Thursday, 24 April 2014

Fulmars Nesting and a Peregrine Sighting

With the zoom abilities of the Lumix, I was able to go back to the cliffs where the Fulmars are busy nesting and get a few close-ups


Fulmars spit an oily stomach substance at intruders. Apparently it sticks fast to birds feathers so they stay away.....very effective no doubt. The inhabitants of St Kilda prized the oil for medicinal properties.


There's a lot of activity on these cliffs with several pairs of Fulmars nesting. They keep the same mate for life.





A bit of a fight...three's a crowd. It was quite hard to get some of these photos as the nests are not easily visible. I'm leaning on the wall with the camera and my head through some shrubs and plants and my toes just on top of a path edge.
I must make it clear that I'm nowhere near the nests and am not disturbing the birds at all, it's the beauty of the Lumix on full zoom, but obviously with a slight loss of quality as a compromise.


A lovely couple quietly away from the nest sights above. Fulmars belong to the Petrels and Shearwaters family and are related to the albatross. They lay one egg and only have one brood each year. They can live for over 30 years and may reach 40 or more.


Looking out to sea from this little cove where the Fulmars nest mostly on the right hand side 


Take off from the cliffs


Can you see how far back they are on their legs, unlike other gulls which stand upright on their feet? They lay the egg on bare rock or in an indent of plant material so that may explain their leg position? The young are independent from the time they can fly at about 45 days old.


A nice image of St Marys Bay and beyond captured in scene mode on the Lumix...one of the things it does very well.

I fear this pigeon was someones lunch...........


.......as I managed to capture the Peregrine in among all the other birds. I knew it was a bird of prey but didn't realise it was this one until I got the photos onto the computer.

I have had Peregrines in the back garden, one actually landed on the fence right in front of me as I was eating breakfast and looking out of the window. I could not move to get the camera so just enjoyed the few moments watching it.


My first practice with shutter priority-got it all wrong, the speed was way too slow and that's why it's blurred but it was on full zoom!  ISO 100 f8  speed 1/60 second and 1200 mm focal length so I'm delighted I got anything at all.


A lovely Woodpigeon to finish off my walk up Sea Lane and home.

For all of you who love Kingfishers check out the amazing photography of Kique at his blog 
http://pinceladasdelanaturaleza.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/martin-pescador-la-flecha-azul.html

I have been working on the speed settings for the Panasonic Lumix and will have a few images to compare in the next blog post, for those of you who asked. I found it quite tricky to work the zoom and change the speed, although I pre-set the speed. As soon as you zoom in you very quickly lose the subject.

For the next post more Fulmars have been photographed, I do love watching them. However it was a good test of the multi-capabilities of the Lumix on a simple walk about.

I hope you all have a good week
SeagullSuzie

22 comments:

  1. Hello:

    These are truly amazing images and how interesting to learn about these birds. We are most impressed at the capacity of your camera to take such excellent, clear pictures from a great distance.

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    1. Thank you both. I am still learning how to use the camera to get the best from it, but you just can't beat the ease of use, it does such a lot very well and is very light and small to carry around. It's doing just what I hoped it would and getting the images of the birds on their nests has been a real treat for me.

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  2. Some lovely shots SS and particularly enjoyable as Fulmars are my favourite sea-bird :-) Also interesting to hear how you are getting on with the current Lumix as they are superb little cameras and perfect for nature blogging (my first 'proper' camera was a Lumix Fz45). Looking forward to seeing the next batch of photos :-)

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    1. Many thanks David. I am enjoying getting out and about with this camera as I know it can do quite a lot. I do love the zoom for getting shots I would never have been able to before. Fulmars are amazing little birds....and I say little, as they are when compared to the herring and black-backed gulls. I really need to learn more about our sea birds. I can spot the gannets now, but just never been able to catch them.

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  3. Oh, fantastic shots! St Mary's Bay is gorgeous too.

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    1. Thank you Jessica, I need to go for a walk down to St Marys with the camera as it's quite beautiful and quiet out of the tourist season.

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  4. Lovely Fulmars Suzie and that Peregrine is beautiful- I've never seen one in the flesh before so you are very lucky to have had one land in your garden :-)

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    1. Thanks CT. I was amazed the first time it happened, but as we have a few living on the cliffs we get them flying over. I was used to Sparrowhawks where I lived before, so I knew it was the Peregrine in the garden and my neighbour also saw it. Several weeks ago one of my lovely doves was killed in the garden and I'm sure it was the Peregrine as she was lying on her back, having been plucked and all the insides were missing-looked just like a bird of prey meal to me.

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  5. Its great to see how well the Lumix performs - some great shots there of really beautiful birds. Wonderful to see the Peregrine too - what a garden tick as well even if you didn't get a photo that time.

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    1. Thank you, it's always fun to get home and download them to see what's come out...and laugh at all the blurred ones....oh so many blurred ones!
      Peregrines fly quite well through our back gardens as there are hardly any trees, they stop on the fences to take a look around and see what's available before moving down the gardens.

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  6. I think I mentioned before that Fulmars are my favourite sea-bird, too and I loved seeing your wonderful photos and reading more about them. The sweep of the coast is so beautiful, too. I'm always thrilled to see a Peregrine and I would never see one in my garden - they're far too rare in this area.

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    1. Many thanks. I can't believe it's taken me so long to notice them! They are right there in front of us, living out their lives and it's fascinating, just like the herring gulls on our rooftops.
      The Peregrine visits are rare but do happen now and again. I hope I'll catch them on camera along the coastal path this year as last year I could hear them calling but couldn't see them at all.

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  7. This was so interesting and I loved learning about the behavior of your Fulmars. Great post Suzie!

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    1. Thank you Denise, glad you liked it. I'm sure I'll get some photos of the chicks before they fly....well I hope so.

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  8. Great to see such great photographic images of the Fulmars Suzie. When oh when are we going to see my favourite sea bird The Gannet ?
    Who the old sailors that I knew used to know refer to as being reincarnated Chief Petty Officers.

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    1. Thank you Mel, I do see Gannets from time to time so I will have to sit on the rocks lower down near the sea to catch them on camera and bring my binoculars to find them first. I will do my best.

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  9. Hi there, just catching up! Great to see your shots and how you are progressing with your photography, it seems as though you are really enjoying it and getting some great shots! Hope that you had a good weekend. xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. It's a very versatile camera and can cope with most things, it's me who gets things wrong, or more often I change the settings and then can't remember what needs to change back to get a good shot.

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  10. Those Fulmars are stunning. I don't know how I managed without the zoom lens. Interesting you have a Lumix....I was tossing up between that and the one I happen to know will be coming my way in a couple of weeks. I think I may have made an error!

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    1. Oh Em, that sounds interesting...what are you getting? I'm sure that what ever you use you will take brilliant images.

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  11. pretty nice blog, following :)

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    1. Hello and welcome. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

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