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Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern (Image ID 39376)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Tue 25th Feb, 2020 and uploaded on Fri 28th Feb, 2020 .
Resolution1400x952
Viewed37
ID39376
CommentThe largest tern of the world, the Caspian tern is also the one able to take the largest fish. It does so by hovering well above the water surface and when a fish is located, it plunges head-first into the water and grabs hold of the unfortunate fish with its large, black-tipped and fire-engine red bill. Recorded from nearly all the Australian coastline, it also patrols rivers and can consequently be found far inland. Needing clear, still water for best hunting results, the best place to get to see this tern in action is where the water surface is like a mirror. In breeding plumage, the Caspian Tern is white with a stylish, black crest rivalling that of a rock star in the 1970ies. The legs are sturdy and short, and it walks with a funny gait reminiscent of a soldier’s goose-step. Out of breeding colours the crest is streaked with white, as in this image. The sexes are alike, but young birds are mottled grey-brown and have a duller bill. Woodman Point; GPS. Status (2018): Least Concern
EquipmentOlympus OM-D E-M1X camera body with Olympus 300mm f4 IS Pro ED M.Zuiko lens + MC-14 Teleconverter; Velbon Neo Carmagne Carbon Tripod with Manfrotto Ball Head Art 498RC2. Camera settings: Exposure Program/Shooting Mode: ‘Manual’; shutter speed 1/3200 sec, f6.3 & ISO-400. Metering Mode: ‘CenterWeightedAverage’; Focus Mode: ‘Continous-AF’ with the AF-system further set to ‘AF-Target Mode’ and a target group of 9 sensors (3x3). Drive: ‘Sequential shooting (1frame)’ in ‘Continuous Low’. Maximum burst rate habitually set to 12 to prevent filling up the buffer for which reason also I shoot only in RAW. Image Stabilizer routinely left on (S-SIS AUTO); In-camera Sharpness +2. (These settings are also the combination I favour for birds in flight; it took a lot of experimentation with the OM-D E-M1X/300 mm F4 lens combo to find a merger of settings suitable for this challenging discipline.) Olympus Workspace for metadata; FastStone for viewing & sorting; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for post-processing; Topaz Pro plug-in Studio 2 for sharpening and noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for identification, supplementary data and colour checks.
LocationWoodman Point; GPS, Western Australia
Keywordsadult, non-breeding plumage/features
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