Bass Rock Trip - 1 June 2018

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Bass Rock Trip - 1 June 2018

  • I deceided to hire a 300mm f2.8 lens for a week to give it a test drive and collected it on Friday morning at Edinburgh. The plan was to have a trip out to Bass Rock but by the time we got sorted and out to North Berwick, the weather had broken. However, we had booked an overnight stop so decided to go out on the Saturday 12 noon trip if we could get tickets.  Our hotel was not on the coast and we woke to a beautiful morning so i booked tickets online for the 12 noon trip and we headed off after breakfast. On arrival at North Berwicjk, you could hardly see the water, never mind Bass Rock - then we ere told that the 12 noon trip had been delayed until 1pm as there had not been sufficient bookings to make a trip viable. Things were looking bleak, but we took a stroll around the town to kill the intervening time. By the time we got back to the harbour, not only had the weather started to clear, but enough people had booked to ensure the trip would set off at 1.As it turned out we couldn't sail until about 1:20 as there was ahuge regatta taking place and the tour boat had to allow all the dinghies to get out to sea.

    The first part of the trip involves a circuit of Craigleath Island but gives the opportunity to see Guillemots, Razorbill and Puffins - not in the same numbers as at the Farne Islands but still nice to see. 

    A Bridled Guillemot

    Razorbill

    Puffin

    Guillemot

    Eider ducks - female.

    Grey Seal 

    Puffin

    And then it was full speed ahead to Bass Rock and the Gannets with the bonus that the weather was constantly improving.

    Up close the numbers are staggering - this small portion of rock contains over 1000 nesting Gannets.

    They get the boat in really close to the rocks

    Kittiwakes are allowed to nest in those caves inaccessible to the Gannets.

    Guillemots manage to grab the odd space between the gannets, which gives them some protection from the big Gulls

    If you like Gannets, its a trip well worth making. Although you are only around Bass Rock for about 20 minutes, you get to see many Gannets on the approach and departure, and then on the rock face, so really time enough for plenty of pictures , as this post proves.

  • Very nice set Bob and glad all turned out well in the end; the weather seems to change so quickly over this eastern side.  

    Does this mean you are buying the 300mm f2.8  lol    

  • HAZY
    Does this mean you are buying the 300mm f2.8  lol    

    Considering it - I find I am doing much more walking about birding and less hide work or locations where I can set up and wait for stuff. The tripod, gimbal and 500mm are getting a bit heavy to keep lugging about plus its harder to react when stuff appears quickly. Howevr, it won't be an as well, it will be an instead of which is why I have hired one for a  week as it will be a big decision to swap. So I need to assess its performance with converters - clearly no problems without converters. 

  • Lovely set, Bob.  I went to Bass Rock last year and it was absolutely brilliant!

  • Bobs_Still_Retired
    as it will be a big decision

         took me almost two years before I purchased the 300mm Bob and only then it was because there was a very unexpected price drop of £1,300 with one northern camera small retail chain that neither Wex or Park could get anywhere near that price when I phoned them  (UK version, not grey import and had no time to dither as there was only one in stock !), but have never regretted the decision;   it was recommended to me by a pro-photographer that does work also for WWT and when I read reviews they were all very positive plus from a few people I met that already had this lens, especially the mkii version.   The converter you will find works like a perfect buddy with the lens (I've only got the 2x)  so good luck whatever your final decision.    

  • Cracking shots, Bob. It’s certainly a fantastic experience to see so many Gannets in one place. To see good numbers of Puffins in the Forth estuary the best place would have been the Isle of May (you probably seen it off in the distance), I believe there are around 45,000 pairs of Puffins nesting there, among other seabird species. Even though the Isle of May is only four or five miles away from Bass Rock, the Gannets don’t nest there at all.

  • Thanks for another lovely collection, Bob, and for taking us along on your trip to Bass Rock.  Can't choose a favourite, but I do like the Puffins (who doesn't?!) and the Gannets are always so noble and statuesque looking.  Love all the flight shots, too.

  • Very nice Bob, would love a lens like that but a 100x400mm and 5DMk4 is getting heavy these days but did a six hour walk with it today and it will be going on the Islands tomorrow so am hoping to get some nice pictures like your sadly no Gannets here thoug.

  • Paul A

    Cracking shots, Bob. It’s certainly a fantastic experience to see so many Gannets in one place. To see good numbers of Puffins in the Forth estuary the best place would have been the Isle of May (you probably seen it off in the distance), I believe there are around 45,000 pairs of Puffins nesting there, among other seabird species. Even though the Isle of May is only four or five miles away from Bass Rock, the Gannets don’t nest there at all.

    Thanks Paul, though the trip was specifically to see the Gannets. I am happy that I can see Puffins at the Farne Islands.

  • Brilliant photos Bob, so envious of the puffin pics, not a bird I've managed to get a half decent photo of.