Critique Gannets of St. Mary's Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland

Butlerkid

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After driving a little over 2 hours on poor roads, we spent a delightful morning here! (This was one of our very few sunny days!) Cape St. Mary's is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America. Bird Rock is the third-largest nesting site and southernmost colony of northern gannets in North America. Cape St. Mary's is also the southernmost breeding area for thick-billed murres in the world and the southernmost major breeding site for common murres in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. During the breeding season, there may be as many as 30,000 gannets here. The site is overflowing with perching, diving, and scrambling birds from edge to edge – melding together into an awesome moving, breathing spectacle of colour and sound.

#1 It is about a 1.5 mile hike from the Park Office out to the viewing area. Looking back at the Park Office...
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#2 Gannet in flight. Gannets have a wingspan of up to 6.6 feet
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#3 Gannet in flight
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#4 Gannets may mate for life
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#5 Mated pairs rub necks together frequently
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#6 Mated pairs produce 1 egg each year. Both male and female share incubation and feeding duties.
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#7 Nests are quite close together and occasionally two mated pairs will have a neighborly disagreement!
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#8
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#9
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Very nice set!

I've visited Bird Rock during two trips. The first time was in 2010 and the weather was great...ideal shooting conditions. I enjoyed it so much I vowed to return. Last year, I went back and allowed for two full days of shooting. The problem was the fog. The fog was so thick that I was concerned if it became any worse I might not find my way back to the parking lot! And, the fog never lifted for the entire two plus days. I noticed on the map that there was a lighthouse very close to the parking lot (maybe 1/4 mile)...but I couldn't see it until I got very close to it.

Later in that same trip I planned a couple of days for the puffins at Elliston. Fortunately, the weather was ideal for me there. So, if you plan enough outings, eventually the odds fall in your favor!

Bird Rock is spectacular...and I am glad that you had an enjoyable experience there.

Glenn
 

Butlerkid

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Whew! This must have been a blast. I think 3 is my favorite.
Thanks, Allan! I didn't want to leave around noon even though the light was getting really harsh!
Not much tp critique here..they're all excellent. I especially like the last three.
Hi, Jim! Thanks!
Very nice set!

I've visited Bird Rock during two trips. The first time was in 2010 and the weather was great...ideal shooting conditions. I enjoyed it so much I vowed to return. Last year, I went back and allowed for two full days of shooting. The problem was the fog. The fog was so thick that I was concerned if it became any worse I might not find my way back to the parking lot! And, the fog never lifted for the entire two plus days. I noticed on the map that there was a lighthouse very close to the parking lot (maybe 1/4 mile)...but I couldn't see it until I got very close to it.

Later in that same trip I planned a couple of days for the puffins at Elliston. Fortunately, the weather was ideal for me there. So, if you plan enough outings, eventually the odds fall in your favor!

Bird Rock is spectacular...and I am glad that you had an enjoyable experience there.

Glenn
Thanks, Glenn. We had heavy fog or heavy rains with about 20-30 mph winds about 95% of the time during our 2 month trip. We lucked out with good weather for the iceberg boat trip and St. Mary's. We visited Elliston 3 days in a row and another 3 times a week later. Each time it was so foggy and winds so strong that it was almost impossible to get good images except for one period of about an hour out of the total time we spent there! St. John's was constant heavy fog and wind. Gros Morne almost impossible to see through the heavy fog and rains.
Another nice set, Karen. Nicely done.
Thanks so much, Dan!
 

Butlerkid

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What an experience that must have been gorgeous scenery and job very well done.
It was indeed a fabulous place to visit! The gannets are very fast and flying all around. But even though they flew fairly close, it was touch to acquire focus during flight to be able to track them. I finally tried Auto AF (if I remember correctly) and that seemed to help me a lot.
 
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Butlerkid

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Love the lighting, it sure brings out a metallic quality in their eyes and beaks. Very nicely done, Karen, and thanks for details too.
Harsh mid-day lighting! Appreciate the comments, Nick!
Great images and I also now feel educated. Nice rare shot looking down on a b.i.f. too.
The gannets were darting all around us. Lots of fun - but I had lots and lots of deletes afterwards.
Wow, that had to be an awesome trip, birds galore, and well done.
Thanks, Darrell!
 

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