Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Icey' Days

Well it seems that the temporary Iceland Gull population on Unst has decided the pier in Baltasound is a good place to be. Over the last few days the numbers there have steadily risen to at least 13 today. As well as the 'Iceys' there have been a couple of Glaucous Gulls around, one immature and one adult that Brydon found down in Uyeasound............

Adult Glaucous Gull

  Back in Baltasound, I was doing a regular run along the shore road to the skip (which was convenient) so I called past the pier during each trip to count the gulls. As well as the Icelands' there were also a few Herring Gulls along with Fulmar, Kittiwake, Great-blackbacked and Shag. Below are a few pics from the last couple of days. Unfortunately, sometimes the light was too bright and blew the whites on the birds making exposures difficult..................

 2nd winter Iceland

 Adult Iceland




Grey Heron

  Today (18th Jan) was a different day again, a strong south westerly wind and driving sleet and snow showers that made it difficult to get pictures on the exposed pier. Most of what I did take were from the car but with the relatively low light and the constant rocking of the car by the wind, the results were poor. There was a lot going on with constant skirmishes between the gulls and also with them stealing food from the fishing Shags. Even with 2000 ISO it still resulted in too much movement in the pictures or too much noise in the images, so I'll make no excuses for the pictures below  :) ...........

During one of the sleet/hail/snow storms

  When I'm thinking of leaving a site where I've been watching something, I'll often think ' I'll just give it 10 more minutes' or whatever, I did today and I was glad I did. I then saw down to my left in the water, an Iceland' frantically flapping its wings in the water. At first I thought it was having a fight with another one, but then quickly realized it had been grabbed by an otter. Quickly getting out of the car I managed to get a few pictures before it climbed out of the water and into a hole in the breakwater.................

Otter with Iceland Gull



WPATW said...

Love the otter and gull image-never seen it before, Might be worth entering for a comp or 2


tommyart said...

OMG! Otter My Gull!

robbieb said...

Thanks Tommy, OMG usually is something else when I hear it, I like your version better :)

Cheers Dave, I've seen several other pictures of otters taking seabirds - Shag, Herring Gull, Kittiwake to name just three. Usually either the otters head is hidden or the bird's, I was just happy to capture it. It was a bit of a rush shot really, I wish I'd had the 1.4ex on at the time.