Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Puffins on Skomer 17th June 2014

Today i am going to Skomer to see the Puffins , i have never seen them before so really looking forward to it.  Jan is staying back in the caravan with the dogs while i go on my own, as dogs not allowed on the island and we cannot find a kennels to take them really early in the morning . I have been told to get there for about 7 am which means getting up at 5am!!!!  i need to get near the front of the Que to get my ticket when the office opens at 8.30 but there will be more people wanting to go than there are places on the boats ,only a limited amount of people are allowed on the island each day .
   I have arrived at the car park near Marloes at 6.55 , and walk down to Martins Haven where the boat departs, i find I'm 3rd in line :)    maybe i didn't have to get here quite this early i am thinking , but within half hour there are more than enough to fill first of the three boats that sail to the island. Having got my ticket on the first boat i  will take a walk around the headland to shoot a few birds as the boat doesn't leave until 10.00!

                                          A Chough , great to see these fabulous birds :)

There are loads of small birds up on the headland , think this might be a Meadow Pipit , but could be wrong  lol

                                     Not a clue on this one..........  hope i can id a Puffin  :D

                                                                This Is a Stonechat :)

Time to head back to catch the boat now , its getting very warm and is going to get quite hot out on the island with no shade from the sun.

 On the way , and we spot a Gannet , which apparently is quite unusual as they stay on and around Grasholm which is about 10 miles straight out to sea.   the currents are quite strong between the mainland and the island , Loads of seabirds are on the water and flying around.

                       Guillemots are all around and on the rocks as we climb off the boat :)

 After a quick talk by the rangers telling us Not to walk off the paths , as the Puffin and Manx shearwater burrows are everywhere and fragile. I have decided to walk straight to "the Wick"   which is the best area for the Puffins.  its about 20 mins fast walk i believe.

                                                                             "The Wick"

I have just arrived at the "wick"  a warden is sitting near the ropes talking to a few people, Puffins are flying all around:)
Just to the left in the above image, the path is roped off to protect the burrows which are everywhere, they are all numbered i have noticed and i can actually hear the Puffins in their burrows :)      there are quite a few all around and after a few crap shots one flies in with a beak full of sand eels :)    and i managed a few good shots   yay!

I have just spotted a Puffin with an oof  grass background. one of my intended images  Yay   little do i know that was my only chance to get the image i wanted!    the Puffin is a bit larger in the frame than i would have liked , but never mind.

Now time to get my macro lens out for some portraits , they are really close to the ropes and will easily fill the frame with my 100mm macro lens  and are uncropped on 450d body .  this one just popped its head out of a burrow and then walked out and just stood there while everyone close by took its picture :)

 I can hear them underground all along the path edge , this one just "crash" landed by me and just stood on the edge of its burrow for a few minutes before going down underground.

I have decided to go for a walk around this side of the island as its getting a bit crowded here now, so i will head to Skomer Head , one of the rangers said it is a good place to sit and have lunch without any burrows to watch out for .             

                                                            What a stunning view!!!!!!!

 After eating lunch i am making my way through to the centre of the island in hope of seeing the little owls but no sightings , but did shoot this little Wren :)

I have about an hour and half left before needing to make my way back to get the boat , so back to the "Wick" as its easily the best spot , might even try in flight shots .

                                                                    " Flapping wings "

   I  Really like this image , its been difficult shooting in the bright sun all day with Harsh light not helping, especially with the whites on the birds.

There are loads of birds on this flat area about two hundred yards from the main area where i was shooting earlier , they are flying in from the open water.  A few with sand eels in their beaks , but they are incredibly fast and almost crash land into their burrows making it very difficult to get any shots.

                                                      this Puffin is looking a bit sad :(

I have just managed another sand eel shot, the Puffins eggs have only just started hatching, later than normal so there are very few adults bringing in sand eels yet unfortunately , but managed a few images of this one ,    most i took where out of focus :(

                                              the Light is tooo bright , but its an ok shot


 i have tried my best but my canon 5d mk2 autofocus is no good for this type of fast moving subject!

 Time to go now, i have 25 minutes to get to the other end of the island. lovely views as i walk across the island.

Having made my way back to the boat landing i can rest now and just watch the birds flying around the landing area.

 i shoot this while waiting :)

                                                              Threes a crowd here :)

         As i am climbing down to the boat , i notice that the Razorbills are roosting just above the steps and i manage a few shots before having to continue downwards . They are Very majestic/impressive birds.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 5 hours on the island , managed some really nice images and was great to finally see the Puffins :)    the wind is getting up now and it will be a bit of a rough 15 minute journey back to the mainland.

Having left the boat , one last shot as the "Dale Princess" leaves to return to the island to pick up the next party.

                         Back to see Jan and the dogs now , and a trip to a beach this evening.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Carew Castle and Broad Haven Pembrokeshire Holiday pt3 16th June 2014

Its a bit dull this morning, so we have decided to visit Carew Castle for a walk around the lake, before going to Broad Haven beach this afternoon when its forecast to be sunny :)

We have walked around the lake and are now passing the castle , Dogs cant be taken into the castle itself so we have to make do with this walk.

                      Chester jumped up on the wall and nearly went over the other side   haha
                                                   Jan grabbed him just in time :D

                              Its brightening up now, blue appearing in between the clouds :)

                                              A Lovely coloured fern growing in the wall.

 We have had lunch back in the caravan and have now driven down to Broad Haven , which is quite near Bosherton lily ponds which we will take a look at later this week hopefully.       Having negotiated the very narrow lanes we park up and get this first view of the beach , really beautiful and deserted!    

                                                    Straight down onto the beach

                                         Didnt take long for them to get wet did it!  lol

                                  they are having loads of fun now , great to watch :)

                                                                    A  Flying Chester

                                         Go on Mol  fetch it but watch that big wave!!!!!   Toooo Late

                                       O Dear Mol, did that wave get you???    hahahaha

              She is getting more bold now going straight out for the ball without fear, well Almost !

Time to come off the beach now , we have food in the car and then go for a walk around the headland i think.

We are now walking around the headland , a glorious evening again for a walk and the dogs will soon be dry :)

Its a stunning coastline , and we are walking through an army firing range   , good job they are not shooting :)

                                                 Beautiful Mollster with great view behind

                                                   Chester just doesn't pose like Mollster!  

                         A last pic for the day looking towards Stackpole head  in the distance .

                Tomorrow i have to get up really early as i am going to Skommer to see the Puffins :)