Young Herons: Mull

The head of Loch na Keal, on the western seaboard of Mull, cuts deeply into the island leaving a narrow saddle of land connecting the North and South parts. Along the loch’s northern shore we found a group of adolescent Grey Herons feeding. There was such a concentration of birds along the rocky beach that it wasn’t long before disputes over feeding rights began, with the slightly older birds attacking the younger ones.

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This was a very heavily overcast and stormy day with brief interludes of strong sunshine. The birds behaviour was erratic and fast moving, making their movements difficult to predict. Keeping low and in amongst the rocks I was able to get close enough to use a 300mm telephoto without disturbing them. I can use this lens handheld which with the lack of space for a tripod and the unpredictability of the birds movements seemed the best choice at the time. The images were shot at f2.8 and 1/2500 to freeze the movement, produce a shallow depth of field and keep the ISO as low as possible.

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Author: Hares on the Hill

I am a designer and photographer. I live with my wife and our two dogs in the Welsh Marches, a land full of history, legends, mountains, rivers and dragon's breath; a place where animism thrives. To our north are the Cambrian Mountains, the Elenydd, a vast plateau so ancient that its mountains now have the appearance of steeply rounded moorland hills; to the east is England; to the south stand the Black Mountains and in the west the Brecon Beacons rise around the twin summits of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, the highest mountain in West Wales.

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