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Sooty Oystercatcher

Sooty Oystercatcher (Image ID 39366)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Tue 25th Feb, 2020 and uploaded on Thu 27th Feb, 2020 .
Resolution1389x1050
Viewed56
ID39366
CommentThe endemic Sooty Oystercatcher is found in nearly all coastal areas of Australia and is present in all states and the Northern Territory. It forages for crustaceans, worms, molluscs, and sea urchins along rocky or coral coasts or sometimes on sandy beaches, when these are joining the preferred feeding grounds. They may also take fish. The birds use their long and sturdy bills to collect prey items, and they will pick, stab, hammer, twist and prise loose any edible and manageable morsel, and if the item is hard-shelled, it might be taken to an anvil and hammered to pieces before eaten. The bird shown here is a male of the nominate, southern subspecies, which is somewhat larger than the northern one; males have shorter, thicker bills, and interestingly the sexes prefer different food items. Though common, there are not that many Sooty Oystercatchers, only around 11.500 individuals in total, and of these just 4000 of the nominate subspecies. Point Peron; GPS. Status (2016): 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 1/1000 sec, f6.3 & ISO-500. Metering Mode: ‘CenterWeightedAverage’; Focus Mode: ‘Continous-AF’ with the AF-system further set to ‘AF-Target Mode’ with 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 only shoot in RAW. Image Stabilizer 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 noble discipline.) Olympus Workspace for metadata; FastStone for viewing & sorting; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for post-processing inclusive of ‘Smart Sharpening’; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise AI and noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for identification, supplementary data and colour checks.
LocationPoint Peron; GPS, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, adult
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