Quite apart from the glorious trip to Skomer a few weeks ago, the other parts of the week away were just as good. A trip to the red kite feeding station yielded some excellent images – with the birds picking up not only from the bank but from the water too.
They are fast, and it took considerable time to get the birds exactly as I wanted them. The day being overcast, but without rain did actually help, as the light was good – very bright, but beautifully diffused with the overhead cloud.
Sometimes the rain and the damp of England can be a blessing.
We’ve returned from what was probably the wettest break we’ve ever been on. I’ve never known rain quite like it, but I suppose that this is what keeps England forever green. Weather notwithstanding, we headed out every day for wildlife, and birds in particular.
Up towards the North for Kites, Mid Wales for Falcons, and out to the Island of Skomer for the Puffins. Skomer is a 2.92 km² island off the coast of southwest Wales, one of a chain lying within a kilometre off the Pembrokeshire coast and separated from the mainland by the treacherous waters of Jack Sound. Skomer Island measures approximately 2.4 km (1.5 mi) north-south and 3.2 km (2 mi) east-west. We visited on a wet (predicably) and very windy day, with lots of cloud, which ironically is ideal for puffin photography, and with the winds being high, it was ideal for getting them in flight.
The high winds also made landing difficult, and so some birds were forced to land where they could, and then make a frantic scurry to their holes – sometimes, as in the image above, making quite a long run before arriving home safely with their catch of fish.
If you’ve never been to Skomer, it comes highly recommended. Get the earliest boat out that you can, so you can maximise your stay. Ours was cut short somewhat due to the high winds, and the boat back was early afternoon to get everyone off the island before the really bad weather set in.