Posts Tagged ‘seal’

The Dunoon Seal

August 22, 2016

We went for a short cruise when in Scotland. It was about two and a half hours and we started at Dunoon.

Whilst queueing for the boat a seal appeared nearby but he (or she) proved tricksy to photograph. This seal maintained a distance and spent much more time under the water than on the surface. But in the nick of time it popped its head up reasonably close to us.

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Well, actually, it was just half a head.

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He or she zooms up quite well.

Oddly, during our week in this part of Scotland this was our only seal. We saw quite a lot of dolphins – but never got a photo. We saw (or at least I did) an otter but got no photo. This seal was my only water mammal photo. Enjoy!

A seal at Mallaig

May 31, 2015

Life has taken us to Mallaig a couple of times. We were at this west of Scotland fishing harbour and ferry terminal in 2009 having travelled up from Fort William on the regular steam train that operates throughout the summer.

But we won’t look at that, this time. Instead, let’s take a look at the harbour seal. Clearly this beast had got used to sharing its life with the humans.

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A head appeared in the calm and clear water of the harbour. A fishing boat had returned with its catch.

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The seal hoped for a share and made its way nearer the boat.

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What sleek animals they are when in the water. They are perfectly adapted to their life style, although this one chose to hunt for scraps from fishing boats which, no doubt, is a fairly modern and innovative scheme.

He provided a fine sight for us tourists who had come off the Jacobite Express.

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I love that view with those enormous paddle feet at the back, controlling speed and direction through the water.

I may also love my steam trains but you can’t beat a bit of wildlife!

Kestrels

August 3, 2014

As a child I lived in a village which got subsumed into a New Town. We still lived right on the edge and it was no problem to get out into the countryside. But we never saw kestrels there. Kestrels were seen when we went on our South Downs camping holiday and they were special birds with their ability to hover and swoop on prey.

I do see them where I live now, but they seem to have become less common in recent years.

However, what we’ll see today are Cornish kestrels, from a recent holiday in the far south west of England.

The first was hovering above Cubert Common quite close to Newquay in terms of geography, but light years away in terms of style. We were taking a walk down to Porth Joke. A kestrel hovered above us and within camera range. And here was an initial shot.

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Getting a photo and zooming in allows you to notice what you don’t in real time. I had never taken in the structure of the tail and in particular those dark and white square ended feathers. But I was a tad disappointed with that photo, partly because it isn’t quite sharp but also because the wings aren’t outstretched. So I had another go.

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The wings gave one of those little twitches and we can see the blur on them whilst the body of the bird is rock steady.

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This well-mannered bird gave me time. What an absolute beauty.

Now we are going about twenty miles south west, to St Ives.

This is not the place I expected to have lots of time for a kestrel photo, but a youngster was preening himself (or herself) on the cliffs.

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From time to time he’d just check that he was still the centre of attention.

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And then he’d return to work.

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A foot is lifted and the wings stretched.

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This bird was a showman and needed to be top of the bill. He wasn’t going to hang around if people started looking at a seal, far below in the sea.

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