Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland is well known as a wonderful place for seabirds. So, earlier this spring, I jumped at the chance to go and photograph the eider ducks. It is a beautiful seaduck. A contrast of black and white, complemented by a flush of pink and pale green – a wonderful sight close-up.
Most of our time was taken up photographing their courtship display. It was a little frustrating that we couldn’t get right down to water level, my preferred shooting perspective, nonetheless, it was worthwhile I’m always happy if I secure at least one good image. This time, it has to be the running eider duck.
The black guillemots were quite confiding, but again it wasn’t possible to shoot from a very low point of view. On the positive side, we were able to photograph them calling and showing that blood-red mouth.
During courtship, males and females gather into quieter waters and several pairs will congregate to show-off, squabble and display. This male bird was startled by the sudden appearance of a grey seal and fled by running across the water to a safe distance.