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"It's good to be back" by Ed Marshall

Posted: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

Manx Shearwater - Ed MarshallManx Shearwater

Having spent two months on the islands over the summer, our resident natural history photographer Ed Marshall has now returned to spend a further 6 months with us. Here are his initial thoughts since being back

I've been back on the Isles of Scilly now for a couple of weeks, and a lot has gone on! From starting my various roles for the wildlife trust, to spending time with a BBC crew as they filmed for the Scilly shrew and the Seabird Recovery Project (SRP). In this blog I'll be talking about it all, as well as showing the images that I've captured since my return.

I've been getting back into the routine of early starts, and have really enjoyed the mornings that I've spent down near Higher Moors, one of the wetland habitats on St Mary's. This will form a large part of my work over the winter months, and promises to be very exciting. There is evidence of a great population of water rail in residence here, and I will be trying my hardest to capture some images of these. 

The biggest news story that has been going on since I returned is that of the Manx Shearwaters. Before I left over the summer, everyone on the Seabird Recovery Project (SRP) was very excited for the potential news that chicks would be seen fledging from St Agnes and Gugh for the first time in living memory, and upon my return I was met with the news that they had indeed successfully fledged! Jaclyn Pearson, the SRP project manager, and the team of volunteers had spent time setting out camera traps to capture the chicks coming out of the nests at night, and you can see some of these clips here

This is huge news for the project, and attracted a great deal of media attention. When the press release came out regarding the news, Jaclyn received many phone calls from those interested in covering the story in the media, and soon enough there were both BBC and ITV film crews both filming for stories around the project on the island. I was very fortunate to spend the day with the BBC film crew, and helped carry their kit around, and generally chatted with the team. Mike Dilger was the reporter for the short feature, and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Mike for the project, and the local radio station. He was a great guy, very down to earth, and pretty much what you always want a natural history presenter to be, passionate about the natural world! I even snapped a cheesy headshot for the team, not something you get to do every day...

As for my work with the Wildlife Trust, I'm now responsible for a great deal of the Trust's media related activities, whether it is the capture of images, the production of video, or simply managing the social media pages of the Trust, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I look forward to meeting various people during my time here, and if you ever happen to see me out and about (I'm normally with my camera, lying in the mud, getting down on eye level with various subjects!) then by all means say hello!

As for the coming weeks, the weather looks much more wintery than I'm used to, but that has given me some great opportunities to try and capture different images such as this long exposure image of the stormy seas. I think I'm going to enjoy it!

So that's all for now, I'll post again soon!


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