Recently, a film crew from Off the Fence – an independent film production company – visited St Kilda to capture the island in all its summer glory. I had been in contact with Andy, the organiser, for a month leading up to their visit and had told them in great detail about the amazing wildlife spectacles that they would experience while they were here, weather permitting of course.
For eight weeks the archipelago was bathed in sunshine, it was warm and there was very little rain to mention. We kept saying this spell of decent weather had to break at some point and it did. The very week the film crew were due, what timing! Low lying mist down to sea levels most mornings was a depressing sight to wake up to and the rain – sometimes drizzly, sometimes torrential - didn’t help much either (although all the other residents on island jumped for joy as this might ease the water restrictions that were in place).
Once the crew had gotten over their disappointment they made the most of being here and used the mist to create atmospheric sequences. Visiting the more out of the way seabird colonies was a complete no-no as it would have been dangerous to wander cliff edges in a complete fog white out. Instead the film crew stayed local. I checked on the arctic skuas and found that the eggs from one nest had recently hatched. The crew were delighted and took the opportunity to film some dive bombing behaviour and briefly record the chicks at the nest.
Ewan, the fulmar researcher, took them to some of the birds that he was monitoring and the crew were keen to film a fulmar vomiting its stinky oil.
Angus, from Kilda cruises, had caught the big female lobster that I recently wrote an entry about, and they spent a while filming/photographing her.
Of course they filmed much more than this including some fantastic bonxie-gannet interactions over at Boreray. Their 52 minute film about the Hebrides will be aired on the Discovery channel later this year and ten minutes or so will be devoted to St Kilda. It will be interesting to see just how their shots are incorporated. I know I’m looking forward to seeing it!