Gannets at Cooley Point

If I wanted to see gannets close to home I'd head to Salterstown Pier in Co Louth, but they would be so far away out at sea that it's impossible to get a decent photo of them. However, we were out on Cooley Point before high tide yesterday morning and the gannets decided to dive for fish nearby. 

I never ever expected to see them so close! One even flew within a few metres of me but I'd never have been able to photograph it as it was too close for my camera lens. 

They are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic with a wing span of around 2 metres, though I have photographed the much larger albatrosses out at sea in New Zealand that have wingspans of over 3 metres.

Nevertheless it was a wonderful experience and so unexpected to see these seabirds yesterday not so far from Templeton beach.

It's the largest seabird in the North Atlantic and this gannet is soaring just about the waves with one of its wings touching the water.