Leaving Icy Long Island, BAA Bulletin 311, and More on the Barnegat Jetty

mallard-drake-on-ice-9m4o2438-holbrook-ny
Mallard drake on ice, Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/5.6. Fill flash with Better Beamer at -1 stop. There were lots of gulls and Mallards on the pond right outside my Mom's kitchen window in Holbrook. As I approached carefully, every bird but this one walked or flew away.

I am posting this morning from MacArthur Airport in Islip, New York (with free WiFi).  I love Southwest Airlines for a variety of reasons including lots of computer station plugs and comfortable leather chairs with outlets.  No charge for bags, and no ridiculous change fees.  (I changed this flight four times without hassle.)

Bulletin #311

BIRDS AS ART Bulletin #311 is on-line.  You can access it here: http://www.birdsasart.com/2009/12/23/birds-as-art-bulletin-311.

Here are the features:

  • HOLIDAY BEST WISHES/BAA CLOSED TILL 2010!
  • JIM LITZENBERG KUDOS
  • ROBERT O’TOOLE: PHOTOGRAPHER, PHOTOSHOP GURU, & GROWTH AS A TRIP LEADER
  • THANK YOU TEACHER
  • LONG ISLAND WINTER HOTSPOT: MORTON NWR
  • SAN DIEGO IPT LATE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT

I made it out onto the Barnegat jetty twice more on this visit.   Conditions on the middle of the three visits were not as benign as they had been on my first visit but the jetty is a relatively safe one as long as you are careful with each step and avoid wet rocks at all costs.  Many of the huge flat boulders near the end of the jetty, the last 100 yards or so, that had been covered with dried seaweed and were perfectly safe on that first afternoon, were–with the wind more from the south–wave splashed and slick on that second afternoon. 

On my third afternoon visit, the wind howled from west at about 25 knots and a bit surpisingly, the end of the jetty was again wave-splashed and dangerous.  There were hundreds of sea ducks with many of them at fairly close range, but photography was extremely difficult as they bobbed up and down in the choppy water.  Species included Harlequin Duck, White-winged Scoter, Common Eider and Long-Tailed Duck (formerly Oldsquaw).

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The drake Surf Scoter was photographed with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop (to save the whites). The hardest part of the whole deal was simply getting the central sensor on the ducks as they bobbed up and down violently in the chop.

Thanks for dropping by.  I will be back soon.

ps: Thanks to Ray Wilsson and Gene Herzberg for the ID/brain typo correction on the “White-winged Scoter.”

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