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Arctic and Black Terns, Plymouth, MA

Discussion in 'Birds' started by jfenton, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I spent the past 4 days shooting down on Plymouth beach and I got lots of stuff, so it's going to come in pieces.

    The first installment is Arctic and black terns which I shot the past couple of days.

    This pair of Arctic's is one of the most southerly breeding in the world. As terns go, they are a tad aggressive when you get near their nest. Instead of the typical flying at your face and screeching at you, these guys also poop with great aim....and they hit you on the head really heard! I had made a protective covering for my 500 this week and believe me....it was pretty well covered, as was I :) 

    The arctic tern shots were from a position I reached on the top of a nearby dune. The light was really to intense for what I wanted, but the wind conditions kept the birds out of range both early and late when I really would have like to have shot these....

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/1000s    ISO 250

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    500mm    f/7.1    1/3200s    ISO 400

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    500mm    f/9.0    1/2000s    ISO 320

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    500mm    f/9.0    1/2000s    ISO 320

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/2000s    ISO 250

    The black tern which typically doesn't appear at this location until August was much easier to shoot as most of the time it was sitting on the beach. I never had any good flight opportunities as it would simply fly short hops from one spot to another. It is, even on the ground, a beautiful creature!

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/1000s    ISO 400

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/1000s    ISO 400

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    850mm    f/9.0    1/640s    ISO 400

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/800s    ISO 320
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Super set Jim. You really handled the strong light well.
  3. Hi Jim,

    That first Arctic Tern shot is a killer shot!

    I don't think I ever saw a Black Tern photographed (or in-person) before.

    Great shots,
    Bob & Nan
  4. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hello Frank and Bob

    I really would rather not shoot white birds in strong sun, but sometimes you've just got no choice :) 

    Bob..the Black tern was a treat. I've seen a juvenile before, but this is my first encounter with a full fledged adult. They are fairly easy to locate amongst a sea of otherwise white birds.
  5. I was not even aware that there was such a bird.

    That first picture is a cracker.

    Bob F.
  6. Strong series Jim and congratulations on the black Tern, never seen one.
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Really nice
    Black tern...cool:>)))))
  8. Beautiful Birds captured with as much talent as I've seen Jim.

    Super set with a Black tern a bonus
  9. I am from New England and have never seen one either.

    Good series Jim.
  10. I love the tails on the Artics, wish we would get them around here. Really nice, I think these are some of the prettiest birds in flight, but they sure do have a rather, well, "racous" call, don't they? At least you know when they are coming :biggrin:

    Really nice.
  11. Great shots Jim. Nothing short of awesome.
  12. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
  13. Lovely photos and I know the risks you ran. I have suffered from both types of attack from arctic terns, but I still think they are really wonderful birds. I had no sun at all the last time I tried to photograph them - if only we could have shared.
    The black tern is very nice: we get them over here occasionally, but they are seen in freshwater habitats more often than in coastal ones.

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