The ghost of last year’s disastrous day trip to Bempton Cliffs has been laid! Last year, the forecast of early mist, lifting mid-morning, had been wrong and thick fog became even thicker by lunchtime with no prospect of clear weather – we could hear birds but not see much. To add insult to injury, trying to follow the birds that we could see made me motion sick. The saving grace of that day had been a visit to Rodley nature reserve, near Leeds, in the afternoon.
I have discovered that I cannot work with a macro lens or with a long telephoto lens without becoming motion sick (not much chance of getting me on a little boat then). So, this year, I took the travel sickness pills beforehand and we arrived to fine sunny weather. The north-west wind of the morning started to come round to an easterly….and the gannets began to pop up to the top of the cliffs…actually too many at once…so that it became difficult to capture a single bird without parts of other birds getting in the way. So many things are sent to try us as photographers! I see every such challenge as a learning experience and by the end of the day my skills as a budding nature photographer had certainly increased. Now I want to go back to try again and perhaps photograph some of the more challenging smaller birds. The one bird that we didn’t see was the puffin…there have been sightings from May onwards but none of the photographers that I spoke to had seen any that day.
With over 1000 pictures to process afterwards, I quickly deleted 25% of them. Even so, there were many similar shots and they were mostly gannets. I processed more than 750 yesterday and then sorted out a representative selection for the slide show.