Thursday, 26 May 2011

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

The shag seems such an unlikely flier. It lacks the grace of, for example, a swan and those enormous webbed feet combined with afterthought tail feathers and scruffy, almost vulture-type wing tips lend it a distinctly prehistoric air. It is a real favourite of mine and I've posted these images because in the first I love the partial silhouette of the bird in flight and the context provided by the onlooking shag and razorbill; in the second, I like the feeling of intimacy, as if the camera has been allowed to witness a scene normally hidden from us; and in the third, I will never tire of the view down the vertiginous cliffs that are the shag's preferred nesting habitat.

Canon 1Ds Mk II, 1/8,000 sec, f/4, 176mm at ISO 200 (shot through a dense sea fog)
Canon 1Ds, MkII, 1/250 sec, f/8, 200mm at ISO 320
Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/400 sec, f/8, 24mm at ISO 200


  1. Stunning shots and the colours on the bird are amazing.

  2. Hi Toffeeapple. Thanks, as always, for your kind comments – Tim