Beginner going to Skomer Island and then Cad West, please help me.

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Nigel
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#1
Hello to you all,
Been lurking on here for a while not posted much but I read everything I can. In late June this year I have been given for my birthday a one day guided trip to Skomer island to Photograph the Puffins and seals etc. So I have taken time off from work and I would like to spend some time in Wales and travel up to an area called Cad West to have a go at the low flying military jets! Now my " Gear" as follows . Nikon D5100 Tamron 18~200 and 70~300 f4.5~6.3. I shoot mainly in either A or S Modes. I am saving for a bigger/better lens looking at sigma 150~500.
1, is 300mm enough for Skomer? some say it is but I am unsure.
2 is the sigma good enough for the jets?
3 is there a different lens I should look at?
4 is there anything else I should look at or am I about right?
5 any advice on where to stay and then visit in particular for the better/easier shots of the jets?
6 Do the jets fly most days? (weather permitting) or is there a website to visit to find this info?
Sorry if this is too many questions.

I have attended a few workshops to improve myself so still a beginner but keen to learn. so please be gentle with me Ha Ha. Regards Nigel
 
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5,312
Name
Rob
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#2
I've not done jets but I can say a zoom up to 300mm would be fine on skomer for puffins. I took a 70-200 last year on a day time and that was fine. Even a wide angle 17-50 for be good too, the puffins do get close. I'm going again in July to stay a few nights.

I recently started a skomer thread in the nature forum which may be of help to you.
 
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Nigel
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#3
I've not done jets but I can say a zoom up to 300mm would be fine on skomer for puffins. I took a 70-200 last year on a day time and that was fine. Even a wide angle 17-50 for be good too, the puffins do get close. I'm going again in July to stay a few nights.

I recently started a skomer thread in the nature forum which may be of help to you.
Thank you heading over there now
 
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#4
300mm is good enough for the puffins in some places yes - especially on the Wick and by the landing stage.

I'd bring a wide angle lens to Skomer try and get some different shots of the birds and the landscape of Skomer too.

When are you going over? You going overnight or just for the day? The behaviour of the puffins varies widely over the season - so for example - march/april is all about finding their nest spots, courtship and fighting, May/early June the birds are on the eggs, Mid June to Mid July - they're at their most active - feeding the pufflings etc. :)

As for the jets - 300mm may not be long enough there's a couple of others who would know better on that.

They don't fly every day no, so you could end up going up and having a day with no flying - it's dependant on the weather and many other things. If you google Mach Loop - there's a couple of sites that are well worth a visit and give detailed info of where to go and what to realistically expect.

HTH

Matt
 
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Nigel
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#6
300mm is good enough for the puffins in some places yes - especially on the Wick and by the landing stage.

I'd bring a wide angle lens to Skomer try and get some different shots of the birds and the landscape of Skomer too.

When are you going over? You going overnight or just for the day? The behaviour of the puffins varies widely over the season - so for example - march/april is all about finding their nest spots, courtship and fighting, May/early June the birds are on the eggs, Mid June to Mid July - they're at their most active - feeding the pufflings etc. :)

As for the jets - 300mm may not be long enough there's a couple of others who would know better on that.

They don't fly every day no, so you could end up going up and having a day with no flying - it's dependant on the weather and many other things. If you google Mach Loop - there's a couple of sites that are well worth a visit and give detailed info of where to go and what to realistically expect.

HTH

Matt
Thanks Matt I am going just for the day the last sunday in june
 
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Gary
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#7
Have a look at this site for the Mach Loop.

http://www.fox2.co.uk/

No flying on the weekends.

Cad East is the easiest to get to in terms of physical effort as you can drive most of the way but very limited parking. Cad West is quite a pull but has the easiest parking. Corris is a bit easier and usually fairly quiet. Can't comment on the others as I haven't done them.

300 mm is a very common lens on the loop, both on full frame and crop bodies.

Don't know much about places to stay near the loop. There is a camp site and I think a bunkhouse. Should be a choice of b&b not too far away though.

Are you going to Skomer with Andy Davies?
 
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Nigel
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#9
Have a look at this site for the Mach Loop.

http://www.fox2.co.uk/

No flying on the weekends.

Cad East is the easiest to get to in terms of physical effort as you can drive most of the way but very limited parking. Cad West is quite a pull but has the easiest parking. Corris is a bit easier and usually fairly quiet. Can't comment on the others as I haven't done them.

300 mm is a very common lens on the loop, both on full frame and crop bodies.

Don't know much about places to stay near the loop. There is a camp site and I think a bunkhouse. Should be a choice of b&b not too far away though.

Thanks for the info, I will check out the website. the day trip to skomer is with digital photography (Dominic Falcone) that is on a sunday
but I want to shoot the jets the days leading up to the weekend.


A big thank you too all the replies.
 
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Nigel
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#10
Gaz J thanks for your reply I am going with a company called digital photography co uk (Dominic Falcone)
I am having a few weekdays up in Wales so that's when I hope to see the jets. I will head over to the fox2 site and have a look.

thanks for all the other replies.
 
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keith
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#11
Can't comment on Skomer but 300mm is a great size lens for machloop you will be fine on both sides of cad ok on the bwlch and bluebell but you will need a longer lens for corris corner just remember they don't fly at weekends
 
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#12
Thanks to everyone for the replies, going to upgrade the Tamron as its a budget lens. looking at the Nikon 70~300 s/h at about £350!on Holiday from Wednesday 25th of June, the skomer trip is Sunday 29th back to work 3rd July so going to try out with the Loop either side of weekend. Just need to look for b&b near the loop. Once again thanks to you all.;)
 
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