Swans and Geese

Over the past week I’ve been over in Eastbourne a couple of times for work. The beautiful winter mornings have made it well worth making an early start and breaking the drive at Seven Sisters. The swans have been the real stars, but I’ve also enjoyed the flights of geese criss-crossing over the valley. This is a small selection of the way too many photos I’ve taken.

swan

Beautiful light and a very handsome mute swan gliding by. Good start to the day!

swan

Even better when joined by a mate.

swan

A gentle display

swans

Such an elegant pair!

canada geese

Flock of Canada Geese flying over the South Downs National Park

canada geese

Even a proper blue sky with this shot of the geese

canada geese

And one with farmland (and a van) in the background

mute swan

I’ll end with a portrait of one of the swans.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

5 Fulmars on the 5th

This is my first post of 2017, so firstly a Happy New Year to everyone. I’m certainly hoping for a smoother year than the one we’ve just had, and with luck a few more photos.

I’m starting the year with five photos of the fabulous Rottingdean fulmars, taken this morning. I can watch these amazing birds for hours as they skim the cliffs and make their numerous attempts to land on the narrow ledges and crannies they call home. Most times they fail (their legs are not built for strength), but they do make it occasionally (assuming they can withstand the onslaught of fulmar-abuse from the current occupants (as you will see).

Fulmar flying along Rottingdean Cliffs, East Sussex

A landing attempt. The current occupant is not happy!

The fulmar retreats (only to try again)

Another fulmar fails to land!

But life can be sweet for fulmars, as this pair show.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

A little kestrel sequence

This is really the second part (or prequel) to yesterday’s post. Before heading to Rottingdean I’d been over at Sheepcote Valley in search of owls. No luck with them (though they are about). Instead I came across a kestrel who provided a brief but active sequence.

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

I’m sort of running a day behind myself, but I will add this one from today. It’s a ‘Bravias arc’ or ‘upsidedown rainbow’ or ‘Smiley in the Sky’. It’s caused by light refracting on ice particles. They are related to ‘sundogs’ which tend to be vertical patches, but this was the first time I’ve seen an extended arc. The shot is taken with the camera pointing straight up to the sky.

Bavias arc or circumzenithal arc (also known as the Smiley in the Sky or Upsidedown Rainbow) seen over Woodingdean, East Sussex. The phenomenon is caused by a rare alignment of the angle of the sun with ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Camera note: all kestrel photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. The sky-smiley was taken with the EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens.