On our trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed I decided to walk down the river to get underneath the famous railway viaduct. ( More of that later, perhaps.)

On the way I came across this cormorant that had caught itself some lunch! A huge flat-fish of some type, that seemed far too large to swallow. And, indeed, the bird did seem to spend some time trying to decide how it was going to eat its meal. Note also how much of the cormorant in the first two shots appears to be under water!!

Eventually, as shown in the final image, it swallowed the thing whole! Amazing!

CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-1CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-2CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-3CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-4

It sat for a while on the water, made a couple of attempts to take off, and on the third go it flew along the river and under the arches of the viaduct. What a catch.


During our Northumberland trip we spent an evening on the beach at Bamburgh in the hour – and a little after – sunset.

The changing colour of the light was fantastic, and the colour when the sun had finally set was stunning. We could have stayed longer – but in the end the call for food, and a glass of wine, was too strong.

BAMBURGH by John Allen-1BAMBURGH by John Allen-2BAMBURGH by John Allen-3BAMBURGH by John Allen-4

Bamburgh and the Northumberland coast is one of England’s best kept secrets. Don’t tell too many people about it!


When we were in Northumberland we visited Craster – famous for its kippers – and walked some of the cliffs around Cullernose Point.

We stopped and watched a group of people jumping from the rocks and cliffs, and we imagined that they were RNLI or HM Coastguard personnel training for their respective duties.

However, it turned out that they were a group of lads on a Stag Weekend! In that context I understand that jumping off cliffs is called ‘Tomb-stoning’! An apt name if it all goes wrong!

I took this shot on motor drive on the Olympus EM-1 with a 40-150mm Pro lens.


In the couple of seconds the ‘burst’ took, the camera captured around 15 images. I used half of them to create this shot of one of the lads jumping from the cliff into the water.

It was quite a blustery day : note the surf against the foot of the cliffs and the white tops of the waves.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have┬ámade that leap!

Holy Island Sparrows

Yesterday we visited Holy Island and after a long walk around we visited a local cafe. A guy was hand-feeding bread to the tubbiest sparrows I had ever seen! I wasn’t sure about the rights or wrongs of this – but it was a great photo opportunity – which, of course, I could not ignore. ­čÖé

These are some of my ( 60+ ) images. Lots of blur – but I hope that’s acceptable, given the fast moving subjects.


All taken on the Olympus EM-1 with the 40-150 f/2.8 Pro lens.

Farne Islands Grey Seals

We are in Northumberland at the moment, and on Tuesday we took the boat trip from Seahouses out to the Farne Islands. Not too many birds in residence – the Puffins were miles out to sea –┬ábut there were hundreds of grey seals, some in the water, most just lazing on the rocks. Very photogenic – here is a taster. There may be more to come.

Taken on the Olympus EM-1 and my new Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens. Very nice!