April 30, 2015

Last of the GND`s

Many Great northern Divers have now moved out of Galway bay and have headed to breeding grounds along Greenland to the US, the ones that are lefts behind seem to be moulting their  winter feathers and are gaining their spectacular breeding plumage,they will soon follow 
I seen only 2 of these birds today along the Flaggyshore.

Spring Gentians at St Fiachtnan's Well, Fahee North, Carran

Searching for wildflowers on fine morning on the Burren with two of my children ,
 At  St Friachtans well near Carron ,Spring Gentians are in full flower, these Burren specialty flowers light up a sparce rugged landscape  that can sometimes seem bleak in life

April 21, 2015

Perfect surf out west

This a was weekend of perfect surf  in the west.
For some perfect surf was riding the big waves of Aileens and Rileys with surf god and living legend  Hawaiian Shane Dorian.
For others perfect surf was a day at the beach with hot weather on there day off work
For others the swell and size was perfect, the wind was offshore and the sun was out.
For myself it was head down after work for a late evening session as the crowds thinned and grabbing a few set waves as the sun went down

Jeff Copner (photo -Paul Copner)
A perfect wave goes unridden
Jeff Copner  -Set Wave (photo Paul Copner)
Lefts into Lahinch bay
Billy Ballycotton
Unknown surfer

The monday morning the swell was smaller but the lines kept coming through producing waves with good shape
The beach right
Small perfect waves spinning of cornish on a monday morning

April 16, 2015

Snowy Owl - Burren ,County Clare

Snowy Owl
 There had been occasional sightings and reports of a Snowy Owl by Burren walkers over the past year. Saturday there was a sighting again
I couldnt let it lie. So I geared up and set out in search of the needle in the haystack.
I got to  the peak of Cappnawalla mountain overlooking Ballyvaughan
Through my binoculars a white shape moved from behind a slate , my heart pumped. I grounded myself behind a wall , what to do?
I came round a small ridge to get a bit closer and so the light was behind me."The bird was watching me".
The Snowy Owl was taking shade behind the slate from the hot day
The climb ,the exploration, the environment I was in , the reason I was here ,a life time dream was taking place.

my 1st sighting

Burren Wildlife on the way to Cappnawalla

On my way to the hill tops I came across much wildlife.
Animals such as Irish Hare and  Viviparous lizard.
  Butterflies such as Peacock and Orange tip  , Emperor Moth ,a Leech in a stream.
Birds included Ravens,Skylarks and Wheatear.
 Early wildflowers like  Dog Violets and the Burren special Spring Gentian made up the best of it.
But the best was yet to come!

Emperor Moth
Spring Gentian

The views from Cappnawalla -The Burren

I headed off on a walk from the Caher valley over and through Gleninagh south to the peak of Cappnawalla .
The weather was amazing ...but could I find what widlife I was looking for ?

The track through Gleninagh south
Looking back to Caher valley and Slieve Elva beyond
Ballyvaughan bay and Bishops quarter beach
Ballyvaughan Bay
Martello Tower -Finvarra

April 6, 2015

The Cliffs of Moher - photography and light

Possibly one of the most aw- inspiring chill out areas in the world to spend a magical evening taking photos.
People come to see the ciffs from all over the world.
Being local I get to see it at its best.

The light changes as the sun drops towards too and below the horizon to the west,the light refracts and moves with different angles .
Your photo settings change with these natural movements, and sometimes it all comes together and a picture is produced of a moment known to one

April 5, 2015

Albino Curlew

I stopped in at Bishops quarter beach  to see the Albino Curlew that had been frequenting the muddy cove over winter.
I never have had any luck in getting good photos of Curlew , and this was never going to be any different, but the bird turned out to be worth the visit and quite a striking individual to see.

Caher Valley -Burren

The stunning Caher valley near Fanore , a wild beauty to walk or drive. A river of crystal clear water.
The King of the Burren rules the limestone pavements and rocky peaks