Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 159 - Gannet

One of the absolute highlights of the trip to Bempton Cliffs were the Gannets.  Bempton holds the UKs largest mainland breeding colony of these wonderful birds.  They are huge, graceful, comical at times and generally just splendid.

They are know as Northern Gannets or Morus bassanus.  The second part of that name comes from Bass Rock a large breeding colony off the east coast of Scotland.

There were chicks in a few stages of development in the colony, and a number of the adult gannets were being rather bad tempered with the neighbours.  With a body almost 1m long and a wingspan of about 170cm these are big birds by any measure.

One of the viewing platforms gave some opportunity to photograph these birds in flight - which was a real bonus and a bit of a work out for the focus-tracking system of my camera.

I am unsure it I have a photographic 'style' - but I am coming to really like images of birds where there is some aspect of foreground in-between the viewer and the bird.  I imagine it makes the bird look a bit more hidden and remote - and possibly even a little wilder than just a straight 'sat out in the open' sort of shot.  So, there are some images here I really like.














After including all these images, I can only hope that none of you are still on dial up!

And now it's over to you - click the blue button and off you go.  Don't forget to visit as many WBWers as you can!  Cheers SM

40 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

My goodness...my goodness! Stewart I am GREEN with envy. I'd be happy to see just ONE Gannet here out at sea [where they're found in my area]. And you...just look at you with all these fabulous photos. And chicks to boot. Awesome.

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots! I like your various angles. The 8th photo is my favorite!

Chris Rohrer said...

This is quite a beautiful bird! I am jealous. This looks like a fun outing. Was it in the same place as your Puffins? Beautiful lighting and birds.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, I do agree with Anni, I'm GREEN with envy, too!! Awesome captures for the day -- for ANY day!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Hope your week is going well, Stewart!!

NatureFootstep said...

I´m envy you. Lovely birds. I like the images of the birds with patterns on the upper back and wings. Something I did not see when I visited Scotland. I like this kind of shots. Many photographers today only take shots of a lone bird showing nothing else then the the bird. I call them school-book images. Of course, they are great if you want to see what the bird looks like. But, so boring :( I try to take shots that shoves the life of a bird, not only their plumage.

Thanks for hosting. :(

EG CameraGirl said...

They have such handsome good looks!

Margaret Adamson said...

Marvellous post with brilliant photographs Stewart. Thanks for hosting.

Sharon Wagner said...

What a beautiful, sculptured face they have. And great views. The shots are all amazing.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, these are just awesome captures of the Gannets! I would love to see this breeding colony! Very cool! Thanks for hosting, have a happy week!

Jo said...

Oh Stewart, these images are just soooo awesome. Every single one of them. I loved the young and I love the birds in flight. What are the ones with flecked backs? Are they the males? I'll link up my post tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Have a great day. Jo

Seraphina´s Phantasie said...

Fantastic photos of these wonderful birds. Amazing !
Best regards, Synnöve

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

oh oh oh.

all beautiful

that 7th shot would win awards, though!!

Silver Parrot said...

Wonderful shots! I love the up close gannet head profile shot and the shots on the ledges with the babies - so cute! I am especially impressed with the flight shots as I cannot seem to get one in focus to save my life!

mick said...

Great photos of the gannets. They are beautiful birds.

Rhodesia said...

Our connection is as slow as dial up but I did get to see all the photos. What stunning birds and I am so jealous. Diane

Pat Ulrich said...

Really excellent collection of images Stewart! I especially like the top down view of the flying gannet with others visible far below. What a sight! Amazing that the chicks spend their first weeks on such tiny ledges.

TexWisGirl said...

so very cool!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

I like seeing the birds' habitat in some of the photos. Those close-up "field guide" photos are also useful in getting to know a bird, but so is its life style and surroundings. They are sleek and handsome birds. My only visit to a gannet colony was in Newfoundland. I was impressed at how large and powerful they appeared. Thanks so much for sharing!

Mama Zen said...

They ARE splendid! Wow!

GreenComotion said...

Stewart,
These photographs are just brilliant.
The amount of effort you have put into creating this post, including the information on the genus and the species, the origin of the species name, etc., shows your passion for your work.
The photographs of these birds, both when they are stationary and when in flight, are very nice - almost like the view from a Spitfire back during the war, perhaps.
Thank you so much for the education in Ornithology and this lovely meme!
Have a Great Week!
Peace :)

Beth said...

Splendid photos of amazing birds!

pattisjarrett said...

What amazing birds--and photography! Nice work. The Gannets must be huge! The fluffy little ones are adorable.

Garry said...

Remarkable photos, Stewart. When your coffee table book is published, I'll be in line to get a signed copy!

Lea said...

Great photos!
I especially like the photo of the bird standing by itself facing uphill.
Have a wonderful day!
Lea

diane b said...

Wow! Amazing shots of this big beautiful bird. I like the foreground too.

Gayle said...

Stewart, your photo 'style' left me speechless this morning. Absolutely stunning!

Marilyn Kircus said...

Fantastic shots. But HOW do those babies manage to stay in those tiny nests? Amazing!

photodoug said...

Stewart, excellent photography. Thanks for sharing.

Missy George said...

Beautiful images Stewart..Wonderful photography..Big wing span for sure..I think that baby has outgrown it's nest..Thanks for sharing..

Marie C said...

Such a frightening "lifestyle" for these beautiful birds! Love their coloring, and am amazed at their choice of nesting sites. Great photos! I agree that sometimes the venue is as important to include in the photo as the bird itself!

Christina said...

Very beautiful birds and perfect pictures!

Ranten said...

Beautiful pictures! Funny that we also photographed the Gannet this weekend :-))

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh gosh, those flight shots are incredible! Beautiful birds and wonderful photos .

Phyllis Oller said...

I never heard of this bird, one of the cutest birds I`ve ever seen! phyllis

Nathalie Santa Maria said...

Bonjour Roy
Fabuleuse série
Surtout les dernières photos. Cet oiseau est merveilleux

Christian Weiß said...

Majestic birds and wonderful photos.

Mary Cromer said...

Whoosh Stewart, I must say, you have outdone yourself, these are all so masterful, every single one of them and as I scrolled down to the last ones, incredible. Well done! Oh and the birds are stunning, just beautiful~

Adam Jones said...

I loved my time at Bempton this year. The Gannets were my highlight too, well the main reason I went actually. Fantastic pictures Stewart.

Phil Slade said...

Visiting such colonies sure makes one realise how close together the birds are crammed together. Makes our overcrowded island seem positively spacious by comparison. You have some excellent in-flight shots there Stewart. I occasionally find washed up Gannets along the tideline here and you're right - they are a huge bird.

bettyl-NZ said...

They truly are magnificent birds. How wonderful that you got to photograph them in flight, too.