Saturday, 12 August 2017

Osprey Farewell

It has been many weeks since I reported on the Lake District ospreys.The good news was that the pair of ospreys had been successful in rearing two chicks and I returned this week knowing that they had fledged.I wanted to see them before they left on their long migration to West Africa.I did have some nice views of the two juveniles as they fed and flew around from the nest site.The parents were still around and were bringing back fish for their youngsters.I wish them a safe journey to Africa.

I have shown below some of my better efforts at photographing the two juveniles on the nest and taking off and landing with fish which will have been left by one of the adult birds.The fish that one of them is carrying is a flounder and will have been caught from the estuary of the nearby River Leven.I have also included some other wildlife seen in the area.It was nice to see a selection of butterflies which so far this year seem to have been in short supply. I also came across a basking adder and a young robin which both posed nicely for me. Hope you enjoy the images and I look forward to the ospreys returning next Spring.More and more ospreys are setting up home in this part of the Lake District and I am aware that more platform nests have been constructed to encourage the birds to stay.The future looks good for these magnificent birds to establish a healthy population and to go on and extend their range into other parts of Northern England.Thanks for looking in.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Diving Gannets

As promised in my last post I am now showing more images of the gannets taken on the wonderful pelagic trip out from Liverpool.Myself and the other photographers were kept very busy trying to capture the action as the gannets dived close to the boat.The skipper Gary Flint threw out mackerel for the gannets which we had previously caught from the boat.Gary also gave a running commentary as to the whereabouts of the gannets as they circled the boat. It was spectacular action as the birds hit the water at around 60mph to grab the mackerel.

Some of the images shown below capture the moment the gannets hit the water. The gannets wings are folded back just before they hit the water and they look like white missiles as they enter the water with a big splash. It was exciting trying to capture the fast moving action as sometimes a dozen or more gannets were competing and you couldn't be sure which one would hit the water. You can also see the gannets underwater as they pursued the fish.

Hope you enjoy looking at the images below.I certainly enjoyed the experience and it was one of my most rewarding days with the camera so far.Great company and wonderful weather added to this memorable day out from Liverpool aboard "Discovery".I am looking forward to doing it all again when we meet up again next year.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Liverpool Bay...Pelagic Trip

Earlier this month I was very fortunate to be booked on a pelagic photographic trip organised by Richard Steel out into the Liverpool Bay area of the Irish Sea.Last year the trip had been cancelled twice owing to adverse weather conditions.This time the signs were good as settled conditions were forecast and the evening before the message came through to say we were good for go.It was to be an early start leaving Liverpool at 6am and arriving back at 4pm.Paul Foster and I duly arrived at Coburg Dock in Liverpool in good time for the 6am departure.The other photographers arrived in good time and the skipper Gary Flint set sail out into the Mersey in his boat " Discovery "

We motored out at a good speed some thirty miles or so out off the North Wales coast to the vicinity of the Burbo Bank wind farm.It was a bumpy uncomfortable ride out and I was glad when two hours later we dropped anchor and prepared to fish for mackerel.We all joined in the fun of catching mackerel and soon had enough to entice any gannets in the area to come close to the boat.For the remainder of our stay we managed to entice a reasonable number of gannets to the boat so as to photograph them making their spectacular dives.The skipper,Gary threw out the mackerel and as the gannets came close we were all kept busy with the cameras to try and capture the fast moving action.

I have posted images below showing some of the action on board and with the gannets.I will be posting more images eventually showing the spectacular action as the gannets dived in close to the boat.It was a wonderful experience with like minded enthusiasts and a wonderful skipper who provided refreshments and a great commentary as he enticed the gannets close to the boat.The weather was also excellent with blue skies and warm sunshine.We arrived back in the Mersey around 4pm and I have shown images of Gary surrounded by the technology on board Discovery and the magnificent Liver Building as we arrived back safely from our brilliant pelagic expedition out into the Irish Sea.Thanks for looking in and be sure to tune in again for some more action shots from this wonderful day out.