Nikon White Beauty in Flight

Started Jun 21, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Jim Fenton
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Nikon White Beauty in Flight
Jun 21, 2007

All of the following flight shots were captured with a D2Xs and 500 AFSII....Apeture priority, matrix metering with EV compensation, AFS, single area, Lock on set to SHORT:

I've been blessed with the opportunity to both observe and capture images of various shorebirds at Plymouth Long Beach in Plymouth Massachusetts both at the tail end of last summer and now this year as well.

This past weekend, my wife and I arrived on Friday afternoon.

As I walked out onto the beach I realized that it was empty and from 4:00PM until the sun went down, I saw a grand total of four other humans in the mile long stretch of beach I was shooting. This was due in part to the astronomically high tide which precluded folks from driving on the beach (much of which is now closed thankfully due to piping plover and tern chicks hatching) and also due to the of course infallible weather persons who had called for showers and thunderstorms...yet there wasn't a single cloud in the sky.

As I walked up the beach, checking for nesting plovers and least terns, the winds suddenly shifted and turned in from the east. Realizing that this would provide perfect conditions for the common terns flying into the roost on the north end of the island, I quickened my steps towards them.

There were hundreds of common terns aloft...flying to and from the rookery with sand eels for their mates, flying directly at my head...stopping mere feet above and in front of me screeching loudly in an effort to drive me away from their end of the beach.

There area lot of images here for you to peruse and the first set is from Friday afternoon..beginning while the sun was still rather high and ending as it was just about to slide below the horizon:

Hovering over nesting sites.....

Landing in the Dunes....

As the golden light grew longer.....

The next morning the winds had shifted and my attentions were directed towards piping plovers and least terns.....but I still couldn't help but shoot a few more of these beautiful common terns in quite different lighting....it's interesting how the color of the sky changes with the different angles....

In flight with prey.....

In the dunes later in the day, calling to protect it's nesting territory...

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