Yesterday, I visited RSPB Rainham Marshes. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but I had a wonderful time. The site is fully accessible, has a visitor centre with cafe, and some wonderful managed marshland. The birding was brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There’s no doubt that I’ll be going back there soon.
My bird of the day was definitely the Northern Pintail, with the Redwing being my second favourite. Here are a few photo’s from my visit.
Please click on any photo to see a full size image
The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) is one of my favorite sea birds. It has a beautiful blue eye which us set against a pastel yellow nape. They nest in large colonies and are very territorial. Gannets mate for life and return to the same nest year after year.
The Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) is a member of the Auk family. It spends most of its life at sea and the only time that you will find ut on the land is when it is breeding. These birds are very pretty to look at despite being quite plain in appearance.
The Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is one of the most beautiful sea birds, and one that brings the crowds to RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It has an unusually shaped beak, which is has bright orange streaks and has saw like mandibles. The serrated beak means that the Puffin can catch many sand eels at the same time and they cannot subsequently fall from its jaw.
Kittywake with chick
I love to see the new chucks sitting upon the nest and being attended to by their parents. This photo is of a family of Kittywakes, and a hungry chick.
Some of these people had incredibly large lenses, and I am aware that they cost several thousands of pounds. I was left wondering whether their lenses really made photos any better than what I have taken today? I suspect not, I have a few high quality photos that I am really impressed with.
I went to RSPB Bempton Cliff’s (North Yorkshire) at the weekend, specifically to photograph Gannet’s, to hopefully see Puffling’s and to try out the auto-focus pn the OMD EM 1 MK ii. It was a very enjoyable day out for me, it can’t be bad when I can do two of my favourite things at the same time.
The auto focus on the Olympus OMD EM 1 MK ii is phenomenal. I mean that it’s so good that there aren’t the correct words to express how impressed I am. It uses both contrast and phase detection points, and it’s almost instantaneous. I was shooting in Continuous Auto-Focus (C-AF). Here’s the impressive bit, continuous auto-focus on somethings as small as a Puffin (28cm from tip of beak to tip of tail feather), three-quarters the way down a 300ft cliff (225ft below me), at least that far out to sea, and flying at roughly 45mph (they can go up to 60mph). That my friends, in my opinion, is f/’k”ng amazing.
All of the photo’s accompanying this post are as shot. I’ve taken them into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to add metadata and to resize them for this post. I haven’t even cropped them. Once I am back from my travel’s I look forward to developing a few more, I have some shots that I can’t wait to show you. There are some that I am so impressed with that I will add them to Adobe Stock. All were taken on the Olympus OMD EM1 MK ii, manual, C-AF, 15fps on the Mzuiko 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 ii.
Here are a few taster photos In the mean time, and I look forward to developing the rest after my holiday.
It’s the time of year when Puffin’s return the UK for their breeding season. RSPB Bempton is England’s only mainland Puffin colony. I was a few weeks too early to see the Puffling’s (honestly, it’s what baby puffins are called), so I’ll have to make another journey.