austin. The original intention was a day on the Farnes Islands followed by a visit to Bass Rock on the second day. I will post the resulting photographs over a few posts.

The journey up was a bit tortuous as we decided to go via the Yorkshire Dales to see if any curlew were around on the moorland but having gone up a month later this year they had already disappeared.

First stop on arrival at Seahouses was to check the harbour and beach for Eider Duck. The sun was beaming as we got out the car but soon disappeared.

Given that we were later this year, as we normally visit in early June, the males had dispersed with only one male bird in eclipse plumage drifting around the outer harbour but there were plenty of females and young around. Eider are one of my favourite ducks with the bold monochrome of the males and the intricate patterns of the females. A few photographs to start of the birds resting on the seaweed covered foreshore
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Paddling around the harbour area
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There were various young eider at different stages of growth, this being one of the smaller ones.
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After the harbour we took a walk south to an area of low lying cliff where rock pipit, sand martin, kittiwake and fulmar are present. I decided to concentrate most of my efforts there on the Rock Pipits.
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and calling or prehaps more accurately 'pipping'
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By this time the rain clouds were gathering fast so it was time to be a rapid rapid retreat towards the hotel.

3 comments:

holdingmoments said...

These are all superb Richard; but that last Eider, low down, wow!

The Early Birder said...

Another super series Rich. The head on shot got me transfixed to the screen!

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for your replies. It was a shame I was too late this year for the male eiders as they are beautiful birds, although a difficult exposure.

Cheers

Rich

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