|Sunday, 19 July 2009 18:23|
Runde 2009 – birds in the mist
4 days I spent this year at Norwegian Runde Island from 10. July was not only in token of pretty bad weather conditions but also a high concentration of Czech people on the island – during my short stay I met altogether 5 groups of Czechs although Germans still prevailed as usual together with many visitors from Netherlands and Scandinavia. Right upon my arrival I just missed the group led by Michal Jirouš – their beautiful shots of puffins and other birds now fled the Czech birding websites. Above all I planned to meet Martin, great Czech amateur bird photographer and nature enthusiast – you better check his website and watch his pictures from Runde – it is worth doing!
So the weather betrayed me – for the first two days the dense grey cloud covered the whole island so I got the first good photography opportunity as late as the evening of the third day. I have to admit that photography of flying Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica) was not easy at all and I cannot put the blame on the equipment only although the lens 70-200 F4.0 IS is not the fastest lens of all. Shooting at the bad light conditions was not worth at all – with the 1.4 extender the lens became 5.6 and to get times at least 1/640 I had to push the ISO to 1000 – 1600 which did not produce nice shots al at all. But at least I met a group of nice guys from Czech and Slovakia on the Puffin rock who have been there for their first time.
So at the end, given the bad weather I spent most of the time at my favourite place watching the colony of Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) – as the last year there was surprisingly small number of birds in that particular colony and I saw only one pair breeding! On the other hand the Puffins numbers were great this year – many photographers made great pictures but not me sadly J. The best experience for me was shooting of Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) at the locality close to the Runde lighthouse in a late afternoon light although I waste that time I was going to spend for watching White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Eagles (at least one adult and two young birds) hovered most of the time the coast below the Puffin rock – the part that is partially accessible by descending the steep slope. The last bonus of my short and quite unsuccessful visit of Runde was watching of some passerines – there was a lot of Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis) and Rock Pipits (Anthus petrosus) as well as Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) including the young birds on the island itself and on the coast small groups of Twites (Carduelis flavirostris) were feeding on the seeds.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:25|