Thursday, June 15, 2006
Another blustery Nor' Westerly wind in the River Derwent this morning and as I hoped, there were Australasian Gannets fishing fairly close inshore. If you want to photograph them, you have to be patient and be prepared to move to where they're fishing. I wasn't prepared. They were fishing in near mid Derwent when I first spotted them, but later moved into the lee of Bellerive Bluff. A dash home and a short drive enabled me to get close enough for the accompanying photos. I took a lot, but the birds were, in the main, just too far out. However, all was not wasted, as it gave me a chance to look more closely at their fishing technique. It really is amazing the control they can exercise when diving. With the use of feet as "air brakes" and a tail that acts as a "rudder", they can make subtle changes of direction to finesse their dive. It's not really apparent as you watch them, but single frames enable close inspection of their flying "attitude". You can see a little of this in the pictures. As I mentioned in a previous blog on Gannets fishing, I never tire of watching them. You might have to put up with more shots!