Second only to trainspotting in the list of deeply uncool pastimes, Margaret and I agreed to never mention it to anyone, but I wanted to share the photos, so here I am… We kind of inadvertently ended up seeing lots of birds during our long weekend at Dunnet, we didn’t set out to, it just kind of happened, honest! [OK, we did visit one hide, but it was very close to the campsite and when you holiday in the far north of mainland Scotland, you have to adjust you expectations of what constitutes entertainment.]

The majestic fella up top was for me one of the highlights of the weekend. Especially as he/she/it was first spotted atop a fence post on the sand dunes, rather than viewed through a peep hole in the side of a glorified garden shed. I was doubly lucky as I happened to have the long lens attached and camera in hand. [Side note: I learned that Aperture Priority is better than Manual for this type of thing as it avoids the sky blowing out as you track the bird in flight. Also, I was on f/4, ISO 400 and AF Servo]

Just to confirm our non birdwatcher credentials: We reckon it’s a buzzard, but aren’t 100% sure. You don’t get a sense of scale here, but it was a pretty big bird…

We went for a walk to Duncansby Head to see the sea stacks, but also found a whole bunch of Fulmars on the sea cliffs, making lots of noise and stinking of guano. I decided to try my hand at some panning shots of the birds in flight, the single successful image above is the net result of nearly eleventy billion other attempts.

We also saw what we were describing as ‘mini penguins’, Arctic Skuas I think. No Puffins unfortunately, we found out later on we were in totally the wrong place for those, but they are abundant further down the coast.

Watching Monty Halls’ Great Hebridean Escape and his overnighter on St. Kilda [Ugh, click Audio Off at the bottom of the page] after the journey back home, the two landscapes seemed quite similar…

Normal service will be resumed once I get the film back from the lab. I made a conscious decision to work mostly with the Mamiya C330 this weekend. For the most part the dSLR spent the weekend used as a glorified light meter and taking photos of birds 😉