Saturday, 13 July 2013

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes revisited

Another visit to the local population of Kittiwakes was made today.  As well as any general photographic opportunities, I wanted to photograph them whilst showing their surroundings as it’s in the middle of a city with lots of activity and landmarks about. Conditions were ideal with lots of luxurious bright sunshine giving me the rare chance to stop down to a narrower aperture so giving me a greater depth of field whilst still giving me a fast enough shutter speed and low ISO.

Although I was able to get quite a few shots looking down which included both the Kittiwakes and some kind of background, they weren’t flying along that part of the skyline I’d hoped for and so including some of the more prominent buildings of Newcastle.

I find it amazing that, what is basically a coastal bird, is happy nesting on a city bridge a couple of metres next to a busy and noisy road, not to mention all the passer-by's though most of these seemed oblivious to all noise and drama of these birds raising their young right next to where they were walking past.

Their nests seemed very precariously placed on narrow ledges where it would seem a gust of wind would simply sweep them away, but I guess it is just a replication of what would have been their natural environment on coastal cliff ledges.  Today they had to contend with a rare heatwave and, despite the parents trying to shade their young, all were panting furiously to try and keep cool.

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

An aperture of f7.1 helped to show more of the background detail

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

Jockeying for position

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

Flyby - old and new

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

Flying over a passer-by below oblivious of the drama above

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes
Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

Parents panting to trying to give the youngsters shade from the heat of the sun

Tyne Bridge Kittiwakes

Looking down on precarious nesting ledge to the drop below – note the birds panting to keep cool

 
SMP_6584

View of the Tyne Bridge towards Newcastle

 

Speckled imagery

When I got back I realised how bad my sensor has become over the last few weeks due to the constant lens changes.  Covered in ‘dust spots’, it was so bad I nearly didn’t bother to process the images due to the work involved in cleaning them up.  This is the first time since getting the camera three years ago that I needed a ‘wet’ clean.  Normally a blower or the Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly Brush would do.  Maybe I’ve just become a bit too careless in changing lenses as usually I would switch the camera off and then carefully change the lens, which has served me well until recently when I stopped doing that resulting in the kind of image below.

SMP_6309

Dust spots on the cameras sensor

0 comments:

Post a comment