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Another unusual bird in NYC today

Discussion in 'Birds' started by jczinn, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Thick-billed Murre

    These birds are arctic dwellers, related to Puffins...in the Alcid family. There has been a small "invasion" of them coming south this year and several have been seen in the waters off of Long Island, NY. Today we got word from a friend that one was paddling around under a local bridge (Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge that goes from Brooklyn to Rockaway, for any New Yorkers out there..) I think he may have been ill or weak because he wasn't diving, just floating around, and he should have been on the ocean. Anyway these shots were literally "grabbed" because there is technically no photography allowed on or around the bridges in NYC, post 9/11. So I snuck this from inside a backpack squatting on the ground, no time for exposure compensation and certainly couldn't use fill flash. Took five or six quick shots auto everything. I know the chest in the one shot is blown, but I was happy to get anything at all of this extremely rare bird. This saved me a trip to the arctic (well, or Northern Maine, where they may not be that uncommon in winter.)


  2. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Very nice work Janet under less than ideal conditions. I lived in NYC for 57 years completely unaware of all the birds I had around me.

  3. Your story is interesting about this rare bird. Thanks for sharing it and the images as well. Not the easiest way to have to take pictures.
  4. Wow, Janet. Tough conditions, and you got some pretty good shots anyway. Personally I think the blown-out chest is OK on a shot like this. It looks like the rest of the bird is exposed reasonably well, and you got plenty of detail in the murkier areas of the feathers.
  5. CraigH.


    Feb 1, 2005
    Northen NJ
    Neat find Janet. you may be able to pull some shadow detail out of the first with DEE in nikon Capture. looks like very high contrast situation.
  6. that's a good idea Craig, I kinda rush-processed these to get them posted on my local birding forum, and in my haste (and tiredness!) I forgot all about DEE! I may give it another shot.

    thanks everyone for your comments too!
  7. Janet,

    Don't cross off that trip to the Arctic!!:D 

    We were there is 1997 and it is spectacular! I need to write up a Places to Shoot on it. Since you are interested in the Thick-billed Murres here is a preview.

    There were a few on this cliff:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Maybe more than a few:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    There are about 450,000 Murres nesting on about 1/2 mile of cliffs here. These were taken 7/29/97 at Kapp Fanshawe, Spittsbergen Island, Svalbard at about 11PM. This is about 700 miles from the North Pole. It is North of Norway (If you are at the Northernmost point in Alaska you are still 1200 miles from the pole.)
    It is light 24 hours a day which is hard to get used to but nice for photos.
    These are 4x6 prints rephotographed with a Nikon 995.

    More photos at http://bob-nan.smugmug.com/Travel/54746

  8. Now that's a lot of Murres!! Wow!! That certainly looks like an incredible trip....I will add it to my long, long list of places to see. I think it will have to wait until retirement, though! So much to do, so little vacation time :cry: 

    Thanks Bob for posting those. I hope our little guy makes it back to his brothers.
  9. Hi Janet

    Really nice capture and looks like you made the best out of it. Looks like you were dealing with pretty harsh light conditions and you pulled it off!
    :D  Unique bird, dont think I have ever seen one. Way to go!
  10. Just goes to show that a) you can ALWAYS find something to photograph and b) Janet ALWAYS does it well :wink:

    Got to the Arctic anyway. No you know for sure what to look for .....
  11. I think you would enjoy the trip, however be aware that taking bird photos may be interrupted by the big white furry things that show up on the ice!

  12. oh I think I could put up with those big white furry things :lol:
  13. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    All I can say is wonderful post. :D 

    I enjoyed your posts over on the other forum, but I don't recall ever seeing one that was this detailed and informative. Please, keep them coming :!: :!:


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