Gannets on granite: Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig rises up out of the Firth of Clyde, rounded and rugged, a gigantic lump of rock hard granite. I had the pleasure of sailing past this small island, 1 .2 km in diameter and home to over 35,000 pairs of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) last month, on a short, three-day cruise out of Liverpool. Ailsa…

That’s nothing! I grew up on a lamp post!

Older readers may remember the hilarious sketch by Monty Python where they play four Yorkshiremen trying to outdo each other in terms of how poor and deprived they were whilst growing up! If not, here are a couple of versions of the sketches: For some reason, I was reminded of this sketch whilst photographing this…

Why do ducks have blue wing flashes?

Originally posted on Ray Cannon's travel blog:
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 6 June 2021 Beds, UK. Photo by Raymond JC Cannon Many types of dabbling ducks have iridescent wing patches called specula (singular: speculum). These flashes are usually blue or green, although the colour can vary somewhat according to the angle and the lighting conditions.…