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Pål Hermansen - Saltee Islands, Ireland

August 8th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized, Western Europe

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Saltee islands  June 10-13

Ireland lived up to it’s reputation as rainy and windy when I arrived in the southeastern corner of the country. My first location was the spectacular Saltee Islands, where nature has been left surprisingly  alone through the years, with very limited human activity. But it also means that there is no harbour, so it’s just possible to land there during good weather periods.

So – windy weather at my arrival just meant waiting three days to get ashore.  In the meantime, I spent some time spotting diving gannets and waders at a nearby beach, before I left for the western parts of the country to cover other regions.

It was impossible to obtain permission to stay at the island overnight, so I had to go there just during the daytime.  A little pity, because the most creative shots could have been made during the darker part of the day.  But the islands are privately owned, and the king of the Saltees has the absolute power!

I early realized that this is a fantastic spot for seabirds; all the common species, including gannets, flourish all over, without too much shyness.  They seem to lead a good life, and the number of birds is stable or increasing. Also the rock dove let me come close when feeding among the yellow lichen-covered cliffs (really a place for ornithocoprophile lichens!)

During my 2 ½ days on the island, I concentrated on capturing both the birds and their environment, and there were plenty opportunities for catching birds in motion.  I also was very fascinated by puffins and razorbills showing up with their bills filled with small fishes - a sight that really warms a bird-loving heart.

In my native Norway, this is now nearly the exception more than the rule. The number of seabirds is declining dramatically in all parts of the country, mostly because of the fisheries. Here, obviously, this is no problem.

Pål Hermansen / Wild Wonders of Europe

Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 4 Responses to “Pål Hermansen - Saltee Islands, Ireland”

  2. By Tomboy on Aug 9, 2009

    Dear Pal
    thanks for your images. The two portraits are wonderful. Good job


  3. By Orsolya Haarberg on Aug 12, 2009

    Hi Pål,

    I was looking forward to reading your blog for a long time! I like the way you see things, and that you try to widen the horizon of nature photography. Thanks for your report and the carefully composed images you shared with us!

    Best, Orsolya

  4. By Stefano Unterthiner on Aug 13, 2009

    Hi Pål,
    pity we could not met in Sweden, but I’m very interested in your photography!
    You are doing an excellent work in Ireland…


  5. By Celtic Jewellery on Jul 25, 2010

    They need to have a St. Patricks day for the southern Hemisphere as well!

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