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Sea bird spectacular.

Working with sea birds is always a delight and this is enhanced if the opportunity also involves some island hopping. I recently returned from leading Natures Images sea bird spectacular trip to 2 of my favourite coastal islands, Skomer and Saltee. Both offer a unique perspective on a number of our summer resident species.

Saltee is probably my favourite island destination outside Shetland. Its tranquillity is second to none and the access to its sea birds especially gannets is superb.

Skomer in contrast allows a stay on the island which is really essential if you want to catch the best of the light and the main puffin activity.

During the trip, as always in the British Isles we become hostage to our changeable weather. We did enjoy one long and cracking day on Saltee in some of the best evening light I have ever experienced. Skomer was different. The weather had been predicted to be poor but on the whole the days turned out to be really sunny, for once a bonus, though the sea fret at 7.00pm was a nuisance.

We had timed the trip to be earlier than usual to try to capture a wider range of courtship display and in this we were blessed. The gannets performed really well and I watched one puffin fight that lasted at least 10 minutes. Towards the end we all couldn’t believe that both birds actually seemed to be alive, though they were bald in a few places and blood flecked, a true gruesome horror flick scenario.

Whilst the main emphasis is placed on working with sea birds Skomer offers so much more and the rabbits and wheatears both proved accessible and photogenic.  

As always the folk who booked on this trip proved to be really brilliant, thanks to one and all for making my running of the trip so smooth and groan free, especially in light of my cordon bleu cookery!