Continuing this week with another Irish photo rally point. This one is just a couple of mile from my home. The Dromara Destroyers roadracers. Here in Ireland a lot off motorcycle racing is done on public roads that are closed to the public for the days racing. The four that made up The Dromara Destroyers are Brian Reid, Ray McCullough, Trevor Steele and Ian McGregar. I grew up watching this racers through the1960’s, 1970’s and into the 1990’s.
I grew on one of the oldest road racing courses in Ireland, the Temple 100. I include a YouTube link
So back to the Dromara Destroyers garden in the village of Dromara, County Down, Northern Ireland.
These are just four of the many racers that gave us some great racing here in Ireland. I take my hat off to all of them, the ones that are still racing, the ones retired and those that died too young.
This week one of the biggest road races in the world is happing, The Isle of man TT. Yesterday a local racer lost his life competing on the island.
Davy Morgan R. I. P, and deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
Welcome to another B & W Wednesday, hope all is well in you in your part of the world. The norm of this post is a single photograph. I will be posting a few images if they are related to the day and place they where photographed.
So the location is in the Dromara hills close to my home. The morning was heavy fog but around 11.30 am the sun was burning it off and opening the views to that layered effect.
This was taken has I climbed up through Drumkerragh forest has the fog was thinning.
With the fog clearing quickly has I walked higher up into the forest the sound of crows and ravens filled the valley with there calls. Pairs flying from tree top to tree top it gave me a chance to get a few nice images. This one below is off a couple of Ravens on a dead tree.
Raven ( Corvus corax) is a member of the crow family.
My next encounter was a small bird of prey, a Kestrel. I saw it sitting on a tree top and slowly made my way towards it. I lost sight of it and then has I rounded a group of trees there she sat. I got a few images has she sat looking around her but a bunch of twigs was spoiling them. Then she took off and came my way drifting on the breeze looking for prey. Nearly above me she started to hover and that’s when I got the following image.
Kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) belongs to the falcon family of birds.
Out early Sunday morning and went up to my local woods, Drumkerragh Forest. A misty view of the forest and Slieve Croob mountain greeted me. Has I set off with camera bag and monopod on my walk, I hoped the sun would burn off the mist. After three hours of walking and into my final mile the sun started to do its job.
This was taken with a Sigma 150-600 mm lens, shot at 240mm. I love the way a telephoto lens can give the appearance of compressed distance between distant objects in a scene.
This area has a large number of ravens around the woods at this time of the year. Walking towards some dead trees just of the trail. Two landed close by on one of the trees.
Missed the first one in but caught the second one landing has seen above.
This next shot is a silhouette shot edited in Silver efex pro, I use this to edit all my B&W images.
Again it contains a lone Raven sitting calling across the valley.
The start of the walk did not look promising from a photography point but I ended the morning with a few good shots to edit in the evening.
First I hope you are all keeping well and safe where ever you are in the world. Here in the north of Ireland we are back in a four week lockdown but we can still go out to exercise. So when the weather allows I pack the camera and head for the coast. I’m lucky that I have some great mud flats where the sea birds and wading birds feed within a 30 – 40 minutes drive. So the following photographs have been taken over the last few weeks along the County Down coast. Most of them have been shot with a Nikon D750 camera fitted with the Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto lens, some handheld and others using a tripod fitted with a gimble head. The following link is a great site for bird information here in Ireland and the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/curlew/
The above is the Curlew ( Numenius arquata) taking off , great fun to watch has they sprint up to take off speed.
Here we see the Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) it’s a very distinctive bird with it’s bold black and white plumage, orange beak and legs but most of all that blood red eye.
Next the Brent goose ( Branta bernicla) This small goose is similar in size to a mallard duck. Can be hard to get good photographs with the eye showing because of the dark coloured neck and head. With the setting sun behind me it was just right this evening. They are always in a flock and the on singled out here is seen drinking.
The Snipe(Gallinago gallinago) this is a bird that is getting rare to see here, it’s numbers have declined over the years. When I was a kid at school ( a long time ago) these where common and seen over most marshes daily. I was surprised to see two of them together. The Brent geese disturbed them and these one flew closer to me and nested down into the seaweed.
The Redshank (Tringa totanus) gets it’s name from it’s most distinctive features, their bright orange-red legs. I find these are one of our most common birds along this part of the coast. They can be found in large flocks or today just a few feeding on the incoming tide.
The next photographs where taken from my van when I saw this Kestrel just for the road side. I pulled over and shot a few frames before it moved off.
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) these are a small falcon and are often seen as here along the road sides hovering looking for small prey.
The colour is a little weak in these photographs of the Kestrel with the bright sky behind them but since they were part of the coast outings I included them.
Thank you for visiting and I’ll leave you with a image of Portaferry across Strangford lough.
This week I jumped into my time machine and went back to September 2018. A time you could go out among people, enjoy a coffee with someone and if someone coughed it didn’t even register with you. So this shot was taken at an Irish moto-x Championship round. It was held at the Laurel Bank circuit near Saintfield, County Down, Northern Ireland. A quick word with the clerk of the course and I had permission to access parts of the course closed to the public. This gets you closer to the action but still staying a safe distance should something go wrong.
Thank you for traveling along with me, here’s one more from the day.
Stay safe and thank you for visiting.
Camera : Nikon D750 with a Sigma 150-600 mm telephoto lens.
Data for first photograph: 1/3200 sec @ f/3.2 : ISO 400
This week we’re off to the coast and a small black and white bird called a Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba) is the subject. They are a common bird here in Ireland and the UK and can be seen all year round. They can be found almost any where, from coast to city centres. When standing they frantically wag their tail up and down or dashing across the ground in search of food.