Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Black Guillemot

This Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) was first spotted by Jay Kuhlman and Rich Sautkulis during the Christmas Bird Count for Quogue - Water Mill on Saturday December 20, 2009 at the end of Sebonac Inlet Rd. It was subsequently reported again on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at the same location and I was able to get out at around 3:30 to photograph it. Also present in the area were about two dozen Long-Tailed Ducks and 5 surf scoters.

The image is approximately 30% of the original, and was taken with a Nikon d300s DSLR with a 300mm f/4 lens and a 1.7X Nikon Teleconverter.

Full settings were as follow:
Aperture: f/6.7
Exposure: 1/800s
ISO: 1000
Focal Length: 500mm
Exposure Bias: -.67

There has been some discussion (this issue was first raised by Shai Mitra) that this particular bird is of an Arctic Breeding race (ultimus, arcticus, or mandtii) which apparently has never been recorded in New York State. You can follow the discussion here: NY State Bird Listserv

I am going to check the inlet out again tomorrow morning in hopes of getting some better images.

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