Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sky Acrobatics

Today was fine and bright, until about 2.30 pm when the clouds/mist rolled in at cliff top height and obscured everything for a while.

The walk along the "White Cliffs of Dover" on a day like today has to be one of the best ways to spend time outdoors in Kent.

Just watching the birds along the cliffs, all using the updraught is spectacular here, the Fulmars tend to repeat their manoeuvres appearing over the edge at the same place several times.

Flying onto the wind they can sometimes almost come to s standstill, hovering, although not as static as a Kestrel.

The adult Herring Gulls have now mostly lost the streaking on their heads and are looking very smart.

I have to admit that I fins the first and second winter plumages of Herring Gulls quite difficult to separate. I think that the bird above is a first winter, but I may be wrong.

Occasionally a Greater Black-backed Gull cruises by, from the underside its pinkish legs are visible.

The Greater Black-backed Gull, really is quite black, unlike it's "Lesser" relative that is various shades of grey, depending on the sub-species.

The Herring gulls became noisy, bringing my attention to the Ravens that were passing overhead.

The silhouette of the Raven is unmistakable with the long wedge shape tail and prominently fingered wing tips.

About this time a Peregrine zapped by, but I totally failed to get focused on it before it vanished into the sun. Although I know some of the perches it uses I failed to find it later.

The Ravens continued along the cliff and vanished for a while. When they returned on treated me to a display of flying.

I haven't turned this picture upside down, it really did roll over onto it's back as it tumbled down almost above me.

With the wings closed up, and the bill open it almoast looks like a missile hurtling through the sky. Much of the diplay was done into the sun, making photography very difficult.

Finally it decided enough was enough and it disappeared over the cliff edge, and just on cue I think. As I packed up to walk back the sun disappeared and the sea mist rolled ina cliff top height. I now time at all the Castle had vanished and "Two remaining Sister" were only visible for their first few feet.
Earlier this morning four Waxwings flew over the garden while I was replenishing the feeders, but sadly didn't hang around.


GrahamH said...

Amazing pictures Tony. The raven just seemed to be enjoying the weather and having fun! Never seen one flying (or falling) that way up before!

Paul said...

Hi Tony, I stumbled on your blog through Adams blog here- Just have to say that those Raven shots are really something else, fantastic shots. cheers Paul.