Saturday, 17 September 2011

Isle of Mull June 23rd-30th June 2011.

A couple more shots from the Mull Charters eagle boat trip on Loch Na Keal, I found myself a few days into my trip wondering how on earth I could top what I had already done and experienced! Went onto a "spotting" tour of the wildlife of the Isle, did get quite close views of an otter, although the light could have been better for photography and on a different day a Common Sandpiper near the village of Salen.
Another amazing trip, the spectacular Sea Eagle from a fishing boat and the Isle of Mull itself has also got to be one of the most breathtakingly scenic places in the world.

Isle of Mull June 23rd-30th June 2011.

I must admit, the first time the Eagle swooped down and collected the fish from the top of the water, it was so fast - I mist it! Luckily, more than one fish was thrown and I was to get another opportunity, I'm not sure how much skill was involved in capturing the shots, but what an awesome experience!

Isle of Mull June 23rd-30th June 2011.

Not sure how many people begin their holiday plans by typing "best place to photograph White Tailed eagle" into google search. The choice was a fishing boat on the Isle of Skye, a bigger boat in Norway or another fishing boat on the Isle of Mull, I think it was the little You Tube clip on the Isle of Mull website that did it. On the first day on the Isle of Mull we pretty much drove the whole of the island, probably missing some of the best places. The next day was the Mull Charters boat trip up Loch Na Keal, the day was a bit over cast and windy, the Eagle when it did come did a few circles of the boat first before deciding wether or not to dive down and pick up the fish off the top of the water that was thrown from the boat...

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Urban Peregrine Early June 2011.

Been to many different places to photograph Raptors, but Bournemouth town centre is a new one for the list, soon every town will have its own Peregrines.

Fishlake Meadows Early May 2011.

Another day at Fishlake Meadows trying to photograph Hobby, I'm not understating this; Hobbies are quick! Catching sight of one is one thing, getting a photograph is another!
They can be in the distance one minute and over your head the next. Managed to get a few OK shots, I went back a few days later, there was one distant Hobby and that was it, but an Osprey was also present and was actively fishing or though didn't see it catch anything.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Pennington Marsh Mid April and Fishlake Meadows End of April 2011.

The Black- tailed Godwit and the Chaffinch were both taken at Pennington Marshes, the Hobby photos were taken at Fishlake Meadows, it has been a long time since I have taken a raptor photo worthy of this blog and it hasn't been for want of trying! An average Hen Harrier shot was all I had to show for many hours spent waiting sat in a hide next to Poole Harbour over the winter, but finally the Raptor photography drought has ended. Getting flight shots was not easy though, Hobbies on the wing make for massively challenging subjects!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Merlin, Keyhaven Marsh, September 30th 2010.

Not long back from the Gibraltar Strait and having felt privileged and lucky to be on an international migration pathway photographing my favourite creatures, passing over in droves...

So back home and today it's back to the reality of trying to photograph one raptor in quite a big place, a "needle in a haystack". Or that's what I thought. Think I turned the first corner as I set out on the reserve and there was a young Merlin flying almost directly towards me at about shoulder height, raised the camera and my auto focus locked on (which does not always happen). :)
The young Merlin, even then perched on the shore very near by, so lying on my front I took a few more shots. Talk about lucky!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Gibraltar Strait, September 15th -22nd 2010.

I was sat taking a break from trying to photograph the constant stream of Raptors flying over head, in the distance a Sparrowhawk was flying fast and low over the barren hillside, it seemed to be flying in my direction, so I picked up my camera and tracked it, eventually the Sparrowhawk flew so close I thought it would bump into the lens, just flying up at the last minute! The Raptor passage was still full flow, managed to get one last Booted Eagle picture and a bit later a whole flock of White Stork, that seemed to prepare to cross the strait once or twice, eventually getting half way across and then returned back again!

The Gibraltar Strait is definitely a place I have vowed to return to, to witness and try and photograph the amazing spectacle again.

Gibraltar Strait, September 15th -22nd 2010.

Short-Toed Eagle's flying over the Cazalla watch point.

Gibraltar Strait, September 15th -22nd 2010.

The last and busiest day at Cazalla watchpoint, great conditions or though very hot, and not helped by a dodgy stomach (should have stuck only to the safe pubs in Gibraltar for food)
Raptors flying over the lowest, included Egyptian Vulture, Booted Eagle and Short-Toed Eagle.

Gibraltar Strait, September 15th -22nd 2010.

Short-Toed and Booted Eagle's from the watch point at Cazalla.

Gibraltar Strait, September 15th -22nd 2010.

The above photo is one last picture of the Marsh Harrier that was showing well at La Janda the day before. The next day I was back at the watch point of Cazalla, a slower day than before, but still a constant passage of Migrating Raptors. One Raptor that was flying at a lower altitude was a juvenile Honey Buzzard and during the day, one of the Short-Toed Eagle's just about came in to range.