All have fledged and female already gone. Not always using nest site so more patience required, in order to see fledging practicing flight or male returning with mullet held head on; always cries and high pitch screeches help to locate the birds. Male less willing to share catch now, with young constantly begging. After slow day and sleep in car, last light offered more productive behaviour as male brought large mullet to platform - watching them feed with twisting ripping motion until light failed. rts for artificial light in this location offering night painting possibilities, likely composition with more flight studies if time permits.Behaviour studies - usual approach, careful timing ... washes rich either bs/um or r/b/y offers plenty of possibility for subtle browns of plumage ranging from purple hues to grey to rich umber. No Manx on coast to see.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Cliffs at the widening of a particularly rugged valley, used to meet the sea, but now stand two miles inland from the coast. An ancient landscape given resonance through the calls of those prehistoric looking cormorants that still roost/nest on the cliff today. Not a lot of birds around today, not sure if cormorants roost here in large numbers all year (waited til dusk) - only a few juvs on the cliff, also choughs and a peregrine. Nearby clear streams with good views of trout.cb,rs,cr + bs etc (also ny in fore and sky); dropped in heavy washes mid-fore ground. Back hills several separated washes allowed to run in completely. rts, for larger canvas close and below, similar colour approach making use of bold form, hopefully birds will roost. Good light around 20:00, but 16:00 onwards fine.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
A good combination today, Manx Shearwater passage/feeding close in off Ynys Las on the morning spring high, followed by Ospreys on the Dyfi this afternoon. The Dyfi Ospreys have reared 3 chicks which is outstanding for this species in general let alone such a young pair breeding here for the first time. They are using a manmade platform nest erected by MWT volunteers. With one bird fledged the other two are close, exercising their wings and building up strength. Albeit fascinating to watch the intimate lives of such magnificent and rare raptors, I am drawn back to the excitement of the Manx Shearwater passage at Ynys Las where groups of thousands passed this morning. Half way down towards Borth a large group rafts close in (LT), their silhouettes black and crisp against the low light, so I can make out every curve of their buoyant form. Further out the action continues as groups mass and disperse to form a long sinuous swarm sifting over the water, presumably echoing a similar momentum in the shape-shifting shoals beneath them but out of our vision. Hard to predict Manxies, usually HT brings them close in, but theory that they feed close in here at low tide also, morning and evening seem best and on calm days, pos prey fish shelter in warmer coastal water overnight/am, sometimes birds just not here for no particular reason. RTS for Manx seascape, feeding in distance and passing close in, ref sketches today.