Showing posts from January, 2017

Flight of the Gannet


Fog, Frost and Ordinary Things

Walking along the cliffs in thick fog is different! All the parts that make up a usual wander are changed but not necessarily for the worst. Obviously the first one is sight: the views that you are so used to just don’t exist, trees fade to grey and people become ghosts. Sound changes too and, as you are one sense down, your hearing seems to fill the gap.
There is much more noise and this coupled with the lack of vision can disorientate the best of us. That said, there are pleasures in all of this and patterns created by frost are always special. Everything that can catch a droplet of water does so and this too changes how very ordinary things can look. There is still plenty to point the camera at, even if you can't see too far.

From Fog to Beards

A planned photoshoot couldn't happen today because of the fog and so I took a detour to try and find these little beauties.
Bearded Tits are stunning birds and great fun to photograph. They are constantly on the move and always seem to put themselves behind reeds but in front of the Sun.

Brighter Mornings

After a day or two of cloud it was good to see the Sun this morning.
Clear skies brought a frost though and it was certainly chilly up on the cliffs but as always the arrival of a molten, disc of gold pulling itself free from the sea is always welcome. As if on cue, the sound of Guillemots floated up from the sea, Jackdaws ganged together to tell everyone exactly who is the noisiest resident and a single Roe deer wandered from the shelter of the trees into the light. It is strange that something that has happened every day for the last four and a half billion years or so can still attract so much attention.

 At this time of year Bournemouth, a few miles north, gets the Sun before Swanage. Its light is reflected from the windows of buildings as the town gets the first rays. Swanage has to wait until the Sun climbs above the hill before the same effect happens on buildings here.

Sometimes it seems to take forever for the Sun to appear but when the first glimpse of gold breaks th…

Coughs & Colds


A Purbeck Murmuration

Flocks of Starlings look superb as they weave and whirl through the Winter sky. Large groups can be seen along the coast or above the Somerset levels and it is something I have been meaning to watch for a long time. Recentlty on the Isle of Purbeck we have had a murmuration of 10,000 birds or so flying above Poole Harbour and settling in the reed beds and that has given me the chance to take a few pics and a video.
Watching the birds collect was special enough, as a couple turned into fifty, turned into a hundred and so on. Large groups combined and finally reached a size that seemed to large to contain all of the birds. They then syphoned down into the reed beds where the sound of countless wings fluttered well into the darkness.

A short video can be found here

It's All About The Guillemot