Friday, June 29, 2007

Dusting down the travel lens

While cleaning the 500mm lens the other day I noticed that some dirt had accumulated inside the front lens glass, which should not happen for a sealed lens unit. So the lens has been duly shipped back to Canon. I must admit it cannot be returned to quickly!!!!. So in the mean time I have had to dust down the travel / zoo lens the 100 - 400mm. This lens was repaired a while back and I have never been convinced it was as sharp on its return as when originally purchased and a short session at the weekend confirmed this to me. So when the 500mm returns returns I think I will send it over to Canon to be recalibrated to see if that improves its perfomance. A couple of photogrpahs from my short-session with the lens.

A linnet which I unusually managed to stalk in close to

The other bird photographed was a reed warbler which for a change I managed to find out in the open rather than half obscured by vegetation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bempton - Gannets

It seems appropriate that the magnificent gannet should be the subject of my 100th post to the blog. This was my primary reason for the trip to Bempton Cliffs and the main subject of my photography during the visit. The opportunity for perched birds was limited so the majority of the shots were of birds in flight.
The last view many fish see
Moving on to some flight shots...
A young bird still showing the mottled plummage

An adult taking some fresh seaweed back to the nest Looking for a ledge to land on
I quite liked the unusual angle of this next shot
and one more of a youngster to finish this post off.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bempton - Guillemot and Razorbill

While at Bempton Cliffs I did not take too many shots of the Guillemots and Razorbills as I was mainly concentrating on the Gannets. Here are a few of the shots that I did take of these birds during the visit.

Guillemot perched on the cliff edge
The Razorbill build their nests precariously built on tiny ledges The Razorbill are a fast flying bird and a difficult target to photograph in flight from the cliff top.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Return to Bempton

My last trip to Bempton Cliffs was a bit of a disaster as I arrived to dense fog and so could not get any photographs taken and could just make out the gannets moving through the mist. On a recent return visit I was met by much better conditions. It is not the easiest placed to take photographs as you are on the top of a very high cliff and certainly not a good venue for those who suffer with vertigo.

The main target bird for the visit were the gannets but I will show those in the next posting and will concetrate on Fulmars and kittiwake for this blog entry. Firstly one of my favourite sea birds the Fulmar.

There were large numbers of Kittiwake present perching on the edge of the cliff

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Song Thrush Invasion

Before I make this next post a quick note, if you find there are photographs missing when you load a page just hit the refresh button on your browser.

I have been getting some more common redstart shots recently and in all types of weather.

I thought the young redstart where showing but they turned out to be very similar looking young robins.

The site has suddenly been invaded by a number of noisey Song thrush which have been fun to photograph.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Couple from out the back door

I was just playing around doing some experimenting with the camera settings over the weekend in the back garden. A couple of birds came into view during my testing so obviously could not resist taking the shots.

This male blackbird seems to be enjoying his bath.

A house sparrow enjoying a brief moment of sun between the showers to try and dry off. Before you adjust your vision that post really is purple, as the back garden has some quite technicolour paint work.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday morning showers

After the deluge of rain of this last week, I decided to head out yesterday morning for a couple of hours. I nearly did not go as the light was not really very good and it was still raining but needed to get out with the camera. Having said that I did not come home with many shots as I spent a fair amount of time trying to get some shots of reed warbler but they had other ideas. So I ended up with..

A goldfinch gathering nesting material
A Greenfinch
and a male LinnetMeanwhile in my back garden at home the numbers of this years young goldfinch are steadily increasing.and the Collared doves seem quite aggressive at the moment and chasing away a number of other birds

I also caught sight of another very small new visitor to the garden which has so far escaped the attentions of the neighbours cats.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Return to the Redstart

After the Seabird Tour I went back to visit the redstart to see how they were doing.
All was well I am pleased to report with both birds looking great as usual

One of the recently fledged young also put in a brief appearance
Another interesting point was a second male has appeared on the scene so it will be interesting to see how the existing pair react to this invasion. Here is a shot of the recently arrived male that can be distinguished by having much less white on his cap.

Other birds that appeared while I was there were a dunnockand a Song Thrush

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Seabird Tour - Shags and Puffins

The next birds that we came across on the island were the shags, kittiwake and razorbill on the ledges. By this time the sun was out full strength and the light quite harsh.
I finshed off on the island doing some Puffin portraits before dashing back to catch the boat. An enjoyable ending to the trip.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Seabird Tour - Sandwich Tern and Puffin

On reaching the top of the island the path past a Sandwich Tern colony and I spent a while trying to get some shots of them.

Looking for the right place to land
They are a graceful sight when flying. While trying to get some shots of them I noticed I seemed to be in-line with a puffin flying route with a constant stream of birds flying towards and past me. Many of the birds were carrying beaks full of sandeels. I always forget what small birds and fast fliers puffins are.

I became so adsorbed in the terns and puffins that before I knew it and hour had already passed and I had only managed to get about 300 metres from the landing jetty!!! It was time to see what else the island offered.


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