18th April 2014
Each year I like to spend a day at Hunstanton photographing the Fulmar Petrels. Up to now I have stood on top of the cliffs and photographed them as they soar above the cliffs. Unfortunately this is not easy as, for safety reasons, there is a fence which stops you getting too close to the edge and the birds only fly above the cliff occasionally and soon drop down from view. Therefore opportunities are few and far between and relatively short-lived. So today, for the very first time, I walked along the beach and stood at the base of the cliffs.
This was so much better as the Fulmars are in view all the time and, in addition, you can see the birds on the nests. Better still, the cliffs are not very high and therefore whether you are photographing the birds in flight or on their nests they are never more than 30 yards away and sometimes a lot closer.
I thought I would start with the easiest and photographed some of the birds on their nests. This was more entertaining than I thought because, while some birds just sit and watch the world go by, others are quite animated, not only with themselves but also with interlopers. Some of the nests are quite attractive as they are among Wallflowers of which there are numerous plants on the cliffs, making it a blaze of yellow, orange and red.
Then came the real challenge, photographing them in flight. Its easier than on the top of the cliff in some ways as you can always see them and know when they are coming. The difficulty comes when deciding the camera settings as one minute they are against a cliff background and the next minute against the sky. However, practice makes perfect and I eventually got some shots and as I have said before, it is more exciting than fishing.
Don't forget that for better reproduction of my photos, see my photo gallery at flickr.com/photos/seymourbirdies