Snow on the sand

by on Dec.23, 2009, under Lindisfarne, Photography

I’m lucky enough to not suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  In fact I look forward to the winter months – I’m a bit dysfunctional in very hot weather (that’s one of the reasons I live in the north of England, and why I enjoy winter holidays in northwest Scotland so much).

Our very wintry Lindisfarne Safari on Monday was just about my ideal day out; bitterly cold, inspirational winter light, hardly another person to be seen anywhere and plenty of wildlife.

That inspiration manifested itself in a repeat visit to the Lindisfarne NNR yesterday.  I had two goals in mind; photograph Pale-bellied Brent Geese, and capture an image of Bamburgh Castle as the light faded.

The geese were some distance away, due to the state of the tide, but I managed to capture the distant birds in the shadow of Lindisfarne Castle, and a small group as they flew along the tideline.

Lindisfarne Castle and Pale-bellied Brent Geese

Lindisfarne Castle and Pale-bellied Brent Geese

Pale-bellied Brent Geese (Branta bernicla hrota) (c)Martin Kitching/Northern Experience Images

Pale-bellied Brent Geese

The light was fading rapidly so I drove to Bamburgh, along roads that resembled a ski run, and made my way down to the beach.  Frozen rock-pools and a beach dusted with snow aren’t a frequent occurence so it was an unusual opportunity to photograph the castle in these conditions.  The big, thick gloves that were keeping my hands nice and toasty were too bulky to let me operate the camera so I had to suffer for the image.  And it was suffering; just a few seconds with my gloves off and my hands were protesting at the cold.

Bamburgh Castle in the snow 22/12/09

Bamburgh Castle in the snow 22/12/09

The Moon, high over Bamburgh 22/12/09

The Moon, high over Bamburgh 22/12/09

20 miles back down the road, with gloves on and the car heater on full, my fingers began to warm through…so I decided to extend the journey home and check some of our favourite owl sites, even though that would require some very, very careful driving.  A Barn Owl perched on a stack of hay bales was justification enough for that decision and two Little Owls, perched in trees just a hundred metres apart were the icing on the cake.

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