Day Trip to Stroma Island

We received an invitation to go on a boat trip to Stroma Island at the weekend from Annemarie, who is a member of The Wick Photography Club.  This was a rare opportunity to explore the beauty and wildlife on the island.  We jumped at the chance.

Stroma is an Island located off the northern coast of Scotland in between the Orkney Islands and Caithness.  Stroma Island has not been inhabited since the 1960’s and now sheep graze there in the peaceful surroundings, along with many birds and seals.  Stroma Island is surrounded by strong tides and many shipwrecks can be found there.  Stroma Island is 2 miles long and 1 mile wide.

We turned up at Gills Harbour and it was pouring with rain.  The trip was nearly cancelled, but everyone really wanted to go, so we went :)

Here’s a black and white moody view:

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George took this beautiful panorama below:

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We sheltered in an old house for a while until it had nearly stopped raining and then we walked to the lighthouse.  The lighthouse is located at Stroma’s northern tip:

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I then took a walk over to the cliffs.  The sea was beautiful and clear and the birds looked like they were enjoying themselves:

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So much wide open space with lots of derelict houses:

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I had to go back and look at that beautiful clear blue sea.  In the photograph below, you can see the bedrock under the water, amazing colours!

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The fulmars were circling around.  I was enjoying trying to photograph a fulmar in flight:

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Just a few steps down along the coast and a Tern hovered above me:

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I was on the hunt for Puffins.  Had seen one briefly on the boat trip over.  I headed back along the path and this bird landed on the fence right beside me:

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Here is the war memorial:

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I don’t think there have been any phone lines for quite some time.  Love these old red phone boxes:

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One of the derelict houses.  It was like going back in time:

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I arrived back at the harbour an hour early, so decided to take a walk along the coast where I hadn’t been.  Spotted a seal enjoying the sunshine!

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Then I found the Kennedy Mausoleum.  I read that due to the constant spray of salt water over Stroma Island, dead bodies were mummified and they were housed in the mausoleum, which was built in 1677.  By 1786 the mummies had been destroyed, by cattle walking through the building, and careless visitors:

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There were a few passing boats, and a few people waving.  Here’s the Orkney Ferry:

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Then it was time for us to board the boat.  Have really good memories of this beautiful island and hope to go over there again soon!  Thanks Annemarie for inviting us and thanks to everyone from the photography club for making us so welcome!

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And do you remember me wanting to take a photograph of a Puffin?  I didn’t get a photograph of one on Stroma, but  I was told where I would find one, and here we go!

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A perfect end to a perfect day! :D

Hope you enjoyed my blog!

 

 

Dunrobin Castle

Thought I would do a blog on Dunrobin Castle this week.  We visited Dunrobin Castle last year while my father was up on holiday.  I drive past Dunrobin Castle every day on my way to work and it is beautiful.

You can take a wonderful tour around the castle and walk around the beautiful gardens.

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Below is a black and white photograph of part of the castle.

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And one of the turrets:

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The falconry displays are amazing and if you’re quick enough with your camera, you might just catch a bird in flight.  Below is an Eagle Owl in flight:

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Another bird in flight in front of the castle:

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And here’s another one of the Eagle Owl:

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If you’re in the area, you must visit the castle.  It’s a fantastic day out!  I’ll be heading back there in a few weeks time.

I hope you have enjoyed the blog! :)

 

 

 

Countryfile Photographic Competition 2014

My blog for this week is about the Countryfile Photographic Competition.

I have recently entered a couple of competitions and have just sent off three entries for the Countryfile Photographic Competition.

They will pick 12 photographs for their 2015 calendar.  It took a while to whittle it down to three photographs, but below are the three I have chosen.  What do you think?  It would be great if they show them on tv :)  I can imagine there will be thousands of entries!

This is my favourite photograph.  I have a 36 inch canvas of this on my wall and you can even see the reflection of the sun and sea in the seal pup’s eyes.

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As most of you who follow my Facebook photography page will know, I love highland cows.  Countryfile have allowed farm animals in their competition, so this one just had to be entered.

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For my final photograph I chose another seal pup.  Another one where you can see a beautiful reflection in the eye.

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The theme of the competition is “Animal Magic”.  I’m hoping they’ll spot something they like in my photographs! ;)