Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seabird Safari - Part 4

This is my final installment of my recent trip to the Farne Islands. Before I describe the fun that was had on the last stop of the tour on Inner Farne Island, I thought I would post a photograph of a passing Shag so I could devote the rest of this post to my target species on the island.

I had a clear plan for Inner Farne Island , I was not to be distracted by the puffins, and had the 24-70mm wide lens fixed to the camera before my foot had touched the jetty. As you land on Inner Farne the path from the landing area takes you up through an Arctic Tern colony. They tend to take exception to people and constantly attack the visitors who usually tend to quickly pass through the colony. Those without a hat usually come off worse and sometimes there is even some blood shed. The onslaught of the birds is relentless and it is a fairly uncomfortable experience to endue for any length of time. I decided I would try put up with the attacks for a while in order to try and get some photos of the birds in flight with a wide angle lens. Arctic Terns really are stunningly beautiful and elegant birds in flight with their translucent wings and long tail feathers. That is of course if you can get beyond them trying to do a woodpecker impression on your head with a very sharp bill. Interestingly this year they semmed to have developed a new tactic of attacking exposed ears rather than just the head. Some of the photos from this bombardment of birds are shown below:





This photo was taken with the lens at 24mm. The birds come at your so quickly and so close that the camera autofocus has little chance. Getting photos at this distance and with the weaving flight of the birds proved very tricky.

I suppose there is room for just one photograph to bring the trip to the Farnes to a close.

Overall an enjoyable and productive day out on the islands with some very fortunate weather conditions. Unfortunately the following day the planned trip to the Gannets of Bass Rock was cancelled due to the wind blowing up a sea swell. The planning for next years June excursion is already under way and is going to hopefully take me much further a field and northwards.


Tabib said...

Great bird photography!.
Perfect exposure setting.

holdingmoments said...

These are superb Richard.
The attacking Terns look quite scary.

T and S said...

Truly award winning category of images Rich. Congratulations, they are stunning.

The Early Birder said...

Stunning overhead captures Richard.

Fernando Pereiras said...

Hola Richard. No se si hablas español. De todas formas queria felicitarte por las impresionantes fotografias que publicas. Mi enhorabuena y continua así. Saludos.

Anonymous said...

Great shots, your skill is showing well here.

Quantum Tiger said...

Stunning images as ever. Really like the tern shots...

scotfot said...

A great series of absolutely superb photos - great narrative!!

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for your replies. A couple of points I would like to make. Firstly it is pretty unpleasant standing in an arctic tern colony for any length of time as some of the attacks are bordering on the vicious. Secondly taking bird photos with a wide angle lens is very tricky but can create some interesting results.




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