Plentiful Pelagics

Summers in the UK won't be complete for me unless I do a tête-à-tête with the congregation of pelagic birds on the islands around the north east borders of the country. This time again, a long awaited  visit to this amazing habitat in the quest of avian adventures. This time in the company of wonderful mates and photography enthusiasts Bob and Nihal. Bob had so kindly arranged the car in advance and we  were able to set off straight after meeting at the Edinburgh airport.

These areas around the Bamburgh castle are always a pleasure to explore and every time I have been there, I returned with a completely fresh set of images with a totally new perspective and different settings.

Another exciting addition on the agenda during this trip was a long awaited visit to "Bass Rock"- the famed habitat of numerous Gannets-the wonderful sea wingsters.
The biggest challenge and surprise while visiting theses coastal areas is the uncertainty of weather and unpredictable sea conditions. For us, it was no different to start with - a bit of a rain, cloudy skies and dull light on a wishy washy kind of day- not at all encouraging for the cameras and lenses. The boat trip into the sea was called off and hence we were left with a singular option to visit  the Alnwick castle gardens - the place where quite some Harry Potter filming has been done. 
What initially looked like only a garden visit turned out be a quite eventful afternoon with a few Swallows  around. The split second game gave some fast ISO opportunities and some rewarding moments for the camera bursts. 

Returning to the little cozy town of Alnwick and a leisurely dinner at the local restaurant was all for the day and keep the fingers crossed for the next day. 
Waking up to a mixed  weather, keeping fingers crossed - we set out for the harbour at Seahouses. Not too  bad - the boat  ride was  delayed a bit but definitely not cancelled! Decided to spend some time around a remote junction of  sea beach and freshwater to explore some nesting tern colonies.
And as luck favours the bold , the Billy Shiel's boat took us into the sea and next few  hours  were a bliss with thousands of Puffins, Terns, Guillemots, Razorbills, Gulls and Kittiwakes. The cards were going berserk and the shutters were turned into machine guns. The birds were seen in all possible activities sitting, flying, snatching, robbing, courtships, mating, nesting, fishing, feeding - including pecking the hats of the visitors !!

The later part of  the day was  another fantastic experience -  sunset cruise with Serenity boats. The ecstasy of exploring the sea with the orange pink skies, dolphins and seals. 
On the way back a low light spell at the sea coast alongside the Bamburgh castle was an eventful venture with the tripods set up amid the splashing waters. Worth soaking the shoes in salty waters !!
 Part 2 : Isle of May 
The second part of the visit was a long awaited visit  to Bass Rock - an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland.  The first time you see this rock, it appears to be some kind of whitish stone but you are absolutely stunned to find that the " whites" that one sees is not the rock material but its the huge gathering of Gannets. These amazing birds completely mask the rock and its indeed a living miracle !!

Followed by the Catamaran trip, the later party of  the day was spent a plentiful time with Gannets and other denizens of Isle of May . The approach was in a RIB and that was  indeed another exhilarating experience indeed !!

Juggling with the weather and the waves, the rendezvous with these plentiful seabirds  and pelagic wildlife was good  enough to bring a sunny smile on our faces  :) !


Might and the light - The Grand Canyon

The Grandeur of Grand Canyon

I was completely speechless to experience this magnificent natural wonder with my camera..hence only images here :)