Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Newquay Pelagic Wednesday 25th July

We left Newquay Harbour at 9.00 am. this morning for an eight hour pelagic trip. We sailed approx 20 miles due north west, which took less than an hour. Six other occupants were diving in the shark cage and getting stunning underwater views of seven Blue Sharks.  We also saw two Leatherback Turtles and at least 40 Common Dolphins.  Seabirds were a little thin on the ground but we did manage to see one Wilson's Petrel well at about 50 yards.  We had good views but sadly too far for photography.  In addition we saw about 30 Storm Petrel, two Comon Tern and about a hundred Manx Shearwaters.

Blue Shark beside the boat twisting
Leatherback Turtle at about 75 m.

Common Dolphins
Northern Fulmar


More info on the boat and tours here> ATLANTIC DIVER

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Penhale, north Cornwall tonight

A quick visit to Penhale tonight in the last hour of sunshine revealed some nice butterflies, including at least 20 Dark Green Fritillary, a couple Large Skipper and a Small Heath.

Large Skipper

Small Heath

Dark Green Fritillary

Yellow Rattle, all images taken with 200mm macro and flash. Tripod mounted. F10. ISO 100.

North coast scenery

The images below were taken last Sunday at Crantock and the Rumps near Polzeath, north Cornwall.  How things change in a week.  The heavy rain has all but cleared the poppies, leaving a field of yellow corn marigolds. The previous month was a sea of red.

Polly Joke beach, Crantock.

The Rumps, Polzeath. The island holds several pairs of Puffin.

Images taken with 24mm wide angle lens. F8. ISO 100.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Grey Heron caught fishing

I took these shots today and managed to get a lucky sequence of a Grey Heron catching a tiddler.  I locked the focus on the bird and then put the lens into manual focus.  This ensures the camera focus doesn't stray away from the subject.

West Pentire Arable Plant Project

I had a spare couple of hours this afternoon and decided to take a look at the Arable Plant Project near Crantock.  Its a special project managed by the National Trust and one of only two of its kind in the UK. The main purpose is to protect the numerous range of rare wild plants on the 16 hectare reserve.  The Poppies and Corn Marigolds are especially impressive in June and July, as can be seen in the images below.  If you are in the area, its a sight well worth taking in.

Looking towards Porth Joke beach

A lone Poppy in a field of Corn Marigolds

Monday, 9 July 2012

Waders on the move

A decent selection of waders are passing through in numbers.  A visit to Devoran this evening included five Greenshank, 60 Redshank, one Black-tailed Godwit, 176 Curlew and two Whimbrel.  An adult Mediterranean Gull in full summer plumage looked good too.

Adult Redshank at Devoran

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Eye to eye with an Emerald

I took these shots today at Breney Common in dull, overcast and wet conditions. Apart from a single Large Red Damselfly and a few Blues, this was the only other dragonfly.  Despite the conditions, they were still quite skittish but this one remained in position for a few minutes.  The lens was about eight inches from its eyes.  The SB-600 flash was used, offset, with a diffuser.

In addition, the Large Red Damselfly and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary were also seen today.

A welcome break in the weather

Yesterday was the first reasonable day for some time.  I decided to visit Penhale and check for any local specialities that might just be on the wing. In dry but dull conditions, I was surprised to find at least 20 Dark Green Fritillary, 150 plus Silver-studded Blues and six Large Skippers.  Even up to 8pm, the males were busy chasing females in their quest to ensure the colony survives another season.

The images below were taken with Nikon 200mm F4 Macro, Nikon 600 flash and all tripod mounted.