One of the most elegant birds on the island is possibly the Shag, but only when seen standing still and in good light.They are not so elegant hopping around the rocks with their huge webbed feet and with their ring bling fully on show!
They look particularly good with the breeding crest still evident.
I only found one bird in this plumage but considering how late in the season it was I was lucky to find one.
Once you have done the shot though
You might well ignore them.
Not so this time!
I had never actually witnessed the juveniles being fed before, actually that's probably not true. I had just never noticed before.
One the very first day I took this shot.
I spent the rest of the week trying to better it but without success and many, many attempts.
The juveniles continually pester the returning adult until the adult is ready to allow a youngster to feed.
The older the chicks the hungrier they are and the more they harass the parents.
It would drive me mad if I was a parent!
The juvenile even appears to try an irritate the adults throat too.
Eventually the adult allows the juvenile to feed by thrusting it's head down it's parents gullet to retrieve food.
With a young chick this I can see isn't so bad.
but with the older ones, it's really quite violent as this clip shows.
It really was quite an eye opener for me, and the memory above all others I'll take home from this trip.
Incidentally, although most of my photos are taken with a big telephoto lens I think you can take equally good ones with less expensive equipment. Rather than be obsessed with detail, the environment the bird is in is equally important if not more so in my opinion.
This was taken on a particularly warm ,calm,sunny day mind. Not really the norm for the Isle of May !