07725518445

SKOMER ISLAND PUFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY DAY

OFFICIAL WILDLIFE TRUST & SKOMER ISLAND
COMMERCIAL OPERATOR

SKOMER ISLAND PUFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY DAY

Join Pembrokeshire’s award winning landscape and wildlife photographer Drew Buckley on a group photography workshop visiting one of Britain’s finest island habitats and it’s enigmatic wildlife. This Skomer Island Puffin Photography Day will take place on Skomer Island; the best place to get up close and personal to its charismatic summer visitor, the Puffin. Group size is limited to three photographers only so there will be plenty of guidance and tuition available.

We’ll visit and walk around the whole island seeing everything that the island in summer has to offer. From the swathes of pink Thrift and carpets of Bluebells in May, to hundreds of Puffins and seabirds flying around you throughout the season, there’s really no better place to spend a day! Being a local, Drew has spent thousands of hours on Skomer over the years, so there's not many people who know the island or the wildlife as well as him.

Workshop information

ITINERARY

The workshop will begin in the morning at Martins Haven National Trust car park. We will gather here and make our way down towards the bay where we’ll board the boat for the short sea crossing to the island.

Landing on Skomer and taking the steep (!) steps up to the greeting point you’ll pass nesting burrows of Puffins and Razorbills giving you some very, very up close views of these beautiful seabirds. Here, the warden (or one of the great volunteers) will give you a brief talk about the island and explaining what to see, where to see it and also where to and to not go - and the golden rule for Skomer : Stay on the footpaths at all times!

There’s only a few main footpaths on Skomer. From the air in simple terms, Skomer is like a squashed circle with a footpath going from north to south, a footpath west to east and also one that goes right around the island with the crossing point in the middle. Here you’ll find the main farm building, toilets, self catering accommodation and the only shelter on the island if there’s any inclement weather.

We’ll aim to spend time the majority of our time where the photographic interest is and also what you'd like to photograph, most cases that's all about Puffins! From close up portraits, to the trickier in flight images, I will be on hand giving advice and helping with any questions you may have. We’ll review images to make sure you’re getting the best out of the workshop and to also make any changes to camera settings that may arise. I will have my camera with me as well, so I can demonstrate different techniques and settings if needed. 

As you will find out on the workshop, you really are spoiled for choice on Skomer with the amount of diversity on offer. Either way I’m sure you’ll come away with some fantastic memories and images.

Included

Full professional tuition and guidance throughout the workshop.

Cover correct camera setting and techniques, composition and using the available light to help you get the very best from the afternoon.

Boat and landing fees.

Excluded

Food and Drink.

Transport to and from the venue.

Personal and Accident Insurance.

PriceS

Per Person - £175

LOCATION

Martins Haven, Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire SA62 3BJ.

Please click here for a map.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE

The workshop is aimed at most levels of photographic experience, and most delegates will come away with good images of the birds. The workshop includes a guide through using the best camera settings and techniques for conditions on the day. I will cover choosing the correct auto focus mode and settings, selecting the right shutter speed and camera settings, together with tracking and panning techniques for bird in flight photography. I will also cover choosing the right birds to look out for and identifying behaviour and when to anticipate the action. I welcome those who are just starting out, or those who are experienced in bird photography looking to improve their images.

What to BRING

Digital SLR camera or good Bridge camera with zoom. Mainly be using telephoto lenses for Puffins and birds close to paths and longer lenses for Owls and birds on cliff edges. Lenses up to 300mm or 500mm ideally. Feel free to bring a small wide angle though if you would like any images of the landscape. Fully charged batteries and spares, plenty of memory cards as you’ll be surprised how many photos you take! No tripods needed.

This is an island just off the Welsh coast in the Irish Sea so expect changeable weather. Sturdy walking boots are a must as although the paths are well worn and well maintained, they aren’t the flattest and can be slippery when wet. Waterproofs if the weather turns and a hat and sun cream if it’s sunny as there's very little shelter. There are no refreshments on the island so you will need to bring your own packed lunch and drinks with you. You are free to bring whatever equipment you wish but please note you will have to carry it around yourself all day and also be able to get on and off the boat without assistance/blocking passageways.

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WHAT TO EXPECT

Puffins and seabirds in the thousands! You’ll get some great close up views. There’s a constant whirl of birds at the Wick flying past will test your photography tracking skills. Bluebell lined paths in May, Flora and fauna all over the island, Guillemots, Razorbills, Short Eared Owl just to name a few.

FITNESS LEVEL

This workshop is suitable for intermediate levels of fitness. We will be walking a minimum of 3 miles on undulating terrain with camera equipment/backpack so please ensure you're comfortable with doing this. There are some inclines and declines when landing on the island, including a steep set of steps and long incline up to the farm.

Also getting on and off the boat can be precarious depending on sea state. On the island there are about four miles of well maintained paths, some parts there’s quite a few elevation changes over uneven ground and some boggy sections. Generally easy going if you take your time.

GROUPS

This workshop is designed for a group size of 3 persons.

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WANT TO BOOK A WORKSHOP?

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WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY

My first experience of puffins up close and what a fantastic way to do it in the company of Drew who helped enormously with camera settings , where best to see the birds and how to ( attempt ) that bird in flight shot ! He immediately put myself and his other client at ease and also struck a good balance between tutoring and leaving us to practice shots whilst always on hand to review shots and help tweak settings when necessary . If you're considering a day on Skomer with Drew don't hesitate !!

Cath

I had a day on Skomer with Drew - the weather was wet and windy but it was a great day out. Drew encouraged me to try several different techniques with my camera, and ensured I was getting a range of different pictures. I consider myself an intermediate wildlife photographer but learnt stuff during the day, and Drew noticed an issue with the burst mode on my camera (canon 5dMk4) and changed a setting to fix it on the day.

From the booking process until after the trip all my emails were answered promptly and questions answered. During the day Drew was easy going but always giving feedback on the photos, checking everything was ok and encouraging me to ask questions. He is knowledgeable, friendly and professional. He knows photography, and he subjects and would often talk about the birds or suggest I looked our for specific behavior (which then happened). I would recommend a day with him - I really enjoyed the day and learnt stuff.

Cameron

Drew is a very knowledgable photographer who quickly put us at ease, and helped us to enjoy a fantastic day photographing puffins, owls, and other birds on Skomer. The weather was unpredictable, and the boat was nearly cancelled, but Drew kept us informed and arrived early to get our tickets.

Once on the island he was able to show us the best locations for the puffins. He is obviously a wildlife expert too, and as well as showing us how to get the most out of our cameras, he taught us how to anticipate the bird's behaviour to capture the best shots. All in all, a really fabulous day and I look forward to visiting again.

David

Drew is not only an expert on photography and camera techniques, as you would expect, but also supremely knowledgeable about Skomer and its various inhabitants. This is a really enjoyable, instructive and rewarding day out. There is something magical about the proximity to the puffins, they are completely unconcerned by your presence.

Drew knows the best locations on the island for photographing the puffins and is on hand to provide all the expert advice required to ensure you take the most wonderful pictures, Highly recommended.

Nick

Brilliant day with Drew on Skomer on the 21st of June. Drews knowledge of Skomer and its winged inhabitants is exceptional. Alongside this, he is a thoroughly great guy with super banter helping us have a good laugh whilst trying and often failing to capture the speeding puffins.

However, with patience and expert guidance we managed to get some really beautiful shots. Could not recommend a day out with Drew highly enough.

Natalie

We had a fantastic Puffin workshop with Drew on Skomer island. Drew's extensive knowledge of Skomer and its flora and fauna meant that he knew the best places to be at the right times for light, composition and wildlife spotting enabling us to capture some excellent images.

Drew was always on hand sharing his photographic expertise to make sure we got the best from our workshop. I particularly wanted some help,with exposing for and capturing birds in flight, Drew explained techniques enthusiastically, clearly and in depth which meant that, with some practice, I was able to get some good shots. The whole day from initial contact with Drew to the day itself was very well run, very professional. All in all a fun, informative and most enjoyable day. Thoroughly recommend.

Jill

- MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS -

MAY

While the seabirds have been here for a month or so nest building, the island finally comes into life in terms of visual impact. Carpets of Bluebells & Red Campion line the pathways for a few weeks around mid May while the birds hurry into the busy breeding season. Pink coastal Thrift starts to bloom on the coast in late May and early June and the weather heats up.

JUNE

The busiest time and hottest month. The first week of June you'll start to see adult Puffins and other sea birds bringing in sand eels for their newly hatched young. Heading in to mid June, there are chicks  across the island all wanting food. Most of the flowers start to die off early in the month and the bracken takes over. 

JULY

A more wild, sometimes wetter and cooler month, it's usually around the first week there will be the odd chick, aptly named 'Pufflings' starting to venture out of their burrows frantically stretching their wings ready for fledging. These sightings start to increase as we head through the month before all the birds leave in early August.

BOOK YOUR DAY

Workshops are available to book on the listed dates only.

Spaces limited to 3 persons per trip. Please get in touch if you'd like to arrange a bespoke private one to one / one to two person day trip.

Regular Prices for 2020 : Per Person - £175
Workshop cost includes island landing and boat crossing fees

Please read the Terms & Conditions below as all completed bookings made will automatically agree to these.

If you would like to purchase the workshop as a gift voucher please request this in the in the purchase options. 

Choose the workshop date you would like below and add it to basket. Checkout online via PayPal, fast and easy!

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Confirmation of Booking

By booking through the website, you agree to all Terms & Conditions listed. A reservation is confirmed once full payment is received. I will then confirm your booking in writing typically via email.

Booking Conditions

Our workshops run in all weathers and each delegate should ensure that they have the correct all weather clothing suitable to the conditions and each delegate is responsible for the well being of their photography equipment and personal effects.

This is an outdoor photography workshop. Weather can be unpredictable. Drew Buckley accepts no responsibility in the event of any locations being out of sight or not in good light.

CHANGES TO THE DAY

Drew Buckley reserves the right to change the details, itinerary or date of any Workshop due to unforeseen circumstances or events beyond Drew Buckley’s control. Any significant changes will be notified to in writing. If the revised workshop date offered doesn’t suit the delegates plans then an alternative date or refund will be offered.

Drew Buckley cannot be held responsible for the absence or “no show” of animals or birds, nor cloudy or poor weather on workshops.

For Skomer day trips, sometimes bookings will be grouped on the same day. This is usually due to cancellation of a workshop due to no sailings. Therefore that delegate will be offered another weekday designated for Skomer day trip, and as such, will be accommodated onto that trip with other delegates not in their party. This is done in fairness for everyone to carry out their workshop and trip to the island.

Loss or Damage

Drew Buckley will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to personal items or for any personal injury or accident. Delegates are respectfully reminded that our activities could potentially entail risk or danger and all activities are ENTERED INTO AT YOUR OWN RISK.

The venues and locations for this trip have no (or limited) medical facilities. Therefore please inform us of any health issues and ensure you take your own medication with the appropriate insurance in place in case of emergency.

Drew Buckley strongly recommends you make our own insurance arrangements against trip cancellation and curtailment, accidental death and disability, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses, loss of personal effects, photographic equipment and other loss or injury as per a commercially available travel insurance policy

You agree to indemnify Drew Buckley against all loss and damage arising, directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, without limitation of the foregoing to pay us forthwith upon written demand our costs in making good any such loss and damage and cleaning.

Drew Buckley shall not be responsible for any loss, or damage to any belongings, or injuries sustained by your or any member of your party. 

Cancellation by Drew Buckley

Drew Buckley reserves the right to cancel any Workshop at any time. Typically the workshops will run in all weathers and each delegate should ensure that they have the correct all weather clothing suitable to the conditions and each delegate is responsible for the well being of their equipment and personal effects. Most times however if weather forecast looks to be poor, Drew Buckley will get in touch to make other arrangements.

In the case of trips where we are dependent upon vehicles (land, sea and air) not owned by Drew Buckley then any decision regarding transportation is at the behest of the service provider and any decision made by them as to the safety of our group is final and indisputable  i.e. In the case of the Skomer Island day trip, should the boat be unable to leave the harbour for Skomer Island, Drew Buckley will offer an alternative date to join onto another Skomer day workshop. The delegate can choose if they wish to partake, if not, a full refund for the Workshop will be given. The captain’s decision to sail is final and indisputable.

If, for whatever reason, Drew Buckley needs to cancel a Workshop, then an alternative date will be sought (within 12 months of booking) or full refund of monies paid by you to Drew Buckley will be made. However, Drew Buckley accepts no further liability outside of the cost of the course. Any additional costs incurred outside the cost of the course including but not limited to transportation and accommodation will not be covered by Drew Buckley.

Cancellation by the Delegate

If the delegate is a “no show”, then no refund to the delegate is applicable. Once a booking is made all fees are not refundable under any circumstances other than trip cancellation by Drew Buckley. 

Special Requests

Please advise Drew Buckley at the time of booking of any special requests such as diet or physical impairment. A specified level of fitness is required and Drew Buckley reserves the right to refuse to take a delegate if such a special request has not been notified at the time of booking.

Have any questions or queries about the workshop? Feel free to get in touch using the contact form below

SKOMER ISLAND PUFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY DAY CONTACT FORM

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