Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Flying Dustbin- A Portrait of the Fulmar

My second post today includes a missive from Raymond Besant, the film maker behind Saturday's special film night at the High School. I asked Raymond to send us a bit of information about his work and what drew him to film Fulmars:
"I grew up in the Orkney Islands where I developed an interest in the natural world and photography, particularly birds and the marine environment. On graduating from Aberdeen in Bioscience I became a freelance photographer before working for the Press & Journal newspaper as a press photographer. But my passion is wildlife and in 2005 I embarked on a project to make my first wildlife film with a view to becoming a wildlife cameraman. Practicing filming on the cliffs coincided with the failures of a subject familiar to me, seabird colonies. Shot over two years on days off and holidays I called it 'The Flying Dustbin' and it tells the story of the Fulmar and the challenges it faces from marine pollution and climate change. Because of monetary constraints I shot, edited, narrated and produced the film. Filmed in Aberdeenshire and the Orkney Islands the story also took me to St Kilda and the Netherlands. My previous photojournalism projects have included a strong environmental message and this theme continues in The Flying Dustbin."

The Flying Dustbin Premiered at Orkney International Science Festival and since then it has screened at the Scottish Wildlife photography fair and aired on tv in the US last year as well as touring local RSPB groups in Scotland. The RSPB use it as an educational tool for schools in Orkney. Clips have also appeared on a BBC Panorama documentary in 2008 and a Dutch tv programme this year.

The film went on to win Best of Category - Amateur, and a Merit Award for Scientific Content at the 31st International Wildlife Film Festival in the US in 2008 and was shortlisted in the Best Film on a Limited Budget category at the Durban Wild Talk Africa festival in 2009.

You may have seen other work from Raymond- On the back of the IWFF awards he worked on the BBC Natural World film 'A Highland Haven' filming Black Throated Divers on Loch Maree which aired on BBC2 last November. His latest project is as a cameraman for the 2020Vision wildlife project. (Interestingly, Fergus Gill- the young photographer whose work is on display at the Auchrannie Spa this week, is also involved with the 2020Vision project!)

Raymond will present his film "The Flying Dustbin-A Portrait of the Fulmar" at Lamlash Highschool at 7pm. Entry is free, but donations to the Arran Wildlife Festival and RSPB Scotland are very welcome!

Image credit: Fulmar by Andy Hay (

Sea Kayaking in Lamlash Bay

This week there are some very special sea kayaking trips as part of the wildllife festival, taking place in Lamlash Bay. Come along and join us on a trip to or around Holy Isle and explore the wildlife that can be seen around Scotlands first No Take Zone.

Holy Isle lies in the Firth of Clyde, which is the most southerly fjord in the Northern Hemisphere. The Scottish seas are home to over 8000 species of spectacular underwater life and have a rich biological diversity.

The Isle is home to 3 wild and rare species including the last remaining native Eriskay ponies, the ancient species of Soay sheep and remnant of the Vikings, and a herd of beautiful white goats.

A half-day journey will take you alongside the Holy Isle and allow you to see the many birds inhabit the Bay such as eider ducks, divers cormorants, fulmars and guillemots. Other species seen in the bay include ringed plovers, oyster catchers and gannets. Curious common seals can usually be seen around the shoreline.

A full day journey also includes a circuit around Hamilton Island where grey seals and common seals are frequently seen basking and lucky paddlers may catch a sighting of the elusive otter.

But you don’t have to go far to see a world of wildlife beneath you. Look down into the clear water and watch the busy hermit crabs and brightly coloured starfish including the incredible sun star.

For more information about sea kayaking during the wildlife festival- visit Arran Adventure's website.

You can also give them a call on 01770 302244.