Another busy month with many miles covered. Welcome to the May edition of my latest photographic exploits!
The start of the month I made a visit to the British wildlife centre. I have been visiting this place for quite a few years and I always manage to leave with images or things I haven't seen in the past. It's also a great place to meet other like minded photographers/friends who enjoy the centre as much as I do.
Hedgehogs have just come out of hibernation at the British wildlife centre
The red squirrels are one of the main attractions at the BWC
As I mentioned at the start of this article, I covered many miles during May. I made two visits to Bempton cliffs off the East coast of Yorkshire which is a 500 mile round trip and I also made my first visit to the Farne Isles in Northumberland. The Farne Isles was a 700 mile round trip but it was well worth the long drive. So many of our seabirds nest on small islands just off the mainland in the UK away from predators such as stoats, mink and foxes. The Farne Isles are accessible via boat from Seahouses harbour. I had booked two trips that land on two different islands. Staple Island and Inner Farne are the only two islands that permit visitors. During my visit I'm glad I took camera set ups, one with a long telephoto prime and the other a mid-zoom for close ups. The birds do come very close from time to time so a long lens wasn't needed all the time. The Arctic terns nest very close to the path and will fly at you trying to peck your head! A hat is highly recommended!!
There are about 40,000 breeding pairs of puffins on the Farne Islands
There is also a large colony of Grey seals on the Farne Isles
A bird I haven't seen very often is the European shag, a relative of the cormorant with a bright green eye and black/green iridescent plumage. With the right light their colours are amazing.
European shag on Staple Island, Farne.
Meanwhile at Bempton the cliffs are very active with re-kindling courtships/mating and nest building. Many seabirds pair up for life and will return to the exact nest sites year after year.
May/June is a great time of the year to visit. This is when the wild flowers adorn the cliff tops and neighbouring meadows. They reckon there are around 250,000 sea birds that visit and breed on the cliffs each year. I wouldn't like to try and count them!!
Gannets are without a doubt my favourite seabird. So full of character.
A puffin perched on a narrow ledge at Bempton.
Eider ducks are quite common around the Farne Isles and Seahouses harbour.
Arctic tern with a sand eel. Inner Farne.
Towards the end May I visited the home of European drag racing. Santa pod raceway was hosting the the first round of the FIA Championship which is for the pro classes. It was a great day with some great quarter mile runs of over 300mph and few records broken. This was the first time of hosting this event due to the pandemic.
Top Fuel dragster. 10000 horse power and reaching speeds of 300mph in 3.7 seconds over the quarter mile!!
June looks like another busy month for photography. I am back in my native Lancashire over Spring Bank. A couple of car shows and another visit to Santa Pod. I am also going back to Bempton for a long weekend with a gannet diving boat trip booked. I can't wait!
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