Sunday, 3 July 2011

Gannets Galore

Last year and i had 2 dissapointing experiences involving Gannet photography. My first was a trip to Bass Rock that i had planned months in advance of my Scotland holiday with Erin. As we drove up to Edinburgh the weather forecast looked dreadful and on the morning of the trip to land on the rock i received the dreaded phonecall informing me it was to be cancelled as the weather would not allow us to land. I was gutted. We took a trip around the rock and although stunning to see it just wasn't the same.

On the way home from our holiday i convinced Erin to make a "minor" detour via Bempton Cliffs RSPB in the hope of salvaging some Gannet photos from the trip as i had seen photos from this site showing close encounters with Gannets. The detour took forever and we didn't arrived at Bempton until 5.30pm, the sun was going down, the Gannets were flying low down and i couldn't work out where was best to stand and view from, as i dragged Erin up and down the clifftop i soon realised this wasnt very well planned, you couldn't just turn up at Bempton in the evening when everyone else was leaving and hope to nail unbelievable Gannet shots, again i felt gutted!

This year i knew that there would be no chance of seabird photography for me due to lack of holiday time etc, i wouldnt be visiting Scotland, Skomer or the Farnes. However, a few photos began filtering their way through of Gannets from Bempton looking close up and once again i began to wonder how people get these shots in a place that is clearly no good for close encounters with them (thats what i thought anyways!). I bit of digging revealed that although i had missed the best time to see them as they fly along the clifftops collecting grass there was maybe a chance that certain individuals have nested fairly high up and some are landing quite close to the path....maybe there was an opportunity afterall! So myself and Matt made the journey and i am so glad we did! The Gannets kept fairly low but occasionally 1 would fly quite high up allowing for some nice flight shots and some even did land on the clifftop right next to us to collect some grass, result! Here are my fav Gannet shots...

















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