Sunday, 18 January 2009

January storms hit Cornwall

Today is the day-after when the first of the year's big storms hit the county. Land's End recorded the strongest gust of a massive 79 mph. yesterday at 18.00 hrs. That must be hurrican force? Anyway, the birding story must surely be the influx of Grey Phalaropes not only in Cornwall but across the UK. Whilst I tried, I just could not get close enough to photo one! I saw just one today at St. Ives Island at half a mile range. The five together at Red River yesterday had evidently disappeared. The shots below typify birds of the coast but sadly no Grey Phals. The light was stunning - consequently, the shutter speed reached a high of 2500th second at f/5.6, perfect for moving birds. I dropped the exposure down to -0.7. Some of the images appear quite small but they were taken at distances of up to several hundred yards. I used the TC on the 600mm lens and also used the in-camera high speed crop function, effectively doubling the focal length to nearly 1700mm !

The two images below of this adult Gannet moving past St Ives today catches some nice guano sequences, a benefit of the high shutter speed.

The majority of auks in the image below are Razorbill, with one Guillemot near the rear. The smaller auk is actually a lone bird swimming in the sea at a different distance to the flying birds.

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