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Just grabshots - kleptoparasitism in progress

Discussion in 'Birds' started by alanhill, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. This is an edited version of my post in the Collective Shoot thread.
    Last Sunday evening I was waiting for another chance to take photos of dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland (see my thread in Animals). But no dolphins were around so I tried some shots of a common tern feeding.

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    Later I noticed a bird which I thought might be a skua (jaeger) some distance away. A couple of dolphins arrived and distracted me, until there was an outburst of screeching overhead. The skua was harrying the terns. I rapidly increased my shutter speed and swung my 300mm f/4 up, trying to get something in the frame - effectively using my monopod as a giant pistol grip. It was not easy as the skua was flying very fast and erratically.
    A couple of the photos were OK, although they needed some cropping and sharpening. They clearly show a dark phase Arctic skua (parasitic jaeger) chasing a Sandwich tern. I think the tern escaped with its fish - but it all happened so fast that I can't be certain.

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    Not brilliant shots, but worth the effort - particularly as the skua was a lifer for me.

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