Thursday, 16 August 2012

More Gannets and Puffins

  Well I suppose I'll start as normal with an Unst weather report ! The last two weeks generally have been good although not too sunny and warm - at least not much rain! The last few days have been very nice and now the wind is blowing from the south east and starting to blow a few migrants in.

   Last week I was over to Yell a couple of times and noticed a number of Gannets fishing close to the breakwater there. An opportunity not to be missed, I delayed my Bluemull crossing for a later one. Unfortunately the sky was pretty grey, but at least it wouldn't blow the whites and it would keep the 'midgets' at bay. When they dive from a height they certainly hit the water with a force and make quite a noise (the Gannets that is)..............





   Last Friday evening, we were going over to Yell for the evening to a 'Fiddle Frenzy' concert but had to go in to Uyeasound first. Driving past Easter Loch, I noticed a 'white-winged' gull standing at the edge of the water; my first thought was 'Glaucous' and that was that. The following morning (the concert was brill' by the way) I went down there again to try a get a shot of the bird. I found it 'loafing' around with a mixed flock of gulls in the centre of the village and managed a fairly long distance, record shot. Getting home later, I viewed it on the pc and thought 'that's not a Glauc', it's an Iceland' - wrong ! As it turned out, my original 'gut' feeling was right...


  For quite a few days now, I've been looking at the sea off of Lamba Ness in the hope of seeing a fin (or two?) as the sea has been pretty calm and the lighting has also been just right. Well on Saturday my efforts were rewarded with seeing a Minke there for half an hour before it headed south. Not particularly close, but nice to see none-the-less......


 Another sighting at Lamba Ness that got my heart racing for a moment was leucistic Starling. There had been several Rose-coloured Starlings on Shetland last week and when I first saw this one flying around, I thought I'd found my own - still nice to see though.....

A big crop - for the record

  A few nights ago, there was a meteor shower due but unfortunately on the first night it was cloudy. The second night was clear so I headed off outside after midnight to take a look, it was a cracking night but with a gentle wind blowing. There was a prediction of up to 100 an hour later on in the night, but as I'd promised Sula a day out the following day, I only stuck it out until 2am. During that time I reckon I saw 30 or so which was still pretty special. I did try and get some shots but as my interval timer release wasn't working (battery contacts were dirty as it turned out ) I failed in my quest. I did take a few at the shore earlier on though.......

12.40am across the sound

  The following day, I'd promised to spend the day with Sula at Hermaness. She is starting to use my 40D (when I'm with her) and, it has to be said, is developing an 'eye' for a photograph. Once she's grasped the basic technical stuff, I think she will do alright. We spent most of the day up there (from 9-30 till 5pm) and then went back up again for a sunset ! We were so engrossed in what we were doing, that we didn't even see the 100 or so White-sided Dolphins going north not far off shore between Saito and Muckle Flugga................





 
...she's getting the idea....

  ..... and a couple of Sula's..........




  Yesterday, I was out working in my shed (and enjoying having the new window open) when I noticed a dog Otter down at the shore drying itself on some exposed seaweed that was not yet covered by the rising tide. I watched it for almost half an hour before it slipped back in to the water.; as the wind was right, I fetched the camera and returned to the shore. Reaching the high wall at the noost I couldn't believe it, there on the shingle above the jetty, was a mother and two half grown cubs. Thankfully they hadn't seen me so I retreated and thought about my next step(s) as they could quite possibly come towards me through the grass and then I'd be rumbled. Thankfully they re-entered the sea and mum started fishing in between a bit of play. Mum brought a small fish out and dropped it by one of the cubs in the seaweed - the fish jumped about, which the cub then tried to catch. Even though the wind was well in my favour, I think she must have caught my silhouette or something as she retreated a short way out and kept hissing in my direction - a least she hadn't confirmed it was a human hiding not far away as she'd have taken the cubs away and I'd not have seen them again......

 The family

 Cub

Mum

  This morning (16th) I was due to go and do a job at the Shore Station and as the wind had been blowing from the south east for a couple of days, I took a look over a Skaw first. On the way however, there were a large number of Gannets fishing close-in to the shore at Haroldswick, so I stopped for a short while and took a few pics....................

 

  Over at Skaw, there were at least 7 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and 4 Sanderlings on the beach - nothing to get too excited about................

 Sanderling

Turnstone



                  Robbie

4 comments:

Christian said...

Congratulations on the diving Gannet images Robbie - not an easy thing to capture at all!

robbieb said...

Thanks Chris, there are a lot more that 'get away' than get caught - so to speak :)

Robbie

Suze said...

Wonderful images as usual Robbie, looking forward to visiting again and well done Sula!Lovely shot of the bonxie, chip of the old block it seems.Suze

robbieb said...

Thanks Suze, you're welcome anytime. Sula is coming along nicely - if she'd listen a bit more :) I'll be in touch soon, been rather busy these last few weeks.

Robbie