Monday, 30 June 2014

Inner Farne - Puffins at work

The previous day was a mixture of cloud and squally showers - not the best of conditions on the Farnes (the only highlight from a long seawatch amongst 100's of common residents was two Arctic Skuas from a watchpoint near Cresswell). With blue skies and beckoning, an 'all day' session was planned!

Landing was not possible on Staple Island so it was a three hour session on Inner Farne (plus an extended boat trip which turned up brilliant views of Bottlenose Dolphins!) I might get round to sorting the pics one day?

The emphasis today was on getting flight images - fast shutter speeds in the 1/2000 - 1/4000 range mandatory. Here's a composite sequence of the possibilities.....

Head on and approaching VERY fast, you need to pick one out and lock the auto focus way before it reaches you!

This one was setting a new record for the number of fish held in the bill?

If you've kept with the Puffin, the action speeds up dramatically as it flies by / overhead!

They never drop a fish!

This one has figured that the calorific value of a big un = that of several tiddlers :-)

Going in closer - this is where you find out if you've held the focus!

And hopefully the fish are aligned with the eyes facing you!

All the above were taken with the Canon  300mm f2.8 lens, a shorter zoom c100mm enables the hustle and bustle of the scene to be captured......

The biggest hazard for the returning Puffins is 'running the gauntlet' of Black-headed Gulls - intent on mugging them for the fish before they get to the safety of the burrow!

See what I mean!

This one is intent on an easy feed......

But managed to come away with just a fish tail  as the Puffin hot-footed its way to safety :-)

They do occasionally fight amongst themselves too!

If all else fails, a rest on the rocks, displaying their catch keeps all the crowds happy!

And I'm sure some of them play to the crowd :-)

Slowing the tempo down, a look at Puffins at rest coming next.......