When the weather is fine I like to head down to Rickett’s Point along coastal Beaumaris in Port Philip Bay. At the Point on the rocks is a regular roosting spot for Crested Terns, Silver Gulls and the large Pacific Gulls. On this visit I sat on the rocks close to the colony and watched the juveniles preening and waiting for the adults to come back with food. The terns allowed me to crawl quite close and as long as I sat down and kept still, they were quite calm and did not flush. As the tide got higher several moved to new rocks and I took the opportunity to practice my flight and tracking shots. It can be quite difficult to get a clean sequence. A number of shots were not added due to being cut off at the top. To try and get clean shots my settings were 1/6400, F5.6, ISO640 313mm (full zoom of 400mm was too close for a complete image) – with the abundant sunlight I should have shot a much lower ISO but I wanted to crank up the speed to get the detail in the feathers. I shot over 400 images in an hour of observation, which is always fun (not) to trawl through later and look for gems.
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Beautiful photos Malt. I am guessing you were the very focused photographer I was watching from the shoreline. Not wanting to disturb what you were doing I walked along the beach and found a further group of juvenile Crested Terns frolicking in the water which yielded some good shots. On the previous day I found a family of Hoary Headed Grebes just past McGregor Road. Sometimes Sooty Oystercatchers there also.
Thank you for publishing the settings you used to take these great photos. Always very interesting to an amateur like myself. Dianne
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Thank you for the comments Dianne, it may have been me but I know a few photographer/birders who like that spot. I usually have a chat to other people photographing birds. I have yet to find any Sooty Oystercatchers at the Point. And I am still very much an amateur myself – I was asked the other day about a shot I took up north and basically it can take 100s of shots to find the one you like. Thanks goodness for digital development and large memory cards.
I rather think you are more than an amateur Malt. Your photos are great. But yes I agree with you about the benefits of digital photography and large memory cards, especially with birds which are often not very cooperative. I will make a point of greeting other photographers in the future. I am often at Ricketts Point. Great place for birds but also rockpools, reflections and sunsets
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