Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Seabirds and more...

I came to end of my intensive Seabird weekend (A long weekend at that!) on Tuesday after a day on the Farnes with Hawk's Head Photography on their Farne Islands workshop, I gained my place or should that be two places on the workshop for myself and Brian by winning two sections of the WWT's Photography competition and indeed it was a very good prize, being able to spend the day with some amazing wildlife!
I have a lot of images to go through and process and I will be doing this over the next few days and will hopefully get a blog post up of which will include those pictures too, I will also include a short summary of today which saw me get two lifers including a well overdue Yellow Wagtail and although not a lifer, watching a stunning pair of Marsh Harriers, but for now I'll leave you with just a couple of photo's and the obligatory photo of a Puffin with Sand eel's, Thanks for looking!

And finally one last picture! 

Looks like Brian's got a new friend! well, when he's not trying to attack his hat!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Spectacular Seabirds!

After finishing my last GCSE exam on Wednesday last week the next few days were mostly going to consist of Seabirds. On Thursday I was on a 'School trip' to the Baltic Gallery for research into Artists for my A-2 Photography Course next year, the exhibits on display if I am honest did not really grab my attention so as soon as I could I was on the viewing platform watching and photographing the Kittiewakes, which if I think probably gave me more inspiration and Ideas for the course next year than the 'Art' did!

Friday held more Seabirds as I travelled across to the Farne Islands, with a bit of 'drama' added to the trip by the fact we nearly missed the boat there and actually missed the boat to come back! An extra hour on the Islands didn't go a miss however, if there is one place I wouldn't mind being stranded is on the Farnes in the Summer! It's needless to say however we did manage to get the next boat back across to the Mainland.
With so much right in front of you its hard to choose what to photograph on the Farnes as I am sure many reading this will be aware! I did however try to steer away from getting hundreds of Puffin pictures! They are nice birds with Odd behaviour at times but they don't grab my attention as much as  Razorbills and Fulmars do.
After a part of the day on the Farnes, myself and my Uncle headed for home but stopped off at Duridge pools which was a good decision as a look out onto the Big Pool of water had 3-4 Little Gulls, a single Great-Crested Grebe, a Adult Pied Wagtail feeding its young and a large number of nesting Swallows, in the distance the sound and sight of a Crow dropping down and mobbing a large Raptor caught my attention so a quick look through the binoculars revealed a Marsh Harrier drifting slowly across the sky towards the hide, my first for the year and even if it hadn't been an absolutely amazing bird! also I believe this is my first Marsh Harrier in Northumberland.
A short drive down to Cresswell and the search for an Avocet proved futile due the fact it appears nesting attempts have all been unsuccessful, however whilst watching a Whitethroat and Stonechat on the other side of the road from the Farm we both turned around to side the silvery ghost like shadow of a Barn Owl drifting atop the reeds before briefly disappearing from sight and reappearing with a Kill, it soon departed back into its nesting sight as the heavy rain approached from the South, a wise decision that was replicated by us as the rain started to fall!

On Saturday it was an earlier start and again I was making another trip towards a Seabird Colony! The RSPB's Bempton cliffs reserve in Yorkshire a place I have never visited before although I know Brian had several times as he told me about how good the place was! it didn't disappoint either with stunning views of the Gannets and Kittiewakes it was an excellent experience to see these birds in such numbers. Before arriving on the Reserve another Marsh Harrier made an appearance (Two in two days, not bad!) and another advantage of going to Bempton was being able listen and watch Corn Buntings, another Year Tick for me and also only the third time I have either saw or heard one, the last time being in the Somme region of France last year and the previous in Yorkshire last year.
An Excellent few days and lots of Seabirds, I am back on the Farnes on Tuesday so no doubt there will be even more Seabirds to be seen!

Thanks for looking through a small selection of the photographs from the past few days! to read Brian's (Killy Birder) account of the Bempton Cliff's trip and look at his pictures click HERE