Tuesday, August 31, 2010

G IS FOR...


G is for GANNET
Gannets are large sea birds which are found in only a few places of the world.  I grew up in Flamborough, on the North Sea where the high Bempton cliffs were only 2 miles away and where a fair-sized colony of Gannets can be found.  I had no idea then how privileged I was to see this magnificent seabird.  They are white with black wing tips and light tan heads when they are fully grown. Their amazing wingspan is as much as 5-6 feet across and they dive from  great heights like a bullet into the sea when they spy food.  Their name is often linked with the Boobies (another seabird) but they are much more graceful and spectacular

As well as the colonies in Northern England, they can be found in Scotland, Norway, Canada, New Jersey, Australia and New Zealand.  I have been fortunate enough to see Gannets in a number of places in the world.  Some of the photos below are not too good as it is hard to take good photos on a rolling ship with surf breaking over rocks not too far away


GANNETS in Norway



GANNETS on Bempton Cliffs , Yorkshire UK


GANNETS  in New Zealand



More GANNETS in New Zealand



GANNETS mate for life and have been known to live for as long as thirty years



THE GRACEFUL, GIGANTIC, GORGEOUS GANNET!

24 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I always love it when I learn something new and today I learned about Gannets! What a fascinating bird! Thank you for all the information about them! Terrific post for the G day! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Julie said...

Golly some of those photos show such a grouping of Gannets!! I do like the pale orange on the back of their head. Gives them a dash of such elegance. I am just getting into birding ... but it is an interest that combines well with photography and with walking and being out in the wild. I think it is a big part of my future.

Wanda said...

Chris I so love being a student of your ABC Wednesday posts. They are so interesting and increase my knowledge of the world, especially your little nook Flamborough, which I'm learning to love.

Gayle said...

Wowie Zowie! All those gannets in New Zealand? Can anyone spot Waldo?

photowannabe said...

The Ganets are really big. The picture of them roosting on the cliffside is quite amazing. Thanks for all the information.

Tumblewords: said...

So very interesting Gannets! And the photos are glorious!

Roger Owen Green said...

wow, a gaggle of gannets!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Morning's Minion said...

What an interesting post. I can't help but think that where there are such big concentrations of the birds it may be a bit whiffy--rather like a crowded hen yard.
You have made me curious about the North Sea--shall have to a bit of look-up.

Amy said...

I've never heard of Gannets, so thank you! The photos of them equidistant from each other is mind boggling!

VioletSky said...

They seem to like to have a bit of persoanl space around them when they are resting on those rocks!
The last shot is so sweet.

MorningAJ said...

You're right. You don't realise when something's on your doorstep that it might be unique. Bempton is the only UK mainland breeding colony of gannets and you don't see them in anything like the same numbers in the rest of the country.
(We used to see them just a little further North in Scarborough too, of course)
It's wonderful to watch (and hear)them thumping into the water at such high speed. Thanks for the reminder!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Gregarious birds

AutumnLeaves said...

Marie Theron just wrote of the gannets down in South Africa this very week. Such lovely photos and a great 'G' word!

RuneE said...

I support your praise of the Gannet!!
That last one was a real beauty.

jabblog said...

Magnificent birds!

Carol said...

An interesting and informative post! And a big group of Gannets!

Wanda said...

Good Morning Chris... Sorry you have the bug. We are starting a new art challenge, but still want your coopers hawk.

Several have asked for a still life challenge. I have put up one picture, my plate of figs, and will add more. If you have a good photo of a still life arrangement let me know.

We will do animals again, and cats will be featured.

Rumya said...

Gorgeous!!
Marvelous Pictures. Such a beautiful unspoilt scene.
Have a great week!!

Nanka said...

Such graceful birds.
Beautiful pictures, Unspoilt nature and the colony of Gannets looks stunning!
Have a good week ahead.

claude said...

Nice post, Chris !
I have already seen this bird on the TV.
Hie is a very beautfil and elegant sea bird.
Good choice for G, Chris !

snafu said...

What a huge colony! I always confused Cormorants with Gannets - now I know which are which. The word Gannet was used to imply that someone was greedy or eating too quickly when I was at school.

Sandy said...

wow, those photos are amazing where they are all on the rock together...and I learned something new!

oldmanlincoln said...

They seem to be everywhere. Nice shots too.

Dimple said...

What interesting birds! I am fascinated by the even spacing of their nests in the New Zealand photo: my eye made patterns of them!