Did the Skimmers Survive? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Did the Skimmers Survive?

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This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X III TC and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/9 in Av Mode.

Lens/TC/camera body Micro-adjustment: 0.

Did the Skimmers Survive?

I made my way down to the beach at Nickerson this morning, Tuesday, August 30, 2011, just before 6am. I checked out the area to my right expecting to see a large group of skimmers on the beach in front of what used to be the colony. Nothing. And no skimmers in the air. Did most of the birds perish in the storm? It had been a great breeding season for the skimmers. But I had seen only 30 birds or so roosting in the dunes on the afternoon of the hurricane. Losing a great crop of more than 100 fledged juveniles would seem a shame if it were not nature’s way. Some clouds to the east lit up the sky so I went to work on the gulls in a large puddle. The image above–of a calling Great Black-backed Gull–was my favorite.

Once the color was gone, I decided to head east to see if the skimmers were all at the other colony. As I made my way through the soft sand a huge cloud of skimmers arose in their typical blast off fashion. Hooray. A very great percentage of the skimmers had indeed survived.

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This intentional blur was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +3 stops: 1/30 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode.

Lens/TC/camera body Micro-adjustment: -4.

Beach-nesting birds are always in peril so it was great to see that their resilience had pulled them through Hurricane Irene.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of he gear used to make the three mages in this post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

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Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III Teleconverter. The new 1.4X TC is designed to work best with the newer Series II super-telephoto lenses but it works just fine with the current lenses.
1.4X II Teleconverter. Most folks including me believe that the 1.4X II TC is as sharp as the 1.4X III TC.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sale value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head. (Note: Denise prefers the Wimberley head to the Mongoose.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
BIRDS AS ART Camera Body User’s Guides. Why spend $2-5 grand on a camera and not learn to use it properly and efficiently?

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