Friday, 21 December 2012

The twelve birds of Christmas - part four

The seventh bird

I had taken to Cape Clear for the weekend but sadly the place was pretty dead. After one night I cut short my visit and took an early ferry home.
Paul Connaughton had found a Yellow-browed Warbler in the willows near the Knockadoon Head campsite (I always thought those willows would be good for a YBW at least). In order to salvage something from the weekend I headed there on my way back from Cape. That evening the bird showed well briefly but the following day had moved on.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Knockadoon Head, Cork - September 2012


Yellow-browed Warbler, Knockadoon Head, Cork - September 2012
Focal length - 500mm, aperture - f4, ISO400, shutter speed - 1/100s with tripod (same details for both images)

The eighth bird

Owen Foley had organised a pioneering pelagic out of Kilbaha, Co. Clare in early August. You can read the full details of this at Kilbaha pelagic. We boarded the boat at 5am and set out NW from Loop Head. We had a great day, I added Wilson's Petrel to my Irish list and we all enjoyed stunning views of Great Skua, Sooty Shearwater, European Storm Petrel and hundreds of Common Dolphin. I struggled with the weight of a large lens on a pitching deck and reckon a light zoom such as a 100-400 or better again 70-200 f2.8 would be the best lenses for pelagic work. This 2nd cy Arctic Skua treated us to a few really close fly-bys, there were better shots of it taken than mine but it was still special to see one so close.

2nd cy Arctic Skua - 12km NW of Loop Head
Focal length - 500mm, aperture - f6.3, ISO200, shutter speed - 1/1600s, handheld (with great difficulty!)

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