Sunday 8 November 2009

Balearic Shearwaters off St Ives Island

This set of images of Balearic Shearwater were taken on Thursday 5th Nov at St Ives in the north westerly gale. In four hours, fifteen were counted - the pictures below show three different individuals which approached reasonably close enough to get the shot. All of them look in perfect condition and quite different to the moulting birds we saw in large numbers this summer. The pose below is a curious one and seems unique to shearwaters. I took a photo of a Sooty Shearwater in August which showed its head and neck in a raised profile, just like the Balearic below.
The protruding legs and dark tail band can be seen well in this shot - not an easy feature to pick out in the telescope in a swirling wind.
The reason for the different colour sea is the changing light conditions from overcast to bright sunshine.
All of the images have been cropped by 25 - 33% . EXIF detail is basically the highest aperture of F/7.1 to give the highest possible shutter speed. Most of the images here are 1/2000s. ISO is set to 800 ISO and exposure -0.3 EV.


  1. Some fabulous shots in these latest posts Steve. I've missed so much and now trying to catch up. Very interesting.

  2. Great Shearwater shots mate and good to see you yesterday for a chat. Nice one.