July 25, 2013

The lovely Puffin

Here comes the rest of the pictures from Skomer island and now it's time for the puffin, it's a sweet little bird.
As many of the sea birds they come in to the breeding grounds in the spring and then leave them when the kids have flown out of the nest usually in juli-august.
Then they spend the rest of the year out on the ocean in search of food. Oddly life but that the way it is, there are even more extreme birds doing so and that is the albatross they spend their first five years out on the the sea :)
Now, this morning, I will travel away again, and now it will be two weeks with my brother in Kalix, Sweden. We're also going to Finnmark for one week in northern Norway to fish for grayling, trout, and char. It'll be super nice and we hope for good weather and really good fishing.
This was my favorite picture from the trip


Wide-angle at the Wick one of the Puffin places

Puffin in the underground nest hole


July 23, 2013


I have started to look through the pictures from  the Skomer island journey that was made recently, a fantastic little island with lots of birds.
The journey there was long, took us 6.5 hours but it was worth it, I really like that kind of places where you will be close to the bird / wildlife.
Skomer island can be reached by boat and as the boat out there is so popular and they take only 150 people there every day.
The first boat went off at 10 and then 11 and 12. Since I had read on the internet that the tickets could go very quickly to all three departing boats we were in place already 6:30 we stayed at a campsite nearby.
So at 10:15 we were on the island and got a  brief survey about the island of where we could find various bird sites and other info. Then me and my wife had until 15.00 on us to see and photograph what we wanted.
We first went to the center of the island which is not so big either it is about 2.5 km in diameter, so you can walk all around the island on 4-5hours but we decided to go to the middle and lower part where it was most birds .
In the middle of the island we had opportunity to see the little owl and short-eared owl, but unfortunately we only saw a short-eared owl in the distance, so we went on to puffins instead.
Another thing about the island is that it has holes in the ground everywhere, because many of the birds here make nests underground so you had to stick to the trails, it was otherwise a great risk of destroying nesting places.
We stayed for a while at the puffins place, they are so cute to look at especially when you can get so close to them, the trail went right through their settlements and we could almost touch them so close was they.
Photo wise it was lousy because it was bright sunshine.

If you want, you can stay overnight on the island but you have to book at least six months in advance because it is so popular. But then you have probably a better chance for good pictures and then you can even see the Manx shearwater because they only is coming in to land and their nests under the dark hours, but it should probably be a sight for this is the world's largest colony of  them, about 150000par.
I will first put out pictures of Chough which is also a special bird, found here on the island and around Wales and some parts of Ireland and England's shores.

Young Chough/Alpkråka wants food

On a walk

Finally some food

Not the best guality on this picture

July 18, 2013

Golden Plower

A couple of nights ago, I was off to Redmires again to try shoot Golden plower.
It was tough in the beginning they were not where I expected they would be, I was thinking if it's the nice weather that has been now for a few weeks, made them change places.
It's pretty dry in the fields and they maybe just moved to places where it's a little wetter for there it might be easier to find food.
Anyway, after strolling around the area for a few hours I started to give up hope of getting a photo of the bird, I heard that they were there because they beep quite a lot in the evenings but it's hard to see them in the tall heather bushes .
The sun would be about an hour behind the horizon, so now it was a little hurry, but when I was on my way home walking in the heather, I heard a beep that came from an area where they have burned away heather and there it was.
But now I had to get close enough to get some good pics of it, so I lie down and crawl into the heather and hope that it would not fly away, but I was lucky that the bird was not so afraid, I could lie in the heather and try to attract it using whistle.  But closer than 10m it did not come,  I was pretty happy anyway.

This weekend I will go to the south/west coast of Wales, where I'll visit Skomer island. It's a small island that is known for its wildlife, especially puffins for there is southern England's largest colony of them. There is also 1/3 of the world's Manx shearwaters, but they only come to the island in the dark hours so it will probably be no photos of them.

Golden Plower/ljungpipare beeping


July 15, 2013

Early Morning

At 04.00 I got up, dressed, put me on the bike and rode towards Redmires reservoars.
The reason was that I wanted to photograph the Golden plower in the first light, well up in Redmires I went to the place where they usually tend to stick to.
I lay down at the edge of the heather, and covered me with camouflage, then it was only to wait for the birds. But unfortunately the birds didnt show upp this morning.
So after 1.5h I gave up because I thought the light was already too hard, so I went back to the reservoars instead and tried to shoot something there.
It was quite a lot of movement but because I just walked around, it is difficult to get as close I want to the wildlife.
But I managed to get pretty close to a Mistle Thrush which has never happened before. It looked pretty worn out and I guess they are busy with the young ones right now, there were many birds that looked worn out.
I also heard that the Tawny Owl was active even though it was rather late this morning so I tried to sneak up on it which was not going well, it flew away to a safer place.
But one bird I was amazed to see and it was a bullfinch they are in the area but is not very common, unfortunately, long distance and manual focus, which is not any really good. Well it was nice to get out the early morning despite the fiasco with Golden plower.

Here are some pics from this morning:
Nice red color in the morning sun

Cotton grass early in the morning

Grey Wagtail/Forsärla

Mistle thrush/Dubbeltrast

Cute white rabbit

Bullfinch/Domherre sitting in the dark forest

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker/Mindre hackspett

July 11, 2013

The bike-loving city of Amsterdam

As I mentioned in the last blog post so I just come home from Croatia when it was time to go away again, but now to Amsterdam.
I, my wife and a friend of us had long since planned to go on a big house music party with about 45ooo pers so that was the reason for the visit.
Can only say that Amsterdam is a fantastic city with all the canals, boats, bridges and friendly people.
The first thing we noticed  was that it was incredible much cyclists everywhere, it was a great risk of that you could get hit by someone.
But I understand that they want to bike considering that they have thought of the cyclists when they built the roads, there are wide fine bike lanes everywhere.

Sure there are plenty of drugs and the sex industry are there quite openly and legally, that's the big drawbacks.
I mean, there's sex and drugs in other cities as well, but here it is as open as it felt a bit strange to walk around and passive smoking hashish and cannabis. And there is also all these coffeeshops where they sell drogs.
But despite the drugs and the like Amsterdam felt as a safe city with a nice atmosphere.

Canal tour boats

One of many Canals

One of many nice bridges

More canals

Red light District

The Heineken Boat :)

Evening light

Science center NEMO

July 8, 2013


Now I'm back to England after having spent three glorious weeks in croatia.
There has been working, swimming, sunbathing, barbequeing and everything else related to summer.
But unfortunately, three weeks goes too fast when you have fun, but just a few days after I got home it was time to travel again, but now to Amsterdam. More from that another day.
Photo craving in Croatia was not really on top perhaps because it was so hot :)
I went a few evenings with the car to the places where it was pitch black to try to take pictures of the Milky Way, you think yourself that it's pitch black but with high iso (6400) in camera and 30sec exposure it records so much more and all the small light sources becomes immediately visible in the picture. But this was my first try to shoot the Milky way so I'm pretty satisfied.

Here are some pictures from Croatia:
Beach at Duba stonska

In the village of Hodilje

The view from our summer house

Spider in mold

Celabration in Hodilje

Milky way

Milky way and dubrovnik city lights 50km away

Cactus flower