Saltee Island: meet the Gannets


Visiting the Gannet nesting site was so much fun. I didn’t get the picture I wanted, but I got something really cool, anyway.

Sometimes Gannets bring in nesting materials – sea weeds, grass, any rubbish they can pick up in the water. This one had got a great catch!

His lady wasn’t impressed though.

gannets gannets

Their body language was so expressive and funny that I couldn’t stop smiling. I know, I humanize them too much, and it could be that the gift was totally accepted and relationship established. As to me, I have got many funny pictures.

The Gannet dances is something to see. I have some pictures of the courtship dances in my previous blogs, but this time I caught a single young male Gannet dancing like no one is watching.


I hoped to get a good picture of a landing Gannet, but they all landed in an opposite direction or sideways. Gannet is a huge bird that takes a whole frame to fit in, even diagonally.





I have got many ‘portraits’ and played with them in Photoshop.


This photograph of a landing Gannet is here to show you what exactly I wanted to capture: the bird ‘stalling’ in the air, its legs positioned towards the rear of the body, and its webbed feet stretched forward.  Everything like in this picture, but from the front.


Another dance.

gannet gannet

On every ledge of rock there is a nest made of seaweeds, feathers and multicolored bits of rope and fishing net. This female has a very young chick, featherless, with the dark blue skin.


This chick is at least two weeks old ball of fluffy down.


Gannets could be very aggressive, both males and females. In this picture you see two gannets trying to kill the third one. Its neck is almost snapped in half, and I don’t know about the outcome because we were leaving the colony at that time.


It is what I saw from the cliff when I turned back to look at the Gannet nesting site one more time. The main colony looks much smaller than last year. May be the sub-colony on the left side is growing bigger? I hope so. I stood there in awe – you cannot get used to the sight like this one. The air was filled with the sound of the wind, breaking waves, and the distant harsh cries of the Gannets. See you next year, beautiful birds!

gannet rock

A Youtube video for you to enjoy 🙂

Thank you for joining me in my trip!

More to follow.

inese_mj_photographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. Wonderful post, dear Inese…. I am thrilled to see how that Gannet manged to get such a great catch!… I imagine they´ll be able to build a safe and well provided nest. 😙
    Sending much love and best wishes, my friend. Aquileana 😘

    1. Thank you for stopping by! That gannet made my day 🙂
      Hope everything is well, and your summer is amazing 🙂 My summer has been hectic so far …
      Thank you again, have a wonderful week, my friend! ❤

  2. Great gallery – coffee table book stuff. The pure white background on the opening shot is a nice innovation, however you came up with it.

    1. Thank you for liking the opening picture! 🙂 I shared it on my private Facebook page. There is a photographer in my Friends, whom I don’t know, I just accepted his invitation because of our mutual friends. So, this stranger wrote a comment and scolded me for this picture and called it names 🙂 On my own wall, not on some forum or group! It was the very first time any of my pictures caused negative emotions:)

      1. I’m not far away from nesting sites – just a little costly / cold / wet /to get there. I think it’s easier to look at your pics. Honestly – I think the initial one with the weed in its beak is worth making into prints. Love it. 🙂

  3. Inese I just love the way you know your subjects, whatever these subjects are. That second picture of the gannet with the beakfull is so funny. You are right. It would be great for a caption contest. I have learned a load of things today, from the gannet dance to their murderous tendencies. Totally brilliant post in every way. Congratulations. Take a bow, lady x

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! The murderous tendencies surprised me too, especially because they fought in complete silence. Not your usual sparrow fight 🙂 xxxx

  4. Gosh! These birds are incredibly photogenic! And you captured them in their beauty so very, very well, Inese!!! Thank you soooo much far sharing your awesome pictures with us! And I can completely understand your wish to humanize them, it´s so easy to do 😉 And I don´t think it´s wrong to do it anyway, as every living thing has its own personality. I would so love to see your pics in a book about wild life!!! Oh, and that video was so much fun to watch, as it gives us a tiny hint of the volume such a colony creates 😉 Wish you a beautiful sunday and can´t wait for your next post!!! 🙂 xxxxxxxxx ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I posted the video because I have no words to describe the atmosphere in the colony 🙂 It is amazing being there, in the midst of the wildlife. The gannets are so beautiful. I wish I could take pictures of them in the water, but may be I will some day. They are great divers. xxxx ❤

  5. PS I often show your photos to my elderly mum. She says I act as proud of them as if I had taken them myself. I kind of do feel proud! Proud that I found your blog!

  6. You are so talented, Inese! I ADORE these photos! There is so much character and interest in every photo.

    Why not humanise birds? They are so smart and interesting. There is a soul in each and everyone of them.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 You are right about the soul. I just thought I might misinterpret their behavior. We humans do it on a regular basis within our own species 🙂

      1. Indeed we do! Sometimes it is all we have to measure someone up before we have further information from them.

        You really do have such wonderful eye, Inese. I love you work.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing. Extraordinary and I do agree that it looks as if the female were about to start singing ‘That don’t impress me much’. What an incredible place!

  8. Your photos of the gannets are beautiful Inese – I really enjoyed looking through them all! They do really have very expressive eyes. I also enjoyed the one of where on of them is bringing nesting materials:) Very funny!

  9. “You’re out all day and you come back with that? Call those nesting materials?” I guess he’s sleeping on the couch this evening 🙂
    Great photos!

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