Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The calm after the storm

Marazion marsh had a very relaxed calm about it this morning following the high seas and gale force winds of yesterday,  A mallard duck  cut through the perfectly still waters looking quite pristine,  Even so it stopped for a few moments to take an early morning bath.

A young Grey Heron glided in on the wing to forage on the waterline at the front of the marsh but it had made a mistake as an adult Heron was already fishing there,  It went straight into a threat posture and the younger bird turned and flew back in the direction it had come from,  The adult bird returned to its fishing where  the still water producing a fine reflection,

A pair of Buzzards circled in gracefully towards the warren fronting the marsh and for sure they had spotted the incredibly relaxed and laid back rabbits basking in the morning sunshine,  The rabbits paid them no heed and the Buzzards eventually moved on but I am sure they will be back when there is no photographer present to put them off so  Rabbits beware !

Out in Mounts Bay the sea was now calm and I spotted this young Grey Seal bottling near the rocky breakwater shoreline of St Michaels Mount, It was catching up on much needed sleep following the storm and it was snoring quite loud with its mouth wide open while probably dreaming of calm warm clear waters full of big shoals of tasty fish.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Storm Ophelia hits the cornish coast

Storm Ophelia slammed into the Cornish coast early AM today, At around ten 0 clock I arrived at lands end to check out The Longships with Peter Tonkin and Bob Sharples,  It was still five hours to the next high tide but we decided to hang around for a couple of hours as the sea state was rising and the south westerly's were howling and shortly after noon we started to get some interesting images, so should we move on to the promises of dramatic storm piccies at the famous storm picture harbour of Porthleven or stick with the longships for high tide.  Porthleven won, so we battled through the windy Lands End complex,  ( We had to reroute the long way around to the carpark as the wing beat us back while trying our best to get through one exit )

We arrived at Porthleven two hours before high tide but the sea was already looking quite dramatic as huge waves crashed directly inshore battering the breakwater and sea defence walls, Over the next two hours the sea built up its attack all along the shoreline with coastal properties and harbour features adding a sense of scale to the power of the sea, At the top of the tide large waves started to pass the breakwater heading into the harbour entrance and slamming into the shoreline that we were working from,  The wave shown in the last image was getting a bit to close for comfort and expensive camera kit so it was time to make a swift exit !

This storm was not any bigger than other winter storms during recent years but what made it such a pleasure to experience was the balmy air temperature and wall to wall sunshine throughout the day that improved the quality of all pictures taken while witnessing the raw power of nature and the sea.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Pair of Peregrine

I decided to try my luck with peregrine again this afternoon but this time I walked the coast path from Rinsey towards Porthleven looking for a known pair of birds,  I found them together perched closer to the footpath than usual, This could be a bonus on one hand but they would be easily spooked on the other,  I moved off the footpath making slow progress through gorse, bracken and brambles as I headed for a granite outcrop that would provide me with some cover,  On arrival I had been 50% lucky,  The male had departed but the female was still there doing some serious head bobbing as I focused my 500mm lens just above the granite, I keep still and she gradually settled down to some preening and a full body shake out and as she did so the male Peregrine flew back in to provide me with a couple of 'pair' portraits before I backed off,  As I walked back towards Rinsey I heard the unmistakable sound of Chough calling as seven of them passed over heading for the local cow fields,

Monday, 9 October 2017

Botallack Birds

I saw this fine Peregrine return to a stash at Botallack PM yesterday, It found some remnants of a previous kill stashed in a tuft of grass and as soon as it was visible I heard its mate calling from the rocks below me to be fed, I could tell that it was closer to me than the photographed bird but I could not locate it on the rock face,  Working my way back up the coastal path I was passed by a gaggle of very vocal Chough which are always a pleasure to see and hear,  Back at the mine engine houses at the top a fine Raven was perched on one of the gable ends crocking for its lost mate,  A very pleasant visit but it was now time to head for home to replace some Nikon downloading software that was behaving very badly.

Relaxed Red Deer

All of my previous encounters with the Red Deer Stag have so far been during the early morning so I decided to make a midday visit looking for any changes in behaviour patterns,  First off he was harder to find as when finally spotted was sitting near a hedgerow into which he blended very nicely, As I approached with him watching me he stood up looking a little agitated so I backed off a few paces and sat near the opposite hedgerow,  He seemed happy with that and started to graze a little before deciding to sit down again providing me with some very relaxed looking portraits,  He was still sat there when I finally retreated an hour or so later.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Devoran at Dawn

I arrived at Devoran Quay before dawn this morning looking to catch the early tide and perhaps an Osprey fishing the calm waters,  With no wind or ripples on the water the light, colours and reflections were quite spectacular for scenic photography,  I had no wide angle lens with me so it was out with the mobile phone to do what I could,  I even had a go at a selfie !

As the light levels improved the local wading birds caught my attention as they moved to fresh feeding grounds,  The Curlew and Red shanks looked lovely on the wing with the woodlands creating a contrasting green background and reflections on the still water

It had been a perfect morning for an Osprey to fish on the full tidal flat calm waters with fish movements very easy to detect and no early boat traffic at all but on this occasion there was no Osprey either,  As I left a couple of hours later the light levels were up and the tide was well on the ebb with small boats, kayaks and even a standing board surfer taking to the water,  Time to be heading for home.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Devoran Quay

I revisited Devoran Quay again PM today having picked up the CBWPS report of one fishing here the evening before,  As the tide came flooding up the creek the bird life came with it, I worked on Swan, curlew, Black tailed Godwit, Red Shanks and oystercatchers while waiting several hours for the Osprey,  Conditions for fishing were excellent when the Osprey finally arrived flying high along the opposite bank treeline, It went on up the creek and returned back down six minutes later without fishing or stopping in the trees,  I then realised that with fine calm weather came a steady increase in small boat traffic towards the evening  which was effecting the Osprey's comfort zone and the joy of watching it fish was not to be this evening,  It flew back down the creek looking for a quieter stretch of water.