IMAGE OF THE MONTH
Atlantic Gannet soaring over the raging sea
I have grown very fond of the gannet, having observed their behaviour enduring all weathers at different times of the year for many years. This has allowed me to discover the best weather conditions I want to photograph them in. This image is taken at the end of summer in order to get the right combination of big seas, swell and wind direction, but of course you still need the all important light, has to be cloudless to allow the warm, soft, evening light to add to the already dramatic scene.
The northern gannet is the biggest seabird in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of just under 2 meters. Gannets live in a stormy, cold and unforgiving habitat. They survive thanks to their body weight and strength: they are able to capture big, strong fish at great depths, and they can fast for a long time thanks to their fat reserves. At speeds of up to 40 mph, a gannet can travel 300 miles in a day as it patrols the steely Atlantic waters in search of shoals of fish such as mackerel, herring and whiting.