Friday, 12 January 2018

Feeding Frenzy

The cliff top beckoned today, and since I am getting old and lazy I drove up to the monument car park, with the intention of walking down to Hope Point and beyond. I took a while with one of my favourite photographic subjects. Fulmars are never long away from the cliffs and on a bright day provide great flying exhibitions. While I was doing this and watching various gulls zoom by I became aware that, somewhere around half a mile off shore, out from Hope Point, there was a large group of Gannets. Of course, as I said I'm getting lazy and I'd left my scope in the car. I debated whether to go and get it, for a minute, but the number of birds out there feeding demanded a closer look. When I got back the feeding flock had conveniently drifted south and my walk was shorter than expected. When I checked it out through the scope it was apparent that as well as at least 150 Gannets there were a lot of birds on the sea. At least 250 Cormorants were fairly obvious, and a lot of groups of Auks were more difficult to count. I could only identify Guillemots, and at that distance there could have been others lurking. They were quite spread out and I estimated there were at least 400. As I was preparing to go back up the hill I was treated to a Raven fly by and some aerial tumbling as one evaded a Carrion Crow.



Adult Herring Gull

Distant feeding Gannets,between a half mile and a mile away.


Gannets in the middle,a small flock of Cormorants flying behind, and a group of Guillemots (black and white dots in the foreground).

Mainly Cormorants with a few Guillemots in the foreground.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

Back end of Fulmar on the Cliff

Cormorant having a shake



Cormorant close in,just getting white thigh patch.

Third winter Herring Gull


Raven with mobbing Carrion Crow

Noisy Raven fly by

Raven calling from favourite "song" post.

Raven over the sea,

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